Do you know how harmful exposure to UV rays from the sun is? About 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure. Even using tanning beds and tanning lamps can increase the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Yes, that’s how harmful UV rays are. So when they say to go out and catch some sun, they don’t mean to spend hours under the heat of the scorching sun. Everything needs to be in moderation.
That being said, you might want to install patio solar shades in your backyard. That will keep the sun exposure to a minimum when you entertain guests in your patio or when you go there to read and sip a cold lemonade. You also need to put shades on your windows so that you won’t risk too much exposure.
Damage to the Eyes
Long-term and unprotected exposure to the sun can damage your eyes. UV rays are known to increase the risk of cataracts, retinal damage, and the development of cloudy bumps along the edge of the cornea. Any of these conditions will affect your vision. They may possibly lead to blindness if they remain untreated.
Heat exhaustion happens because your body has been exposed to too much heat. People who work in a hot environment are at risk of suffering from heat exhaustion. This is your body’s response to losing water and salt because of excessive sweating. Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion are thirst, weakness, dizziness, headache, and nausea. You can also experience heavy sweating, decreased urine, and elevated body temperature.
When untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is the number one cause of heat-related illness. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your body’s temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit during heatstroke. It can happen so fast — usually between 10 to 15 minutes — that your loved ones may not have enough time to call an ambulance.
Symptoms of heatstroke include seizures, coma, profuse sweating, and confusion and slurred speech. Heatstroke can cause death or severe disability. Call 911 immediately if you see these symptoms on anyone or yourself.
This doesn’t only happen because of too much exposure to the sun. It can also be caused by tanning beds and lamps, so be careful when using these machines. Sunburn appears on your skin four to five hours after sun exposure. You don’t really notice it when you’re frolicking under the sun or playing beach volleyball. You need to take care of your skin by applying sun protection lotion. Make sure to apply the cream or lotion repeatedly throughout the day.
The worst thing that can happen because of excessive sun exposure is skin cancer. The older you are and the more exposed you are to the sun, the higher your risk of skin cancer is. This type of cancer normally develops over years and years of sun exposure. Early detection is important when diagnosing skin cancer. Visit your doctor regularly to look out for the signs: red spots, lumps, crust or scab, and itchy and bleeding areas on your skin.
Much of the damage that sun exposure can do to your skin is preventable. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go to work or school. Make sure to use a sunscreen that’s sensitive to your skin type. You should also wear UV filtering sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and a long-sleeved shirt.