El Camino Real Charter

Not so fun in the sun

As much fun as people may have in the sun, there are many misconceptions people tend to make before stepping out far unprepared in the fiery heat.

One popular misconception is that tanning is great for the body. A tanner complexion may look great, but it drastically increases the amount of wrinkles one will have when aging. An excessive amount of sun exposure to the skin damages the cells that are trying to protect. Dangerous UVA and UVB rays break through the ozone layer and rain down on us constantly.

One other thing people tend to do is underreact about sunburns. A sunburn is equivalent to sticking a hand over a fire and leaving it there. People who stay in the sun long enough to get burned badly immediately double the chances of developing skin cancer, according to skincancer.org.

A way to protect the skin in the sun (for example, if one were at the beach) is to put on sunscreen and reapply every 15-20 minutes. While it may seem excessive, it is the only way to ensure that the skin is fully protected.

While sunlight can be healthy, people tend to overdo their exposure. Fifteen minutes a day in the sun is a sufficient amount of time. At the beach, it’s suggested that one should put on a shirt after 20 minutes.

It is also important to stay away from cosmetics and tanning salons because they are just as bad, if not worse, for the skin.

Along with the risk of skin damage, one should worry about the risk of cataracts. Cataracts is the clouding around the eye lens. It can be like looking through a cloudy window.

Overexposure to the sun also weakens the immune system and causes reactions to certain medication.

Regardless of skin color or how much melanin one has, it is vital to protect the cells protecting the body. Even though it may be very time-consuming and difficult to keep on top of the tasks needed to protect the skin, the results will be worth all the trouble as one ages.