Smart Sun Exposure Adds Years To Your Life
The risks of smart sun exposure may be a small price to pay for its many benefits.
Smart sun exposure not only boosts vitamin D but also decreases the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure.
A powerful 2016 study found that lack of sun exposure is a mortality risk on a par with smoking.
The study followed nearly 30,000 Swedish women for 20 years. The women who actively enjoyed the sun lived up to 2 years longer than those who shunned the sundespite a slightly higher risk of skin cancer.
So what is smart sun exposure?
The answer can be complicated, depending on your skin type. But in general you want a little bit of sun every day, not a lot at once.
A little bit of sun exposure, for someone whos fair-skinned, may only mean 5 minutes in the sun. For someone whos darker skinned, it may mean 20 minutes.
What you dont want to do is wait until the weekend or your vacation, and then spend the whole day in the sun. Youre binging on sun exposure, and thats what increases your skin cancer risk.
The better you know your skin, the more youll know your limits. Avoid staying in the sun so long that your skin turns pink.
And dont trust sunscreen to protect you. Consider it a way to top up your sun protection, but not an excuse to stay out in the sun as long as you want.
Id have never guessed that sunlight could help with hypertension or weight loss. A little sunlight goes a long way!
Thermal And Chemical Effects
The body has a pain reflex that makes people move away whenthey feel a burning sensation so for a light source to causeburns, it must be very intense. Lasers or high-power flash lampsfall in this category but these are not normally used forillumination. If parts of the skin are regularly heated, thiscan lead over a long period of time toerythema ab igne,which is associated with skincancer. However, this is very unlikely from lightsources used for illumination.
The skin can adapt to gradually increasing levels of UVexposure and in some people this causes tanning. However, it isharder for the skin to respond to sudden changes in UV as whenpeople living in northern latitudes take a winter holiday in avery sunny resort. Some photosensitive individuals also findthat their symptoms become worse in spring or summer if theyhave not had the chance to acclimatize their skin to sunlightduring the winter months.
Most of the lamps used for lighting are considered safe butsome emit UV radiation. Under extreme circumstances and over along period of time, exposure to these lamps could increase thechance of developing skincancer in later life. The added personal risk is verysmall but there could be a significant number of cancercases over the whole population. This added risk could bevirtually eliminated if the light was covered with plastic orglass that absorbs UV.More…
How To Spot Skin Cancer
For melanoma skin cancer, any change to your skin can be a concern and people are advised to regularly check their entire body for new or changed moles. The commonly used guidelines include looking for the ABCD signs:
- Asymmetry two halves of the mole differ in shape
- Borders edges may be irregular or blurred, sometimes show notches
- Colour may be uneven, different shades of black, brown and pink
- Diameter most melanomas are at least 6mm across
The more common non-melanoma skin cancer is not connected to moles and is often less dangerous than melanoma. Nevertheless, people should look out for non-melanoma skin cancer signs:
- Scab/sore that wont heal
- Scaly/crusty patch pf skin that is red/inflamed
- Flesh coloured lump that wont go away and grows
- Volcano like growth with rim and crater
To find out more about the symptoms and how to spot skin cancer, go to the NHS website.
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Amount Of Exposure To Sunlight
The damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation accumulate over the years. In general, the risk of developing skin cancer increases with the amount of time spent under the sun and the intensity of radiation. The intensity of radiation varies according to the season of the year, time of day, geographic location , elevation above sea level, reflection from surfaces , stratospheric ozone, clouds, and air pollution.
Recent studies have focused on the effects of intermittent sun exposure in comparison to chronic exposure. It appears that the type of exposure may influence the type of cancer that develops. For example, intermittent solar exposure may be an important factor leading to the onset of basal cell carcinoma of the skin. Childhood sun exposure may also play an important part in the development of these cancers later in adult life. The pattern for cutaneous melanoma is similar to that for basal cell carcinoma.
In contrast, the relationship between squamous cell carcinoma and solar UVR appears to be quite different. For squamous cell tumours, high levels of chronic occupational sunlight exposure, especially in the 10 years prior to diagnosis, results in an elevated risk for this cancer in the highest exposure group.
Do Uv Rays Make You Tan
The question of do UV rays make you tan has been on peoples minds for quite some time, and for good reason. The suns UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and trigger the production of melanin, the brown pigment that protects the skin from burning. Its no wonder darker people tan more deeply than light skin, since their melanocytes are more numerous. However, the darker your skin is, the deeper your tan. You might also have a higher risk of developing melanoma, a cancer of the skin, due to excessive UVA exposure.
