This post is contributed by Tanya.
Sunlight is composed of ultraviolet rays, visible light and infrared rays. The ozone layer present in the stratosphere covers the globe and prevents the UV rays from reaching the Earth’s atmosphere. The advent of air conditioners and aerosols, however, has added chlorofluorocarbons to the stratosphere causing damage to the ozone layer.
Moreover, carbon dioxide emission has resulted in global warming, as it has formed a layer around the earth. So, the sunrays entering the earth are unable to exit and hence get reflected back again and again. The reflected rays are way more hazardous than the incident rays.
These drastic changes in the atmosphere have rendered the sunlight more harmful than being useful. How is it so? Here you are!
Effect of sunlight on skin
It ranges from causing suntan to cancer. Three types of skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to sunlight; i.e., basal cell, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. In order to fight against the effects of sunlight on your skin, you must have to consult some highly professional dermatologist and take an absolute cosmetic medicine.
Melanocytes present below the epidermis, produce a pigment known as melanin. This travels up to the upper layer of skin and causes darkening after going through certain chemical reactions governed by UV rays. It is a protective mechanism to stop the harmful rays from reaching the deeper tissues.
It basically is the overwhelmed defensive response of Melanocytes to excessive UVB rays. The skin cells DNA get damaged to such an extent that it becomes irreparable. The skin looks reddish and feels itchy.
Too much sunlight exposure causes the skin to wrinkle and ages it.
When the damage to skin cells exceeds the repairing capacity, the DNA loses control over the cell replication and they go on dividing unchecked. This results in the formation of skin cancer. Commonest is basal cell carcinoma.
Effect on eyes:
UV rays can cause soreness of eyes. Prolonged and direct exposure to sunlight is potentially harmful, as it can result in cataract, cancer and pterygium. Looking at the reflected sunlight is far much injurious to eyes as it causes snow-blindness. Corneal as well as conjunctive ulcerations can also occur.
Skin is the largest organ of human body. So, when the immune cells are engaged in protecting the skin, then the blood faces deficiency of white cells, consequently rendering the body prone to various diseases.
How to protect yourself?
- Avoid exposure:
Obviously the best but unrealistic way is not to get exposed at all. From 10am to 4pm is the time when sun shines the most brightly. So, try your level best to stay in-door during this time. Cover your skin well before stepping out.
- Applying sun-block:
Don’t forget to apply sun-block 30 minutes before you leave your doorstep. Repeat application after every 2 hours if the stay is prolonged. Repeat if you sweat a lot.
- Stay hydrated:
A good hydration keeps your skin from drying. Drink around 8-10 glass of water daily.
- Ophthalmic solution:
Instill propylene glycol drops into your eyes frequently. This will help to protect from corneal ulcers.
You can save your skin health if you keep following the above precautionary measures seriously and carefully.