This Is the Worst Place on Your Body You Can Get a Sunburn

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This Is the Worst Place on Your Body You Can Get a Sunburn

Sometimes, things are criticized as “the cure being worse than the disease.” Children feel this way about applying sunscreen. Sure, theres a possibility of sun damaging your DNA, causing likely future melanoma, but heres the thing: They dont know what melanoma is, and sunscreen feels icky. Im not going to sit here and pretend like it has a pleasurable feel or scent. It would also preferably be a substance that didnt attract sand like a magnet. Still, Id like to have as little of my forehead removed as possible in old age, so on it goes.

The skin cancers gonna come in looking so CUTE!

Usually, the sea change that results in someone giving a shit about sunscreens and their respective SPF is a single, horrific toasting received on a now-ruined summer vacation. I myself managed to crisp the back of my thighs like two Peking ducks before I got smart about it. Stay out long enough and you wont only be dealing with pain and peeling, but genuinely dangerous cases of sun poisoning, which yes, sounds like something a kind alien in a movie or TV show would get. A little googling will show a wide collection of the worlds most upsetting blisters, which Ill do everyone the favor of leaving in their hands to seek out.

There is, though, one particular type of sunburn that Id argue is the worst possible one to pick up, and thats all because of the location. No, its not on the perineum (the “gooch” to laymen). This particular brand of sunburn, called photokeratitis, is a sunburn on your eyes. I dont mean the eyelids either, I mean on the damn eyeballs themselves, specifically the cornea. 

It goes by two other, more common names based on the usual places you might pick it up. The first, not involving the sun whatsoever, is “welders flash,” and is the basis behind those guys cool hats. The other is “snowblindness,” because UV rays reflected up off the snow are one of the most common ways to toast the back of your eyeballs. Its part of the reason Aarctic explorers wore those wraparound sunglasses — beyond the pure drip, of course.

Julian Idrobo

Saving eyes and stunting on the haters, all in one whale-bone accessory.

Mild cases usually go away on their own, but if you insist on really putting your peepers through their paces, UV-wise, you could be stuck with some serious, long-term problems. Stuff like Pterygium, which is the growth of tissue on the cornea that has to be removed with surgery, cataracts, macular degeneration leading to irreversible blindness, and of course, good old melanoma. In fact, the Inuit people have known about the issues coming from sun off snow for thousands of years, crafting their own, Star-Wars-esque goggles out of whale bone to prevent it. 

So, theres your new thing to be terrified of on your next ski trip. Just make sure to wear eye protection, and by that, I dont mean rubbing sunscreen into your eyes. That is also inadvisable, and much less cool-looking than sick-ass goggles with a skull on the strap.

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