Long Term Effects of UV Exposure

Tanning is the 'in' thing and people are exposing themselves to UV radiations to get the skin tone of their choice. There is nothing wrong about it  But you must know that prolonged UV exposure can be dangerous and can even have serious side effects such as skin cancer. While exposure to UV or ultraviolet radiations for short duration does no harm, there can be various long term effects if you continue to expose yourself to UV exposure for longer durations. Here are some of the long term effects of UV exposure:

* Eye damage
* Weakened immune system
* Cataracts
* Thinning of the skin
* Fragile skin
* Reduced skin strength and elasticity
* Skin wrinkling

Serious effects of UV exposure
The above mentioned side effects are just some of the less serious effects of UV exposure. There are some more serious ones that include noncancerous and cancerous skin tumors.

Seborrheic kerastoses- These are kind of lesions that can usually be seen in aging skin. Seborrheic kerastoses look like tan, black and brown growths. These lesions are usually 1 inch in size and don't become canecerous.

Actinic kerastoses- These look like rough and scaly areas. The color of actinic kerastoses can be white, pink, skin colored, brown or dark brown. You will usually find them on the face, ears, lower arms and the like regions. They are considered as precancerous because they may develop into skin cancer.

Skin cancer: A dangerous side effect of UV exposure
Along with the above mentioned side effects, constant UV exposure can even have life threatening side effects such as skin cancer. Approximately 90% of skin cancers are caused due to exposure to sunlight. It is for this reason that most cases of skin cancer pertain to the face. Areas that are usually covered such as buttocks, thigh or under arms are not prone to skin cancer. Melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma, and squamous-cell carcinoma are the three main types of skin cancer. Amidst all of these, Malignant Melanoma is considered the deadliest.

Some tips to help protect your skin from UV exposure

* Always wear a sunscreen or a sunblock with a high SPF. A sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher is suggested. Wear the sunscreen at least half an hour before you step out in the sun.
* Wear a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from UV exposure.
* Use protective clothing to protect your sun from the skin. There is a certain kind of special clothing designed to protect you from the sun. These clothes are rated on the basis of UPF. Use clothing with a higher UPF.

Considering the harmful effects of UV exposure, it is very important for you to take all the necessary precautions when getting exposed to these rays, whether willingly or unwillingly.