The continuous depletion of the ozone layer has resulted to increasing sun exposure which has affected millions worldwide especially those living near the equator and the tropics has caused numerous skin diseases notably cancer. How does sunlight damage your skin? The most common and best known acute effect of overexposure to the sun is sunburn, or erythema. Its immediate effects can last for days and may include blistering and peeling. When sunburn occurs, UV radiation kills most of the cells in the outer layer of the skin and damages deeper layers. Any change in the colour of a person’s skin as a result of sun exposure is a sign of damage. Cancer can result when damage occurs to the DNA of genes that control the growth and division of skin cells. Sunlight also alters the texture of the skin and weakens its elasticity. This leads to premature wrinkling and sagging, as well as easy bruising.
Studies have shown that when the skin absorbs too much UV radiation, the activities of certain parts of a person’s immune system are adversely affected. This may reduce the body’s ability to defend itself against some diseases. Even moderate exposure has been known to increase the risk of bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infections. Many people notice that being in the sun causes them recurrent eruptions of cold sores, or herpes simplex. One medical report explains that one category of ultraviolet light, known as UVB, ‘appears to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system-in the case of the cold sores it can longer keep the virus Herpes simplex under control which result in re-activation of the infection’.
Hence, when it comes to cancers, sunlight can deliver a devastating one-two punch. First, by directly provoking DNA damage and then by reducing the immune system’s natural ability to deal with such damage.
The following are simple ways to protect yourself from sun exposure;
1. Limit your exposure during the midday hours between 10.00am and 3.00pm, when UV radiation is particularly intense.
2. Try to stay in the shade.
3. Cover your arms and legs with tightly woven, loosely-fitting clothes.
4. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes, ears, face, and the back of your neck.
5. Never fall asleep in the sun.
6. be careful to protect babies and young children, whose skin is particularly delicate.
7. Since sunlamps, sun beds, and tanning parlors use UV radiation, which may damage the skin, WHO recommends you avoiding them.
8. use- and liberally reapply every two hours-a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15.
9. Good – quality wraparound sunglasses, or sunglasses with side panels, that provide 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB (categories of ultraviolet light) protection will greatly reduce the risk of eye damage.
10. If you develop a mole, a freckle, or a spot that you are concerned about, sees your doctor.
Wisely, one needs to take precautions so that we do not overexpose ourselves to the sun. Our health, and indeed our very lives, may be at stake.
This simple ways have work for millions that have read this piece of article and you too can benefit from it!