Spring weather calls for sunburns

When skin gets exposed to the sun more often, sunburns become more likely due to the harsh UV rays given off by the sun.
The two types of ultraviolet rays that can harm the sun are untraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB)
Things such as tanning beds produce a certain amount of UVA rays that cause a person to tan the amount they desire.
Some are more likely to sunburn than others. This includes people with paler skin  tones and lighter hair colors.
“I sunburn really easily,” junior Katie Garrish said. “It can become kind of annoying because I have to remember to take precautions before going out, especially in the summer.”
The UV levels of the sun are measured on an index from one to 11. The UV levels are the highest are between the times of 10 a.m and 4 p.m.
With UV levels this high, a person that is fair skinned will only be safe from sunburns from about 10 minutes if they are not protected.
According to local weather stations, precautionary measures should be taken if the UV ray index is higher than a six. Some of these include wearing protective clothing, keeping sunglasses on hand, and applying a layer of sunscreen that has SPF (sun protection factor)  before participating in any activity that would require being in the sun for a period of time.
“Sometimes during lacrosse season I do get sunburnt,” senior Katie Pacak said. “I use sunscreen just in case it is really sunny outside. This year has not been that bad since we practice later in the day, so the UV rays are less intense.”
Sunburns, if not treated properly, can lead to wrinkles, premature aging, cataracts, and even skin cancer.
One more common symptom that sunburns can cause is eczema.
“I have had eczema since the day I was born,” senior Jacob Nguyen said. “I was a sick baby.”
When skin is exposed to the sun for too long, it becomes red and irritated. This is a sunburn. If the sunburn is severe enough, the skin can blister and peel, turning into eczema.
Eczema can cause the skin to become itchy, red, and dry. It can even make it become cracked and leathery. It can also be a pain to cope with.
“Before, it would wake me up in the middle of the night and irritate my skin, forcing me to scratch the affected areas,” Nguyen said. “It was such a nuisance and it physically affected the appearance of those areas as well. It was an annoyance but other than that it is fine.”
There are several different ways to cope with eczema if affected by it. Many drugstores offer simple over-the-counter lotions and ointments.
“I would  use eczema ointment as I would have a lot of breakouts during the winter. As of now, it has gotten less severe and I would just deal with the dryness with no medication. I use lotions to help my skin just incase,” Nguyen said.
Simple precautions can prevent from causing sunburns or other skin related diseases. The risk of getting a sunburn should not prevent you from going outside and doing everyday tasks as normal.