On the Saturday, January 28th, 2017, the second Science on Saturday night was held by STD of IAAS. This time, the topic is Don’t Let Sunburn Ruin Your Holiday, you can read the summary of our disscussion below.
Sunburn is a form of radiation burn that affects living tissue, such as skin, that results from an overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun. Light from the sun is made up of different kinds of radiation – mostly this is the harmless visible light that allows us to see color and shade, but some of the radiation insunlight can be harmful in large doses, particularly ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation penetrates the tissues of our skin and can damage (mutate) the DNA of our cells. If mutations to the DNA are left unchecked, this may change the way in which the cells behave, and they can become cancerous. Tanning occurs when special cells in your skin called melanocytes produce a brown pigment called melanin when exposed to sunlight. It’s a common myth that if you get sunburn, it will ‘go brown’ later. Some people believe this falsehood so much so that they will actively TRY to burn, in the belief that they will develop a tan. The only surefire way to prevent sunburn is to stay out of the sun, Make sure to avoid being in the sun for long periods of time, especially between the hours of 11.00 AM and 3.00 PM. When you cannot or do not want to avoid the sun for long periods of time, it is essential to wear sunscreen
Sunscreen contains a chemical that absorbs UV radiation rather than the radiation being absorbed by your skin, so the chance of the UV damaging your DNA, and therefore of gettingskin cancer, is greatly reduced. A common falsehood is that a high sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen is ‘stronger’ than those with low SPFs and will therefore make it more difficult to get a tan. On the contrary, high SPFs do exactly the same job as low SPFs, but they last longer, so you can stay out in the sun for longer without reapplying the lotion (although it is still advisable to reapply regularly as the lotion can rub or sweat off of your skin). Contrary to popular belief, sunscreens do not prevent tanning, and in fact, they can enable you to stay browner for longer because you will avoid burning, and the damaged skinwill not peel away.