Why and How to Protect your Skin from the Sun

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Why and How to Protect your Skin from the Sun Powered By Docstoc
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                                       Why and How to Protect your Skin from the Sun
                                                                  By Joy Healey



   Yes, enjoying a sunny day on the beach is fun. However, going out without proper skin protection is
putting yourself at risk of skin diseases, one of which is the dreaded skin cancer.

Like most parts of our body, skin can develop cancer. Cancer is a result of an uncontrolled cell growth
in one part of the body.

Unlike normal cells which are programmed to divide, grow, and die at a certain time, cancer cells lack
the internal machinery to control growth and as a result cause severe damage to normal cells that will
be outnumbered along the process in a certain biological locality. Some cells even detach from their
point of origin and travel to other parts of the body to start a new colony of cancer cells.

Skin cancers are either melanoma or non-melanoma cancers. Non-melanomas are cancers which
arise from skin cells other than melanocyte cells. Melanomas are cancerous melanocyte cells that
produce melanin, a pigment that gives the skin its characteristic color.

The sun is one of the key enemies of the skin. Although sunlight helps the skin synthesize vitamin D
(cholecalciferol), excessive and prolonged exposure to the sun causes damage and wrinkling.

How does the sun cause such damage? Sunlight that passes through earth is composed of visible light
and ultraviolet light (UV). UVA and UVB Light are one of the most common ultraviolet lights. UV lights
falls outside the visible light spectrum, meaning, the human eye cannot see this type of light and can
only be seen using a sophisticated tool which detects different light wavelength across the light
spectrum.

The difference between the two UV light lies in their ability to damage skin cells. UVB light doesn't get
through the deeper layer of the skin and accounts for visible burns and DNA damage across the top
layer of the skin.

UVA light, on the other hand, penetrates through the deeper layer of the skin and activates free
radicals (very reactive substances), which cause small damages to the skin. Cumulative damage
accounts for the skin's premature aging.


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So to maintain the healthy, youthful glow of one's skin, it is helpful to understand how the bad effects of
the sun's ultraviolet or UV rays come into action.

The UV-A and UV-B rays penetrate clouds, thick layers of glass, a meter of water, and the layers of the
skin. UV-B makes the skin's top layers to release chemicals that permit the blood vessels' expansion
and cause some fluid to leak, resulting to inflammation, pain and redness known as sunburn. This
damage can occur within as little as 15 minutes and can continue to worsen for up to 72 hours after
sun exposure. The damaged skin cells in the process will die and "molt off" in sheets or pictures.
Peeling is the process in which the body disposes of dead skin cells. UV-A rays are those that get into
the deeper layers of the skin. This affects the living skin cells under the surface of the skin. These rays
not only bring about long-term damage such as sagging, wrinkles and discoloration, they also pave the
way for early stages of skin cancer.

The UV rays act like chain saws, shredding deep into the DNA (the genetic material, with a very
precise structure, specific order and specific coding) found within the cell nuclei. Repair enzymes within
the cell act by countering the damage done on the DNA chain in the shortest time possible. This
damage and repair happens simultaneously and continuously, ideally keeping up with the extent of the
damage inflicted.

But just like any other bodily mechanism, these repair enzymes have their limits and can reach a point
after which they can no longer work. When the damage is too much (which occurs even before the skin
turns red), the enzymes cannot cope. The result is a dismantled DNA structure which leads to
abnormality of skin cells or what is termed as mutation. This is the first step of the formation of cancer
cells. UV-rays also contribute to the formation of superoxides, which are extremely toxic chemicals that
speed up skin cell aging.

So who exactly is most at risk of developing skin cancer? People who have already experienced three
or more bad cases of sunburn before reaching the age of twenty and regular sunbathers have greater
risks of contracting melanoma. Cricketers, farmers, golf players and others, who have long exposure to
the sun, have more tendencies to have milder forms of skin cancer. If you are in one of these groups,
take particular care.

After learning how the skin reacts to sunlight here is some information on preventing its harmful effects.


To reduce your risk of skin-cancer, dermatologists strongly advise the use of good quality sunscreens.


Research shows that exposure to sunlight without sunscreen should be less than 10 to 15 minutes at
noon, when the sun is at its strongest. Using a sunscreen with an SPF or sun protection of at least 15
and even higher is recommended. People with sensitive skin, such as babies, and older adults should
use an SPF of 30 or stronger because their skin tends to burn more easily. People with allergies or
sensitive skin should also take note of the ingredients they contain and choose products that are free
of chemicals, dyes, preservatives, and alcohol.

If sun exposure will be particularly high, use a stronger sunscreen that will completely block sunlight
from reaching the skin. Sunscreen application should be about half an hour before exposure to the sun
and the product should be reapplied every few hours; particularly during and after swimming, as 98
percent of the sun's rays can pass through water.

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Remember, however good your skin-care product is, you should never assume that it has sun
protecting abilities unless the label confirms this. If in any doubt, use a product specifically mentioning
an SPF rating.

With proper care, you can still enjoy the sun and the benefits of a healthy skin.



Joy Healey qualified as a nutritionist in 2000, at the prestigious Institute for Optimum Nutrition in
London. Read about other aspects of skin care by downloading a free ebook at:
http://www.nutrition4all.co.uk/skin.html




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                                             Wake Up And Start Using Sun Screens
                                                             By Kyle Greatbatch



 The damaging effects the harsh rays of the sun can do to the body are no longer news. Rather,
attention is now on how to protect ourselves from these rays with sunscreen. Don't get it wrong, a little
bit of sunshine is beneficial to the body, as it can be a source of vitamin D. But too much exposure to
the sun will certainly damage the skin.

The primary destructive agents are the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB), both are
constituents of sunlight, and are the major cause of skin cancer, altered pigmentation, dilated blood
vessels, and textural changes of the skin. And when you combine all these anomalies, the result is an
aging skin. When someone with sunburn further exposes himself to the sun without sunscreen
protection, he is damaging his skin and increasing the odds of him getting skin cancer.

The same holds for the process of tanning, because each exposure further damages the skin,
regardless of whether the skin is sunburned or not. It is due to this that experts asserted that no skin
tanning is really safe.

Over the years, several types of sun screens have been produced with built in capabilities to protect
the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. When sun screens are worn properly, and regularly, they
can provide maximum protection from sun rays. But nothing still beats staying out of the sun to avoid
damage to your skin, regardless of whether you are wearing a sun screen, hat, or protective clothing.

A marvel about sun screens is their versatility, because they are just not limited to be applied on the
skin. There are other variants of sun screens like window tinting, sun shades, and several other sun
protective devices for the home and automobiles. For house owners in warmer parts of the U.S,
owning sun screens is vital, because the intensity of the sun in these areas is severe.

So it is common sight to see such things as window tinting on cars, and light filtering curtains. Many
businesses that specialized in the production of sun shading items for the home and offices are widely
available in those areas.

Owning sun screen is very important for almost everyone, avid sun and tan lovers inclusive. It is a
grave error to think that you cannot get skin cancer from exposure to the sun; the graveyard is full of
people who had the same thought.

It is very easy to apply sun screen to your skin, and it is probably the cheapest way to protect yourself
and family from the sun. Because of their very easy mode of application to the skin, sun screen are
now an integral part of facial, lip, and body moisturizing products.

Remember, you will have no chance to reverse the effects of a damaged skin such as skin cancer, so
the practical way to prevent this is by using sun screens to protect yourself from the sun.

By Kyle Greatbatch http://www.skin-bright.com




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