GentleCure Blog

Does Sunburn Cause Skin Cancer?

First, let’s answer the question, “What is sunburn?” Ultraviolet radiation damages the skin’s outermost layers, and sunburn is an inflammatory reaction to that damage. Sunburn ranges from mild to severe. That said, does sunburn cause skin cancer? Yes. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburn is a leading cause of skin cancer, as well as skin aging. In fact, even one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your risk of developing skin cancer during your lifetime. 

What You Should Know About Sunburn 

It’s important to have the facts about sunburn, so you can safely enjoy being outdoors. Always keep the following facts in mind: 

  • Even Less Sunny States are at Risk: Skin cancer rates are highest in less sunny states, such as Utah, Delaware, Vermont, Minnesota, and Idaho. 
  • Any Skin Type Can Burn: Your skin type is a factor in how susceptible you are to skin cancer. Fair skin tends to be at the greatest risk, but any skin type can be damaged and burned by UV radiation.
  • The UV Index Matters: Before going outside, check the UV Index, which uses a scale that ranges from 1 to 11+. On the scale, 1 indicates a minimal risk of over-exposure, and 11+ indicates a very high risk.
  • UV Rays are Present Year-Round: The intensity of UV rays varies by season, but your skin can be damaged or burned at any point during the year, even during winter. 

What are the Risks of Sunburn?

Sunburn isn’t good news, regardless of a person’s genetics or skin type. Sunburn is an injury — just as a burn from hot water or hot oil is an injury. And, skin damage caused by UV rays builds up over time. The more you’re exposed to the sun without protection, the greater your risk of developing skin cancer. Repeated sunburns can also impact a tumor-suppressing gene, which weakens your body’s natural ability to repair injured cells before they become cancerous. 

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’re at a greater risk. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent sunburn. Knowing how to treat a sunburn can save you a lot of pain and discomfort should you ever get burnt. 

Get More Information About Image-Guided SRT

Speak with your healthcare provider about Image-Guided SRT if you’ve recently been diagnosed with skin cancer. Image-Guided SRT is a treatment for common skin cancers that’s surgery-free and won’t limit your daily activities. If you have questions about this form of treatment, contact us online or by phone and one of our skin cancer information specialists will assist you.

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For more information on skin cancer treatment options, speak with a Skin Cancer Information Specialist today.

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