Sun Safety: How Sunburns Impact the Skin

Warm, sunny days are made for getting out to the beach, enjoying backyard barbecues, and attending outdoor festivals. And who doesn’t enjoy trading in their moon tan for sun-kissed locks and a golden, glowing complexion? Unfortunately, despite how trendy and visually appealing a head-to-toe bronze look may be, sun-tanning isn’t worth the irreversible damage it can cause. The team of board certified board-certified dermatologists serving Los Angeles-area patients at Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills warns everyone—young and old—to be constantly vigilant when it comes to protecting their skin from sun damage.

In the event that you take in too much sun (read: ultraviolet radiation), any part of your skin or body may react by becoming red, tender, and heated to the touch. Some other common symptoms of sunburn including itching, inflammation, fluid-filled blisters, headaches, and nausea. A particularly severe sunburn may cause discomfort for several days and result in the outer layer of skin peeling off. This is because UV rays damage and mutate the DNA of skin cells, and the body reacts. Dead skin sloughs off, and remaining cells suffer.

When it comes to guarding your skin against damage, the importance of safe sun habits—such as routinely applying broad-spectrum sunscreen and wearing protective clothing—cannot be emphasized enough. After all, cancers of the skin, which are the most common form of cancer in the Unites States, are closely associated with prolonged or intense exposure to harmful UV radiation from sunlight. Sunburns may also make your skin more likely to show signs of premature aging in the form of wrinkles and age spots.

All of this isn’t to say that some degree of sun exposure isn’t healthy and necessary. The closest star to our planet encourages the skin to produce “The Sunshine Vitamin,” also known as Vitamin D, which promotes bone growth. Sunshine has also been known have a strong positive impact on mental health by increasing levels of serotonin (a mood-elevating hormone). The key is to be cautious and strive for a healthy amount of sun. Experts recommend 10 to 30 minutes a day, several times a week, and always with proper protection. Avoid the strongest rays by venturing out earlier in the morning or later in the evening, while the sun is still shining, but not beating down.

Discover more about medical and cosmetic dermatology treatments available at Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills by phoning 310-246-0495, or book an appointment by sending a message online.