Tips on fun in the sun without the exposure!
Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Fun in the sun is the number one goal for summer time, but the unfortunate side effects from sun exposure can damper those summer vibes!
1) Skin Cancer: Each year, more new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. than new cases of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. One American dies from skin cancer every hour. Unprotected exposure to UV radiation is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. UV exposure and sunburns, particularly during childhood, are risk factors for melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer. Not all melanomas are exclusively sun-related—other possible influences include genetic factors and immune system deficiencies.
2) Premature skin aging and skin damage: Other UV-related skin disorders include actinic keratoses and premature aging of the skin. Actinic keratoses are skin growths that occur on body areas exposed to the sun. The face, hands, forearms, and the “V” of the neck are especially susceptible to this type of lesion. Although premalignant, actinic keratoses are a risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma. Look for raised, reddish, rough-textured growths and seek prompt medical attention if you discover them.
Chronic exposure to the sun also causes premature aging, which over time can make the skin become thick, wrinkled, and leathery.
3) Cataracts and other eye damage: Research has shown that UV radiation increases the likelihood of certain cataracts. Although curable with modern eye surgery, cataracts diminish the eyesight of millions of Americans and cost billions of dollars in medical care each year.
Other kinds of eye damage include pterygium (tissue growth that can block vision), skin cancer around the eyes, and degeneration of the macula (the part of the retina where visual perception is most acute). All of these problems can be lessened with proper eye protection. Look for sunglasses, glasses or contact lenses if you wear them, that offer 99 to 100 percent UV protection.