Sunburn

Uses

Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

Other Proposed Natural Treatments

We're all familiar with sunburn—the short-term skin inflammation caused by overexposure to the sun. Besides the familiar redness, pain, blistering, and flaking, overexposure to sunlight can lead to long-term skin damage, including premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.The chief culprit in sunburn is not the sun's heat but its ultraviolet radiation, which occurs in the forms UVA and UVB. This radiation acts on substances in our skin to form chemicals called free radicals. These free radicals appear to be partly responsible for the short-term damage of sunburn, and perhaps for long-term damage from the sun as well. Conventional approaches to sunburn focus on prevention: staying out of the sun (especially when the sun is strongest), wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks much of the radiation from our skin and helps prevent inflammation. A recent study of 1,383 Australians suggests that regular sunscreen use may also diminish the number of tumors caused by one form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma. 1 Many drugs and herbs may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Some of the drugs that increase sun sensitivity are sulfa drugs , tetracycline , phenothiazines , and piroxicam . Herbs which might increase sensitivity to the sun include St. John's wort and dong quai . Particular care should be taken when combining any of these substances, as they could amplify each other's effects.

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