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Sunburn is a radiation burn to the skin caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or artificial sources such as tanning beds. The biggest risk factors for sunburn is the amount of time the skin is exposed to UV rays, plus the intensity. Many factors such as time of day, medications, ozone depletion, high altitude, clear skies, and skin phototypes influence sunburns. An increase in the number of sunburns someone obtains is directly related to an increase in the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, by fully understanding the cause, treatment, and prevention of sunburns, patients can drastically decrease their risk of skin cancers. This will improve their quality of life. Additionally, by preventing sunburn, patients can reduce the solar effects of aging, which can lead to better cosmetic results.




Smith, E. B. (1981). Sunburn. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 5(4), 472.

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