-know the effects of too much sun on your health
In a country like Pakistan, where the sun is a constant companion even during our coldest winter days, it becomes a little more mandatory to know about the effects of it on our health.
Understanding Sun and Related Skin Problems
Too much of everything is bad- same applies for the sun. Excessive exposure to sun’s rays has temporary effects like sun burn which don’t pose as much of a problem expect for cosmetic reasons. Letting your skin burn for prolonged exposures without using preventive measures can cause everlasting and damaging effects. This can also
Skin cancer is a broad term. Several subtypes of skin cancer prevail; discussed here are the most dangerous and common ones:
This type of carcinoma is much less common but much more deadly than the other forms. The main clinical warnings signs are: rapid development of a pre-existing nevus, discomfort in a lesion and development of a new pigmented lesion during adult life, irregular borders of a pigmented lesion and variation of color.
Melanoma is a destructive tumor. However, today, as a result of increased public awareness of the earliest signs of skin melanoma, most of them are cured surgically. Nonetheless, the incidence has increased drastically over the past few years as a result of increased skin exposure.
2. Actinic Keratosis
These are usually less than 1 cm in diameter, mostly red and rough (sand-paper like) on the nose, cheeks and chin. They are the result of chronic exposure to sunlight.
How Can You Avoid The Harmful Effects of Sun?
The best way to do so is avoiding the sun. Since most of us are outdoors most of the time, precautions are needed:
1. Never go out without wearing sunscreen-make it a habit, just like brushing your teeth.
2. UV rays are strongest from 10 am to 3 pm- it would be best to avoid the sun a such as possible during these timings.
3. Wearing protective clothing also helps to an extent. Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats etc provide good protection. This is important especially if you’re going to be out in the sun for long periods.
4. Opt for sunglasses that filter UV.
What is SPF in Sunscreen?
SPF stands for Skin Protection Factor. Sunscreens come with different SPFs. As the number of SPFs increases, there would be more protection that is being offered against UVB-the harmful rays of the sun. Some of them also protect from UVA rays. Everyone should at least use SPF 30.
People who had skin cancer, it is recommended for them to use even greater SPF.
Are Sunscreens Safe for Children?
Yes, sunscreens are actually recommended for use in children when they reach the age of 6. This would reduce their risk of skin cancer later in life. According to a study, if sunscreens are used by children through 18 years of age, it decreases their risk of skin cancer by 72%.
Application of Sunscreens:
• Sunscreens should be applied at least 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
• It is best to reapply after every couple of hours even if the product assures you that it’s “all-day”. It becomes necessary to reapply.
• When applying sunscreen, make sure you cover all exposed areas including hands, face, ears and neck.
• Make sure you don’t skimp. Apply charitably and as a substitute of rubbing it into your skin, apply a thick smooth layer.
• For women, it is desirable they apply sunscreen before putting on their makeup. If you wait till you have reached the beach, there is a high chance you are already moist. The resultant moisture makes the sunscreen less effective.