What are the dangers of sunbathing

UV radiation is dangerous : How to prevent sunburn - and which creams are good

The sunny weather in Germany is also causing the UV values ​​to rise. The stronger the ultraviolet radiation, the faster sunburn can occur on unprotected skin. Questions and answers about UV radiation:
How dangerous is UV radiation?
UV radiation can cause damage to the eye such as conjunctivitis and sunburn on the skin. In the long term, it contributes to the premature aging of the skin. But UV radiation is also the main risk for skin cancer. Every year more than 200,000 new people develop skin cancer in Germany - and the trend is rising. The German Cancer Aid is even assuming more than 293,000 new cases per year. More than 20,000 diagnoses alone concern the dangerous "black" skin cancer, the so-called malignant melanoma. In addition to UV rays, it is primarily the genetic makeup that influences whether someone falls ill.
Who is particularly at risk?
People with fair skin are at higher risk than those with darker skin. Frequent and severe sunburn, especially in childhood, increases the risk of developing skin cancer later. The skin never forgets, warn specialists.
Where can I find out more about the danger?
Information is provided by the UV forecast by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection at www.bfs.de/uv-prognose, which is created for three days and updated regularly. The higher the number of the UV index, which is given between one and ten, the higher the radiation and thus the risk of sunburn. In the high areas of the southern German mountain regions, values ​​up to 11 are even achieved.

Protection is required from a UV index of three, for example with covering clothing or sunscreen. From a value of eight, protective measures are absolutely necessary. Radiation exposure is often particularly high on the water and on the beach.

What is the best sun protection?
It is better to spend the lunchtime in the house or at least in the shade. Headgear is recommended in direct sunlight. Experts also recommend sunglasses with side protection, i.e. curved lenses or wide temples that bear the "UV 400" mark, for example. In addition, care should be taken to use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, which is applied 30 minutes before sunbathing. It should be at least 15 sun protection factor, 50+ is recommended for children and sensitive people.

Which sunscreen protects?

Almost every sun cream on the market provides reliable protection against UV radiation. This is what Stiftung Warentest found out in an investigation (“test” edition 7/2019). However, the prerequisite for protection is that you use enough sunscreen. Because the rule of thumb is "puff instead of spill": According to the experts, a 1.80 meter tall adult needs about three tablespoons of sunscreen to properly apply cream to his whole body. That's about 40 milliliters. If you then take into account that sun worshipers should regularly reapply lotion after sweating or swimming, a 200 milliliter bottle is sufficient for a maximum of five days.

Out of 19 tested sunscreens with sun protection factors 30, 50 or 50+, 17 are either “good” or “very good”. Among the test winners are also very cheap products from discounters and drugstores: "Very good" sun protection is available from 1.10 euros for 100 milliliters.

What helps against sunburn?
The safest is of course prevention. If you still get sunburned, damp compresses with chamomile tea as well as curd and yoghurt compresses will help. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as acetylsalicylic acid or ibuprofen can be used for the pain. In the event of severe sunburn with blisters and fever, the doctor should be consulted. (AFP, dpa)

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page