While sunlight is necessary for Vitamin D and there are millions of men and women who love the summer days to acquire a tan, skin experts and dermatologist warn that exposure to sun may lead to long term skin damage, including cancer. A lot of people have a perception that living in high latitude regions make them at advantageous position as far as uv ray damage is concerned, but this is not true.
Dr. Ryan Kelly, associated with Mayo Clinic Health System says exposure to sun’s uv ray is dangerous at all places. People in the cold climate regions fare better than those living near equator in this respect, but using sun screen and protective measures are still necessary. Long term exposure to the UV ray can lead to damage in skin texture and skin cancer. It has been found that a staggering 90 percent melanoma cases are triggered by exposure to UV ray. Even on the cloudy days you need to use sunscreen even if it is for a half an hour period you go out. On cloudy days UV radiations get diminished by 30 percent but that can also cause considerable damage to your skin, say the dermatologists.
The alarming thing is that UV ray does not only cause damage to your skin, it is also harmful for the eyes. Without adequate protection for your eyes from UV ray, you actually clear the ways for cataracts and macular degeneration. It has been found that nearly 3.2 million people acquire blindness owing to exposure to UV rays every year.
While three types of UV rays are there- UVA, UVB and UVC, the last variant is actually soaked up by the ozone layer. It is the other 2 variants that you need to be cautious about. Exposure to both UVA and UVB rays even for short term can cause conjunctivitis and cornea inflammation called photokeratitis. The results can include red eyes and pain. In some cases, temporary vision loss can also take place in the victims.
However, prolonged exposure to sunlight can be quite harmful for the eyes. Studies have revealed that prolonged exposure to UV rays — may augment the risk of developing cataract or causing harm to the retina permanently. The damage is not limited to this but can also cause chronic eye diseases. In some cases, affected persons can develop skin cancer near the eye area. Since the damage can be cumulative, the effects may take a few years to be visible in any instances.
To protect your eyes from sun’s UV rays, wearing sunglasses is required. You should wear sunglasses even n cloudy days, much like sunscreens. It is a common perception that dark glass sunglasses offer better UV protection but that is not the truth. You should resort to a qualified optician to determine sun protection level of a glass before buying it. While you can find contact lenses with UV protection these days, wearing a sunglass is better because it protects a large area around the eye region which is not possible with any lens.
For those men and women who are crazy about tanning their skin, there is worrisome news. People with a specific genetic trait may develop lizard like scaly and dry rings on their skin after prolonged exposure to sun, as a new research has indicated. A lot of women develop a skin condition named Disseminated Superficial Actinic Porokeratosis or DSAP. It is seen mostly in body parts like forearms and legs. Usually it is triggered by over exposure to sun. The amount may vary from one person to another, with some developing small lesions and others get afflicted with brown spots that refuse to fade away.
The worrisome aspect of this condition is that victims tend to suffer more with age. This happens because sun exposure produces a cumulative effect resulting in DNA damage. The spots can itch and tend to get darker with age. The condition can be triggered both by genetic factors and over exposure to sun. However, it is the latter reason that aggregates the situation, say skin experts. This can be transmitted to kids as well. While using sun protection lotion and creams can reduce its occurrence, it will not be stopped altogether from appearing on skin.
While the women in their 30s and 40s are affected mostly by this skin condition, dermatologists are yet to find out why this age group suffers the most. A lot of women affected by this condition mistake it for psoriasis until they opt for medical treatment. British Association of Dermatologists spokesman and a consultant dermatologist Dr Alex Anstey confirms that this is hereditary and little can be done about it. However, exposure to sun should be avoided to stop it from becoming acute. It can also happen in middle aged men but women fall prey easily.
London based consultant dermatologist Dr Raj Mallipeddi says it is one more reason why people should use sun protection whenever they go out. It is also necessary to save kids from over exposure to sun to evade possibilities of skin conditions like DSAP later.