It is so important to take preventative measures for protecting your skin and eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Sun is very important because the beneficial UVB rays increase our vitamin D levels which help prevent skin, colon, lung, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer, to name a few. It is the UVA rays of the sun that are harmful and can give us skin cancer. Most sunscreens, protective clothing and sunglasses block out both UVA and UVB rays. Therefore, we need to find a perfect balance of getting a healthy tan while avoiding sunburn. So it is very important to get some sun, but not too much or for too long. The sun can also cause premature aging of the skin. Remember two factors that cause the skin to wrinkle are too much sun exposure and smoking.
The sun can cause damage to the eyes. Too much sun can cause cataracts, pinguecula, and crows feet. Cataracts are when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and can affect your vision. A pinguecula is a yellowish waxy looking growth of the conjunctiva of the eye which is usually on the nasal side. It is non cancerous and the cause is from long term sun exposure. It is not attractive looking and usually no treatment is needed, but it can lead to vision impair. Crows feet are wrinkles around the corners of your eyes that can make someone look very aged.
Here are some of my recommendations for protecting you and your family against the damaging effects of the sun.
1) I recommend an organic non chemical sunscreen that uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide rather than chemicals like octyl methoxycinnamate or oxybenzone as a main ingredient. Rub the sunscreen in well because it will have a white film. Apply the sunscreen prior to going in the sun.
2) Wear a hat and protective clothing while in direct contact with the sun. For men it is especially important to protect the ears and nape of the neck.
3) Wear high quality sunglasses while outdoors and even in the car. The sun’s glare off of water, sand or snow can also be harmful. Even on a cloudy day UV damage to the eyes can occur.