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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory:

How do sunburns form? And how do they turn from red to your normal skin color again?

Amber Love Stanfield, North Carolina

Dear Amber:

Sunburns are caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. You cannot see these rays, but they are there on cloudy days as well as sunny days.

Burns destroy skin cells. Because children have thinner skin than adults, they can get more severe burns in less time.

Sunburns commonly cause two types of burns:

* First-degree burns are when the first layer of skin, the epidermis, has been burned, but not burned through. The skin becomes dry and pink. There are no blisters and only minor pain. Healing time usually occurs in three to five days, with peeling but no scarring. The dead skin cells flake off, showing the layer of new skin cells underneath.

* Second-degree burns are more serious. This is when the first layer of skin and the second layer, the dermis, has also been burned. The dermis contains the nerve endings. When they are injured, the amount of pain greatly increases. Second-degree burns result in the skin blistering and the amount of redness and swelling increasing.

Here are some things that you can do to help prevent sun damage:

* Slip on clothing to cover your skin. Wear dry, tightly woven, loose-fitting fabrics.

* Slop on sunscreen whenever you are going to be outside. Don't forget your lips, ears, the tops of your feet, and the back of your neck and hands. Waterproof sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher are the best. Use one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

* Slap on a wide-brimmed hat!

* Avoid the sun between the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M., when its rays are most intense.

* Protect yourself year-round from the sun, on cloudy days as well as sunny days.

* Wear sunglasses that give 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Dear Dr. Cory:

How do people grow? I wonder because I have grown a lot from birth to nine and a half years of age.

Lauren Martel Earned, Kansas

Dear Lauren:

When you grow, the cells of your body multiply, or increase in number. This continues until you are finished growing. A special chemical called a growth hormone is made by your pituitary gland. Growth hormones control our growth. We usually grow quite a lot from birth until the age of two. Then we slow down until another growth spurt begins at puberty. For girls, this can begin at about nine and a half years of age and stop around fourteen years of age. Boys begin their growth spurt a little later, around ten and a half years of age and stop around sixteen years of age.

Why do bees sting people?

Nikki Smith Morristown, Indiana

Dear Nikki:

Bees are part of a big social colony in their beehive. They all have jobs that they do, including protecting the colony. When a bee stings, it is because the bee is protecting itself, other bees from the hive, or the hive itself.

Here are some things that you can do to help prevent bee stings:

* Because bees are attracted to flowers, they are also attracted to sweet smells and bright colors. When outside, avoid wearing perfumes, colognes, and other sweet-smelling fragrances. Also avoid wearing bright colors and flowery prints.

* Stay away from orchards, flowerbeds, and blooming trees or shrubs.

* Keep foods and drinks covered. Check opened soda cans before drinking.

* If you accidentally disturb a nest and the bees swarm, run/According to experts, bees are relatively slow, and adults can often outrun them. And if a honeybee stings, it gives off a chemical that will draw other bees.

* If you are known to be allergic to bee stings or have a family history of this, check with your doctor about a prescription bee-sting kit that contains adrenalin, such as the EpiPen.

* When outside, always wear shoes!

Your friend,

Cory SerVaas, M.D.

Send your health questions to: "Ask Doctor Cory" Children's Playmate P.O. Box 567 Indianapolis, IN 46206

This column does not replace your doctor's advice.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:answers to questions from young people
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Children's Playmate
Date:Jul 1, 1999
Previous Article:Tongue Twister Trouble.

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