• Friday, 20 October 2017


    The sun affects the skin in several ways. Because exposure to the sun causes most of the skin changes associated with aging, protecting the skin from the sun is the single most important skin care practice you can adopt. Significant exposure to the sun will wrinkle and dry the skin. Uneven pigmentation -- from freckles to small or large brown spots -- is another side effect of frequent sunning. Melasma, commonly associated with pregnancy, is brought out by the sun and produces large brown patches on the forehead and cheeks.

    The most serious consequence of sun exposure is skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, making up nearly half of all diagnosed cases of cancer. Most sun damage occurs prior to the age of 18, but skin cancer can take up to 20 or more years to develop. Children who experience just a few serious sunburns are believed to have an increased risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

    Harmful Effects of Sun Exposure

    The main risk factor for sunburn, premature skin aging, skin damage, and skin cancer is exposure to UV light from the sun. More than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. Using tanning beds and tanning lamps also increases the risk for skin damage and skin cancer.
    The risk for skin damage and skin cancer is related to the number of sunburns a person experiences throughout his or her lifetime. The following physical characteristics also increase the risk for sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer:

    1. Sunburns

    One effect sun has on skin is to encourage it to produce vitamin D, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, another effect of sun exposure is to cause sunburn. This occurs when the penetration of the sun's rays (ultraviolet A and B) goes deep enough into the dermis (inner layer of skin) that it then damages the cells. On the other hand, sun tanning is a protective response caused by skin cells called melanocytes producing more pigment (melanin), which helps protect the skin from sunburns. A long-term effect of sun exposure on the skin is to cause it to lose elasticity and become more wrinkled.

    2. Skin damage

    Overexposure to the sunlight can also cause skin damage. The effects of skin damage can vary based on your age, skin type and level of sun exposure. Over exposure can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and change of skin texture. All this causes premature aging of the skin. This is more common for women as they use more products on their skin than men. Female skin discoloration through skin damage is more common than you might think.

    3. Skin cancer

    The most disturbing effect of sunlight to the skin is skin cancer. Skin cancer has been linked to sunburns that occur in childhood and long-term exposure to the UV rays. UV rays change the structure of skin cells and too much exposure sustained over an extended period permanently damages the skin.
    While many people are now fearful of the sun due to its link with skin cancer, it is important to note that only scorching sun is dangerous to your health. These adverse effects can also be prevented by covering up and using sunscreen.
    Moderate sunlight has many benefits not just to the skin but also to your bones, brain, blood pressure and even sleep quality. Ensure you get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight everyday but remember to protect yourself in case you are going to be outdoors for an extended period
    • Blond or red hair
    • Blue or green eyes
    • Fair skin
    • Freckles
    • Moles (also called nevi)
    The risk for skin damage and skin cancer is higher in people with lighter skin. However, people who have darker skin also must protect their skin from the sun to reduce lifetime exposure to harmful UV rays and help prevent skin damage and skin cancer. Lifetime exposure to the sun, which is associated with an increased risk for skin cancer, often is higher in older people and in men.
    Certain medications (e.g., antibiotics, antidepressants, acne medications [retinoids]) can increase sun sensitivity. Patients should speak with a physician about medications that can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.
    Having a family member with skin cancer increases the risk for the disease in adults and also in children. It is important to learn what to look for and how to monitor the skin for significant changes (e.g., asymmetrical mole, sores that do not heal normally).

    Signs of Sun Damage

    The first and most obvious symptom of sunburn is redness of the skin. Other noticeable symptoms include stinging pain and feelings of heat that radiate from the skin's surface. Pain and discomfort often worsen for a few hours following sun exposure and last from 12 to 48 hours.
    Small blisters, which may be unnoticeable, can form and lead to peeling skin a few days after exposure. Severe sunburns may produce larger blisters. Patients should not open or pop these blisters, as this can increase the risk for infection.
    Other, less common, symptoms of sunburn include abdominal cramping, weakness, flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, headache, and rapid pulse rate. These symptoms also may be signs of heat stress or heat stroke.
    Infection is a serious sunburn complication that requires immediate medical treatment. Signs of infection include increasing redness, fever, or a foul smell from the skin.
    Other symptoms that require immediate treatment in a child who has sunburn include the following:
    • Confusion
    • Fainting
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Severe blistering
    • Severe pain
    • Vomiting

    Just like in plants, the sun can be beneficial or harmful to human beings. The effects of the sun to the skin is somewhat of a hot topic that continues to draw much research and debate. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D.
    The skin plays a crucial role in this. Once the sunlight comes into contact with the skin, it reacts by producing vitamin D.
    The skin will also get some benefits as a result of the sun exposure but too much contact can be very harmful.

