Why You Should Be More Careful under the Sun

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

One health advice that is most often taken for granted by people is to be extra careful when under the sun. No matter how enjoyable outside activities may be, always pay attention to the time of the day when UV rays from the sun are at their strongest level


Be more careful under the sun, especially when you are out in the beach

Read on to find out the benefits of sunlight as well as the risks of too much exposure without proper protection.



    Spending time outdoors under the sun is a common pastime especially during summer or even during winter months, when people in colder countries come to tropical zones such as the Philippines to enjoy sunlight and warmth.


    Small children, most especially, need to be more careful under the sun
    But before you get too excited about basking under the sun, there are factors you need to keep in mind for your health and safety against skin diseases. Learn the benefits and dangers of sunlight and why you should be more careful in getting sun exposure.

    Benefits of sunlight

    No doubt, sunlight has superb health benefits. Moderate exposure to sunlight helps you get the following:

    1. Better sleep
    2. Improved mood and mental health
    3. Stimulates production of vitamin D which is essential to bone health
    4. Helps in treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, jaundice, and acne.

    According to World Health Organization, getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face 2-3 times a week is enough to enjoy the health boosting benefits from the sun.

    Be more careful under the sun especially between 10 AM to 3 PM

    Dangers of too much sunlight

    Sunlight has ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive exposure to UV rays can damage the skin and cause the following skin problems:

    1. Discoloured areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
    2. Elastosis -- the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue that cause lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin
    3. Fine and coarse wrinkles
    4. Pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions like melanoma
    5. Sallowness – a yellow discoloration of the skin
    6. Sunburn
    Among these health issues, one of the most alarming is melanoma. Melanoma, made up of abnormal skin pigment cells called melanocytes, is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer-related deaths. If left untreated, it can spread to other organs and can be difficult to control.


    Be more careful under the sun when traveling

    Protect yourself from excessive sunlight

    You can never completely shield yourself from the sun. However, there are ways to minimize exposure and reduce the risk of acquiring and developing sun-related diseases and conditions.

    Cancer Research UK enumerated tips that will help protect you from excessive UV rays:

    1. Seek shade. Intense sunlight period is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Make sure to keep out of the sun during these hours. If you want to get some sunlight, do it from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and within 5 to 15 minutes only.
    2. Wear appropriate clothing. Long sleeves, long pants and skirts provide enough cover. Dark coloured clothes provide more protection than light coloured ones.
    3. Wear sunscreen. Consider sunscreen as one part of your skincare regimen. Choose sunscreen with at least SPF15. Follow instructions on the label for proper application.
    4. Wear a hat, especially if you will be out in a beach, park, open field, or in your backyard. This will protect your scalp, face, and neck area.
    5. Wear sunglasses. These will protect your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding it.
    Be more careful under the sun when you are at the beach

    Aside from these precautionary measures, always watch for unusual changes in your skin. Sudden skin discoloration, irregular moles, and recurring skin lesions are telling signs of melanoma.

    For cancers such as melanoma, an advocacy called Hope From Within promotes awareness as  well  as  supporting  the  vision  of  winning  the  fight  against  cancer  in  the  Philippines.  The advocacy encourages you to visit your doctor for early diagnosis if you observe symptoms or if you are at high risk, and get better knowledge of treatment options available.

    For similar stories, please click here.

    *This is a contributed post*
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