IntroductionWhen we step out in the sun, especially during summertime without following precautionary measures for skin protection, we are doing too much harm to its health. Harmful rays of the sun not only darken skin and also burn it. Also, UV rays cause premature signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. If we want to keep our skin healthy and free from blemishes and signs of ageing, we have to protect it from sun damage. The most common cause of sun damage is that we get lazy and thus, we do not take precautionary measures to prevent it. Some of us like the tanned skin and that is also a possible reason for not preventing sunburn. Whatever may be the reason, we need to protect our skin from harmful sun rays which can be achieved by adopting certain measures mentioned in this article.
Reasons to avoid sun damageThe sun damage may result in the below-mentioned conditions. So, we have to avoid sun damage to keep our skin healthy.
Ways to prevent sunburn
Scorching sun rays during summers can cause too much damage to the skin. It does not mean that during the rest of the year, we can walk around freely. Intense sun rays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. also cause too much skin damage. It is better to avoid stepping out in the sun during these hours. If it cannot be avoided, it is important to cover skin properly and completely. Wear full sleeves t-shirts and long trousers or skirts. Wear a bucket hat. Do not purchase the one which is made of straw. It should be made up of canvas. Carry an umbrella that will serve the dual purpose of covering the head as well as protecting the skin. Cover the face with a mask or scarf. Fabrics which are dark in colour and tightly woven are recommended as they easily absorb harmful UV rays and protect the skin. Cover feet with shoes and socks. It is not recommended to go shoeless or wear open-toed sandals when the sun is at its peak.
Scorching sun's rays, especially during summertime, can dehydrate the body by causing too much water loss in the form of sweating. If that amount is not replenished back, it can cause a fluid imbalance in the body which will also show its effect on the skin. Skin reflects inner health. Thus, the skin will become rough and dry. Dryness is caused directly due to too much sun exposure and also due to imbalance in body fluids. Thus, it is essential to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Hydrate the body which will ensure the skin remains well hydrated. Hydrated skin can easily overcome sun damage when compared to the skin which is dry and flaky. Along with water, healthy drinks such as coconut water, sugarcane juice, freshly extracted juices, green tea will also serve the purpose.
Certain nutrients such as vitamins, essential minerals and antioxidants can protect the skin from sun damage. Eating such nutrient-rich foods will keep the body healthy and in turn, keep skin hydrated and glowing. Sun rays can produce free radicals which are responsible for causing damage on the cellular level in the skin. Foods that offer protection against free radicals should be included in a daily diet plan which will offer protection against harmful effects of sun damage and decrease the risk of suffering from skin cancer. Certain fruits and vegetables which are rich in nutrients such as avocado, tomatoes, soy, broccoli and sweet potatoes should be consumed. Nutrients present in these fruits and vegetables increase collagen production and fight against free radicals generated by sun rays.
Moisturized skin can effectively overcome sun damage than the one which is dehydrated, dry and scaly. Drinking enough water will ensure the skin remains well hydrated and moisturized from inside. Whereas from outside, apply a good moisturizer depending on the skin type. Applying it before bedtime is more beneficial as it gets well absorbed into the skin and initiates the cellular repair. Day to day sun damage on the skin can be healed effectively by keeping skin well moisturized and well hydrated.
Before stepping out in the sun, make sure to apply sunscreen lotions to all the exposed parts of the body. When purchasing sunscreens, it is important to pick a broad-spectrum one which will ensure that it will effectively block harmful UVA and UVB sun rays. UVA burns skin more than UVB does as they penetrate deep enough. UVA can cause skin dryness, ageing and also increase the risk of suffering from skin cancer. UVB causes skin burns and increase the chances of skin cancer. Also, no matter what weather conditions are prevailing outside, it is important to wear sunscreen before going out. Irrespective of whether it is raining or freezing outside, do not hesitate to apply sunscreens. The reason is that harmful sun rays can penetrate the thick clouds and cause damage to skin even in rainy and winter season. SPF 30 is widely recommended. However, one can choose sunscreens with higher SPF if required.
Those with fair skin love to see the change in their complexion when exposed to sun rays. It is usually called as a healthy tan. It is a strict no to go for sunbath or to develop a suntan, especially in case of those who have a very fair complexion. Rather than developing a suntan, they end up burning skin. Too many attempts over years increase their risk of skin cancer. Tanning products accelerate the process of sunburn by increasing the effects exerted by harmful UV rays on the skin. Also, avoid tanning beds and do not believe in anything that is advertised as safe tanning. UVA rays emitted on the skin on tanning beds are also damaging to the skin making it prone to sun damage and skin cancer. Always remember that tanning is the sign of damaged skin irrespective of how appealing it looks to the eyes.
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