Skin is not yet used to strong sun rays - adequate sun protection is necessary
Temperatures up to 25 degrees: summer weather has finally come. So get out into nature, the garden or the café. But be careful: the protective mechanisms of our skin are not yet so well developed after the long winter months. Therefore, adequate sun protection should be ensured now, especially in children.
Spring sun is often underestimated
The current temperatures attract most people outside. After the long winter months, there is hardly anything more beautiful than to soak up some sun in the garden, nature or in the café. However, caution should be exercised. The power of the sun is slightly underestimated, especially on the first beautiful days of the year, and there is a risk of sunburn. This increases the risk of developing cancer. Every sunburn is added to your own skin account, dermatologists warn. Sufficient sun protection should be considered, especially for children.
Sun can be as intense in spring as in midsummer
Whether on the balcony, in the beer garden or during a bike tour: you can finally be pampered again by the warm, soothing rays of the spring sun.
The UV rays of the sun are not only important for our psychological well-being, but also help to form the vital vitamin D, strengthen our immune system, control the hormonal balance and stimulate the metabolism.
Health experts caution, however, because too much sun causes skin cancer.
"In spring, the sun is just as intense on some days as in midsummer," explains Dr. Frank Meiß from the University Hospital Freiburg in a message.
“In addition, the skin's UV protection mechanisms are only designed to a limited extent due to the low-sun winter days,” says the dermatologist.
"For this reason, the skin should be lotioned with a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 in spring if you spend a long time outside."
UV radiation is carcinogenic
In Germany, around 21,200 people develop new skin cancer, malignant melanoma, every year. As many as 120,000 people develop white skin cancer every year for the first time.
While black skin cancer is very aggressive and can be fatal, white skin cancer is usually benign if diagnosed in good time.
“UV radiation or ultraviolet radiation is clearly carcinogenic. This applies both to the ultraviolet components of solar radiation and to the UV light tanning the skin in solariums, ”explains Dr. Meiß.
The UV radiation is strong enough to cause lasting damage to the genetic material, the DNA. The body repairs minor changes to the DNA itself.
If there is repeated sun damage due to insufficient sun protection, especially in childhood and adolescence, the damaged cells can develop into tumors in the long term. "This often happens before there is visible sunburn," says the doctor.
Think of adequate sun protection
Health experts advise protecting yourself from the sun from an early age. The basic rule is not to save money when applying cream. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you should apply sunscreen repeatedly.
The sun protection must be renewed several times depending on the skin type and leisure behavior, such as bathing and heavy sweating. Only then does it work accordingly.
"But the repeated creaming does not extend the skin's own protective time," explains the dermatologist. "The recommended protection time only applies once a day, and only two thirds of this should be used."
An example is given in the communication from the University Hospital Freiburg: The self-protection of the skin of type II, blonde hair and blue eyes, is ten to 20 minutes and increases by 30 times to a total of five or ten by applying a sun protection factor of 30 Hours.
However, experts recommend spending a maximum of two thirds of this time in the sun. For Type II, the stay in the sun is then reduced to three to a maximum of six hours.
Protection of children's sensitive skin
The skin of infants and children is particularly at risk because the skin has not yet developed its own protection.
“Basically, infants are not allowed in the direct sun. In addition to the sunscreen, special UV protective clothing and a sun hat are also useful to protect children's sensitive skin. Shady spots should therefore always be preferred and the midday sun should be better avoided for playing, ”says Dr. Meiß.
Dr. sees that too Utta Petzold, a dermatologist at the Barmer health insurance company, said: “Sunscreen can protect you from sunburn, but it is not a free ticket. It is more important to adapt your leisure activities to the time of year and day as well as the UV exposure, ”said the doctor in a message.
A walk in the morning is usually harmless in spring.
Vitamin D formation despite sun protection
Sunlight is even very important because it provides the body with the largest share of the vital vitamin D through the skin.
"The fear that the application of sunscreen prevents the body from being able to produce sufficient vitamin D is unfounded," explains Dr. Meiß.
"For most people, short UV exposure times are sufficient for sufficient vitamin D production," said the dermatologist.
According to Barmer, enough UV radiation still reaches the skin even when the sky is cloudy. (ad)