It’s spring break season and we live in Florida – so it’s no surprise that What’s Going Around is Sunburns. Over the past several weeks, physicians at Centra Care locations all over town – not just the tourist areas – have seen an increase in the number of patients with sunburn – adults and children experiencing second degree burns with blistering on large areas of the shoulder, back and face, all due to sun exposure.
Besides the pain that goes along with sunburn, one of the greatest risks is skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a person’s risk for melanoma –the most serious form of skin cancer — doubles if they’ve had five or more sunburns. Since avoiding the sun completely isn’t a feasible option here in the Sunshine State, DO NOT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN – it’s an everyday, year-round necessity when you live or vacation in Florida.
To reduce this risk, you should regularly use sun protection measures including:
- Use sunscreens with broad-spectrum SPF values of 15 or higher.
- Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Wear clothing and sunglasses to cover skin exposed to the sun.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours.
There are some things you can do at home if you or your child gets a sunburn that doesn’t need medical attention. To ease the pain: apply wet, cool cloths on the burn for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day, apply lotion to soothe the skin or take an over-the-counter pain reliever.