Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Protecting Your Skin from the Hot Summer Sun

It´s summertime, and that means spending time outdoors. This article provides some background on how the sun can damage your skin, and simple tips to help you protect your skin from the sun´s rays.

It’s finally summer, and as the temperature climbs, we all want to get out of the house and enjoy the great weather. It’s time for beach trips, barbeques, pick-up sports games, hiking, fishing, and all sorts of outdoor fun. The shorts, tank tops and bathing suits come out of winter storage, and more of our skin is exposed to the warm summer air. Despite all of the outdoor fun that comes with summer, it is important to remember that while the warm summer sun is drawing you outside, it can also potentially damage your skin. How do the sun’s rays impact your skin and cause damage, and how can you protect yourself from damage? Read on for some tips and techniques to keep your skin healthy while you enjoy the summer.

How Sunlight Can Damage Your Skin

Sunlight is made up of a variety of waves. One type of wave is ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet, or UV radiation, has a shorter wavelength than visible light, so it can’t be seen by the naked eye. When your skin is exposed to UV radiation, whether it is from the sun or from the UV lights in a tanning bed, DNA in your skin cells are damaged. The body reacts by working to repair the DNA and by increasing melanin production to reduce damage in future exposures. While the increased melanin production leads to darker skin, the skin has to be damaged first in order for the skin to create the “tanned” look, so there really isn’t such a thing as a “healthy” tan.

There are two types of UV radiation that affect your skin: UV-A and UV-B. UV-A does not cause sunburn, but can provide some skin damage, including prematurely aging the skin. UV-B is the cause of sunburn. While sunburn provides some pain and discomfort, it generally heals within a few days. However, exposure to UV radiation can also cause long term damage to your skin. Studies have shown that exposure to UV radiation can result in several types of skin cancer. Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays on a daily basis is the only way to prevent these types of skin cancers over the long term.

Protecting Yourself from Harmful UV Radiation

The simplest method to prevent sunburn and long term damage to your skin is to avoid exposure to UV radiation. Of course, you don’t want to stay bundled up in the house all day, so there are some simple methods that you can use to reduce your exposure to UV rays.

No comments: