Avoid moderate sun and sunburn

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Enjoy the sun only in moderation and avoid sunburn

The high summer temperatures of the last few days even attract couch potatoes into the fresh air. It is particularly important to protect the skin from sunburn. Whether cycling, sunbathing by the sea or on the meadow, the intense sunshine can easily burn your skin. Sunburn also increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

Sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer
The dermatologist Dr. Thomas Stavermann explains to the "dpa" news agency that sunburn is nothing more than burnt skin. "If the sun is too long, the UV rays from the sun can heat up and damage the skin," says the expert. Dermatologist Joachim Christ sees a great danger in the overloading of the skin, which results in the release of messenger substances such as histamine. This is also responsible for the dilation of the vessels, reddening of the skin and itching. However, the most serious effect of sunburn can be skin cancer. The experts say that the risk of developing this type of cancer is significantly increased due to the intense sunshine. If the skin is overloaded by the sun, this can result in degeneration of the skin cells. Horn cells develop so-called keratoses, which visually resemble warts and can degenerate into white skin cancer. The particularly dangerous black skin cancer can arise from mutated pigment-forming cells.

Despite the high risk, the risk of sunburn is often underestimated. "However, the skin of us Europeans only has an intrinsic protection time of around ten minutes," reports Stavermann. Therefore, it should be clear to everyone who goes into the sun without sun protection that they will damage their skin massively after just a few minutes. "I recommend avoiding any redness from the sun," explains Joachim Christ. There is nothing wrong with moderate tanning. "But that has to go slowly and the skin has to be protected accordingly."

Prevent sunburn with sunscreen and protective clothing
The dermatologist recommends not exposing yourself to the intense midday sun. Arms, legs and head should be protected by clothing. Sun creams are also indispensable. "Everyone should apply sunscreen cream at the beginning of a sunny season," Christ advises. Products with a high sun protection factor (SPF) such as SPF 30 or for lighter skin types SPF 40 are particularly suitable. "That can decrease less in the course of the summer," the expert continues. Lubrication several times a day is imperative. "If you spend a lot of time outdoors, sweating or going into the water, you have to apply new cream," explained Christ.

"Think about sun protection in good time: 20 to 30 minutes before going into the sun, you should generously apply a protective product with a high sun protection factor," reports Elena Helfenbein, an expert at the VKE cosmetics association. Only then does the sunscreen show its UV effect. Shadows are much healthier and more refreshing than the sun anyway. "Even in the shade, you can still reach 40 percent of the UV radiation," says the beauty expert.

Cool envelopes and plenty of fluids for sunburn
If the sunburn is there, those affected can alleviate their symptoms with simple home remedies and creams. "You can cool the areas with moist envelopes and apply soothing and cooling creams, lotions or after-sun sprays generously," reports Helfenbein.

The envelopes, for example in the form of dish towels, are easy to use. It is important that the wipes are sterile to prevent inflammation. Quark or yoghurt are often mentioned as old home remedies for sunburn, but should never be used, as this can provoke inflammation of the skin. The following applies to lotions: it is best to use only natural products, since chemical substances and artificial fragrances can cause further health complications. Those suffering from sunburn should rest in a cool environment. Helfenbein also recommends drinking plenty of fluids. “You can only go back into the sun when the symptoms such as reddening of the skin and blistering have completely disappeared. And then only with a sunscreen with a very high sun protection factor, ”the expert warned.

If the burns are worse, a doctor should be consulted. "He can prescribe other medications that also shorten the time of suffering," explained Stavermann. If the symptoms worsen or if there are more, medical advice should also be sought, according to the dermatologist. A visit to the doctor is also advisable if the skin is very red to dark red in color. If blisters form on the skin, this is a sign of a mild to moderate burn. Due to the acute risk of infection, the blisters should never be opened by yourself. Those suffering from symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting, chills, severe pain, dizziness and headache may have a sunstroke. In such a case, those affected should immediately consult a doctor. (ag)

Read also on the subject of sun:
In the first year of life, babies are not exposed to the sun
Avoid stress and sun in white spot disease
First aid for sunburn

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