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How Does Sunscreen Work?



How Does Sunscreen Work?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.48

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    light-skinned, para-aminobenzoic, pinkish-red, reapply, sunblockers, titanium, coating, best, fair-skinned, provides, whichever, additional, suntan, rated, absorb, lifestyle


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How Does Sunscreen Work?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     As everyone knows, too much sun can cause painful sunburns, and it can also cause skin cancer. Even though skin has cells that produce pigment for sun protection, many people need additional protection. That's where sunscreen comes in.
 
2     Cells in the skin produce a pigment called melanin. This is the pigment that produces a suntan. In dark-skinned people, these skin cells produce pigment on a regular basis. In light-skinned people, the pigment is activated by the sun. Spending time in the sun over a number of days can produce a tan that provides some protection against the UV rays of the sun. Some fair-skinned people, however, do not tan at all.
 
3     Spending too much time in the sun, especially before you have built up a suntan, can produce a sunburn. Sunburn is cell damage caused by the UV rays of the sun. It turns white skin a bright pinkish-red color. The red color comes from the increased blood flow that the body sends to the area to repair the cell damage. Sunburn is painful, and bad sunburns can develop into blisters. The cell damage caused by sunburn may lead to skin cancer later in life.
 
4     Anyone who is prone to sunburn needs to use some type of protection when planning to be outdoors for a long period of time. Hats, long-sleeved shirts, and sunglasses all provide protection from the sun, but for many people, a sunscreen is also necessary.
 
5     There are two types of sunscreens - chemical sunscreens and physical sunblockers. Many newer sunscreens are a combination of both types.

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