The Sun... sometimes we love it and sometimes we also hate it. We love it because we get to enjoy swimming at the beach or pool… We also love it in a sense that we get to play with our neighborhood kids when we were little and eat ice cream.
They say that the sun rays are harmful to our health.. but that’s not always the case. It’s only when we stay too long under the sun that it becomes harmful to our health, especially our skin. The recommended amount of time we are to expose ourselves to Mr. Sun is at least 10 to 15 minutes every single day.
So what are the benefits and harmful side effects of getting soaked up in the sun? Why do some people love to be in it and why do some avoid it?
In this article, we will be discussing both the benefits and side effects of sun exposure to our skin:
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF SUN EXPOSURE
We admit it, getting exposed to sun is somewhat a mixed blessing. One of the benefits that anyone can get from exposing themselves to Mr. Sunshine would be Vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is absolutely an essential nutrient we get to enjoy when we stay under the sun as it helps promote absorption of calcium, something that our bone needs for it to be healthy and strong, according to Clifford Rosen, MD, an osteoporosis researcher.
* OVERALL HEALTH
The sunlight we get also plays other roles in promoting good health as well in the sense that, according to research studies, the UV exposure may lower blood pressure (to prevent heart attack and stroke), curb appetite and reduce risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain autoimmune diseases.
Finding the right balance or amount of sunlight is very important most especially to our skin.This is why sun exposure can still be good for our skin. Before exposing ourselves to the sun, we remind ourselves to apply sunscreen to both face and hands, wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses or so.
When we lack the required amount of Vitamin D we needed, we are prone to develop cardiovascular disease as Vitamin D deficiency is being linked to it. Aside from sun exposure being good for our skin, it also helps protect our heart.
Sun exposure has several potential benefits: It lightens up your mood as it increases serotonin levels in your brain, making you feel better and energized. Depressed due to seasonal changes? Sunlight also helps treat that seasonal affective disorder in you by relieving its symptoms such as bad moods, difficulty making and keeping friends as well as tiredness and oversleeping.
Getting exposed to the sun also relieves the stress we are facing due to various factors (e.g. family, work, health issues). This is one of the reasons why sun exposure is considered to be good for the skin because less stress means less acne for us. It also impacts the amount of melatonin produced by our brain, which tells the time we are to be resting.
Did you know that the sunlight also cues special areas in the retina (responsible for releasing serotonin)? They say that a decrease in sun exposure is being associated with the drop in your serotonin levels, leading to a major depression with seasonal pattern.
* PREVENTION OF SKIN CANCER/OTHER SKIN CONDITIONS
A moderate sunlight can help prevent you from getting or acquiring skin cancer. It also helps in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and our #1 enemy when it comes to skin problems – ACNE.
* DECREASES RISK OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Getting high levels of Vitamin D (either through food or sun exposure) is said to decrease your risk of developing multiple sclerosis.
* WEIGHT LOSS
There are studies that show that getting Vitamin D and losing weight are connected to each other. One study states that the higher your Vitamin D levels are, the more you’re likely to lose weight or even ditch that belly fat.
HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS OF SUN EXPOSURE
While getting exposed to the sun may be good for our skin, it can also pose potential harm/side effects at the same time. Here are several side effects of too much exposure to the sun’s UV radiation:
* SUN DAMAGE TO EYES
Too much exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can damage our retina. It can also cause development of cloudy bumps along the edge of our cornea, which can grow over it and prevent clear vision. The sun’s UV light can lead to the development of cataracts.
* HEAT EXHAUSTION
Getting too exposed to sunlight can lead to heat exhaustion (i.e. our body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt due to sweating too much). Its symptoms include the following: headache, nausea, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, elevated body temperature and decreased urine output. Remember that some of these factors are the main reason why one has acne so it’s best to avoid too much sun exposure.
* HEAT STROKE
Untreated heat exhaustion due to too much exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke is known to be the most serious heat-related illness and can pose life-threatening risks. Heat stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cause our body’s temperature to rise quickly and reach 106°F within 10-15 minutes. Heat stroke symptoms are confusion/altered mental status/slurred speech, loss of consciousness or coma, hot, dry skin or profuse sweating and even seizures.
Widely recognized as one of the most common negative/side effects of too much sun exposure, maximum symptoms of sunburn don’t usually appear until about four or five hours after being exposed to the sun. Symptoms of sunburn usually include: redness, pain/tenderness, swelling, blisters, and flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, nausea, chills or headache).
* HEAT RASH
Heat rash, also known as a skin rash, occurs when sweat ducts trap perspiration under the skin. This often occurs during hot, humid weather and looks like red clusters of pimples or small blisters. This type of skin rash develops in skin folds, elbow creases, groin, neck or upper chest.
* SKIN CANCER
While it was mentioned earlier that getting exposed to sunlight can prevent development of skin cancer, too much exposure to it may do the opposite thing. Did you know that skin cancer is the worst consequence of long term exposure to the sun? The older you get, the greater you are at risk for developing skin cancer because the damage that the sun poses on your skin develops over the years.
Watch out for these 3 common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant melanoma.
Did you know that wrinkles are not only being associated with aging? Sun exposure plays as a significant factor in developing wrinkles and their early detection. The harmful UV radiation we get from staying too long under the sun damages the collagen and our skin’s elastic tissue, making it become fragile and unable to spring back to shape. To help out with this skin concern, you may try using the Banish Oil or the Vitamin C Creme as these products are good to use not just for acne scars and dark spots but also for wrinkles and fine lines.
The question now is: how long are you staying or exposing yourself to the sun’s UV rays?