You know when you go to the gym or the gym and it seems as though everyone else is sweating, but you are really, really focused on getting your body back to a natural state of rest.
“That’s when I start feeling the burn, which is what I get,” said Lauren, 26, who works at a health food store in Portland, Oregon.
“It’s the moment where I realise that you have to stop.
You can’t do this.
If I’m in the gym, I’m doing it right.
But when I’m at home, I start to feel that, ‘Oh my god, what’s going on?'”
For Lauren, who has been taking sunscreens for years, the problem comes from her body’s natural reactions to sunlight.
“I’m a super active person,” she said.
“But when I have a little bit of sunburn, I get really upset.”
‘I’ve been trying to get away from it’ Lauren said that her reaction to sunburn has evolved over the years, from being “an aggressive person who doesn’t like to go out or socialise with people”, to now being more accepting.
But she still struggles with sunburns.
“There’s definitely been times when I’ve been struggling with it and just not being able to control it,” she explained.
“And when you get into a state where it’s too much, it’s really difficult.”
Lauren is not alone.
“We all feel this burning sensation,” said Michelle, who also works at an organic market in San Francisco, California.
“So we go to our dermatologist for some help and he just tells us to stop and he says it’s not a problem.”
Michelle said that she started to feel burnt when she started working in retail in the mid-2000s, but that she stopped using the sunscreen because it did not work.
“When I got sunburn-related, I stopped using sunscreen and tried a lot of different brands,” she added.
“Then, I started going to the dermatologist and he told me to stop using the sunblock and to stop doing all these things.”
Michelle says that while she can be aware of sun-related reactions, she is not sure why she can’t avoid them.
“My body does not have the ability to feel the heat, so when it comes to getting sunburnt, I don’t know,” she told Healthline.
“Maybe I just have more control of it than other people.”
How to prevent sunburn?
While there are several ways to prevent or reduce sunburn and its symptoms, you can try to reduce the amount of time you spend outside.
A study published in the journal Skin Cancer found that for the average person, there is an average of 3.4 hours a day spent outside, while people with a higher skin cancer risk score had an average 2.6 hours.
The study also found that when compared to people who do not have cancer, those who spend more time outside are more likely to suffer from skin cancer.
“Sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer, and research suggests that there is a strong relationship between sun exposure and skin cancer,” said study author Dr Caroline Rau, from the Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE), at the University of California, San Francisco.
“Research has also found an association between exposure to UVB and melanoma.”
To avoid sunburn or to reduce sun exposure, you could try wearing a sun-blocking mask or other sunscreen, including sunblock SPF 30 and SPF 50, and avoid contact with the sun for at least half an hour before and after you get out of the house.
“If you want to limit your exposure, wear a mask with an SPF of at least 20,” said Dr Rau.
For more information about sun damage, visit the National Cancer Institute’s sun page.
How to manage sunburn Naturally, people who have skin cancer need to be cautious about how they react to sun exposure.
“A lot of people have these fears about getting sun burns or skin cancers, and if you get sunburn in your body, you know you’ve got an infection,” said Rau from CHRE.
“You’re going to be more susceptible to infections that could spread to your skin.”
There are some things you can do to help reduce sun damage.
“Wear sunscreen for at most half an hr before you leave the house and the next half an h in the evening, as it will protect you from getting more sunburn,” said dermatologist Dr Matthew Larkin, from Melbourne, Australia.
For people who feel more irritable or have skin conditions, you might also want to use a moisturiser before going to work or going to bed, or a sunscreen when you’re out of town.