The sunlight contains UVA and UVB radiation and these radiations are very important for all effects of sunlight.
The sunlight provides so many health benefits but also it is harmful in various conditions. So, it is necessary to know all the effects of UV rays on the human body.
In this article, I’ll tell you about all the benefits and harmful effects of sun exposure.
Benefits of Sunlight:
1. Production of vitamin-D
UVB radiation is essential for the human body as it promotes the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to increase calcium and phosphorus absorption from the food as well as it helps to develop the immune function and skeletal system. Also, it is playing a crucial role in blood cell formation. So, Vitamin-D is one of the essential vitamins for human health.
A little sunlight in a day is good for you. As per WHO, 5 to 15 minutes of casual sun exposure of hands, face, and arms two to three times a week during summer months is good enough to keep your vitamin D levels high.
2. Improvement of mood and sleep
The benefits of sunlight include mood-enhancing. Sun exposure will help you to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain, this serotonin is associated with increasing calmness and boosting your positive mood.
It is obvious that serotonin levels are highest in the summer month whereas you’re more likely to experience a drop in your serotonin levels in wintertime. Dropping of serotonin levels can lead to major depression. So, sunlight is essential for triggering the release of enough serotonin.
On the other hand, when you are exposed to sunlight in the morning, your nocturnal melatonin production occurs sooner. Melatonin helps you to sleep easily at night. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to produce melatonin faster, and you can enjoy a great sleep.
3. Additional benefits
Excess sunlight can help to treat skin cancers, a moderate amount of sun rays actually have many preventive benefits when it comes to cancer.
Enough sunlight during the day helps to prevent some specific cancers including colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
According to WHO, sun exposure also can help to treat several skin conditions, too. UV radiation has been used to treat a number of diseases, including rickets, psoriasis, eczema, and jaundice.
Harmful effects of sun exposure:
1. Skin problems
A large amount of ultraviolet-A radiation causes premature aging. UVA radiation penetrates into the deeper skin layers, where connective tissue and blood vessels are affected. So, the skin loses its elasticity gradually, and also skin starts to wrinkle.
According to the study, long-term sun exposure may enhance the development of skin cancers, includes basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.
However, higher doses of UVB cause sunburn. Sunburns are the most common negative effects of too much sunlight. It increases your likelihood of developing cancer, but the exact mechanism of how UVB initiates cancer is not yet known.
General symptoms of sunburn include redness, pain, swelling, blisters, etc.
2. Eye problems
Long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage the retina. Damage from sunlight can cause the development of cloudy bumps along the edge of the cornea, further, it can grow over the cornea and prevent clear vision.
Sun rays directly penetrate the eye to different depths and UV light is also a factor in the development of cataracts. WHO estimates suggest that up to 20 percent of cataracts may be caused by overexposure to UV radiation and are therefore avoidable.
According to scientific evidence, different forms of eye cancer may be connected with life-long exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
3. Immune system problems
Most of the experiments are done on UVB because it appears to be more important in causing immune-modulation. But, nowadays the effects of UVA on the immune system have been growing. It is believed that UV radiation is absorbed by a molecule located in the skin. This absorption leads to changes in the distribution and activity of some of the important molecular and cellular players of the immune system.
A change in the balance of the immune response through cells and antibodies may reduce the body’s ability to defend itself against certain diseases.
Considering the above benefits and harmful effects of sunlight, you should understand how much exposure to the sun is good for you.
Exact measurement for how long you should stay under sunlight to get the benefits of sunlight is not yet decided. But defining as an excess amount of stay outside depends on your skin type.
But if you are going outside for more than 15-20minutes, I would like to suggest you protect your skin with the use of sunscreen cream.
Also, you should cover your head with a protective hat and should wear sunglasses.