Sunburn is a
condition that you can get when being hit by the sun's
ultraviolet rays. The sun has three types of
Ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA rays are
the weakest and only cause tanning. UVB rays are the
second strongest and are the cause of burning. UVC
rays are the strongest and most dangerous because they
cause the death of small organisms in the skin.
Sunburn, like many other
conditions, can be avoided if you protect your skin.
You should use suntan lotion and wear protective
clothing when outside in the sun.
Your body has a way of protecting
itself from diseases and harm. We call this your
immune system or "home grown defenses." The first line
of protection is the skin itself. As the UV rays
attack, the skin begins to get thicker so it's harder
for the UV rays to go through the skin. As the skin
gets thicker it builds defenses.
Another defense that the body has
is pigment melanin. Melanin is produced inside the
skin. Pigment is formed in your skin by melanocytes in
the epidermis. People with darker skin produce more
melanin than people with lighter skin. The amount of
melanin you produce mainly depends on your parents. If
both parents have very light skin, then you probably
will, too. People who are more exposed to sunlight
produce more melanin, making their skin turn a light
Sunburn is a worldwide condition.
People in Africa and Australia have the hardest time
with sunburn because it can be extremely hot there.
Remember, wear lots of suntan lotion and protective
clothing when going outside in sunny
graphic on this page created by the
"Kids Making Healthy Choices" ThinkQuest