August is national Summer sun safety month, so today we’ll overview some of the biggest risks of too much sun exposure. Later this week, we’ll also overview some of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved one safe (Hint: It goes beyond just applying sunscreen!)
While everyone needs some sun exposure in order to take in Vitamin D, catching your rays unprotected can leave you vulnerable to skin, eye, and immune system damage. Too much sun without protection can cause premature skin aging, visible damage, and even skin cancer.
The two types of UV rays of concern are UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are what cause various types of skin cancer, while UVA rays can still cause skin damage, cataracts, wrinkling and loss of skin elasticity. UVA also worsens the effects of UVB.
What if I don’t Burn?
Even if you don’t develop a sunburn, you may still be getting too much sun exposure. Tanning does not protect you from skin cancer. Tanning is essentially your body’s attempt to defend you from UVB rays by producing melanin (The reason your skin darkens.) A suntan is your skin’s response to injury from the sun, and a sunburn develops when the UVB you are exposed to exceeds your body’s natural protective system. Even before burning, you are still exposed to UVB.
Non-skin related Dangers
While time in the sun can damage your skin, it can also carry other dangerous risks such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is the more common of the two, and tends to affect older people, diabetics, and those working or exercising in the heat of the day.
The signs of heat stroke are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. The person’s skin may actually feel cool to the touch, and will likely be moist with sweat. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to help cool the person off immediately and call emergency services if symptoms persist or worsen.
In the event of untreated heat exhaustion, heat stroke can occur. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises faster than sweating can cool it down. Temperatures may reach 106 degrees within ten or fifteen minutes, and without immediate emergency treatment death or permanent disability can occur.
The warning signs for heat stroke are persisting or worsening heat exhaustion, or An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees), red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness. If heat stroke occurs, it’s vital to call emergency medical services and cool the victim immediately using whatever is available.
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In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.
For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.