Why is the sun dangerous?


Quick Answer

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer, according to WebMD. Sun exposure also accelerates the age of the skin. Dr. Troy L. Bedinghaus notes that sun exposure may result in damage to the eyes.

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Full Answer

WebMD further notes that the sun results in the formation of pre-cancerous formations on the skin, otherwise known as actinic keratosis. Cancerous elements on the skin include squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma is considered the most dangerous and is responsible for 75 percent of skin cancer mortality rates. Harsh sunburns before the age of 18 contribute to the development of melanoma.

Optometrist Dr. Troy L. Bedinghaus for About.com mentions that eyelid cancer may stem from long-term UV radiation exposure. Chronic eye disease is another side effect of repeated contact with UV rays. Cataracts and damaged retinas are other possibilities. Short-term side effects include eye irritation and watery eyes, but these problems are normally temporary. A strange sensation in the body is another short-term symptom of excessive contact with sunlight.

WebMD mentions that sun exposure ages a person by wrinkling the skin. The sun's rays break down elastin in the skin, which results in sagging and unnatural stretching. The sun also dilates blood vessels below the skin. A yellow coloring of the skin is another cause of the sun. Sun radiation causes blemishes, known as mottled pigmentation, and freckles may result from sun exposure.

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