How Sun Exposure Affects Your Skin

We all love enjoying our time in the sun. However, unprotected exposure to the sun can cause damage to your skin and is the leading causes of premature skin wrinkles and aging. Repeated unprotected exposure can accelerate the effects of aging and increases your risk for developing skin cancer.

Over time, prolonged exposure to solar UV radiation (rays emitted from the sun) can lead to adverse and chronic health effects on the skin, eye and immune system, including sunburn, premature skin aging, cataracts and skin cancer.

The first symptoms of a sunburn usually appear within a few hours after too much exposure to UV light from sunshine or artificial sources, such as sunlamps. Your skin turns pink or red, feels warm or hot to the touch and/or hurts. With a severe sunburn, you can have severe pain, develop swelling and blisters, have a headache, fever, chills and/or fatigue. In case of a severe sunburn, you should always seek medical attention immediately. If you have any questions about the severity of you sunburn, consult your doctor promptly.

Here are a few sun protection tips from CITE:

  • Always take precautions when you are exposed to sunlight. You should wear adequate clothing, eye protection and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 daily.
  • For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This should be reapplied every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. Newborns should be kept out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

Sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Skincancer.org

 

 

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