4. Sunburn increases your risk for skin cancer.
Sunburn is a medical condition that results from the skin’s overexposure to the sun, although it also happens with exposure to other sources of ultraviolet (UV) rays such as tanning beds and some light fixtures. It’s a type of radiation burn since the sun emits both UVA and UVB rays. In a survey conducted by The Skin Cancer Foundation together with iVillage, nearly half of the people who took the poll get sunburn at least once a year. Research shows that getting five or more sunburns in a lifetime doubles your risk for malignant melanoma.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It claimed the lives of about 55,000 people around the world in 2012. It is primarily caused by exposure to UV rays, coming from either the sun or skin tanning devices. Malignant melanoma is believed to be triggered by intense exposure to UV rays within short periods, which is the case with sunburn. In fact, you can get a sunburn in 15 minutes or less. The lighter your skin color, the faster your skin will burn. Children younger than 6 years and adults over 60 years old are also more prone to sunburns.
In addition to melanoma, sunburn also raises your risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are the most common skin cancers, although they rarely spread and aren’t usually fatal.