The Sun and Sun Protection Tips from WeatherReport.com
By Hanna Nilson
We all need sunshine; both alluring and necessary, it's easy to forget
about the potential damage it can cause without sun protection.
The sun is our skin's primary
source of vitamin D, which helps us to absorb calcium for stronger and
healthier bones. For sun-bathers; it's great way to keep looking healthy
and tanned. However, in reality, only a minimal amount of sun is actually
needed. Any excess exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays without sun
protection, can cause some serious skin damage. Without proper sun
protection, there is also a risk of eye damage, strain on your immune
system and even cancer.
Different kinds of sun
protection is needed because the sun produces three types of ultraviolet
UVA: These rays are
transmitted through the earth's atmosphere and reach the earth's surface
without obstruction. Therefore, they are the type of sunshine which we are
most exposed to. They are relatively harmless if absorbed in moderation
and with minimal sun protection.
UVB: More dangerous
than UVA rays, are UVB rays. Despite being partially blocked by the
earth's ozone layer, these rays can still easily cause sun damage. Some
consequences of overexposure to this type of sunshine may include sever
sunburns, cataracts, immune system damage and various types of skin cancer
such as Melanoma.
Being the most intense of all the UV rays, we're luck that the earth's
ozone layer blocks and prevents them from ever reaching the surface. If
the atmosphere were ever thin enough to allow these rays to pass, they
would cause unimaginable harm.
It is also important to keep
in mind that the severity of sun radiation varies depending on location,
elevation and time of day and season. For example, in the northern
hemisphere, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, the sun would be at its highest
point in the sky and thus, the strongest. Furthermore, if you are located
at a higher elevation than usual, extra sun protection should be applied.
This is because areas of higher elevation have thinner air density and
there is less cloud coverage. Also, as people are located closer to the
equator, they become more susceptible to stronger sun exposure. Even with
overcast, UV rays reflect off both snow and water, increasing the
probability of sunburn. So don't be deceived. Just because it's a cloudy
day, doesn't make you invulnerable to sun damage.
When considering the
different levels and types of sun protection, it is helpful to know what
to look out for and how various skin types determine the appropriate
precautions. For example, unprotected sun exposure is all the more
dangerous for people who have any or a combination of the following.
Moles and/or freckles on the
skin: Even if you don't have them yourself, if your siblings or parents
have them, this may suggest that you are susceptible to the same
consequences of excessive sun exposure.
Fair complexion, which
includes lighter skin tones, blond hair and/or light eye color: This skin
type suggests that there is little melanin in the skin which is our body's
way of filtering the sun's UV rays. Therefore, when out in the sun;
wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are good ways of helping to
prevent damage to your body.
Family history of skin cancer
or melanoma: Just because you may not fit into any of the above
categories, doesn't mean you are free from possibility of sun damage.
Remember, as inviting as a
warm sunny day might be, taking the proper precautions will save you the
worry of potential harm. The sun is earth's best friend and everyone loves
a relaxing day at the beach. So, as long as you don't forget the
sunscreen, sit back, relax and enjoy the sunny day!
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