Skin Damage: Why Sun Protection is Important?

 
Q: My mom forces me to be protected with clothes and sunscreen while going outdoors. I don’t know why but she forces me a lot. Is sun responsible for skin damage? Why is sun protection important? Are there some other ways to protect myself?
Expert Answer

The sun is up for 365 days during the summer, spring, autumn and winter season; therefore you need sun protection all year round.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun are the ones responsible for damages on your skin. Why do you have brown spots, freckles, wrinkles and fine lines at such an early age? They are the consequences of being exposed out in the sun sans protection. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to sunburns, which are very uncomfortable and painful. Some people get skin cancer out of all the years being exposed to the sun unprotected. This is why you need to protect yourself from the sun rays at all times. Your mother is doing the right thing. However, you also need to apply sunblock when you are indoor and not only when you are outside your home or office. Since the sun’s UV rays can get past through the roofs, glass windows and doors, you are required to apply sunblock even if you are inside the comfort of your house.

The same is true with clothes. Why do people need to wear sunscreen even if they are fully clothed? The UV rays can penetrate into fabrics, umbrellas and hats. Sure, clothes, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas serve as primary protection but still you need secondary security in the form of sunblock. Every moment that you are exposed to the sun unprotected will accumulate. This is the reason why skin cancers occur to some people.

Do not ever disregard the power of sunscreen. From babies to adults to elder people, everyone needs ample protection against the sun. Here are the tricks on how to shelter yourself from the damaging UV rays of the sun:

  • Apply sunblock with a broad spectrum because this protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. If you are staying indoors, apply sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 all over your body, including ears, lips, around the eyes, feet, hands and scalp if you are bald or your hair is thinning.
  • If you are going outdoors, use a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher if you are out on an extended period. Look for labels such as sweat-proof, fragrance-free, water-proof and formulate for sensitive skin especially for babies and children. Reapply every 2 hours, or as directed by the manufacturer. Swimming, sweating, and toweling off remove the applied sunblock earlier on.
  • Clothes in dark or bright colors offer better protection than the pastel and light-colored ones. Wear shirts, dresses and blouses in colors like deep blue, brown, gray or black, orange and red.
  • Invest in wide-brimmed hats because they shelter the most exposed areas such as face, ears, neck and scalp. Regular caps are okay, but they leave the neck, ears and lower part of the face naked to the UV rays.
  • Pick large-framed sunglasses that offer protection against UVA and UVB rays. The eyes are very sensitive to the sun. Premature fine lines and wrinkles are sun-induced skin problems.
  • Bring an umbrella and a bottle of sunscreen (even just a small one) wherever you go so you can reapply as necessary.
  • The UV rays are the harshest between 10am to 3pm. As much possible, stay indoors during these times. If you are outdoors during these moments, maximize with your sun protection.
  • Indoor tanning lamps are more damaging than the UV rays from natural sunlight. If you want a healthy tan, opt for tanning products that come from a bottle. They give you the tan you always want minus the damage.

Healthy habits pay off. It is best to start your sun protection routine at an early age.

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Author

Expert Author : Linda Daniels (Consumer Health Digest)

Linda Daniels is a true creative force, having worked as a seasoned writer, editor and consultant in the fashion and beauty industries. Connect with Linda on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.