Friday, January 13, 2012

Harmful Effects of Ultraviolet Rays

Spending limited amounts of time in the sun is important for the production of vitamin D. The body is incapable of producing this vitamin on its own, even though it has many important functions in your body, such as bone maintenance. Despite this positive effect, spending long amounts of time in the sun can hurt you.
Ultraviolet Rays
The sun emits two types of harmful ultraviolet rays. They are ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). When UVB rays penetrate your skin, they can make it burn, leading to sunburn. UVA rays, on the other hand, make your skin age early. Signs of early aging include wrinkles and age spots. Sun damage occurs as a result of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Some signs of sun damage are: tough, leathery skin, blotchy skin and dark, flaky, hardened patches of skin called actinic keratosis.
Effects on Your Skin
Your skin contains collagen and elastin. These two proteins work together to keep your skin firm, resilient and elastic. Sunlight damages the collagen in your skin. It also reduces your skin's ability to produce collagen. Excessive sunlight exposure causes accumulation of abnormal elastin in your skin. The sun's effect on collagen and elastin leads to wrinkles and saggy skin. Sunburn is the result of the immune response the body goes through when UVB rays kill off your skin cells, according to the book "Healthy Aging For Dummies." Go Sun Smart says repeated sunburns put you at risk for developing skin cancer.
Effects on Your Eyes
Several parts of your eyes are susceptible to sun damage. Your eye lenses are needed for focusing light on your retina. Your retina is located at the back of your eyes and is lined with nerves that transmit light-induced electrical signals from your eyes to your brain through the optic nerve. Sunlight can damage your eye lens, which results in cataracts--a condition in which your eye lenses become blurry. Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness, according to Go Sun Smart. Your retina can also be damaged by the sun. Snow blindness occurs when your eyeballs get sunburned. It happens when you are out in the snow, on a sunny day and without eye protection. It can leave you in extreme pain and cause temporary blindness.
You can prevent sun damage by protecting your skin when you're in the sun. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you leave home. Do this to give your skin enough time to absorb the sunscreen. Ensure that your sunscreen protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Protect your skin from the sun by putting on protective clothing such as sun glasses, wide-brimmed hats and clothing that covers most areas of your skin.
Many treatments are available for sun-damaged skin. Chemical peels, topical medications such as tretinoin, and microdermabrasion and laser therapy are a few procedures and products used to treat sun-damaged skin. They erase or reduce signs of sun damage in your skin including wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and uneven skin complexion.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates