We all love basking in the sun, don’t we? Our skin synthesizes Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. Doctors recommend soaking in the morning sun for at least 30 minutes for good health, especially for those suffering from bone deterioration.
Sunlight is associated with a bright mood, cheerfulness, and is regarded as the giver of life. A room bathed in morning sunlight refreshes your senses as compared to a cold, dark room where no sunrays enter. In some Asian countries, sun is worshipped as God.
Well, that’s all fine. But the million-dollar question is – How much sun exposure is good?
When Sun Light Becomes Dangerous…
Too much sun exposure is always harmful. The skin undergoes negative changes on account of the ultraviolet rays present in the sunlight. The biochemistry of DNA might get altered; cell membranes can distort; and there can be an adverse effect on proteins and amino acids present in the body. Dilation of blood vessels indicates a reaction of your body to the detrimental sunrays.
Besides this, too much exposure to sun causes skin cancer, including the deadly melanoma. About 90 percent of all skin cancer cases are a result of excessive sun exposure. If your skin is highly sensitive, take vitamin D, not from sunlight, but from other sources like cod liver oil and supplements.
Ultraviolet Rays Are More Deadly Than You Think…
Ultraviolet (UV) is the invisible part of sunlight. It can pierce through your skin and alter its structure. There are 3 kinds of ultraviolet rays:
- Ultraviolet A – it is found in abundance on earth’s surface and can penetrate deep into the top layer of skin. It can damage connective tissues and increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Ultraviolet B – this is also a damaging radiation, but thanks to the ozone layer, a significant part of this radiation is absorbed by the layer. Hence, it’s less abundant on earth’s surface.
- Ultraviolet C – this is the most dangerous radiation, but relax, the stratospheric ozone layer of our atmosphere absorbs it completely!
UV rays can reach the earth’s surface at any time of the day. People think they are safe from the hazardous rays on cloudy days or during cold winter days when the sun is not that bright. THEY ARE WRONG! UV rays can even penetrate clouds and reach the earth! Besides, things like cement, sand, water, and snow reflect these rays. Thus, you’re exposed to these rays more when the ground is covered with snow!
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If you live in the continental Unites States, hours between 10 am and 4 pm (this is between 9 am and 3 pm standard time) are the worst time to stay in the sun, as you’re exposed to the dangerous UV rays maximum. In North America, late spring and early summer sunlight is marked with the highest amount of UV rays. This doesn’t mean you can sunbathe the whole day during winter. UV rays are present throughout the year. So, protection is a must all year round.
UV rays can cause:
- Skin cancer
- Lip cancer
- Cataract and other eye damages
- Premature ageing
- Sun burns
- Excessive tanning
Tips To Protect From Sun
- Avoid remaining in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
- If you must, wear shirt with long sleeves, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Always wear sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB.
- Wear sunglasses with 100 percent protection from UV rays.
- Don’t wear scent when under the sun, as it may lead to burning and hyper pigmentation.
Enjoy the sun, but take precautions. Or else it may burn you. After all, it’s a ball of fire!