Potential Dangers Posed By Long-Term Exposure Of The Skin To The Sun




We all expose our skin to the sun on a daily basis when we are outside our home, on the way to work, school and other of our daily endeavors. Exposure of the skin to the sun can have some benefits. Vitamin D is derived  from sunlight. Vitamin D helps the human body absorb calcium and phosphate for healthy bone and teeth, and can prevent high blood pressure and osteoporosis. While being exposed to sunlight isn't that bad, prolong exposure can outweigh the benefits. Long-term exposure is harmful and poses potential dangers to the human body.  

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Unknowingly, people damage their skin from overexposure to the sun either through suntans, sun beds, sunlamps or tanning parlours. The sun emit ultraviolet (UV) rays which penetrate the skin and damage the skin cells. Long-term exposure damage the skin by altering the texture of the skin and weakens its elasticity, thus leading to sunburn (erythema), skin spots, wrinkles, blistering, peeling, sagging and more worse is skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma are different forms of skin cancer that can develop as a result of skin damage caused by UV radiation from the sun.

Cataracts is the leading cause of blindness in the world. Cataracts are cloudy areas inside the eye's lens. Cataracts develops when proteins in an eye's lens unravel, tangle and accumulate pigments that cloud the lens. Although there are others factors that can cause cataracts, long-term exposure to bright sunlight increases the risk of developing cataracts.

Research studies have shown that overexposure of the skin to sunlight can suppress the immune system. Have you ever thought of it why you should not be under the sun when sick? The skin is the body's first line of defense. If damaged, it may reduce the body's ability to fight and defend itself against some infectious diseases. In other words, long-term exposure of the skin to the sun cause damage to the immune function of the skin cells and can affect other parts of a person's immune system. This could lead to perturbation of the immune cells in the blood stream. Sunlight exposure have been known to increase the risk of bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infections. There have been reported cases of people with herpes simplex who experience recurrence of cold sores in the lips after being exposed to the sun.

Undoubtedly, we need to protect ourselves from the damaging effects of UV radiation if we want to safeguard our health. Without good health and sound body, it will be difficult to achieve so many things in life. Our health is our live! Protecting yourself from the sun harmful rays will make your skin look younger.

Note: Do not be deceived thinking that having dark skin makes you less susceptible to ultraviolet ray. The sun can damage any skin type.

9 comments:

  1. Like many, I used to lay out in the sun and brown up, burn, and chase the sun around the world. Then there was a shift in perception and now a dark tan is no longer the sexy reward it once was. Health, as you say, is the name of the game.

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  2. Many of us were less than careful in the sun years ago when we were younger and when the dangers of overexposure were not as well known. My sister had skin cancer on her nose a few years ago and was told it likely stemmed from getting sunburns as a child. It is prudent to protect ourselves from the sun with sunscreen, hats, and shade.

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    1. So sorry that your sister developed skin cancer on the nose. As you said "it is prudent to protect ourselves from the sun with sunscreen, hats, and shade."

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  3. Our skin has many , ever increasing problems , because of these UV rays , pollution. There is a program on Danish TV its about those people who normally damage their body in quest to improve it. I am not sharing link as it is in Danish language. Many females who remained in sun to have a tan skin color developed many different types of Cancers.
    So excess of anything is always bad. Limited and required exposure to Sunlight is needed as you said.
    Now I also understand why Islam ask to cover body when going out.
    I have one question; Is it correct that the skin of women is fragile than man or they have same composition and structure???

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    1. The skin of a man is thicker than than of woman. The layers of skin are thicker because of androgen (testosterone) men produced which increases skin thickness. There are structural differences between a man’s skin and a woman’s. Men also have a higher collagen density than women.

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  4. this is very important. I know people who "live" in the sun. They are unaware, or just do not car about the damage they are doing to their skin, they just want to look good now. They might look good now, but when they look like a leather suitcase when they get older they won't.

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  5. Seems the sun is overrated isn't it Mazino? Fortunately and unfortunately at the same time, we get a lot of sun this part of the world and we have to regulate it to avoid the issues you mention above. Many a times the sun makes one feel very weak and battered. It has a very strong effect on the body besides the tanning.

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  6. Fortunate and unfortunate to have lots of sun this side, but we have to regulate the time we spend in the sun. Many a times one sits in the sun and feels drained and battered after a while. It does have a strong effect on us in many ways than tanning alone.

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  7. I always used to think I was less susceptible to the sun due to my darker skin. Luckily, I can't really stand the sun so I try to avoid it. I can't stand the heat! I'd rather be freezing!

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