    There is so much buzz about the damage that the sun does to your skin. The negatives of sun rays are discussed in such detail that most people would do anything to try and avoid the sun.
    While overexposure to sunlight is surely not a safe option, you need to remember that the sun does play a vital role in our overall growth and development.
    In ancient times, sunbathing was a part of yoga. It was considered to have numerous healing properties. Many cultures, such as the Greeks, also practiced sunbathing to heal different illnesses.
    Today, scientists have concluded that exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation present in sunlight has both beneficial and detrimental effects on human health. The same UV radiation that causes skin diseases can also cure some diseases!
    Sunlight not only helps our body respond to stressful situations but also has other functions as diverse as maintaining the blood pressure, managing the release of insulin, and converting fat and carbohydrates into energy.
    Let us look at the benefits of sunlight for skin, hair and health.

    Benefits of sunlight on the skin:

    1. The sunlight kills harmful bacteria

    Niels Ryberg Finsen received the 1903 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his discovery that sunlight can have some healing properties. Sunlight can kill harmful bacteria, disinfecting and healing wounds.

    2. Sunlight helps heal some skin disorders

    Skin diseases such as acne, eczema, and fungal infections can be relieved by exposing the skin to sunlight. The sunlight produces vitamin D, which cools inflammation.

    3. Improves skin health

    Vitamin D, produced by the skin when it comes into contact with sunlight, boosts the immune system. An improve immune system allows your skin to fight skin disorders, toxins, bacteria and fungi improving your skin health.

    4. Sunlight can protect you from melanoma

    The risk of getting melanoma (which is a form of skin cancer) is reduced with sensible exposure to the sun. Thinner melanoma has also been noted in patients with high blood levels of vitamin D as compared to those with low concentrations.

    5. Lack Of Sunlight Increases Your Risk Of High Blood Pressure:

    A study in 2008 at Harvard Medical School found that due to less sun exposure, the risk of developing high blood pressure increases. In addition, sunlight can directly affect the risk of cardiovascular disease according to the same report. It seems that Vitamin D is one of the most powerful hormones for regulating blood pressure.

    6. Sunlight Lowers The Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis:

    According to a study done by the Australian National University, less direct sunlight received by the people living at higher latitudes leads to a higher incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis. Higher latitudes include North America, Europe and, of course, places like Iceland.

    7. Sunlight Lowers Your Risk Of Diabetes:

    According to experts, Vitamin D has a preventative effect on diabetes. A study in the year 2006, led by the University of Lund and Malmö University Hospital, Sweden found that the consumption of Vitamin D in early life was strongly associated with a lower risk of Type 1 Diabetes.

    8. Helps In Psoriasis:

    Psoriasis is a skin disease in which red, dry plaques are produced which thicken the skin. It is said that it is a non-curable disease. Light therapy is used for the treatment of psoriasis and is known as phototherapy. The sun is the source of light and therefore, sunlight can help you reduce psoriasis.

    9. Sunlight Treats Vitiligo:

    Vitiligo may be caused by an auto-immune process and it is treated with ultraviolet light (UVA) exposure in combination with a drug or a natural remedy. It is a skin disease in which white patches occur on the skin. Some areas of the pigment-making cells are destroyed in this disease.

    10. Sunlight Protects Against Arthritis:

    Adults and children with uncontrolled asthma have significantly lower levels of Vitamin D in their blood than those found in healthy people. This was claimed by a study in 2013, which was conducted by Dr. Stephanie Korn in Germany. Those who use corticosteroids or sputum eosinophilia have a higher risk of acquiring Vitamin D deficiency.

