The sun emits radiation, consisting of electromagnetic rays including ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). This ultraviolet radiation has many effects on you.
On one hand, sun exposure is responsible for some powerful health benefits, including catalyzing the production of Vitamin D in your body. Sunlight has also been shown to improve the symptoms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder and—correlated with optimal Vitamin D levels—may also positively affect many other adverse physical and mental conditions and even help prevent some cancers.
On the other hand, exposure to the sun’s radiation, especially UVA and UVB rays, damages human tissue such as your skin and eyes, causes sunburn and premature aging, induces inflammation, and suppresses the immune system. The longer skin tissue is exposed to sunlight, the greater the damage. In fact, nothing ages your skin more than sunlight.
Overexposure to the sun is known to:
- Cause sunburn
- Result in free-radical damage to cells
- Break down the collagen and elastin in your skin
- Lead to premature skin aging, wrinkles, and sunspots
- Induce inflammation
- Trigger immunosuppression (decreased effectiveness of the immune system)
- Mutate DNA and increase the chances of developing skin cancer
For further information on the following topics related to ultraviolet radiation, expand the respective sections below: