Perfect Tan or Not!

A golden shiny brown tanned set of limbs is one of the things the stylish young and fashion curious lady or guy will always wish for. The chase of that bronzed, sun-touched look has successfully led to a multitude of sun lovers in bikinis, bare chests and board shorts gathering at the beach, knowing little or nothing about the dangers or disadvantages related to spending too much time under the sun.

Many youths are fun loving, adventurous and passionate about outdoors and sports, and this may just let them overlook the importance of adequate sun protection. While a lot of outdoor sports like wakeboarding, soccer, windsurfing, etc. are very beneficial to health, the exposure to the intense rays of the sun should also be checked.

Sun Burn
The sun releases three different types of ultraviolet (UV) rays including UVC, UVB and the UVA. But the only rays that reach the earth surface are Uvb and Uva because the UVC is eventually separated by the ozone layer before it reaches the ground.

The UVA enters deep into the skin and commences the release of melanin, which is a pigment in your body that allows your skin to tan. UVB effectively attacks the outer skin layer and burns the skin.

The UV rays are believed by many to be the cause of chronic photoaging: which is a cluster of skin conditions like wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sagging skin and even Skin Cancer.

Sunburn is just a short-term damage caused by sun exposure. Its symptoms include redness of the skin, pain to the redness and even swelling of the affected areas and in some critical cases, blisters will occur.

Constant sunburns have been linked to the increased risks of obtaining skin cancers. Following are the three common forms of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), malignant melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Most of the BCC and SCC cases I’ve witnessed were caused by severe exposure to sunlight. The ugly tumors appear mostly on the sun exposed spots like the hands, face, shoulders and back. SCC tumors fleshy and irregular growths that could enlarge and break down into ulcers.

While the BCC tumors are usually pigmented and shiny with raised borders. The SCF (Skin Cancer Foundation) New York, USA, says that some 200000 to 900000 Americans suffer SCC and BCC yearly.

The Malignant melanoma is a cancer of the pigments of the skin cells. It might form on one existing moles, where pigmentation is concentrated heavily. The tumors are often seen as thick, large and colored (blue, red or black) patches that rapidly grow with irregular outlines. The Skin Care Foundation (SCF) estimates that up to 51000 new cases of malignant melanoma are reported every year in the United States of America.

Shade the Sun
The knowledge of sun exposure dangers is paramount, knowing how to minimize risks if sunburn is even more essential. Techniques to reduce damage from sun rays can be divided into those to do with behavior and those to do with fabrics.

Sun lovers should refrain from carrying out high-risk activities between 10 am to 4 pm when the sun rays are most intense. In summary, please try to stay in the shade while going about your daily routines.

Wears that are sun protective have tight weaves and are light colored. To test for the tight weave characteristic, hold the fabric about 7 to 6 inches from your eyes and towards a light ray. If the visible light rays can pass through holes between the threads, then so can UV rays. Dark colored fabrics will absorb dangerous UV rays faster than the light colored Wears. Therefore they protect the skin more effectively.

In order to shield the face from unwanted sunburns, high SPF sunscreens are required, most likely the ones with at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 20. Some recommended brands are LA Roche-Posay, Sunkiller, and Coppertone.