    Benefits Of Sunlight For Skin:

    Apart from providing a great tan, sunlight has some amazing skin benefits.

    11. Treats Acne:

    Skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, etc. can be healed with the power of sunlight. A recent study indicated that a four-week outdoor therapy of sunbathing did wonders in relieving the symptoms of psoriasis in more than 80 per cent of the subjects. Fungal infections can also be healed with sunlight. 

    12. Heliosis:

    Sunlight therapy, or Heliosis, works marvelously well. The trick to make sure that your skin benefits instead of getting damaged is to gradually expose your skin to the sun instead of complete exposure from the very first day. This is especially important if you are sensitive to the sun and your skin is not used to the exposure. 

    13. Helps You Lose Weight:

    Another amazing benefit of sunlight is that it helps in losing weight. Sunbathing is actually great if you want to lose weight as it helps get rid of the excess fat in your body.


    Benefits Of Sunlight For Hair:

    Is sunlight good for hair? It’s not just your skin that needs the sun for health. Your hair can actually benefit from the sun as well.

    14. Remedy For Hair Loss:

    Heliosis is an effective remedy for hair loss. While this is great news for those who suffer from extreme loss, it’s important to also remember that overexposure to sunlight can do more damage than good, so go easy on giving your hair a dose of the sun’s rays. The epithelial cells that help your hair grow are known to be highly sensitive to UV light, and too much exposure can deplete the levels of vitamin E and C that are essential for hair growth. 

    15. Helps Hair Growth:

    Sunlight allows your body to produce Vitamin D and this, in turn, stimulates the growth of your hair and prevents hair loss.
    While it is important to always have sunscreen on, especially if you’re going to be outdoors for a long period of time, remember that you shouldn’t totally deprive yourself of the sun’s rays. Get out a little more and let your body receive the vitamins it needs to give you healthy skin and hair.
    Revel in the sun’s light and embrace its warmth! Hope you found this article helpful. Do share your experience in the comment section given below.

    We all know that the sun’s rays can damage your skin. But did you know the sun also can damage your hair?

    If your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the outside cover of the hair strand, called the cuticle.
    Signs of sun damage to your hair include discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning and frizziness. Damaged hair has a dry look and feel. Damaged hair also is unmanageable and won’t hold a curl or style. Usually, damaged hair dries quickly.
    Your hair is particularly vulnerable sun damage if it’s fine or light-colored. You’re also more at risk for hair damage from the sun if you are African-American due to the flat and coiled shape of the hair
    The good news is that you can take precautions to protect your hair from the summer sun.

    The sun’s rays act very much like bleach on hair, says dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD. Bleach reacts with the melanin in hair and removes the color in an irreversible chemical reaction. Bleach also damages the hair’s cuticle and protein, which is called keratin.
    Finer, lighter hair lacks the thickness or pigment that can protect it from the sun’s rays, Dr. Bergfeld says. Darker, coarser hair usually is oilier, and its thickness, darker color and oil covering help to protect it.

    Making matters worse

    Hot flat irons or rollers, chlorinated water in swimming pools or lightening your hair can make it more vulnerable to the summer stresses of heat and sun. All of these damage your hair’s keratin.  The damaged protein allows sun and heat to penetrate the hair more easily and results in a fragile hair strand.
    “If you bleach or highlight your hair, you’ve damaged the hair already,” Dr. Bergfeld says. “To add to that by swimming in a chlorinated pool, or sitting out in the sun, you’re going to have very significant hair breakage.”

    Steps toward protection

    What to do if you want to be outside during the summer but don’t want a headful of frizzy, dull and damaged hair? Follow these tips:
    • Go out early or late in the day, just as you would to protect your skin.
    • Wear a hat or cover yourself with an umbrella. “There is not a cosmetic product out there that acts like a sunscreen” for your hair, she says.
    • If you swim in a chlorinated pool, make sure you rinse the pool water — which contains salt and chlorine — out of your hair with clear water.
    Use a hair conditioner appropriate to your hair color and type, as well as the climate. If you have fine hair, We recommends looking for a volumizing formula.

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