Being exposed to the sun just once will not cause skin damage. Overexposure, however, whether this is consistent or occurs for a certain period, can have negative consequences.
With sunburns, however, it is time to talk about skin damage. As the Colombian Hematology and Oncology Association (ACHO, Spanish acronym) explains, when sunburns are repetitive, “…they can be considered preliminary damage or a risk factor for leading to skin cancer in the future.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some of the consequences of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation include premature aging of the skin, burns, cataracts, visual problems and different types of skin cancer.
Of all these conditions, perhaps the riskiest one is melanoma, a form of skin cancer with the highest mortality rates, responsible for about 80% of deaths caused by carcinoma of the skin.
“Skin lesions that appear suddenly or that tend to be repeated are one warning sign. Moles that you didn’t have before whose characteristics change quickly, such as their color or shape, are also warning signs,” explains the American Cancer Society.
Related article: Be cautious both before and after sun exposure.