UV Rays and Its Effects on the Skin

Can’t wait ‘til it’s summer again? We all love when it’s time to don a swimsuit or light airy clothes for a sun-kissed day on the beach. But sadly, it’s not all fun and games when you go outdoors on a sunny day or even when it’s cloudy. While it’s true that we need a certain amount of sunlight to activate the vitamin D in our skin cells, too much sun exposure can result in skin damage (short and long term) ranging from little sun spots to skin cancer.

Overdoing a tan
Most people go out in the sun in hopes of acquiring the perfect tan however most end up with an uneven tan. Uneven tone may also be indicative of damage to small blood vessels, as well as the cells that produce skin pigment. In the hopes of a perfect tan many overdo it, resulting in sunburns instead.

There are two degrees of sunburn. The first involves just the outer layer of the skin, and is usually mild. It gives you redness and a bit of pain, and may take a couple of days to fade away. Painkillers and cold compresses typically provide relief.

On the other hand, second-degree sunburn goes a bit further than just the outer skin layer, penetrating into the deep skin layers and even the nerve endings. Because of nerve involvement, this type of sunburn takes significantly longer to heal, and may even lead to all sorts of complications like infection. You will most likely need to consult a doctor for second-degree sunburn.

Skin blemishes
Some of the more common skin blemishes you get from constant sun exposure are wrinkles, age spots, and freckles. Ultraviolet rays have been proven to cause damage to the elastin fibers in the skin, destroying the skin’s elasticity. Age spots are pigmented spots on skin that multiply as you age, and are brought about by long-term exposure to the sun’s rays. Freckles are harmless pigmented spots on skin, and are usually caused by a genetic predisposition, but if they start changing shape and color, they can also be indicative of early stage cancer.

Skin cancer
Probably the worst that can come out of sun damage is skin cancer, in which the ultraviolet rays caused skin cells to mutate. An example is squamous cell carcinoma, which first manifests as a firm red nodule, but can be curable after early detection and treatment. A melanoma, on the other hand, can be deadly, though they are easily spotted by a change in shape, color, or symmetry of a mole or normal body marking.

Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by applying sunscreen daily whether it’s sunny, rainy or snowy. Make sure that you choose broad spectrum protection and at least an SPF of 30. Apply Argan oil on the skin daily as its high levels of antioxidants offer protection from the sun’s damaging effects.

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