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Too Hot to Handle: The Sunburn Reality

When the sun comes out, it's time to head outdoors. But, as we all know, too much sun can be a bad thing. This is the reason our parents have been slathering us up with sunscreen since we were babies. Do you know some of the serious dangers from spending a long time under those rays? Check out some of the hazards and a few tips to avoid them.

Ultraviolet Rays and the Ozone Layer

The ozone layer soaks up most of the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but how much depends on the time of year and the weather. Thanks to chemicals that aren't environmentally friendly (such as chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, AKA CFCs), the ozone has thinned in certain areas. In fact, over Antarctica there's a hole three times the size of Australia! Does this mean more UV rays are making it down to earth? Yes, but if we keep doing our part, the ozone will gradually rebuild itself.

Health Effects from Sunburn and Ultraviolet Rays

Young people often spend more time outside than adults, but peeps under the age of 18 are at the greatest risk for sunburn. What some people might not be aware of is that too much sun can cause, not only skin cancer, but several other serious afflictions. Here's a list:

  • Melanoma Skin Cancer - This is the most serious form of skin cancer. It's also one of the fastest growing types of cancer in the US, with one in 87 people developing it each year. That's an increase of 1,800 per cent since the 1930s! Scientists believe there might be a link between childhood sunburns and developing melanoma later on in life. If it's caught in time, it is almost curable. However, it can spread very quickly.
  • Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer - This kind of skin cancer is rarely fatal, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked. If left untreated, nonmelanoma skin cancer can cause major health problems. The two types of nonmelanoma skin cancer are Basal Cell Carcinomas, which are fleshy non-spreading nodules or bumps, and Squamous Cell Carcinomas, which are rapid growth tumors that can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Actinic Keratoses - Skin growths that happen on areas exposed to the sun. The face, hands, forearms and part of the neck are perfect candidates for this. If left untreated, they can be serious.
  • Premature Aging of the Skin - Longtime exposure to the sun causes the skin to become thick, wrinkled and leathery. Because it happens over the years, there's not much anyone can do. With proper protection, like wearing sunscreen, this condition can be avoided.
  • Cataracts and Other Eye Damage - What some people might not be aware of is the serious damage the sun can do to their eyes. If cataracts (a condition that causes cloudy vision) aren't treated, they can cause blindness. Other eye damage includes tissue growth on the white of the eye that can block vision, skin cancer around the eyes, and retinal damage.
  • Immune Suppression - Sunburns can alter your immune system. Regardless of skin type, if you keep soaking up those UV rays, your immune system can be damaged. After you've been in the sun, your White blood cells (these are the guys that fight disease) can take up to 24 hours to start doing their job properly again.

How to Protect Yourself from Sunburn and Ultraviolet Rays

  • Limit your time in the sun. The UV rays are strongest between 10AM and 4PM, but this doesn't mean you can get out of mowing the lawn.
  • Wearing sunglasses that provide 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection helps prevent cataracts and other eye damage. When you're buying your shades, check the label.
  • Wear a hat, especially one with a wide brim. This might not always be the fashion trend of the season, but it will prevent you from looking like beef jerky in 20 years.
  • ALWAYS use sunscreen. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, though you can find sunscreens with a much higher SPF. Reapply more every two hours. That includes the waterproof stuff cuz it comes off with sweat or when you towel dry yourself. Don't forget to wear lip balm that has a SPF of 15.
  • Did you know you can still burn on a cloudy day? For more sun facts and information, check out this great site.
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Dear Dish-It in the forums

toripizza
last friday, i was home alone, my dad went to am AA meting and chiz, so i was alone for a couple og hours, i mean yeah i'm depressed, i cut, i have suicidal thoughts daily.......it's hard hurting inside..and just to see everyone pass you by like you're nothing, people judging you without knowing you. i also have social anxiety, and it really bothers me at school, so i try to walk fast in the halls, and i'm tense a lot. people criticize me once in a while.... ive been through some stuff, i've seen my mom abused infront of me thousand of times..........it's just hard...life. i'm scared to deal with it. so i made a noose, tried to attempt. long story short, my friend called the police, i got sent to the ER......my dad doesn't trust me alone for a mere 3 seconds, cause he thinks as soon as he turns his back i'll cut myself, or hang myself
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hugebear
hugebear posted in Friends:
So there's this guy in my class and he sits next to me. Correction he HAS to sit next to me, So my classroom as a table with 2 desks connected to make a huge desk but separated holders things to put our stuff in. So this guy is really the class clown of the class and he can be a jerk when he wants to be but sometimes can be a really nice guy. He likes to talk to me and he "Occasionally" Touches my hand or arm in a friendly way.. I think :3 but anyways he teases me ... A LOT but he sometimes insults me but when he sees my face not cracking into a smile. he instantly says sorry or didnt mean it like that kind of way and i smile. So does he like me? Or he just being a regular guy?  Ello and I thinks he likes you and feels your the close enough friend what he can joke around with. He doesnt want to offend you or upset you and that shows he cares about your feelings. Me advises is take your time and see how your friendship develops.  If it feeels natural to ask him does he like you then ask him and theres no rush :) Good luck :love
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hugebear
hugebear posted in Friends:
Ello and your boyfriend is with you cos he likes you over everyone else.   Jealousy is horrible and honestly i would gets over the jealousy thing and trusts him and has confidendence in yourself that he likes you cos of you.. This is me advises on this :) and good luck :love
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AhleyM
AhleyM posted in Friends:
 My best friend is: Kate Rubio.
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sleepingwithsirens16
SaucyBob i my best friend :)
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