Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) in sunlight
Besides causing the uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms of sun burn, over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is one of the main causes of skin cancer.
Every year more than 13,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK. Most cases can be cured if diagnosed and treated early but around a fifth don’t recover from treatment.
Anyone can develop skin cancer, but you are more likely to get the disease if you have fair skin that burns easily, lots of moles or freckles, red or fair hair and/or light-coloured eyes.
Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) in sunlight.
Two different types of UV radiation can cause sunburn and skin cancer:
Exposure to both UVA and UVB increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is mainly a measure of UVB protection. It’s best to choose a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen capable of protecting against both UVA and UVB.
UVA protection is indicated by a star rating from one star (minimum) to five stars (ultra).
New research suggests that sunscreen alone should not be relied on to prevent skin cancer and should be combined with other methods of protection such as hats, loose clothing or moving into shade.
Car windows don’t block all UV radiation but levels inside the car will vary depending on the type of glass, whether windows or the sunroof are open or closed and the direction of travel relative to the sun.
(17 July 2014)