• Post last modified:October 5, 2020
  • Post category:Insurance

We all love summer- the beach, the barbeque, the sun.  But with many hours in the heat, one thing can have a lasting impression that can leave you in pain for days- the sunburn.  Almost everyone gets them at one point or another during the summer, and sometimes the pain can be so excruciating that some become sick and even bed ridden.  This horrible feeling unfortunately has very little remedies to combat the pain, other than your standard Advil or Motrin.  What we also fail to realize is the long-term effects the sun can have on our health that can easily lead to a change on your ct life insurance.

The sunburn is an odd injury.  It’s unlike a normal burn because it happens over time from overexposure to the sun’s strong UV rays. The pain however can last for days, much the same as a burn from a flame or boiling water.  The Associated Press reports that scientists are finally getting some answers to this summertime mystery. British researchers found a clue in some healthy people who volunteered to be sunburned for science. They controlled the beams of ultraviolet light so that only a small patch of the volunteers’ arms got a medium burn, just enough for a unique kind of testing.

Scientists from Kings College London tracked how their volunteers’ sunburned skin became more sensitive. At the peak of pain, they cut away a small bit of damaged skin to analyze all the biochemical changes inside — and found a protein that’s responsible for triggering the cascade of pain and redness.  The protein summons inflammation-causing immune cells to the damaged spot as sunburned skin cells die off. Its activity increased more than did other pain-related chemicals as the sunburn worsened.

To self-treat the pain, take ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter painkillers known as NSAIDs within a few hours of reddening skin. Those pills fight various kinds of inflammation. While they may not directly block the pain-causing protein the British researchers discovered, they do act on related pain chemicals.

So what’s the connection between sunburns and skin cancer? According to skincancer.org, the two most common nonmelanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), are directly correlated with sun accumulation over many years. Indeed, the most common locations for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma tumors are sun-exposed areas: the face, ears, hands, etc. Melanoma is different. The sun exposure pattern believed to result in melanoma is that of brief, intense exposure — a blistering sunburn — rather than years of tanning. 

So remember to always wear sun block and stay in the shade if you are ultra-sensitive to the sun.  Your sunburn has done more damage than you think by the time you start to feel your skin’s irritation.  Summer tans are great, but don’t get one at your health’s expense that can also affect your life insurance policy as well.