In spite of the growing number of studies about sun damage, many people still don’t understand it well. It could be because of long-held beliefs or misinformation available everywhere. Your lack of knowledge or wrong information, however, can put you in harm’s way. To truly help improve your health, get rid of these erroneous ideas about sun damage:
1. The Sun Is the Most Damaging during the Day
A lot of people quickly measure the sun’s potential harm by its brightness. One of the studies, however, disagrees with that. Researchers from Yale University noted that sunlight could still damage the skin after dusk. That’s not all. The effect on your skin during this time can be worse than during the daytime.
In the experiment, they exposed melanocytes, a type of skin cells, of mice and humans under a UV lamp. They noticed that this exposure led to a certain kind of DNA damage and that it continued even after they turned off the lamp. While it seems you can never escape the sun’s harmful impact on your skin anytime, you can reduce it by wearing an evening sunscreen.
If you love having outdoor parties or spend more time in the yard, you can put up retractable rolling awnings. Some of them already use UV-resistant fabric, so it doesn’t fade fast and shields you from sun damage.
2. For Vitamin D, Expose Yourself Early in the Morning
Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients your body requires. It is vital in helping build bones, regulating mood, and strengthening the immune system. Although you can get it from food, the best source is the sun. When sunlight hits your skin, it activates cholesterol to produce the vitamin.
The question is, when is the best time to do it? Experts suggest that you do so around midday or noontime. This will allow you to produce as much vitamin D as possible at the fastest time. Fifteen to twenty minutes will be enough. Note, though, that you should not compromise your skin to expose yourself for vitamin D. If it causes you sunburn, you might want to spend less time outside each day.
3. Melanoma Occurs Only among Adults
Skin cancers come in different forms, and the most severe of them is melanoma. Although it is highly treatable, the prognosis is poor once it starts to spread. Most of the people with this type of skin cancer are adults, particularly the older ones. It doesn’t mean, though, children and teens won’t develop it. Annually, about 425 people with ages 19 and below will develop melanoma.
If there’s a ray of hope, it’s that the treatment that works for adults might also be effective for younger patients. According to estimates, humans might go extinct first before the sun’s light is extinguished. That could happen thousands of years into the future. In other words, whether you like it or not, you will expose yourself to the sun.
By breaking the long-held myths, you can better protect yourself and appreciate its benefits at the same time.