Just like in plants, the sun can be beneficial or harmful to human beings. The effects of the sun to the skin is somewhat of a hot topic that continues to draw much research and debate. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D.
The skin plays a crucial role in this. Once the sunlight comes into contact with the skin, it reacts by producing vitamin D.
The skin will also get some benefits as a result of the sun exposure but too much contact can be very harmful.
Benefits of sunlight on the skin:
1. The sunlight kills harmful bacteria
Niels Ryberg Finsen received the 1903 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for his discovery that sunlight can have some healing properties. Sunlight can kill harmful bacteria, disinfecting and healing wounds.
2. Sunlight helps heal some skin disorders
Skin diseases such as acne, eczema, and fungal infections can be relieved by exposing the skin to sunlight. The sunlight produces vitamin D, which cools inflammation.
3. Improves skin health
Vitamin D, produced by the skin when it comes into contact with sunlight, boosts the immune system. An improve immune system allows your skin to fight skin disorders, toxins, bacteria and fungi improving your skin health.
4. Sunlight can protect you from melanoma
The risk of getting melanoma (which is a form of skin cancer) is reduced with sensible exposure to the sun. Thinner melanoma has also been noted in patients with high blood levels of vitamin D as compared to those with low concentrations.
Negative effects of sunlight on the skin:
Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, mainly from the sun, causes skin burns. The skin will become red, sore, tender and itchy as a result. Sunburns usually heal after a week or so but having regular sunburns can cause further damage to your skin.
2. Skin damage
Overexposure to the sunlight can also cause skin damage. The effects of skin damage can vary based on your age, skin type and level of sun exposure. Over exposure can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and change of skin texture. All this causes premature aging of the skin. This is more common for women as they use more products on their skin than men. Female skin discoloration through skin damage is more common than you might think.
3. Skin cancer
The most disturbing effect of sunlight to the skin is skin cancer. Skin cancer has been linked to sunburns that occur in childhood and long-term exposure to the UV rays. UV rays change the structure of skin cells and too much exposure sustained over an extended period permanently damages the skin.
While many people are now fearful of the sun due to its link with skin cancer, it is important to note that only scorching sun is dangerous to your health. These adverse effects can also be prevented by covering up and using sunscreen.
Moderate sunlight has many benefits not just to the skin but also to your bones, brain, blood pressure and even sleep quality. Ensure you get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight everyday but remember to protect yourself in case you are going to be outdoors for an extended period.