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by admin | 1:58 am

I could regail you for days with tales of my more memorable sunburns dating back as long as I can remember being alive. There was the Florida burn around age 6 when my legs crisped so badly I couldn’t bend my knees.

There was the Virginia beach burn where my upper body charred so deeply I developed a three-day fever. I was unable to bathe or lift my arms over my head for a week. Good times. I could go on and on. I won’t bore you (although you are definitely welcome to add your most memorable sunburn story in our comments section!)

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Sunburn is inflammation of the skin as a result of overexposure to the sun. Ultraviolet rays destroy skin cells in the outer layer of the skin damaging blood vessels underneath. Sunburn is especially severe in pale-skinned individuals (ahem, me) whose skin does not produce enough melanin.  Melanin is the protective pigment that guards against sun.

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When you are sunburned, your skin turns red and becomes very painful. You might develop blisters. If your sunburn is severe you might develop a fever, throw up or pass out.

Days after your sunburn your skin peels to shed the dead cells scorched by ultraviolet rays.  Repeated exposure to strong sunlight over the years results in prematurely aged skin. It’s unlikely that you’re hearing this for the first time.

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If anything, the purpose of today’s blog is really just to drive home the importance of sun protection. Everyone needs to protect their skin, especially their faces to prevent premature aging.  Limit your sun exposure to 15 minutes a day.

If you know you’ll be in the sun longer than that, use a sun block of SPF 30 or higher. Bear in mind that your clothing is as effective as an SPF 6, so you’ll still need to lather up all over.

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