Without the sun there would be no life on earth. As beneficial as the sun is for the biological stability of our bodies, it can be just as dangerous for the health of our skin. However, if you are well informed and follow the basic rules for protecting your skin from the sun’s rays, you can enjoy the sunny side of life with no worries.
Sun – the elixir of life
The sun is vital for sustaining life on the earth: the various UV rays have positive biological effects on our bodies. One example of this is short-wavelength UV-B (280–320 nm), which induces the production of vitamin D, an essential compound, in the body. Our bodies are not able to produce vitamin D on their own, and can only absorb it in small quantities from our food, even though it is indispensable for our muscular, skeletal and immune systems.
Furthermore, sunlight can be good for the mood, too. It is thus used as a form of therapy against seasonal affective disorder, better known as SAD or “winter blues”, which affects millions of people every year.
Too much sun is dangerous
As with many things, the important thing here is the dosage. Too much sun exposure stimulates the formation of a number of types of skin cancer, whereby malignant melanoma is by far the most dangerous one. But even “milder” forms of cancer such as basal cell carcinoma, basalioma and squamous cell carcinoma are still dangerous.
Your skin remembers every ray of sunlight
The sun is so wonderful but also dangerous. However, one can effectively protect and thus prevent from skin aging and the formation of skin cancer. You should not fall for the seven myths of sun protection, but rely on classic skin protection instead. The protection against skin damage cannot start early enough! The correlation between the amount of sunburns in childhood and the probability of being affected by skin cancer in old age cannot be denied. Therefore, the protection of children is paramount and must be taken serious.
We have put together the most important rules to protect your skin from cancer:
- The UV damage to your skin that you acquire in your childhood is the reason for the rapidly growing numbers of skin cancer cases as we age. Children should never be exposed to direct sunlight before the age of two. They must be protected by a UV protection factor of at least SPF 30.
- Avoid spending time in the sun during midday, not just if you live in the south.
- Protect yourself from radiation by wearing sun-safe clothing.
- Be sure to always protect any exposed skin in the summer by applying sun cream, especially as UV rays can pass through clouds.
- As a rule of thumb, adults should apply approximately three tablespoons of sun cream to provide adequate protection.
If you notice any changes to your skin that appear suddenly and grow rapidly, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Do you have any questions for our dermatologist or want to know more about the topic? Do not hesitate to comment on this post in the comment section below. We will be happy to answer!