Exposure to the sun, if in appropriate amount, can be very beneficial, it is proven that the sun causes positive effects on psychological well-being. It is linked to the release of serotonin, increases vitamin D synthesis and improves some skin conditions such as: psoriasis and eczema. The key word, however, is "moderation", always use protective sunscreens and avoid exposure during the hottest hours. We spoke with Dr. Anna Maria Peluso , a dermatology specialist at Private Clinic Villalba of Bologna .
"If taken in an excessive and unprotected - explains Dr. Peluso - the sun's rays can also produce acute adverse effects such as rashes, sunburn, dermatitis and worsening of skin diseases such as lupus, erythematous, herpes simplex , some forms of conjunctivitis, skin thickening and aging, cataracts, skin cancer. For classical erythema, when the skin is reddened, seems to pull and gives an annoying itching, it is better to use foam based panthenol or ointment of zinc oxide, which give freshness and keep the skin moisturised, if the blisters appear, it is for the best to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe cortisone-based creams, that would cool down the initial inflammation.
A separate issue is skin cancer. Three major types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cells carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma - the most dangerous and aggressive type. For effective prevention of basal cell and squamous cells carcinoma you will need to undergo complete and periodical dermatological examination. Regarding the prevention of melanoma, it is essential to make a map of nevi with epiluminescence dermoscope, which allows to identify and photograph areas that are most at risk. The dermatologist will evaluate the frequency of the said procedure and in this way you can identify a melanoma on early stages, by paying close attention to the size and thickness of the nevi. "
"The main types of prevention is very basic and easy to follow: it consists of reducing the harmful effects, exerted by the sun's ultraviolet rays as much as possible, by limiting the time you spend in the sun light. There are different types of ultraviolet rays: the UVB, which can cause damage to the DNA of skin cells and UVA, which penetrates the skin much deeper and modifies the collagen and elastic fibers of the skin, accelerating the aging processes and enabling formation of wrinkles on the skin. People that have family history of cancer or a large number of moles on their bodies, have to pay particular attention to their skins health. Also people with fair skin, eyes and hair have to take extra care when they are out in the sun. People with fair complexion are more susceptible to the sun, as they have significantly less melanin in their skin.
Melanin is a natural skin pigment, which acts like a shield and protects our body from harmful effects of the UV rays. Dark skin has a higher concentration of melanin, which provides a greater level of natural protection from the direct sunlight in comparison to the pale skin, which has a lower level of melanin. Regardless of your skin type, it is necessary to be precautious and expose yourself to the sun in a gradual manner, and, of course, always use correct sunscreen products with right level of SPF.
Also, it is for the best to avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours (approximately between 12 and 16), protect your eyes by using the sunglasses which are able to shield your eyes from UVA and UVB rays and to prevent redness, itching and burning. It is very important not to expose children to the sun, especially under the age of 10 years, during the hottest hours, use maximum protection and make them wear a wet hat to avoid sunburn. Sunburn reported in the first years of life are in fact one of the major risk factors for the later development of melanoma. "
"To determine the degree of protection - continues Ms. Peluso – we must take in to the account their skin type, by using the type of dermatological method of classification to determine persons type of skin depending on its sensitivity to sun exposure.
Skin type 1: red hair, faire skin with freckles, sun exposure with extreme care and high protection;
Skin type 2: blond hair, blue eyes and fair complexion, sun exposure with great care and high protection;
Skin type 3: brown hair, fair skin, light or dark eyes, it is recommended to use a high protection sunscreen at the beginning and then gradually decrease factor;
Skin type 4: brown hair, olive skin, dark eyes, medium protection factor;
Skin type 5: black hair, olive skin, dark eyes, low protection factor;
Skin type 6: very dark skin complexion, usually requires a low initial protection.
"Today there is a great amount of useful information about harmful effects, benefits and means of protection from UV rays. "People try to be much more cautious these days and to protect themself to the best possible degree. Which we can not say the same about past decades, as people used to be unaware of harmful effects and damage, that the sun can do to their skin.
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