Friday, June 13, 2014

Learning about Sunburn and Friday the 13th T-Shirt Winners!

So you’ve survived the polar vortex, and now have decided to battle the elements “Beast on the Bay” style! Well be ready to face Mother Nature’s added obstacle during the race this summer...the SUN.

Sunburn occurs when skin is burned by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from natural sunlight or artificial sources. A lifetime of sun exposure and frequent sunburns increases your risk of skin cancer, cataracts, wrinkles, and other cosmetic concerns. Light-skinned individuals can get permanent brown spots after sunburn called solar lentigines.

Tips on preventing sunburns
Use broad spectrum sunscreens (SPF 30 or higher). Apply 15-30 mins before sun exposure, and reapply at least every 2 hrs, even after swimming. (“Water-resistant” or “very water-resistant” products mean the sunscreen continues to work after 40 or 80 minutes of activity in water, respectively).
Seek shade or reduce exposure, especially in the summer and between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. 
Kids less than 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight and should use protective clothing. A small amount of sunscreen, SPF ≥15, may be applied to small areas (eg, face, back of hands) if clothing and shade are not available.
Tanning from tanning beds does not protect against the risk of sunburn.They do not increase melanin production and provide little or no protection against subsequent UV exposures.
Melanin is a pigment that gives your skin color, and people with fair skin and light-colored hair have less melanin, increasing the risk of sunburn. Being closer to the equator and having sun exposure closer to noon, when sunlight intensity is greatest, also increases your risk of sunburn.  Clouds offer some protection, but UV radiation still reaches the earth. Other risk factors are high altitude, and reflection from snow (increases risk approximately 90 percent), sand (15 to 30 percent), and water (5 to 20 percent). Some evidence show that wet skin is more susceptible to redness than dry skin. Excessive alcohol intake and certain medications make the skin more sensitive to burning as well.

Redness usually develops 3-5 hours after sun exposure, peaks at 12-24 hours, and subsides on its own in 3-7 days. Symptoms can range from mild redness to painful redness and blistering. Blisters heal without scarring in 7-10 days. Scaling, skin peeling, and tanning are noted 4-7 days after exposure. Cool compresses/soaks, calamine lotion, bland emollients (on intact skin), or aloe vera-based gels can help pain and discomfort. You can gently clean ruptured blisters with mild soap and water, and cover with wet dressings (such as with gauze that has saline or petrolatum). Topical antimicrobials or antibiotics may be used to prevent infection in severe sunburn blisters. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, can help relieve skin pain and inflammation. As long as there are no contraindications to you taking the medication, you can try NSAIDs as soon as symptoms develop, and can continue NSAIDs for 24-48 hours.  An extensive blistering sunburn, severe pain, fever, headache, vomiting, and dehydration can occur with severe sunburns, and may require hospitalization for fluid replacement and pain relief.

For more information on skin cancer, check out the link below:

Look for more to come in the weeks to follow from our healthcare experts at Saint Vincent!

Shelley Roque-Lichtig, MD
Saint Vincent Sports Medicine Resident
Saint Vincent Hospital


And now, here are your t-shirt winners -------------------------->

Please contact with your t-shirt size and address. Congrats!


  1. Use sunscreen everyday that will slow down or prevent the development of wrinkles and sagging of the skin. I am suggesting sunheal sunscreen lotion, it has very good SPF with high PA value.

  2. Here are many sunscreens are available at
    I am using Sunheal sunscreen..... is best online store for health care products...!!