illustration: okoto

Reason Why Shower Temperature Is Important on the Summer Beach

Waves are lapping the white beach. You feel completely free on the summer beach, which appeals to you. Knowing that sunburn accelerates skin aging, you succumb to temptation to go to the sea. Surely, you apply sunscreen and take every measure to prevent sunburn. But, you get so excited that you forget to reapply sunscreen and use a beach umbrella. You will be totally sunburned and have skin inflammation.

"Ouch!" Have you ever experienced burning pain when taking a shower? Why do you feel pain even if water is not hot? Because the body stings from sunburn? No. The pain is associated with activation of the TRP channel family of cell sensors.

One of the TRP channels, or TRPV1, detects heat. It usually detects heat of 43℃ and over and makes us feel "hot." However, with sunburn and skin inflammation, TRPV1 is more likely to be activated, resulting in a "hot" sensation with lukewarm water at 30℃. After sunburn, you should pay attention to the shower temperature.

Only human beings are mad about hot chili!?

Capsaicin, a pungent component of chili, activates TRPV1, too and makes us feel "hot." Chili is so pungent that we even feel pain. People who love hot foods often say that "its pungent smell and taste are irresistible!" This applies only to human beings, not to other animals. Animals do not eat chilis, except for birds. It is said that chickens do not refuse feed containing chilis. It is because their TRPV1 detects heat, but not capsaicin. In other words, they take in capsaicin and do not feel pungency.

Capsaicin and sunburn can cause similar damage to skin. If you apply a slice of chili or chili powder on the skin and take a lukewarm shower after a while, lukewarm water feels hotter. Capsaicin considerably lowers the activation temperature of TRPV1, which is usually activated at 43℃. Be careful: Hot water produces pain.

Mint leaves are recommended instead of chilis in this season. Applying a peppermint leaf or a drop of peppermint oil on the back of your hands makes you feel cool. What happens if you soak your hands in cold water after applying peppermint? You will feel cooler with peppermint than without it. In fact, the surface temperature of the hands does not change. You feel cooler because one of the TRP channels, or TRPM8, is more activated by synergy between cold water and peppermint.

If you happen to carelessly get sunburned, cool the skin and apply a lot of moisture. You should take great care of your skin to treat and recover from serious damage caused by ultraviolet radiation during the summer.

Click here to find out the secrets of TRP channels