While UVB rays are harmless, the UVA rays are dangerous and can damage your skin. They reach deeper layers of skin than the UVB waves, and can affect the blood vessels and nerves in your dermis. They also damage your immune system and can cause skin cancer. Consequently, they can also lead to deep wrinkling. While the dangers of ultraviolet rays are relatively small, its important to protect yourself when out in the sun.
The first sign of sun damage is the occurrence of sunburn, also called erythema. It is usually accompanied by peeling and redness. It is short-term skin damage caused by exposure to the UV rays. Upon being exposed to the rays of the sun, damaged cells release chemicals that trigger the immune system to increase blood flow to the area. These chemicals trigger the brain to interpret the signals that the skin cells give off as a burning sensation.
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The Treatment Of Skin Cancer
Less serious Basal cell and scupl cell cancers make up the majority of skin cancers. Non-melanoma skin cancers are highly curable if treated early. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths.
It can spread to other organs and is difficult to control. Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer are the most common types of skin cancer, while episodes of severe sunburns can cause melanoma later in life. Other less common causes include X-ray exposure, scars from burns or disease, and occupational exposure to certain chemicals.
People with fair or freckled skin, light eyes, and blond or red hair are at higher risk of getting skin cancer. Darker-skinned individuals are more likely to get skin cancer. Other risk factors include a family history of skin cancer, having an outdoor job, and living in a sunny climate.
A history of severe sunburns and an abundance of large and irregularly shaped moles are risk factors for melanoma. The treatment of skin cancer depends on the extent of the disease. The type of skin cancer, its size and location, and the patient’s preference are some of the factors that determine treatment.
If you notice any changes to your skin, you should contact your doctor. It is important to check your skin for new spots or changes. Regular eye exams are important.
Can Ultraviolet Light Kill Germs
While the sun may feel good on your skin, it is highly unlikely that it will prevent you from catching COVID-19. It will not rid your body of the disease if you already have it. And it could hurt you, too. Heres what you need to know now.
During this season of social isolation, there has been a massive amount of information some good, some not-so-good about how to avoid getting COVID-19. You may recently have read or heard something about the disinfecting power of ultraviolet light, which we know is emitted by the sun. But we also know that exposure to UV light can lead to skin cancer, so The Skin Cancer Foundation dug deeper to root out the facts about UV and germs.
The sun emits energy that we call light, and we describe this light in terms of its wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum. UV radiation is one form of energy on this spectrum, and its important to understand that there are three types of UV light, each with different wavelengths and properties.
UVA light is responsible for tanning and can cause premature aging as well as damage that can lead to skin cancer. UVB causes sunburns and the damage that can lead to skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreen , along with shade and proper protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, all help to protect you from UVA and UVB rays.
I cannot stress enough that these specifically designed UVC light sources are not safe for use on humans or pets, Dr. Wang says.
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Does Uv Radiation Cause Cancer
Most skin cancers are a result of exposure to the UV rays in sunlight. Both basal cell and squamous cell cancers tend to be found on sun-exposed parts of the body, and their occurrence is typically related to lifetime sun exposure. The risk of melanoma, a more serious but less common type of skin cancer, is also related to sun exposure, although perhaps not as strongly. Skin cancer has also been linked to exposure to some man-made sources of UV rays.
Ways Red Light Can Support Cancer Treatment
As Dr. Hamblin explained, red light therapy can lessen the severity of side-effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation. This is especially helpful in cases where side-effects are so severe that the patient cannot or wont continue with the treatment.
Research strongly supports the use of red light as therapy for common side effects of cancer treatment. Here are some examples:
Red light therapy may also be used as a pre-and post-surgery treatment to accelerate healing by boosting the immune system. In a 2016 study, a team of researchers from Italy used both red and near-infrared light once a day on mice with melanoma and oral cancer. The researchers found that the mice given red light therapy had an increased immune response and faster healing.
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What Happens When You Get Sunburnt
UV radiation from the sun is always present, whether its a cloudy day or blazing hot outside. Some types of UV radiation can even get to you through windows, which is why its a good idea to wear some form of SPF every day. There are three main types of UV radiation UVA, UVB and UVC. You dont really need to worry about UVC as it is absorbed by the Earths atmosphere. UVA and UVB rays are the ones that cause serious harm by penetrating into the skin and damaging proteins, membranes and the DNA in your skin cells.
UVA rays A as in ageing penetrate deep into the skin where they cause damage to elastic fibres and DNA. They are thought to be responsible for 80% of visible skin ageing.
UVB rays B as in burn hit the top layer of your skin and cause the typical symptoms of sunburn. They damage DNA and kickstart an inflammatory response, leading to swelling, redness, heat and pain in the affected area. This immune response already begins while youre still enjoying the warming rays from the sun and peaks about one or two days later, which is why you sometimes wont realise how badly you got sunburnt until its too late. Some of the cells in your skin will also start producing melanin to protect the skin, resulting in a tan. But any form of tan means that DNA in your skin cells has been damaged, so unfortunately there is no safe amount of tanning.
