Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunlight and Healthy Skin

Sunlight and Healthy Skin


     Short bursts of time in the sun help the body to naturally produce vitamin D. The UV rays from sunlight stimulate vitamin D synthesis, which in turn supports calcium absorption to form and maintain strong bones.
     Excessive exposure to sunlight without sunscreen, however, can result in sunburn and greatly increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer. UV radiation from the sun is increasing globally due to what scientists describe as the Earth's depleting ozone layer. It strikes Earth as either UV-A or UV-B radiation (long and short wavelengths of ultraviolet light).
     In addition, recent studies have shown that non-melanoma skin cancers are on the rise among young adults, particularly women. Doctors have long encouraged sun protection to prevent skin damage. Sunscreens of at least SPF 15 can limit exposure to UV radiation. Antioxidants have been shown to help protect the skin from the damage caused by UV radiation when applied topically. The combination activity of antioxidants and SPF sunscreens provides superior skin protection. However, because additional factors can contribute to the formation of skin cancers, using a sunscreen alone is not a foolproof method for preventing the development of skin cancers.

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