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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

To Your Health: Sunburn

We look forward to our summer vacations all year, and it’s a shame when we spend them in pain because we forget to protect ourselves from the very thing we seek: the sun.

Hello, I’m Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs at Southeast Missouri State University. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sunburn is caused by exposure to two types of ultraviolet rays from the sun: UVA rays and UVB rays. Being around water, concrete and sand makes you more likely to get a sunburn because they reflect the sun's rays. In addition, UV light is more intense between 10 AM and 4 PM and at high altitudes.

Sunburn is inflamed, painful skin that feels hot to the touch. While most sunburns can be treated at home with over the counter pain medication and aloe, if you experience symptoms such as swelling, large blisters, fever,and dehydration, seek immediate medical attention.

The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that sunburn accelerates skin aging and is a leading cause in the majority of cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply broad spectrum sunscreen every day to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every 90 minutes when outdoors and more often after swimming and sweating. Be aware of your sun exposure when taking medications that increase your skin’s sensitivity. Use sunglasses that filter UV rays and wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats.






Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.