When Sunshine is Harmful

Articles on sun therapy usually mention the benefits from proper handling of sun exposure, sun bathing and therapy in general. But this article looks at the subject of solar hazards, i.e. when invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays affect us in a negative way.

UVA rays cause ageing. UVA radiation penetrates deep into our skin and able to alter skin cell structures. It is responsible for premature ageing of the skin, crumple porcelain smooth complexion and heighten the risk of skin cancer.

UVB rays cause burning. UVB is stronger and more damaging that UVA radiation. It affects the outer layers of the skin, causing sunburns and damage to immune system on top of premature skin ageing and (possibly) skin cancer. These rays are strongest and most dangerous between 10am and 4pm.

UVC rays are completely absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer. UVC radiation is extremely hazardous to the human skin. Fortunately, these rays are sheltered by the earth’s ozone layer.

Experts have advocated some of the following methods to avert the harmful sun’s UV rays:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when it is strong – between 10am and 4 pm.
  • Wear long sleeves shirts, long pants, wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV-ray protection, a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella.
  • Apply a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen lotion with minimum SPF 15 or higher about 30 minutes before going out under the sun. Reapply every two to three hours.
  • Supplement your diet with a well-balanced combination of antioxidants to neutralize excessive free radicals generated by UV radiation.

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