The Dangers of Sun Exposure

Posted May 16, 2012 | Posted in Health & Wellness

As the weather gets warmer, many people will spend more time outside. As you head for the door, though, be cautious about your levels of sun exposure and potential dangers associated with it. Sun exposure may begin as a quest to get a suntan, but it can quickly turn hazardous. 

Sun Burn
A sun burn is a burn to living tissue and is the result of overexposure to ultra-violet radiation, most commonly from the sun. Sun burn symptoms include red skin that is hot to the touch, fatigue and dizziness. In addition to these symptoms, sun burns can also cause premature wrinkles and sun spots on your skin.

Sun Poisoning
Photodermatitis, more commonly referred to as sun poisoning, is a form of allergic reaction to the sun’s rays. Symptoms of sun poisoning include a rash, blisters, nausea and discolored blotches on the skin. Sun sensitivity that can lead to sun poisoning can be brought on by an array of medical conditions as well as over-exposure.

Skin Cancer
Skin cancer can occur as a result of too much exposure to UVA and UVB rays, and, if left untreated, can lead to death.  Skin cancer is classified as either melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is the less common of the two, but is more deadly. Oftentimes skin cancer is treatable; however, it is a very serious disease that can be fatal if not taken care of properly.

The best way to prevent over-exposure to the sun is to follow the FDA guidelines for wearing sun screen. The FDA recommends you wear sunscreens with broad spectrum SPF of 15 or higher. You should also be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours for best results. Take precautions when visiting the pool, local beaches such as Emerald Isle or the Outer Banks, or even just spending time in your backyard on a sunny day. Limiting your time in the sun and wearing sunscreen lotion are great ways to prevent damage and keep your skin and body healthy.

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