Effects of the sun on your body!

First of all, those of you with children need to be really good about applying sunscreen to their sweet little faces and bodies!  Most of us get 80% of our total life sun exposure by the time we are 18!  When we are young we don’t know better and it will come back to haunt us later. The main issue with sun damage is that it is cumulative, so while it is almost impossible to reverse, you can keep it from getting worse!

Since it occurs gradually, showing up years after the main damage is caused, premature aging is often regarded as an unavoidable,normal part of growing older.
If only we knew when we were younger that up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun! With proper protection from UV radiation, most premature aging of the skin can be avoided (yea wish I could go back and tell my 15 year old self that!)
It is NOT HARD to take care of your skin and protect it from the sun!  People are always complaining about their wrinkles and sun spots, but then they will go out to the lake the next day to get sun.  I’m not saying stay inside, I’m saying be vigilant about wearing sunscreen and hats. Come on people!  If you have wrinkles you hate and you wont protect yourself from the sun, then its on you and you can’t get upset.  You can’t touch a burner you know is hot and then get angry when it burns you.
Fine lines and wrinkles are just what we see first, but there is underlying damage that comes out later as age spots and hyperpigmentation.

Dermatologists know that a tan does not prevent sun damage, it is sun damage. Tanning occurs when the UV rays penetrate the skin and injure the pigment cells. The effects are cumulative, and with every burn, the skin becomes more damaged.

Chronic overexposure to the sun changes the texture and weakens the elastic properties of the skin which leaves it looking aged and dryer. The skin thickens as well which makes it look leathery.

You can tell when you look at the top of your arm vs. the underside of your arm the effects of the sun exposure, because the underside is hidden more from the sun, therefore lighter, softer, and with less damage.

Sun-induced skin damage causes wrinkles, furrows, easy bruising, brown or “liver spots”, precancerous lesions, and potentially skin cancer.

Immune system suppression and disease.

Scientists have found that overexposure to UV radiation may suppress proper functioning of the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses. For example, the skin normally mounts a defense against foreign invaders such as cancers and infections. But overexposure to UV radiation can weaken the immune system, reducing the skin’s ability to protect against these invaders…increasing sensitivity to sunlight, diminishing the effects of immunizations or causing reactions to certain medications.

In people who have been treated for an infection of the Herpes simplex virus, sun exposure can weaken the immune system so that it can no longer keep the virus under control. This results in reactivation of the infection and recurring cold sores.  It also makes the body more susceptible to other infections and cancers! Yikes!

Eye damage. The sun can cause cataracts and other eye damage. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. Make sure you take the proper precautions and wear sunglasses with UV protection.


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