5 Dangerous Effects of the Sun
With summer on the horizon, more Americans are headed outdoors to soak up the sun. Our bodies are designed to get the Vitamin D we need by producing it when our bare skin is exposed to sunlight. However, sun worshippers looking for a glow should consider the dangerous effects the ultraviolet (UV) rays can have on your skin, hair and health. Below are five very important reasons to make sure you don’t forget that SPF – and maybe consider a spray tan instead of a tanning bed.
Increased risk of skin cancer
You can’t list the dangers of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, including sunlight and tanning beds, without first naming skin cancer. According to skincancer.org, over the past three decades more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. The most effective way to encourage skin cancer prevention is to decrease your exposure to direct sunlight and avoid getting the artificial rays at tanning salons. If you are frequently in the sun without proper protection, or have had painful sunburns in the past, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for a checkup.
Premature signs of aging
The UVA and UVB radiation from the sun weakens the dermis, the lower layer of the skin. This promotes the signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. In a study published by the medical journal “Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology”, researchers found that the sun is responsible for 80 percent of skin aging. To prevent looking older than you are, slather on that SPF for anti-aging prevention, and use skin care products to help slow down and reverse damage.
See it and believe it
Your eyes are also vulnerable to the sun’s effects. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, eyelid skin cancer accounts for between 5 and 10 percent of all skin cancers. Wearing shades with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection can help prevent eyelid cancer and slow down the signs of aging. The delicate skin around the eyes are especially susceptible to the breakdown of collagen giving you premature wrinkles and sagging skin.
Pucker up – lips need protection, too
Without proper sun protection, your delicate lips are also prone to advanced signs of aging such as fine lines and dry, chapped tissue. Per the World Health Organization, UV radiation can also facilitate an unpleasant outbreak of cold sores. Sunscreen around your mouth and lip balm with SPF can help prevent these inconvenient sores.
The “mane” story
By now we know how bad the sun is for our skin, but did you prolonged exposure to the UV rays can damage your hair cuticles causing brittle strands, split ends and discoloration? That’s because the harmful rays dry out your hair and act like bleach, removing the pigmentation from each strand. You can help reduce the damage to your hair by using heat protecting sprays and wearing a hat. Don’t forget to apply SPF directly to your scalp where you part your hair to prevent burning and peeling.
Taking care of your skin now may seem arduous but it can help prevent damage later on to your skin, lips and hair, and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Enjoy the sunshine, but in moderation. Lastly, explore the many sunless alternatives, such as spray tan or lotions, to getting that perfect beach glow, and stay away from tanning beds!