What Are the Harmful Effects of the Sun?

There are many harmful health effects of the sun, including skin cancer. The sun puts off harmful ultraviolet rays that are considered carcinogens.

Exposure to ultraviolet rays greatly increases a person's risk of skin cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the majority of skin cancers can be prevented by limiting exposure to the sun. Protecting the skin outdoors also goes a long way in preventing skin cancer. People should wear clothing that covers the skin or use a quality sunscreen before heading outdoors.

Other harmful health effects of sun exposure include eye damage and skin damage. People exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun are more likely to develop cataracts, which in turn causes vision loss. Exposure to the sun can also cause skin to thicken around the eyes or increase the chances of eye-related skin cancers. Skin damage occurs when a person is continuously exposed to the sun without protection by causing premature aging. The sun can also cause the skin to develop actinic keratoses, which are dark skin growths.

The EPA website also states that a suppressed immune system is also a harmful effect of the sun. When continuously exposed to UV rays, the body loses some of its ability to fight off infections.