Sunburn risk is high, even on cooler spring days

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The sun is strongest in the late spring and early summer, not just all summer long. That means right now, regardless of how cool it may feel outside, you are at risk for sunburn if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

Even as high temperatures only reached near 70 degrees Sunday, the UV index was 8, which is considered very high. With a UV index that strong, skin can burn in 15 to 25 minutes.

According to the CDC, years of overexposure to the sun without protection can lead to wrinkles, aging skin, age spots, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Your eyes can get burned too, it’s not just the skin. Sunburned eyes get red, dry and painful. Long-term exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts, and sometimes macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness, according to the CDC.

That’s why sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, a hat, and sunglasses are always recommended when spending long periods of time outside. If you are getting burned, you won’t feel it. Symptoms don’t usually show up until four hours after the sun exposure, and worsen over the next 24 to 36 hours. A bad enough sunburn can even lead to headaches, fever, nausea and fatigue.

Taking acetaminophen, drinking water, a cold bath and aloe vera help treat sunburns. If a sunburn is severe, seek medical help.

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