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Sunburn: the indirect effects of severe UV radiation

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(NaturalNews) With summer here, many of us are getting ready for beach vacations and the inherent sunburns that usually accompany these trips. Sunburn, which is caused by UV radiation, can lead to melanoma. Melanoma can cause metastases to form (malignant tumors spread from the original source) in our vital organs such as the liver, lungs, and brain. UV radiation can cause melanoma by directly altering the genomes of pigment cells, but there is an indirect effect that may have been overlooked. A research team from the University of Bonn has determined that UV radiation can cause the spread of melanoma through an indirect inflammatory process in the surrounding tissues.

The lead scientist of the study Dr. Thomas Tuting said, "The inflammatory reaction of the skin after severe sun exposure promotes the early migration of melanoma cells along vessels within the body." After severe sun exposure there was an increased spread of tumor cells along the actual blood vessel surfaces of that inflamed skin! The melanoma cells actually move along the blood vessel surface rather effectively. This is important because as Dr. Tuting said, "Our findings may explain why patients with superficially ulcerated melanomas and neutrophil infiltration frequently develop organ metastases." It helps us understand how melanoma transfers to our vital organs through this inflamed tissue.

The sun is good for us though

Exposure to the sun is actually very good for us because it can provide us with vitamin D. Vitamin D has been found to help prevent certain types of cancer, fight depression and osteoporosis and can even effect things like obesity and diabetes. The best part is that it is 100 percent free because your body produces it from exposure to sunlight (almost impossible to get enough solely through your diet)! Sunscreens as weak as sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 or higher can decrease our body's ability to produce vitamin D by up to 95 percent. That being said, severe exposure can lead to sunburn and should be avoided.

Ways to negate sunburn

Children are one of the most susceptible groups to the harsh effects of severe exposure of UV radiation. To ensure maximum UV protection for your children and yourself to prevent severe exposure, you should pick a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher. Also many sunscreens protect against UVB rays but not against the longer wavelength UVA rays. Make sure your sunscreen contains Oxobenzone or Parsol which can combat UVA rays for up to four hours. Likewise, a new substance Mexoryl is now often added to sunscreens because it protects against UVA rays without breaking down!

Ways to combat sunburn

One of the best ways to combat a sunburn is also one of the most well known; aloe vera gel. Using store bought aloe vera with the least amount of fillers or even using the actual plant juice can be the best sunburn solution. Other natural sunburn solutions include baking soda. This is accomplished by applying a cloth that has been soaked in water and baking soda (at least 4 tablespoons) to the affected area. Lastly, green tea has also been found to be a natural sunscreen solution. You can employ this natural remedy by taking a bath with green tea bags or dabbing wet, cool green teas to the sunburn.


While research is currently ongoing to help better understand how to treat melanoma, the University of Bonn study can hopefully help researchers develop a treatment for melanoma by interfering with the migration of melanoma from the inflamed areas to the blood vessel surfaces (and eventually vital organs). With summer here, it is important to remember that exposure to sunlight is beneficial because it allows us to produce vitamin D but severe exposure can have adverse effects. Take in the sun's rays, but do it in moderation!

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Living healthy starts at-home and it starts by educating yourself! To learn more about living a healthy, natural lifestyle visit DIY Active.

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