At Tides Medical, we specialize in providing advanced products that provide the opportunity for the full range of treatment options you or your patients deserve. This includes our primary product, a high-quality human amniotic tissue graft, or skin substitute grafts. While we are honored and grateful to provide this advanced product that is able to accelerate the healing process of a wound, it’s not a product we WANT you to need. At Tides, we are in the business of helping people. The need of our products means you or your patients have a wound or condition that requires treatment, such as skin substitute grafts. While some conditions may not be directly avoidable, there are measures you can take to prevent the need of our products in your future. The focus of this article is on the importance of preventing those summer sunburns that can lead to skin cancers down the line.

Severity Of A Sunburn

Before we dive into why sun protection is a must, let’s briefly discuss exactly what a sunburn is and its lasting effects. To the vast population, when you say “sunburn” they think of the temporary discomfort and redness of the skin following a day in the sun that fades after a few days. Unfortunately, the impact of a sunburn has lasting damage that extends beyond the visible effects of the sunburn.

A sunburn occurs when your body has an inflammatory reaction to UV radiation damage to your skin’s outer layers. After too much exposure to the sun, your skin cells swell and become red and painful. A sunburn is the evidence of permanently damaged skin cells and peeling is the result of your body trying to rid itself of those damaged cells. Note that a “tan” is also the result of cellular damage to the skin. So even if you are fortunate enough to “never burn”, the darkening of your skin can lead to the same end result.

Sunburn To Cancer Statistics

Sunburns have proven to play a clear role in developing melanoma, which is the most invasive skin cancer with the highest risk of death. Below are some alarming statistics that show you just how important sunburn prevention is.

-Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States
-Experiencing 5 or more blistering sunburns can increase your melanoma risk by 80%.
-About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
-More than 5,400 people worldwide die of nonmelanoma skin cancer each month.
86% of melanoma cases can be attributed to exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
-It is estimated that 7,650 people will die of melanoma in 2022.

Preventative Measures

The only good news about skin cancer resulting from overexposure to the sun is that it is preventable! Wearing proper clothing, sunscreen, hats, etc. are all simple measures that can drastically reduce your risk. Some tips and precautions include but are not limited to:

-Minimize your time outdoors in peak sunlight hours.
-Wear an SPF of at least 30 and reapply often.
-Do not be fooled by cloudy/overcast days.
-Avoid tanning beds
-Take extra precautions with children as sunburns at a young age put your children at a higher risk later in life.
-If skin cancer is common in your family, take extra precautions in taking care of your skin and protecting it from the sun.

MOHs Surgery

If you do find yourself with damaged skin from the sun’s UV rays, ask your physician about MOHs surgery to see if you are a candidate for this treatment option. MOHs is a very precise surgical procedure used in the treatment of skin cancers. The goal is to remove the cancerous skin cells while preserving the healthy skin tissues. Layers of the skin are removed until no more cancerous cells are found. Once this process is complete, Tides Artacent skin substitute grafts can be applied to the wound by your doctor to help accelerate the healing process of the wound.  You can learn more about Artacent AC Amniotic Tissue Grafts here. If this is not a current wound treatment option where you are having your procedure, have your physician contact us for further information.

In summary

Be safe this summer and be sure to protect your skin from the UV radiation from the sun. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and serves many protective purposes for the rest of your body. Sunburns are a serious matter and are easily avoidable.

For more information on Tides Medical and our advanced treatment options, contact us.