Many people believe that excessive sun exposure is what can cause skin cancer. And although this is true - as your skin becomes more damaged it's more susceptible to further issues - you can in fact, get skin cancer after one sun burn.
So What is a Sun Burn?
Sun burns are the inflammatory result from over exposure to UVB radiation. UVB radiation causes damage to the skins outermost layers. Melanin (responsible for your pigment) goes to work darkening sun exposed skin. However the amount of melanin your skin produces is completely genetic, which is why some people tan and some people burn. Both show cellular damage, yet the skin cells of those with lower amounts of melanin will get red, swollen and sore a lot quicker, and this cellular appearance is known as sun burn. Ultimately, the skin cells are flooded with extra blood cells to aid the healing of the damage skin.
And although UVB rays are responsible for this, they're also the greatest contributors to causing skin cancer.
Can You get Skin Cancer from One Sun Burn?
Everyone gets sunburned, so it can't really be that bad can it?
It actually can be.
Studies have shown that a blistering sun burn in your childhood doubles your risk of developing a melanoma in the future. Experiencing five or more 'normal' sunburns also doubles your risk of developing one. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Sun Burns Should Not Be Normalised.
They're common, but they don't have to be. And due to the rise of sun care knowledge, the very real damage that sunburns cause is starting to sink in throughout the general public.
Genetics play an integral part in determining the effect the sun has your skin. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you should be more cautious and check your skin for irregularities regularly.
Remember, one sun burn can DOUBLE your risk of developing the most dangerous skin cancer possible - melanoma. And that even the slightest tinge of pink on your nose after sun exposure indicates damage at a cellular level.