When Should You See A Dermatologist About Photoaging
If you sustained a lot of sun damage, including blistering sunburns in childhood, see a dermatologist who can evaluate the extent of your photodamage and look for signs of skin cancer early, when its most treatable.
If youre self-conscious about the appearance of your skin due to photoaging, a dermatologist can examine your skin and recommend a treatment plan. He or she can also provide advice on sun protection so that you can avoid more sun damage.
Also, make an appointment if you see a new or changing ‘mole’ or spot that is brown, black, red, or white, which could be a sign of skin cancer, advises Dr. Suozzi. Another sign of skin cancer is if a spot on your skin is bleeding spontaneously or is painful. A lot of patients will say, This started as a cut that I nicked while I was shaving and just kept bleeding on me. That’s something you want to get checked out.”
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What Is Ultraviolet Radiation
Energy from the sun reaches the earth as visible, infrared, and ultraviolet rays.
Ultraviolet A is made up of wavelengths 320 to 400 nm in length.
Ultraviolet B wavelengths are 280 to 320 nm.
Ultraviolet C wavelengths are 100 to 280 nm.
Only UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays reach the earth’s surface. The earth’s atmosphere absorbs UVC wavelengths.
UVB rays cause a much greater risk of skin cancer than UVA.
But UVA rays cause aging, wrinkling, and loss of elasticity.
UVA also increases the damaging effects of UVB, including skin cancer and cataracts.
In most cases, ultraviolet rays react with melanin. This is the first defense against the sun. Thats because melanin absorbs the dangerous UV rays that can do serious skin damage. A sunburn develops when the amount of UV damage exceeds the protection that the skin’s melanin can provide. A suntan represents the skin’s response to injury from the sun. A small amount of sun exposure is healthy and pleasurable. But too much can be dangerous. Measures should be taken to prevent overexposure to sunlight. These preventive measures can reduce the risks of cancers, premature aging of the skin, the development of cataracts, and other harmful effects.
#TomorrowsDiscoveries: Protecting Against UV Radiation Anna Chien, M.D.
Sunburns Cause Underlying Skin Damage
Sunburns can cause damage to the genetic material in the skin’s cells. If sunburn happens frequently enough, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which may develop into cancer. Peeling after a sunburn is the body’s way of getting rid of damaged skin cells that could possibly lead to cancer. But sometimes even though the skin peels away and forms new layers, underlying damage can remain. Therefore, it is important to avoid burning in the first place.
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What Light Cannot Cause Skin Cancer
What light Cannot cause skin cancer? They are also thought to cause most skin cancers. UVC rays have more energy than the other types of UV rays. Fortunately, because of this, they react with ozone high in our atmosphere and dont reach the ground, so they are not normally a risk factor for skin cancer.
Can visible light cause skin cancer? Visible and infrared light do not cause sunburn and they are not known to directly be a skin cancer risk.
What light can cause skin cancer? Most cases of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, tanning beds, or sunlamps. UV rays can damage skin cells.
Is visible light good or bad? Visible light is the main component of solar radiation and is the primary cause of the greenhouse effect. Recent evidence suggests that High Energy Visible light is harmful to skin and other evidences seem to point out a beneficial effect of longer wavelengths.
The Us Environmental Protection Agency
EPAs SunWise program was an environmental and health education program that taught children how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. In 2016, the SunWise Program was integrated into the programs run by the National Environmental Education Foundation . NEEFs SunWise program is a free environmental and health education program to teach K-8 children about sun safety, UV radiation, and stratospheric ozone.
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Top Reasons Why Sun Exposure Can Give You Skin Cancer
Overexposure to the sun does more than make you age faster it also increases the risk of skin cancer. Although a healthy glow is considered an attractive feature, sun exposure damages the fiber in the skin’s elastin, which causes the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to bounce back after being stretched. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and the numbers keep rising. Here are the top reasons why you need to protect yourself in the sun.
What Causes Photoaging
Ultraviolet radiation causes DNA changes in the skin that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. There are two kinds of UV light:
UVA light. This form of solar radiation damages skin at all levelsfrom the surface layer down deep into the dermis. Within those layers, several parts of the skin are affected, including collagen and elastin fibers, which give the skin its youthful tautness and elasticity, as well as epidermal cells and tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
UVB light. This type of solar radiation irradiates the outer layer of the skin. UVB damages DNA in the epidermis and can cause photoaging, as well as precancerous cells to form.
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