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Jules’ Medical Journal: The Dangers Of The Sun

As the sun is coming out and we’re approaching the long-awaited summer we’re tempted to go sunbathing ASAP – but let’s stop and think twice before doing that as there are many negatives to staying in the sun for long hours without proper sunscreen! Here are some of the reasons why you should use sunscreen before hitting the beach with your gals and boys. 

Negatives That Will Make You Think Twice:

1. Premature Aging

Staying in the sun without sunscreen may cause premature again as the skin can get more wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots (age spots), actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis. Take care of your skin and use sunscreen before it’s too late!

2. Skin Damage/ Cancer

As mentioned previously, the sun’s UV rays may cause lots of skin damage but also skin cancer (melanoma and nonmelanoma) which is very serious and dangerous. Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin at the same time, certain areas where it appears may be more at risk than others. Melanoma is known to be one of the most dangerous skin cancers because it can spread to other organs faster if it is not treated in its early stages. 

3. Eye Problems

Not having your eyes protected from the sun’s UV rays may cause eye problems like the formation of cataracts. Cataracts are the clouding/ blurriness of the lens of your eye which can cause some blindness in the eyes.

4. Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning is a whole other level of sunburn – believe me. Most people that get sun poisoning have their faces extremely swollen where they can barely open their eyes. When getting sun poisoning you can experience lots of pain, swelling, itchy dry skin, fever-like symptoms, etc. Sun poisoning may take 10 days to weeks to resolve. (If you ever experience sun poisoning it is recommended to visit your doctor as well as drink plenty of water, moisturize your skin with a heavy fragrance- free cream and stay out of the sun)

5. Immune System Suppression 

Immune system suppression (immunocompromise) is when your immune system isn’t working properly. Associate Professor Byrne at the University of Sydney, has discovered that sunlight is able to ‘trap’ damaging immune cells in lymph nodes stopping them from entering the brain and spinal cord and causing damage.

Ways to protect yourself:

1. Wear SUNSCREEN

Wearing sunscreen is very important! Many brands have come out with makeup that includes SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that will protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. There is also a wide range of sunscreens from tinted to non-tinted and everything in between. The sunscreens that I most recommend are ones that are: cruelty free, reef-friendly (let’s protect our oceans), natural mineral, fragrance free. 

 Recommended Sunscreens: Cocokind Daily Spf,  Sun Bum’s Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion,  Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C,  NATIVE Sunscreen,  COOLA Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 – Tropical Coconut

2. Wear UV Protected Sunglasses

Look for UV (Ultraviolet) Protected Sunglasses that actually protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. According to researchers, with the right protection, it is possible to block 99% to 100% of ultraviolet rays from reaching your eyes causing damage. 

3. Wear Baseball Caps/ Bucket Hats

Try to wear some type of head covering or stay in the shade every once in a while instead of staying in the sun for long periods of time because the sun can also catch your scalp causing a sunburn. Small amounts of sun rays on the scalp are proven to be actually beneficial as they apparently can treat acne and help treat some skin infections. Large amounts of sun on the scalp aren’t good, instead of covering your head you can also purchase specific sunscreens made to protect your scalp!

Boston, MA Julia Ramza is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and Biology on the premed track. Following in her grandfathers footsteps, she is focused on going to medical school and getting her PhD. Outside of academics she is the SGA Senator of the Academic Affairs Committee, President of the LEAF Club and a proud member of the Honors Student Council, Health Professions Club, Psi Chi Club and the Psychology Club. When she isn’t doing research and studying till the AM, she loves to get coffee and drive to the beach with her friends and family.
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