Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means! School will be out, kids will be running around and the warm summer sun will be shining down on us once more.
While that thought may be exciting to many people, it is important to take precautions to prevent sunburns on yourself and your children.
Even though the sun does feel nice on our skin, avoiding overexposure is critical for your long-term skin health. Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team explains the importance of sun safety below, so read on to learn more.
Why Does the Sun Burn Skin?
When the sun shines down on your skin, it is emitting UV (ultraviolet) light. This light is damaging to our skin cells. Exposure to UV light can actually damage our skin cells’ DNA permanently. A sunburn is a reaction to this overexposure of UV light and can lead to red, inflamed and painful skin around the area of the burn.
Even though the redness and pain will fade, the damage under your skin cannot be undone. Over time, each burn you receive can further damage your skin and make you more vulnerable to sun spots, premature wrinkles and skin cancer.
Potential Signs of Skin Cancer
- A new change to your skin, like a growth or sore
- A changing mole
- Skin itchiness
- The appearance of a lump under the skin
How Can I Protect My Children’s Skin?
Before your kids head outside for a full day of fun in the sun, lather them up with sunscreen from head to toe. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. It should be reapplied at least every two hours while outdoors, and more often if your children will be sweating or swimming.
It is also a good idea to throw a hat on their heads and offer their sunglasses to them frequently. Your children’s scalps, faces and ears have really sensitive skin and can burn more easily than other parts of their bodies. In addition, consider investing in some UV-blocking clothing. This material can actually help filter out these dangerous rays to protect your children’s skin even further.
Treating Sunburns in Kids
- Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
- Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
- Offer plenty of water.
- Keep them out of the sun until the burn heals.
Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you are worried about a potential sign of skin cancer, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah.