How Can I Prevent Sunburns?

May 1, 2023

How Can I Prevent Sunburns?

We love the summer season here in the Knoxville area. The warm days, bright sunshine and plethora of outdoor activities are sure to keep our community members happy and content. As you plan out the fun summer ahead, don’t let yourself fall victim to the dangers of the UV rays produced by the sun.

Even though the sun may feel nice on your skin, don’t be fooled. Each sunburn you receive permanently damages your skin and increases your risk of developing deadly forms of skin cancer later in life.

Sun safety is important, so our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team explains how to protect yourself below.

What Is a Sunburn?

When your skin is exposed to the sun, the rays that shine down on you contain ultraviolet (UV) light. This light is damaging to your skin cells and can alter their DNA. The reaction that your skin gets from too much sun exposure causes a red and inflamed reaction on your skin.

While this redness and pain will fade away, the damage has already been done. Over time, premature wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancer are all possibilities that await you if you don’t protect your skin now.

Skin Cancer Signs to Look For

  • A new change to your skin, like a growth or sore
  • A changing mole
  • Skin itchiness
  • The appearance of a lump under the skin

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Skin?

Applying a trusted sunscreen to your skin every day is vital in preventing a sunburn. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it every two hours while you are out and about. You should reapply more often if you have fair skin or know that you tend to burn really easily.

You can also use your clothes to your advantage. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and eyelids, and grab your favorite wide-brimmed hat before heading outside. If the temperature allows it, wear long sleeves or pants. In addition, try to stay in the shade during the heat of the day, which is typically from 10 a.m. until around 4 p.m.

Tending to a Sunburn

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
  • Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the sun.

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 Chapman Highway.

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Call (865) 951-1103 for more information about our Chapman Highway urgent care services.