While it might be really enjoyable, sitting in the garden and having a snooze in the sun or relaxing by the pool on holiday can cause serious health problems. Too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous and here are just a few of the many reasons why you should stay out of the sun.
Risk of skin cancer
When you are exposed to the sun, you begin to develop a tan as your skin creates a pigment called melanin to protect it against UV rays. Although you think a suntan makes you look healthier, even the slightest hint of golden glow may indicate sun damage. When the skin cells are unable to repair themselves they may become cancerous and this is a real concern.
If the risk of skin cancer wasn't enough to put you off sunbathing, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid staying out in the sun. Exposure to the sun can age the skin, causing it to become wrinkled and leathery. Ageing is a natural process but with around 90% of skin changes being caused by the sun you can protect your skin by avoiding excessive skin exposure.
When thinking of the problems caused by the sun, cold sores might not be at the top of the list. However, the lips are very delicate with only a thin layer of skin and little melanin protecting them. This means they can burn very easily and people carrying the herpes simplex virus have to be particularly careful as sun exposure can cause breakouts of cold sores.
Cold sore symptoms include a tingling or itching sensation around your lips before small blisters develop, but creams might provide a certain level of relief.
Your skin and lips are not the only parts of the body affected by sunbathing – the eyes can also suffer damage from too much exposure to the sun. UV radiation is thought to increase the chance of developing cataracts; symptoms of which include loss of transparency and blindness. Cataracts can be cured but they damage the eyesight of millions of people every year. If you are out in the sun, look after your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses to reduce glare.
The next time you think about stepping out into the sun, remember these health concerns and ensure that your health always comes first.