Protect Your Skin from Sunlight!
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Protect Your Skin from Sunlight!
  • 김보미
  • 승인 2005.06.01 00:00
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   To many people, summer means hanging out at pools or the beach to get a perfect golden tan. Not so long ago, a pale white face was desirable. If you were tan, it meant you spent time outside doing manual labor, like farming, so the paler you were, the richer you seemed. The trend totally changed in the 1920s, when designer Coco Chanel returned from a vacation to the French Riviera with a deep tan and started a new fashion. Although not everyone may be interested in acquiring a deep tan, the dangers of overexposure to sunlight exist for everyone. It is important to take measures to give adequate protection skin as well as your eyes. There are simple ways to do both.
   Many people might think skin is nothing more than a wrapping of your body, but actually it is the body's largest organ and the main barrier between your body and the environment. It also contains cells that help your immune system fight off infections.
   A tan is a visible proof that your skin is being damaged. When ultraviolet radiation hits your skin, it stimulates cells known as melanocytes, which make a brown pigment called melanin. The melanocytes respond to the sun by making even more melanin to protect your skin from the sun. The melanin acts as an umbrella for the skin's cells and can give a suntan.
   To get a good idea of the effects of sunlight, look at your parents' skin and see how different it is from yours. Much of those differences are due to sun exposure and only a small part to their age. In the worst- scenario, too much sun can cause skin cancer, lead to eye problems, and weaken your immune system.
   Of course, if you never went out in the sun, you wouldn't have to worry about any of this. But who wants to live like that? The best way to care for your skin is to protect your skin without interfering with your activity level. Sunscreens, which act as a block to the sun's harmful rays, can be one of your best defenses against sun damage. Even if it is not sunny outside, you should still protect your skin. It is estimated that consistent use of sunscreen could result in a 78 percent drop in the emergence of skin cancer.
   Readily available sunblocking products work in two ways. One puts an opaque film on your skin to scatter light so that it does not reach the surface of your skin. The crystals of a pigment in sunblock, typically titanium dioxide (TiO2), reflect light in many directions away from the skin. The second way is by the action of another substance found in sunblock, frequently para amino benzoic acid (PABA). PABA absorbs radiation in the wavelength range of Ultraviolet ray A and B (UVA and UVB) and causes it to be re-emitted as heat, not directed into the skin.
   A person should wear sunglasses to reduce their exposure to ultraviolet light which will delay cataract development in adults. Sunglasses are needed even when the sun is hidden behind clouds or haze. Both UVA and UVB should be protected against, so look for a label that states this on the sunglasses you choose! Protecting your skin and your eyes is simple. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses when you go outside, even if you can't see the sun.


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