What you need to know about sunburn?

  • Some people are more prone to sunburn: Skin type determines your susceptibility; people with fair skin run the greatest risk.
  • Even without a burn, sun exposure raises skin cancer risk. Even if you are tan or your skin type is dark and your skin does not redden, the sun can cause cellular damage that can lead to cancer.
  • The UV index is a factor: The sun varies in intensity by season, time of day and geographic location. A high UV index means that unprotected skin will burn faster or more severely. Be careful, especially when the sun is strongest. But even when the index is low, the risk remains. Protect yourself every day of the year.
  • You can burn on an overcast day: Be careful even when the sun isn’t shining. Up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate clouds.
  • Light pink is still bad: No matter how mild, every burn is a sign of injury to your skin that can result in premature aging and skin cancer.

Sunburn risks to you

  • Repeated sunburns raise your risk. For fair-skinned people, especially those with genetic predisposition, sunburn plays a clear role in developing melanoma. Research shows that the UV rays that damage skin can also alter a tumor-suppressing gene, giving injured cells less chance to repair before progressing to cancer.
  • People who work or play sports outdoors have a greater risk of frequent sunburns that can result in skin cancer.
  • Even one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
  • Skin damage builds up over time starting with your very first sunburn. The more you burn, the greater your risk of skin cancer. Subsequent UV damage can occur even when there is no obvious burn.
  • Five or more sunburns more than doubles your risk of developing potentially deadly melanoma
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