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Benefits and Risks of Sunlight

Sun gives us light and without it, our Earth will be a dark, frozen rock. Our ecosystem gives a good balance to ensure thriving life on Earth. The atmosphere protects us against the harmful effects of sunlight exposure. However, the risk is not completely eliminated. Let’s start with the benefits of sunlight exposure. Benefits If…

Sun gives us light and without it, our Earth will be a dark, frozen rock. Our ecosystem gives a good balance to ensure thriving life on Earth. The atmosphere protects us against the harmful effects of sunlight exposure. However, the risk is not completely eliminated. Let’s start with the benefits of sunlight exposure.

Benefits

If sunlight exposure is moderate, the benefits should significantly outweigh the risk. Immediately, you feel an increased sense of well-being if you are under sunlight. The ultraviolet-A (UVA) ray stimulates the production of vitamin D on out skin. This vitamin is needed for the proper growth and repair of our skeletal structure. In general, moderate exposure to vitamin D doesn’t noticeably increase the risk of skin cancer. In fact, proper outdoors activities could reduce the occurrence of prostate cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. If you progressively expose yourself to sunlight, UVA ray will slowly stimulate melanocytes in your skin to produce melanin, a type of brown pigment. If you have more melanin in your skin, you will be better protected against bad effects of sunlight. You can tolerate exposure to sunlight at increasing amount before any damaging effects occur.

Risks

The immediate effect of prolonged exposure to sunlight is the burning effect. It happens when the skin releases histamine as part of the immune system. Histamine dilates that blood vessel and this may cause redness, as well as inflammation. Intense sunlight could also damage and kill outer living cells on your skin, so they will flake away. If intense exposure takes place for years, basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer may occur. This kind of cancer is indicated by brown spots. In many cases, this type of cancer is not malignant and only represents a cosmetic problem. Too much sun exposure could cause problems, like malignant melanoma. It happens when melanocyte cells transform into malignant cancer cells. Birth marks are risky areas where melanocyte cells can turn into malignant melanoma. This type of cancer could remain small for years, but once it spread, it could happen very swiftly and rapidly. Rapidly spreading melanoma is a serious and potentially fatal disease. The risk of malignant melanoma is significantly high if you are sunburned often. It’s often believed that skin cancers are caused by UVB ray, but it appears that the entire ultraviolet spectrum contributes to the spread of skin cancer. Prolonged sun exposure can make accelerate skin aging and cause permanent damage. Sunlight may also aggravate and multiply wrinkles. Sun exposure may also permanent dilate blood vessels under the skin, which cause skin to appear reddish permanently.

To get full benefits from sunlight, you need to adjust the amount of exposure. You shouldn’t stay under the sun for too long, if you need to do that, make sure that you wear proper clothing and hat to protect your skin. The amount of sunlight that people can take safely may vary significantly. As an example, a person with brownish skin can take more sunlight than paler individuals.