Where and when summer sun is dangerous

Where and when summer sun is dangerous

In our planetary system, everything revolves around it: the sun shines permanently and strongly. In the summer we feel it even more intensely, but in the sea we feel safe from it. What is at stake?

Assertion: you don’t get sunburn in the water.


FACTS: even one meter below the surface of the water, uv radiation still hits the body. According to experts, 80 percent of the long-wave UVA rays that cause premature aging of the skin and wrinkles reach the sun. Of the short-wave UVB radiation that typically causes sunburn, 50 percent is. To prevent dangerous rays from reaching the skin, you have to dive deeper. "At least two meters," explains dermatologist reinhard mrotzek.

If you swim with your head above the waves, you should be doubly careful. Like a mirror, the surface of the water intensifies UV radiation by 50 percent. Medical institutes such as the british national health service (NHS) warn against the dangerous combination of sun and water: due to the cooling effect, you often don’t notice when your skin is burning. Mrotzek advises intensive application of sunscreen, and headgear is "a good idea".

CONCEPTION: sand also reflects the sun.


FACTS: caution! It’s not only in the water, but also on the beach that it’s easier to get sunburned. Light-colored sand reflects light and increases UV radiation by 25 percent, explains mrotzek, who is a member of the professional association of german dermatologists. For example, anyone who lies unprotected in the sand right next to the water is exposing their body to increased danger. The same is true for a visit to a glacier. The snow there intensifies the sun’s rays by up to 90 percent.

If you want to protect your skin from damage, you should avoid the blazing midday sun between 11 a.M. And 2 p.M. In summer. Experts advise spending time outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon – especially by water.

REASON: after a sunburn you get much tanner.


FACTS: "this is absolute nonsense," says dermatologist mrotzek. A sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that resembles a first-degree burn or more, he says. Dermatologists warn of permanent damage from unprotected sunbathing. For 2020, according to mrotzek, a total of 300.000 new skin cancer traps expected in germany.

The ultraviolet index (uvi) shows how dangerous the sun is for the skin in any region of the world. The world health organization (WHO) developed the index with other institutions. The scale ranges from 1 to over 10. The higher the value, the faster sunburn occurs. In germany, UVI values of no more than 8 are usually reached in summer.

ASSERTION: when it’s cool, the sun doesn’t burn as strong.


FACTS: as in the water, the same applies on land: cowl does not protect against danger, even on windy days. Dermatologist mrotzek: "it doesn’t matter whether it’s cold or warm, the UV radiation is the same."

The decisive factor is the time of year and day – and thus the position of the sun. The so-called skin-effective radiation reaches its peak on 21. June at noon on a clear day a force of almost 200 milliwatts per square meter. On a cloudless 21. December at noon, on the other hand, it is less than ten milliwatts.

In addition to reflections from the water surface or snow, the high altitude, among other things, also has an influence on the radiation. The effect of the sun increases by 20 percent at 1000 meters, by about 33 percent at 2000 meters and by 50 percent at 3000 meters compared to the intensity at high sea level.


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