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Sunburn and 'normal' burns...

(4 Posts)
GeorgeAndTimmy Wed 24-Jun-09 13:55:39

We are told that sunburn is just like any other burn, and obviously to be avoided. This I totally understand. It is also my understanding that it is the damage done to the skin from sunburn that makes the risk of cancer more likely. So, if you have burned skin say, from a scald, hot water etc, are you more at risk of skin cancer then too? If not, why not - does anyone know?

Iklboo Wed 24-Jun-09 13:58:46

Sunburn (I think) is a form of radiation (UV rays) which can affect the regrowth of damaged cells.
Direct application burns (scalds, ovens etc) damage the cells in a different way?

(I'm sure I've just typed a load of codswallop blush)

GeorgeAndTimmy Wed 24-Jun-09 14:36:02

Thanks Iklboo - that sounds very plausible codswallop smile. So, it is the radiation, not the burn that is dangerous, so exposure without burning still increases cancer risk?

CMOTdibbler Wed 24-Jun-09 18:03:37

Both thermal and radiation (like sun)burns kill off skin cells causing the visible burn. But radiation burns cause the damage by actually damaging the DNA of the skin cells - some will die, some will be damaged but repairable, and some will have damage that isn't repaired properly. it's these not repaired properly DNA breaks that increase the risk of cancer

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