Everyone has heard of the damage that UV rays exposure causes to unprotected skin, making the sunscreen market a thriving business nowadays.
UV light has a place in human health but can also cause vast amounts of damage to the skin and other organs. UV (ultraviolet) light is critical in the production of vitamin D in the human body. It is also used as a therapy for psoriasis. UV light does have health benefits, but limiting UV rays exposure is a must to protect the skin.
UV Rays Exposure Cause Skin Cancer
The light rays emitted from the sun come in several forms. UV light is naturally occurring and almost unavoidable. Skin damage caused by UV rays comes in a variety of conditions. UV exposure can cause skin cancer. The type of cancer caused by exposure to these rays includes melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. This disease is one of the most common cancers among young people between the ages of 15 and 29. About 75% of the leading cause of death in this age group worldwide is due to melanoma.
Other cancers that arise as a result of excessive UV exposure are squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma. These are less deadly than melanoma but can cause disfigurement and other serious health issues. Squamous cell carcinoma appears as red or scaly patches of skin on the body and especially the face. Basal cell carcinomas are usually found in nodules or fleshy bumps on the face and shoulder areas. Both of these cancers are rarely fatal, but they are pretty prevalent. Most people will experience some form of skin cancer during their lifetime.
Other Damage Cause of UV Rays Exposure
Exposure to UV light also causes damage to the skin in ways other than cancer. Prolonged exposure to these rays causes the skin to thicken and wrinkle. This leathery appearance is facilitated by the breakdown of collagen within the skin. Premature aging of the skin and actinic keratoses are commonly caused by even regular sun exposure. Many scientists believe that there is no way to block all of the effects of UV exposure. Just riding in a car or walking from a car to the store exposes skin to UV light.
UV light is also blamed for many cases of cataracts and other eye damage. Wearing sunglasses is thought to control some of this damage. Again, there is no way to protect the eyes from all UV exposure. It is essential to purchasing sunglasses that are labeled as “UV blocking.” Not all sunglasses provide adequate protection from the sun, and many can cause more damage since the eye is open during exposure.
What Can You Do?
Minimizing UV rays exposure is the only way to protect skin from its destructive potential. Wearing sunblock every day is an excellent start when protecting the skin. Many cosmetics include sunblock in their formula. It is best to begin protecting children from sun exposure at an early age. Wearing hats and covering as much skin as possible prevents most UV rays from reaching delicate skin.
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