We are often told that the best source of vitamin D is from sunshine, especially early morning sunshine. It is also said that a little sun each day can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and depression. Then, that sunshine helps improve the metabolism function so that fat is not retained in the body. These being said, one must be able to draw the line between getting the required amount of sunshine and running the risk of getting the amount that could become dangerous to our health.
Over exposure to sun rays could become dangerous to one’s health. Sunburn from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays causes premature aging of the skin, skin cancer, cataracts in the eyes, and suppression of the immune system. These are just some of the health problems that could arise from over exposure to sunshine.
To be able to balance the amount of sunshine that is good for you while in the sun or on vacation, there is the obvious need to have sunscreen. Sunscreens are made from at least seventeen active ingredients containing organic chemical compound that can absorb ultraviolet ray like oxybenzone, avobenzone and benzophenone. It can also be an opaque material that reflects light such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Again, it is important to know the right amount of Sun Protection Factor or SPF one would be required to be wearing, too. Sun Protection Factor is the measure of a sunscreen’s capability to prevent UV rays from damaging your skin. That is, the amount of time an SPF of 15 would protect your skin from UVB damage as compared to when you are not wearing any sunscreen. If one’s skin can get damage in say 20 minutes if not protected with an SPF 15 sunscreen, wearing an SPF of 15 should protect your skin for 5 hours before UVB can start its damage. In other words, sunscreens with an SPF of 15 and above are better in protecting your skin against UVB.
When is Sunscreen needed?
Of course, you should use your preferred sunscreen every day. At least thirty minutes before going out to allow the ingredients to fully bind with your skin. However, it is mostly needed between the months of March and October each year, between 10 am to 4 pm each day. To get the full benefits of SPF in a sunscreen, you would have to apply at least 1 ounce. If you are going to be spending a long day at the beach, you should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 ounce bottle. Reapplication of sunscreen is also as important as putting it on the first time, so reapply the same amount every 2 hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, towelling off, or sweating profusely.
The benefits of sunscreen cannot be over emphasized. When worn daily, it reduces the harmful effects of UVB and UVA on your skin, eyes and overall health. Sunscreen also protects proteins like collagen, elastin, and keratin that help keep your skin smooth and firm. On the long run, sunscreen help prevent skin cancer, early aging of skin, suppression of your immune system and cataracts in your eyes.
If you have any further questions or concerns about sun protection or sunburns, our team of physicians at www.askthedoctor.com is here to help. Just ask!ADVERTISEMENT
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