Home Sunburn Can Welding Cause Sunburn: 7 Reasons [Safety Measures]

Can Welding Cause Sunburn: 7 Reasons [Safety Measures]

The 9 effects of welding and the 3 best ways to prevent sunburn
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A welding arc's intense heat and harmful UV rays can cause sunburn and other health hazards. Immediate effects can include a burning sensation and peeling of the skin. Repeated and low exposure to ultraviolet radiation from a welding torch might lead to the development of skin cancer.

Yes, welding can cause sunburns as welding arcs emit harmful UV radiation that can damage the skin and lead to sunburn.Welders must wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, gloves, and a welding helmet with UV protection.

In this blog post, we'll discuss how welding can cause sunburn, the associated risk factors, and how you can protect yourself from this kind of burn.

Can Welding Cause Sunburn: 7 Reasons

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Welding involves the use of high-intensity heat to melt and fuse metals. Workers are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin damage, including sunburn. Here are some of the main reasons welding can cause sunburn:

  • UV Radiation: The intense light produced by welding arcs can emit significant levels of UV radiation. This radiation penetrates the skin, causing damage to skin cells, which can lead to sunburn.
  • Duration and Frequency of Exposure: Welders often must work for prolonged periods in direct sunlight or under intense artificial light, which can increase the risk of sunburn. Repeated exposure over time can also increase the risk of skin damage.
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  • Lack of Protective Clothing: Welders may only sometimes wear gloves, hats, long sleeves, and pants, which can help shield them from harmful UV rays.
  • Inadequate Sun Protection: Welders may not adequately apply or reapply sunscreen or need a high enough SPF to prevent sunburn.
  • Skin Sensitivity: Some welders may be more susceptible to sunburn due to their natural skin sensitivity.
  • Reflection of Light: Light reflected off shiny metal surfaces can further increase the amount of UV radiation that welders are exposed to, leading to a greater risk of sunburn.
  • Location and Climate: Welders working in areas with high UV indices or during times of peak UV radiation, such as midday, are more likely to experience sunburn. Hot climates can increase sweat, which can cause sunscreen to break down and increase the risk of sunburn.

3 Best Ways to Prevent Sunburn from Welding

The 3 Best Methods for Preventing Sunburn From Welding

Welding is an essential task in many industries, but it can also lead to the development of sunburn if proper precautions are not taken. Sunburn from welding can occur because of the high levels of ultraviolet and infrared radiation emitted during the welding process. There are several ways to prevent welding sunburn:

Protective Clothing

To prevent welding sunburn, it's crucial to wear protective clothing made of recommended fabrics like denim, leather, and wool. These materials are durable and act as a barrier against UV radiation.

To achieve maximum protection, cover as much skin as possible. Ensure the following body parts are covered:

  • Head and neck: Wear a welding helmet with a shield that covers the face and neck.
  • Hands and arms: Wear welding gloves and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Legs and feet: Wear long pants and boots.


Another effective way to prevent welding sunburn is by using sunscreen. The recommended SPF for sunscreen is 30 or higher. Also, it is essential to apply sunscreen properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when applying sunscreen:

  • Sunscreen should be applied at least 15 minutes before exposure to UV radiation.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if sweating excessively.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen to the areas that are difficult to cover with clothing, such as the face and ears.


Avoidance is the last resort for preventing welding sunburn. Welders should avoid exposure to UV radiation as much as possible. Here are some ways to achieve this:

  • Welding screens: Use welding screens to block UV radiation from other people nearby.
  • Proper ventilation: Ensure that the workspace is adequately ventilated so that any harmful fumes are removed.
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9 Best Treatments for Welding Sunburn

Welding downside is the risk of sunburn. UV rays can cause painful inflammation, irritation, and redness on the skin. There are several treatment options for welding sunburn, including home remedies, over-the-counter medications, and medical treatment.

Home Remedies

Home remedies are simple ways to ease the symptoms of welding sunburn. Here are some practical options:

  • Cold Compress: A cold compress, such as an ice pack or moist cloth, helps soothe the burning sensation. Soothe the burning sensation and reduce swelling.
  • Aloe Vera: The gel of aloe vera is a favorite remedy for sunburn because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Apply a thick gel layer to the affected area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Oatmeal Bath: An oatmeal bath can relieve itching and irritation caused by sunburn. Take a cup of finely ground oatmeal and add it to lukewarm water and soak for 20 minutes.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications are a convenient option for welding sunburn. Here are some common ones:

  • Pain Relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by sunburn. Aspirin can cause bleeding, so don't take it.
  • Hydrocortisone Cream: Hydrocortisone cream can relieve itching, redness, and swelling. The cream should be applied thinly on the affected area, and do not use it on broken skin or open wounds.
  • Moisturizer: Sunburn can dry out the skin and cause peeling. A moisturizer containing aloe vera, soy, or Vitamin E can help hydrate and protect the skin.

Medical Treatment

Medical Treatment 9 Best Treatments for Welding Sunburn

It may be necessary to seek medical treatment if a welding sunburn. Here are some options:

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Welding can cause sunburn because of the UV radiation produced during the process. The extent of the damage depends on the duration and intensity of the radiation and the welder's skin sensitivity.

Welders and other industrial workers should take precautions by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen to minimize the effects of welding radiation. In doing so, they will help prevent the risk of developing long-term health problems. Stay safe, and always prioritize your health when working in welding and other industrial processes.

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Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • How Long Does a Welding Sunburn Last?

    A welding burn will heal according to its degree. First-degree burns are superficial and heal in three to five days, while third-degree burns are more profound and can take up to ten days.

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