Do you know the causes of sunburn?
Updated: May 30, 2022
Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This can be from sunshine, or artificial sources, such as solariums which are now banned in Australia. Sunburn is strongly associated with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Over 2.7 million Australians are sunburnt on summer weekends. Many people get sunburnt when swimming at the beach or pool, or when gardening at home and enjoying leisure time outdoors.
Many Australians also get sunburnt on cooler or cloudy days, as it is a common misconception that there is less UV radiation. This is untrue – you can still be sunburnt in cooler temperatures, or when the weather is overcast. Up to 80% of UV rays can pass through the clouds.
Source: The Conversation (2019); Cancer Council Australia; Cancer Council National Sun Protection Survey; Better Health Victoria; The Conversation (2016);