The Effects of Sun Exposure to the Human Body

Topics: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen, Skin cancer Pages: 5 (1922 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Lone Star College Engl. 1301|
Cause and Effect Essey
The effects of sun exposure on the human body.|


Every hour at least one American will die of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun. These statistics are alarming and most people are unaware that the sunshine that we all love so much is in fact a threat to our health and good looks. It is up to us to educate ourselves and our children on the harmful effects of sun exposure on the human body like premature aging, physical damage to the body, and cancerous diseases. Premature aging is one main effect of sun exposure. Becoming an old looking, wrinkly person is the last thing people look forward to, but did you know that the average person gets eighty percent of their lifetime exposure to the sun by the time they are eighteen. Most people would agree that seldom do parents apply sun screen to their children’s skin before going swimming or to the beach and almost never reapplying it as necessary. No child grows up worrying about putting sun screen on themselves before going outside to play, so why do people seem so shocked when they begin to age prematurely? Fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear on the face, chest, neck, and hands first, because those are the places on our body that are exposed to sun light most often. Ultraviolet rays from the sun, damage the elastin fibers in our skin and this is why it causes these horrible lines to appear. Wrinkles are only one of the ugly effects of our beautiful sun. Many people experience a change of color in their skin after years of exposure; this color change is called hyperpigmentation and has no cure. One example of hyperpigmentation comes in the form of what is sometimes known as “age spots.” These are brown spots that appear on the skin and trying to remove them is nearly imposable. Melasma is another form of hyperpigmentation, which occurs when a woman is hormonal. People with melasma are warned to hide from the sun because exposure to the ultraviolet rays will cause the pigment in the dermis of the skin to darken. Skin texture also changes in skin that has been over exposed to the sun; skin will begin to get yellow and leathery looking. Have you ever seen a woman that goes to tan in a tanning bed regularly? The older she gets, her skin begins to resemble a leather wallet. Moles are another type of premature aging and are most commonly found in places exposed to sunlight. There are costly procedures that can be performed by dermatologist and plastic surgeons to reverse some signs of premature aging, but avoiding the sun and using protective measures when exposed are the only sure way of avoiding these unpleasant sights from happening to our beloved skin. Though vanity is a big deal, the inside of our bodies are also affected by these harmful rays. Physical damage to the body is a key point when talking about the effect of sun exposure. One thing that is seldom known about is the fact that the sun can cause you to have cataracts. “Short-term UV damage to the eyes might be difficult to notice, but long-term exposure to the sun is a risk factor for harm to the eye and surrounding tissue,” said Simon Donne, optometrist at Simon Donne Opticians, Bedfordshire. The effects of UV radiation accumulate over someone’s lifetime, and disorders such as cataracts may not manifest for years though the damage is already done. The sun is just as dangerous to your eyes as it is to your skin if not more dangerous. While our bodies are able to repair and replace damaged cells, the eyes have little ability to repair UV damage. Protecting your eyes from UV rays is just as important as protecting your skin, to protect yourself you should wear the right eye protection such as sunglasses, hats with brims, and contact lenses. When working outside wearing a hat will also help with protecting your lips. Many individuals that work outside such as farmers, athletes, and construction...
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