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It wasn’t all that long ago that a deep bronze tan was seen as a sign of good health, but now, people understand the dangers of over exposure to sunlight and the need to wear sunblock. We all need some sunlight, because it is what creates Vitamin D in our bodies, but sitting out in the sun all day long can cause a wider range of health issues than you might have realised. No one wants to be cooped up indoors on a beautiful sunny day, but here are ten reasons that you might want to find yourself a shady spot on the really hot days, especially around midday when the sunlight is at its strongest.
The connection between exposure to the sun and skin cancer are now well known and it has been proven beyond all doubt. Don’t ignore the advice about wearing sunblock because every time you get sunburned, you increase your risk of skin cancer. Even if you don’t burn, repeated exposure to sunlight, over time, will increase your risk.
Although the precise causes of rosacea are unknown, it has been proven that exposure to sunlight is a contributory factor. The condition, which is characterised by enlarged capillaries and redness on the skin, can be very embarrassing and, for some people, very painful, so it’s a very good reason to shade your face with a hat when you are out in bright sunlight.
The health risks if getting sunburn are enough on their own to convince anyone to wear sunblock and get in the shade, but let’s not forget that sunburn hurts, and it hurts a lot! If you get badly burned, no amount of aloe vera or any other medication will ease that burning sensation, and it could ruin an entire vacation for you.
Cataracts are not an inevitable part of growing old, they can be avoided, and one way to reduce your risk of cataracts is to stay out of the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun can both cause cataracts and speed up the development of existing ones. If left untreated, cataracts can cause a significant loss in vison and, ultimately, blindness.
The brown pigmented areas of skin that can develop when you get older, which we call liver spots, or age spots, are actually called Solar Lentigines and they are caused by the sun. Although age spots are not dangerous, they are embarrassing. They are usually found on people who have lived in sunny climates or worked outdoors in the sun.
Up to 90% of the visible signs of ageing that we see are caused by the sun. That includes lines and wrinkles and sagging skin. The more exposure you have to sunlight in the course of your life, the faster you will age, it really is as simple as that, so that’s a another very good reason limit your time on the beach this year.
Heat stroke, which results in nausea, headaches and can cause disorientation and feinting, is caused when you spend too long in the sun and your body dehydrates and loses its ability to control your core temperature. In extreme cases, it can even be fatal, because it causes organ failure.
This one might not exactly be life threatening, but no one wants dry, brittle hair. The sun will dry your hair fast and you’ll be left with a conditioning nightmare to get it looking great again. Too much sun can also take the colour out of hair, so wear a hat when you are out enjoying the sun and take breaks in the shade.
People who spend long periods in the sun will eventually develop hard, leathery looking skin with deep lines. This happens because the UV rays from the sun damage the connective tissue in the skin, so it loses its elasticity. That’s why people who work outdoors in hot climates, develop that rugged, weathered look to their skin.
Sitting in the sun for too long will drain the moisture out of your skin, your hair, and your body so, whichever way you look at it, a break in the shade is always a good idea. Even if you don’t develop full-blown sun stroke, dehydration will sap your energy and make you feel ill. When you are on vacation or spending time outdoors, get out of the sun for a few hours, especially around midday, and always use sunscreen. You will feel much better if you do, and it will help you avoid some of these medical problems that too much sun can cause.
Written by Alouisa Van Wyk at the Aesthetica Skin Centre. Original article here.
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