Summer sun can be dangerous

Summertime is here and playing outside, swimming and tanning is the norm for the average weekend.

But is it safe for you and your children to be out and about in the sun the whole day?

Experts say it is not.

The sun’s rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good with a little browning of the skin.

According to, exposure to sun causes wrinkles and age spots most people find on their skin later in life.

Skin colour obtained from being in the sun or in a tanning booth accelerates the effects of ageing and increases your risk for developing skin cancer.

Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the fibres in the skin called elastin, when these fibres break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.

The skin also bruises and tears more easily, taking longer to heal.

Exposure to the sun causes:

  • pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions, due to decreases in the skin’s immune function.
  • Benign tumours.
  • Fine and coarse wrinkles.
  • Freckles.
  • Discoloured areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation.
  • Sallowness, a yellow discolouration of the skin.
  • Destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue, causing lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

According to modern sunbeds emit mostly UVA rays, but also UVB rays.

These emissions can be comparable to the midday sun and the amount of UVA given off can be 10 to 15 times higher than the midday sun.

The website says sunbeds are not a ‘safe’ alternative to sun tanning.

The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to UV radiation.

While sunburn is mostly caused by UVB, both types of UV can cause DNA damage and lead to skin cancer.

Sun screen should be used at all times when exposed to the sun.

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