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A Dangerous Art Form: #SunburnArt

by kelly / August, 19 2015 01:30

Recently there's been a bunch of news about the hashtag #sunburnart popping up on social media.  The hashtag is exactly what it sounds like - people creating artwork on their skin by selectively applying sunscreen and getting sunburned elsewhere.  I'm not going to sugar coat it; sunburn art is not art - it's dangerous, unhealthy and extremely painful.  


Normally I would link to examples but I'm not going to glorify this "art form" and put a link to the hashtag.  I don't want it to draw more followers.


Now as far as dangers, about one of the worst things for your skin is to get sunburned.  You are literally burning your skin which not only causes premature skin aging but can also lead directly to skin cancer.  What causes this?  Well sunburns occur when skin is overexposed to UV rays from the sun or artificial sources like sun lamps (think tanning salons which are another thing to avoid).  


So the long term effects are looking older and possibly death.  Not enough to dissuade you?  Well short term sunburn really hurts!  In some cases if the burn is severe swelling and blisters can develop.  Some people even experience flu like symptoms such as fever, nausea and chills.  After a severe sunburn, medical attention may even be needed.  On top of that signs and symptoms of sunburn can occur a few hours after sun exposure but sometimes it takes longer to see the full extent of a sunburn.  So just because your not red yet doesn't mean you haven't already cooked yourself.  


Have I scared you with how bad sunburns can be?  Not interested in trying sunburn art?  Good!  If not here is even more from The Skin Cancer Foundation’s senior vice president, Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff:

“The Skin Cancer Foundation strongly advises the public to avoid sunburns at all costs. A sunburn is not only painful – it’s dangerous, and comes with consequences. Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging, and increase your lifetime skin cancer risk. In fact, sustaining five or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime melanoma risk by 80 percent. On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.”


If you do ever get a sunburn here is advice from The Skin Cancer Foundation on how to treat it:

  1. Act Quickly
  2. Moisturize
  3. Hydrate
  4. Don't Wait to Medicate
  5. Asses the Damage


Of course there are easy ways to prevent sunburn like wearing sunscreen and here are even more sun protection tips and suncare smarts for you.  So the next time you see the hashtag #sunburnart don't share, like, retweet, pin or post it.  Just let em know it's dangerous and share this post if they disagree!

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