The sun receives mixed reviews from everything and everyone it touches. On the one hand, we rely on sunlight to keep us warm and alive. On the other, science and research consistently prove how dangerous it is to bask in the sun for prolonged hours. Factually, there are many consequences to exposing yourself to the beaming rays of the sun, which can range from good, bad, to worse. In this blog post, we will discuss all three angles.
The most well-known health benefit of the sun is how it can trigger the natural production of vitamin D. When the sunlight touches your skin, it stimulates your body to produce this essential vitamin which:
- Strengthens teeth and bones
- Enhances brain function
- Treats psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves sleep and relaxation
- Prolongs life
Furthermore, scientists propose that sunlight may improve your heart health and even decrease the impact of depression. Exposure to sunlight can also benefit those suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorders, as well as anxiety-related disorders and panic attacks.
With all of those benefits and several others, why do so many medical practitioners make a massive deal about staying out in the sun? Let’s discuss.
While exposure to sunlight has impressive health benefits, UV radiation from the sun can also inflict harmful effects, contributing to the following:
- Quickens aging by creating fine lines and wrinkles
- Promotes hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration
- Develops eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
- Produces sallowness (brown or yellow skin discoloration)
- Increases and darkens freckles
- Exposes small veins and capillaries
- Accelerates the loss of skin elasticity
Research suggests that you only need a maximum of five minutes out in bright sunlight to get enough vitamin D. Therefore, if you wish to prolong your sun exposure, it is crucial to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out in the sun and to reapply the product every two hours.
It is without a doubt that the worst result imaginable for anyone spending too much time in the sun is developing skin cancer. We all know the risks of melanomas, and no matter how much you protect yourself with sunscreen and cream, ultimately, the most effective type of prevention is to limit your sunlight exposure. The American Cancer Society even adds that melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults.
As your takeaway, remember that although the right balance provides lots of health benefits, too much of the sun’s warm rays can also be harmful to your skin and health. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to protect yourself while having fun in the sun.
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