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Harmful Effects of Sun Exposure

Harmful Effects of Sun Exposure

We all know that the sun has exceptional benefits when having responsible exposure to it. One of the benefits includes being able to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in your body; however, it is also important to note that overexposure to sun can also have harmful effects on our skin, let’s talk about them.

What is Sun Radiation?

Sun radiation is actually the type of radiation that the sun emits. This radiation has different types; however, they can be put into two general groups: Ultraviolet (UV) A and Ultraviolet (UV) B.

Ultraviolet (UV) A – this group includes wavelengths between 315 nm to 400 nm; it can penetrate deeper skin layers since it is heat-less radiation. The benefits of this group include treating acne and psoriasis.

Ultraviolet (UV) B – this group includes wavelengths between 280 nm to 315 nm; it can penetrate the epidermis and cause harmful effects such as sunburns, aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer, which we will talk about in the next section.

The main cause for the health effects of too much sun exposure is the excessive production of free radicals when exposed to UV radiation. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage any part of our body, including DNA.

Dangers of UV light exposure

  • Skin Cancer
  • Aging
  • Heat Stroke
  • Wrinkles
  • Sunburns

Skin Cancer

This is considered to be one of the most dangerous health effects of sun exposure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), skin cancer accounts for approximately 70 percent of all cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, which are about 5.4 million new cases every year.

Every hour in the United States there are more than 2000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer.

Symptoms of skin cancer include:

  • Reddish patches or lesions on the skin that is usually itchy and does not heal within four weeks.
  • Scaly, dry, thickened, white patches on the lips.
  • Changes in pigmentation.
  • Skin lesions that are crusty with a scab-like appearance.

Treatments for skin cancer include methods such as surgery, cryosurgery, laser therapy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Prevention is better than cure, so avoid sun exposure or use sunscreen whenever you are going out.

Sun Aging

The sun emits UV A and B rays that can cause your skin to age prematurely. These types of radiation are the main causes for the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, yellowing skin tone, uneven pigmentation on your skin.

When out in the sun it is important to wear sunscreen on different parts of your body including the eyes and lips. When UV rays penetrate into your skin, it speeds up the natural process of collagen breakdown, which leads to early signs of aging.

Ways to prevent sun aging include:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every two hours.
  • Not staying in the sun for too long.
  • Wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Take antioxidant supplements that can help protect your skin against free radicals that are responsible for causing early signs of aging.

Heat Stroke

When the body is exposed to an intense heat source for too long, it can lead to heatstroke. This condition usually happens when you are working or exercising in the sun; it is significant to note that this health effect is most common with athletes who train outside during the summer months.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Strongly elevated body temperature (above 104° F).
  • Hot, dry skin with no sweating.
  • Rapid and strong pulse.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Muscle weakness or cramps.
  • Seizures.

Treatments for heatstroke include first-aid treatments such as cooling the body temperature, giving fluids to maintain hydration, and if needed, medications for a stronger pulse. Prevention is better than cure, so avoid excessive sun exposure when possible and drink plenty of fluids.

Sun Burns

When exposed to the sun, skin can burn in just 10 minutes. These burns frequently increase your chances of developing skin cancer, and they are considered to be signs of sun damage. Sunburns are most common with people who have fair skin or freckles since dark-skinned individuals do not require so much sun exposure for their skin to burn.

Prevention of sunburns includes:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every two hours.
  • Wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses when in the sun.

How to soothe sunburn

AETHEION® ZC5 After Sun is a sunburn relief lotion packed with antioxidants, making it the perfect match for unprotected sun exposure of the skin. Spray liberally on uncovered skin and hair at the end of the day to reduce redness, hydrate thirsty strands, and prevent future damage.

ZC5 After Sun combines ZC5 Redox Technology and soothing shea butter in a gentle spray that quickly restores moisture from excessive Sun exposure to the skin and hair. This lightweight formula leaves a refreshing and soothing sensation after a bright day. 

In Conclusion

Too much sun exposure can have an array of harmful effects on the skin including wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin tone, uneven pigmentation, and even cancer. In general, it is recommended to limit your daily sun exposure and wear sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays. If you have been in the sun for a long time, cooling showers and special after-sun products can help relieve some of the damage caused by too much sun exposure.

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