6 Reasons to Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Do you love seeing yourself take on a healthier and more beautiful glow after spending some time under the sun? Before you soak up more of the heat, here are some reasons to protect yourself from overexposure to UV rays.

Sunburn is the most common consequence if you stay under the sun for too long. Also known as “erythema”, it is a condition where the absorption of energy from UV rays damages the cells. Because of this, the skin sends extra blood to the affected area as a means to repair the injured skin cells – this causes the redness normally linked to sunburn. The length of time it takes for sunburn to appear is in proportion to the amount of UV rays reaching the skin.

Recent studies have shown that indications widely associated with natural aging, such as the loosening of the skin and wrinkling, may be related to UV exposure. The effect usually manifests after years of exposure to the sun.

Actinic Keratoses
This condition is characterized by raised, reddish and rough-textured skin growths. These are usually located on areas of the body exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, forearms and the neck. Actinic Keratoses is generally premalignant but it is a risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma. Consult your physician right away if you suspect that you have this condition.

Skin Cancer
There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas make up a majority of the most common and less life-threatening forms. They are also called non-melanoma cancers. If untreated, non-melanoma cancers may spread and cause disfigurement and serious health problems.

Basal Cell Carcinomas
Basal cell carcinomas usually appear as small, fleshy bumps (nodules) commonly found on the head and neck but can appear on other areas as well. The bumps grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas
These are tumors that may look like nodules or red scaly patches, which can develop into large masses and spread to other parts of the body.

The most serious form of skin cancer, Melanoma is now the most common cancer among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29. UV exposure and sunburns, especially during childhood, are risk factors for the disease. However, this condition is not exclusively sun-related because it may also be caused by deficiency in the immune system and genetics.

Cataract results from the loss of transparency in the lens of the eyes that clouds the individual’s vision. Although it is now curable by eye surgery, cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. Recent researches indicate that UV radiation increases the likelihood of cataracts.

Aside from the conditions stated above, UV exposure can also cause other eye damage, such as pterygium, skin cancer around the eyes, and macular degeneration. Overexposure to UV radiation may also inhibit the proper performance of the body’s immune system.

The risks of overexposure to UV rays give you reason to be concerned. Protect yourself by using sunscreen with SPF15 and avoid going out between 10 am and 4 pm, the sun’s peak UV hours.

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