While outdoor activities nourish our adventuring souls, and our desire to be by nature, they are not without their dangers. Zombie bears excluded, the biggest danger is that done to your skin. Getting sunburnt is not only painful, but it is highly damaging to your skin. It can cause cancer, as well as age your skin to a wrinkled crisp. Just 2 percent sun damage can age your skin by 3 years. In a study done one twins, it was found that sun damage increased aging most significantly. In fact, up to 80% of visible aging is caused by sun damage. If that hasn’t shocked you into protecting yourself, I don’t know what will.

Not just for the adventurous, holiday sun seekers are also deeply affected by the risks. The glory of laying down with a cool drink, while soft rays of the sun gently massage your skin, relaxing you into a gentle sleep. Has become the quintessential holiday experience. We all have that one friend that insist he/she doesn’t get affect by the sun, only for them to come out looking like a lobster. This is after you insist they put on sun protection.  While the hilarity of this situation keeps me going on gloomy, somber days. It’s not all fun and games, as the risk are very real.

Skin cancer is a significant risk. There are 6 types of skin cancer, and pre-cancers that are effected by sun damage.

  • Actinic Keratosis: is a pre-cancer, that if left alone develops into cancer. It is a scaly, crusty growth.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: is the most common form of cancer, they look like red sores on your skin.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: is the second most common form of skin cancer. It produces a red scaly uncontrolled growth, that looks disfiguring, and can even be deadly.
  • Atypical Moles: are benign noncancerous moles that increase your risk of developing Melanoma.
  • Melanoma: is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, form black or brown pigments on your skin, though they can sometimes be skin colored.
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Is an aggressive, but rare skin cancer that has a high likely hood of spreading and recurring. It kills 1 in 3 patients compared to 1 in 6 for Melanoma.

All this information might make you want to cower into a cave and never leave during the day to maintain your youthful appearance. I guess if your life dream is to become a vampire this strategy might be useful. But for non-vampire aspiring humans this strategy is out of the question.

Though we have heard harsh information about the sun, it isn’t a creature of pure evil looking to smash cancer into us. After all it does provide us with most of the life we have on the planet. Having sunlight is crucial for our well being, a lack of vitamin D is the biggest deficiency in cooler climates. It too can result in an increase of certain cancers such as ovary, breast, or colon. If you ever had of seasonal depression during the dark winter months, it could very well be caused by a lack of vitamin D. Lack of sun can also lead to a weakening of the bones, and conditions such as osteoporosis. Like most things, your sun exposure will come down to balance, protection, and post sun treatment. Find out next about how to treat you skin from the dangers of sun damage, to ensure a happier, healthier life.



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