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Sunburn

A burn that results from overexposure to UV radiation, commonly from the sun. Symptoms include red or reddish skin that is hot to the touch, pain, general fatigue, and mild dizziness. An excess of UV radiation can be life-threatening in extreme cases.

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Evidence reviews

Policy interventions implemented through sporting organisations to promote healthy behaviour change

Sporting organisations provide an important setting for health promoting policies to create health promoting environments and to support health‐oriented behaviour change. The introduction of policy interventions within sporting organisations is one strategy to target high risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, excess sun exposure, unhealthy eating and discrimination, as those who access sport settings have been shown to have elevated risk behaviours. We found no controlled studies evaluating the effectiveness of policy interventions implemented in sporting settings to promote healthy behaviour. The study designs employed in evaluations of these policies typically have been case studies, thereby limiting our understanding of the effectiveness of such health promoting strategies.

Outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge, attitudes and protective behaviours: a systematic review of cross-sectional and interventional studies

Sun protection is a major concern for outdoor workers as they are particularly exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation and therefore at increased risk of developing some forms of skin cancer, cataract and ocular neoplasm. In order to provide an overview of outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge, attitudes and protective behaviours as reported in the literature and to evaluate the effectiveness of sun-safety education programmes in outdoor occupational settings, we conducted a systematic review of the literature by searching three electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO) from their inception up to 25 April 2012. An extensive hand search complemented the database searches. We identified 34 relevant articles on descriptive studies and 18 articles on interventional studies. Considerable numbers of outdoor workers were found to have sun-sensitive skin types; sunburn rates per season ranged from 50% to 80%. Data concerning outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge and attitudes were scarce and controversial. The reported sun-protective behaviours were largely inadequate, with many workers stating that they never or only rarely wore a long-sleeved shirt (50-80%), sun-protective headgear (30-80%) and sunscreen (30-100%) while working in the sun. However, there is growing evidence that occupational sun-safety education is effective in increasing outdoor workers' sun-protection habits and presumably in decreasing sunburn rates. Occupational sun-safety education programmes offer great potential for improving outdoor workers' largely insufficient sun-protective behaviours. It is hoped that, in the future, committed support from healthcare authorities, cancer foundations, employers and dermatologists will open the way for rapid and uncomplicated implementation of sun-safety education programmes.

A systematic review of educational interventions for promoting sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviour following the QUESTS approach

A literature review was performed to identify studies of educational interventions to promote sun protection behaviour. Fifty-nine clinical trials were identified. These studies were assessed using the QUESTS model. The studies showed that a wide range of educational interventions in different settings with a variety of target groups can be effective in promoting sun protection knowledge, attitudes, intended and actual behaviour. Relatively few studies made direct comparisons between different educational interventions. Therefore there was little evidence to suggest that any one form of intervention was more effective than any other. This review shows that the QUESTS criteria can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of patient education in the same way they are used to assess evidence in medical education. Performing systematic reviews on patient education topics should prove useful for health professionals developing educational interventions.

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Summaries for consumers

Policy interventions implemented through sporting organisations to promote healthy behaviour change

Sporting organisations provide an important setting for health promoting policies to create health promoting environments and to support health‐oriented behaviour change. The introduction of policy interventions within sporting organisations is one strategy to target high risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, excess sun exposure, unhealthy eating and discrimination, as those who access sport settings have been shown to have elevated risk behaviours. We found no controlled studies evaluating the effectiveness of policy interventions implemented in sporting settings to promote healthy behaviour. The study designs employed in evaluations of these policies typically have been case studies, thereby limiting our understanding of the effectiveness of such health promoting strategies.

How much sun is too much?

We all know that too much sun is bad for your skin. But how long are you allowed to stay in the sun? You cannot see or feel UV light, so it is difficult to know how strong it is and what effect it will have.

What increases your risk of melanoma?

There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing melanoma. The main one that you can influence is sun exposure. Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays, which can damage the skin and cause cancer.Many different factors can influence your risk of developing melanoma over the course of your lifetime. For instance, the risk increases with age and is also higher if one of your close relatives (a parent or brother or sister) had or has skin cancer.Other important risk factors are:Sun exposureTanning bed useSkin typeNumber of molesSun exposure is the biggest risk factor that you can do something about. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light is mostly made up of UV-A rays. These penetrate deep into your skin and give you a fast tan. But this kind of tan doesn’t last very long, and doesn’t offer much protection from further sun exposure. UV-A light damages your skin and causes it to age prematurely. Tanning beds also use UV-A rays.The sun’s UV-B rays affect the uppermost layer of your skin the most. There they cause a delayed but longer-lasting tan and help the skin to develop some protection from more sunlight. But they also irritate your skin and cause it to redden, and can cause sunburn. UV-B rays are believed to be more likely to cause skin cancer than UV-A rays.

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More about Sunburn

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Solar dermatitis

See Also: Skin Cancer, Ultraviolet Radiation

Other terms to know:
Skin, Sunscreen

Related articles:
How Much Sun Is Too Much?

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