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Too Hot to Handle: The Sunburn Reality

The ozone doesn't stop all the sun's UV rays.
Ultraviolet Rays and the Ozone

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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Comments

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

I am not gonna get skin cancer
commented: Tue Jul 30, 2013

quandra*bhadd_2021551
Thiss Crapp Hurrts Then Youur Skim Pealls
commented: Sat Mar 24, 2012

heart6

heart6 wrote:

i dont realy get sunburned
commented: Thu Dec 22, 2011

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

kaykay2002
kaykay2002 posted in Friends:
"Wooper1255" wrote:No. Just no. Mr. Face does not approve this. ._.Okay, okay, let's get serious.Your best friend BULLYING you? And loves it when you get mad? What the heck? SHE'S NOT EVEN YOUR FRIEND!You should have a talk with your best friend. No seriously, she doesn't have any friends cause she's a bully and no one likes to be friends with a bully...You should tell your best friend that she NEEDS to change her attitude! She needs to be more nicer to others also.Also, a best friend is: Caring, Kind, Loyal, Nice, Thoughtful, and will stand up for you against bullies, will be there if you're upset, maybe they'll even CRY with you!A best friend is totally NOT: Someone who bullies you, Someone who likes it when your madYou should ask her any of the following questions:Are you Okay?Why are you bullying me? You're my friend.Is something wrong like family issues?Questions like that are good because there may be a reason for bullying. She could be suffering from depression, or is confused or lonely. Just talk to her. Have a discussion with her. Also, you should talk to other people. Ask them why they aren't friends with your best friend. Then maybe, after they tell you what they don't like about her, you can go back to your best friend and tell her the things she needs to improve on. Also, if necessary, tell an adult like your mom, a teacher, consular, or her mom.Whatever you think will solve this conflict between you and your best friend well... just go for it. But think about the outcome too.Hope I helped, I might add some tips and suggestions to you. :3  your right and the only reason I have put up with her this long is because her dad died but I cant stand her anymore so but seriously I feel like there is another reason bcuz she has had people confront her saying "u know what I have put up wit this for a while and I have told u to stop and u don't listen and I know your dad died but that doesn't mean u can treat people like that "  but she still does it and for the past 3 yrs. I have put up with it but not anymore I will talk to her about it. Thanks.
reply about 11 hours
Wooper1255
Wooper1255 posted in Friends:
You NEED to tell your parents or HER parents about her attitude, this is abuse from your OWN best friend! Tell an adult, don't be afraid, it's not even SILLY to tell an adult, this is serious, she is HURTING you! Tell someone before things get out of hand and she REALLY hurts you! D=
reply about 12 hours
Wooper1255
Wooper1255 posted in Friends:
No. Just no. Mr. Face does not approve this. ._. Okay, okay, let's get serious. Your best friend BULLYING you? And loves it when you get mad? What the heck? SHE'S NOT EVEN YOUR FRIEND! You should have a talk with your best friend. No seriously, she doesn't have any friends cause she's a bully and no one likes to be friends with a bully... You should tell your best friend that she NEEDS to change her attitude! She needs to be more nicer to others also. Also, a best friend is: Caring, Kind, Loyal, Nice, Thoughtful, and will stand up for you against bullies, will be there if you're upset, maybe they'll even CRY with you! A best friend is totally NOT: Someone who bullies you, Someone who likes it when your mad You should ask her any of the following questions: Are you Okay? Why are you bullying me? You're my friend. Is something wrong like family issues? Questions like that are good because there may be a reason for bullying. She could be suffering from depression, or is confused or lonely. Just talk to her. Have a discussion with her. Also, you should talk to other people. Ask them why they aren't friends with your best friend. Then maybe, after they tell you what they don't like about her, you can go back to your best friend and tell her the things she needs to improve on. Also, if necessary, tell an adult like your mom, a teacher, consular, or her mom. Whatever you think will solve this conflict between you and your best friend well... just go for it. But think about the outcome too. Hope I helped, I might add some tips and suggestions to you. :3
reply about 12 hours
Boysrock50
Boysrock50 posted in Friends:
Yeah I had a friend in the same situation as you, he was too scared to say anything so we spoke for him. Now the 'friend' has changed and hes our mate. Just tell her straight and firmly, its the only way
reply about 12 hours
kaykay2002
kaykay2002 posted in Friends:
"Boysrock50" wrote:She is obviously NOT your best friend.I wouldn't even call her a friendShe is a bully who thinks she can have her own wayShe thinks she can control you like you're her follower because she the truth is she needs youBe smart and leave her because she's only going to keep you down and then one day she will find  friends just like her and she will just ignore you forever, thinking shes too cool for you.I would either:Tell her straight that she needs to make her own friends because you don't want to be friends anymoreor:Tell her that you don't like what she does and either she changes her ways and acts more like a friend, or you cant be friends anymore.I'm not trying to be harsh, I'm being wise and you should be wise too. Thanks I actually might try that but she is really stubborn and will not take no for an answer I have tried just ignoring her but he will kick, hit, or punch me to get attention. my parents also don't like her bcuz she is bossy. I also have to go to summer camp with her for the next 2 weeks and w have to be buddies for it so i think i might die
reply about 12 hours

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