sunburn-manSummer is here – and for me that means sunscreen, shade and sometimes even sleeves!  I burn early and often in the summer if I’m not careful.  And while I know how to avoid sunburn, I really didn’t understand what it does to my skin.

Sunburn is a radiation burn resulting from ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.  We probably all know that from our sunscreen bottles and sunscreen commercials.  But it will probably scare you to learn that the burn damages the DNA in your cells – and when the damage gets to a certain level, it causes cell death and triggers your skin to replace itself.  Ew.

But that does make sense – the damage leads to inflammation which is the hot red skin we’ve all experienced.  Cell death and skin replacement?  Peeling.  But the burn can also have other side effects including nausea, fever, chills and fainting.  Extreme sunburns can lead to blistering and may even require hospitalization.  Again – ew!

So today check your cabinet – do you have sunscreen?  Are you wearing it daily?  If you’re like me, you can burn in as little as 15 minutes so can we all agree that we’re going to minimize our exposure and potential skin damage this summer and wear our sunscreen?  I love Aveeno SPF 30 but you can check Consumer Reports Sunscreen recommendations for 2018 here.

Stay safe out there!  Wear your sunscreen!