4 Harmful Effects of UV Rays on Humans and How to Prevent Them

UV Rays

Do you spend a lot of time out in the sun on a regular basis? If you do, the ultraviolet rays from the sun, which are better known as UV rays, could be doing damage to your skin and to your health as a whole.

There are so many harmful effects of UV rays on humans that you need to know about. They’ll make you think twice about walking around and exposing your skin to the sun’s ultraviolet light all the time.

A few sun rays can work wonders for your health. They’ll help you maintain healthier vitamin D levels and boost your mood. But “too much of a good thing” is something that definitely applies to the sun.

Here are four of the most harmful effects of UV rays on humans and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Skin Cancer

Skin cancer has turned into the most common form of cancer in the country over the years. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, about 20% of people will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives.

The good news for those who develop skin cancer is that, as long as it’s detected early on, it has a very high survival rate. The rate is well above 90%, which should give a lot of hope to those who have been diagnosed with it.

But even with that being said, skin cancer is obviously something that you’re going to want to avoid at all costs. You need to steer clear of spending long periods of time out in the sun to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.

You also need to make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen on an almost daily basis, regardless of whether or not it’s hot outside. You might even want to invest in some special UV clothing to provide your skin with all the protection that it needs.

You won’t have to worry about the harmful effects of UV rays on humans as much as you would normally have to when you take these steps.

2. Photoaging

Skin cancer is often the biggest concern that people have when it comes to the harmful effects of UV rays on humans. But it’s far from the only thing that you should be worried about if you’re constantly allowing the sun to beat down on your skin.

Photoaging, which is also referred to as premature aging, is going to be another thing that you might suffer from if you don’t do anything to protect your skin from the sun. Those who spend a lot of time sunbathing will typically have to deal with photoaging later on in their lives.

When photoaging first rears its ugly head, it’ll usually do so in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and other minor imperfections. But as time goes on, photoaging can also result in:

  • Irregular pigmentation in the skin (also commonly called “liver spots”)
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Excessive wrinkling of the skin

And once photoaging takes hold of your skin, it’s pretty much impossible to reverse its effects. It’s why, just like with trying to prevent skin cancer, you’re going to want to make it a point to stay out of the sun as much as you can throughout the course of your life to prevent photoaging. You’re also going to want to wear sunscreen when you’re planning to be out in the sun for any length of time.

3. Cataracts

Every year, about 25 million people over the age of 40 suffer from what are called cataracts. A cataract is a clouding that takes place in the lens of a person’s eye.

There are a whole host of things that can cause cataracts to take hold of your eyes. You might get diagnosed with cataracts as a result of:

  • Old age
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Eye injury

But you might also get diagnosed with them because of excessive exposure to the sun. Your skin isn’t going to be the only thing affected by the UV rays that shine down on you all the time.

To stop the sun from damaging your eyes, you should wear UV sunglasses whenever you’re going to be in the sun. You should also consider putting a hat on that will provide your eyes with some shade.

These simple steps should be enough to shield your eyes from the sun and stop it from causing cataracts.

4. Immune System Suppression

Because your skin sits on the outer layer of your body, it plays a very important role in protecting your body. More specifically, many experts believe that your skin plays a key role in your immune system and helps to keep it strong.

It’s not able to do this, though, when it’s besieged by the sun’s UV rays all the time. Some experts have suggested that this could weaken your immune system and suppress it so that it’s not able to fight off germs, viruses, diseases, and other invaders.

Additionally, they’ve also suggested that overexposing your skin to the sun’s UV rays might make any immunizations that you receive less effective than they would be otherwise. It’s just one more reason why you should make every effort to keep yourself out of the sun when you don’t have to be out in it.

Prevent the Harmful Effects of UV Rays on Humans From Taking a Toll on You

As you’ve discovered here today, there are some very harmful effects of UV rays on humans that you need to be aware of at all times. They should be enough to convince you that spending too much time out in the sun is a bad idea.

It’s OK to get some sun every now and then. But generally speaking, you don’t want to get into the habit of exposing your skin, your eyes, and the rest of your body to the sun and its UV rays day in and day out. It could come back to bite you later in life.

Take a look at the other articles on our blog for more great tips on health and fitness.

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