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Spending time in the sun, during summer, usually means having a great time at the beach, on a picnic or in a long walk. Sunbathing is a very popular activity not only because it is a pleasant experience but also because a nice, dark tan is something of a beauty standard nowadays. However, everyone knows that too much sun can be quite dangerous.

Sun exposure

Exposure to the sun is actually healthy and beneficial both for the mind and the body, but only if done in moderation. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause damage to the skin in form of sunburns and it also greatly increases the risk of skin cancer.

Sunburn means skin damage due to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It involves sin irritation, redness, tenderness or pain, blistering and peeling. The skin eventually heals and grows back normally but the process of recovery can sometimes be quite painful and disturbing. Sunburns occur due to long exposure to the UV rays, especially during summer and during peak hours. They tend to affect people with fair complexion and light hair more than those with darker skin.

Sunburns cannot be cured because they need time to heal on their own, possibly with the help of home remedies. However, they can be prevented easily and quite effectively.

Prevention of sunburns

The only absolutely effective way to prevent sun damage, including both sunburns and skin cancer, is to avoid the exposure to the sun. This, of course, is impossible and to some extent it is not even beneficial, since exposure to the sun is necessary for the generation of Vitamin D and for several other processes in the body. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid spending time in the sun during peak hours, which depend on the geographic position. In most parts of the world, though, this means staying away from the sun from noon to five or six in the afternoon.

During times when it is not possible to stay away from the sun, it is recommended to protect the skin with light clothes made of breathable and non-clingy fabrics, to wear a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Of course, prevention of sunburns is not possible without sunscreens. There are many different types of sunscreens and it is important to choose a quality one, from a trusted brand. It is also important to use the product with broad spectrum protection, meaning it shields the skin from both UVA and UVB radiation.

Sun protection factor or SPF is a number listed on every sunscreen that indicates the level of the protection the product provides. The higher the SPF, the better the protection. Persons with fair skin and light hair are advised to use SPF 25 or higher.

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