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Fact or Fiction? Debunking Sunburn Myths (Part 1)

With the prevalence of the internet, myths, misinformation, and ‘fake news’ abound in our society today. Unfortunately, myths surrounding sunburn are all too common. And worse, choosing to believe these myths, could cause serious damage to your skin – and even result in skin cancer.

“Myths surrounding sunburn circulate on social media, internet ‘news’ articles, and even gossip among friends,” says Richard Price, M.D. of Price Skin Care Clinic in Ridgeland, MS. “These myths, which often downplay the importance of using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, can cause great harm.”

Below, in Part One of our series: ‘Fact or Fiction: Debunking Sunburn Myths’ you’ll find the facts about six common myths surrounding sunburn.

Myth: You Can’t Get Sunburned on a Cloudy Day
Fact: Just because you can’t see the sun or feel the sun, doesn’t mean it’s not there. In fact, up to 80% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can penetrate the clouds, causing sunburns that are not only painful but harmful to your skin. Better to be safe than sorry: when outdoors, wear sunscreen always.

Myth: A Base Tan Will Protect You from Sunburn
Fact: While a tan protects from the sun’s UV rays equivalent to an SPF of 2-4, it’s not enough to prevent sunburn. You must wear sunscreen, sunshades, hats, and protective clothing – even if you already have a nice tan.

Myth: Those with Dark Skin Don’t Get Sunburn
Fact: It’s true that those with darker skin have more melanin in their skin, resulting in more protection against the sun. But those with dark skin can still sunburn and are at risk for skin cancer. Regardless of the color of your skin, you should practice sun-safe habits.

Myth: Sunburns Are Only Harmful in the Short Term
Fact: While your sunburn may disappear in a few days, the damage to your skin can last a lifetime. This damage can present as signs of premature aging, wrinkles and an increased risk of skin cancer. Do everything you can to protect your skin from getting sunburned – even once. A little bit of sunburn damage can go a long way.

Myth: Sunscreen Is Only Necessary When You’re Near Water
Fact: It doesn’t matter what you’re doing outside – whether you’re driving four-wheelers, walking in the park or enjoying the beach, the sun’s rays are shining down on you. Practice sun safe habits every time you are enjoying the outdoors. The sun is not a respecter of locations.

Myth: You Don’t Need Sunscreen Inside
Fact: The sun’s harmful rays can penetrate windows at home and even in the car. If you enjoy soaking up the sun while indoors or riding in a car, wear sunscreen. Those windows are not protecting you from the sun.

Take These Sunburn Myths to Heart
Remember that believing a sunburn myth can cause serious damage to your skin – even skin cancer.

So please take these sunburn myths to heart and practice safe sun protection ( when outdoors, driving or sitting inside by windows.

If you have questions about your skin health or would like to schedule your annual skin screen exam, please call at: 601.992.3996

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