According to the CDC, most skin cancers are caused due to too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.
Research shows that skin cancer is likely to happen in people of older age, in patients with a history of skin cancer, people with certain skin conditions such as solar keratosis, xeroderma pigmentosum, and long-term exposure or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning. The ultraviolet light in sunlight damages the DNA in the skin cells. This damage can happen years before cancer develops.
Can sunlight cause skin cancer?
Yes. Excess UV radiation can damage the skin cell’s DNA and lead to skin cancer. UV radiation damages the DNA in the cells, which accumulates with time. It also increases the likelihood of genetic mutations, which cause cancer. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can be prevented in 9 out of 10 people by staying safe in the sun and avoiding sunbeds. Both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Canadian Dermatology Association recommend use of sunscreens for protection from exposure to UV rays.
What are the chances of skin cancer if I expose myself to the sun to get Vitamin D?
There can’t be an accurate analysis of how much chance of skin cancer exists if a person is exposing themselves to the sun in order to get Vitamin D. The chances of skin cancer depend upon various factors. These include the time of day when you are exposed to the sun, your skin colour, how much skin you expose to sunlight and whether you are wearing sunscreen or not. Interestingly, another factor is your distance from the equator, as the sun’s UV rays are weaker in these areas. It must be noted that your exposure time should depend on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.
In addition to the risk of skin cancer, excessive exposure to sun poses a significant danger to the eyes due to the intense UV radiation it emits. This can lead to conditions like solar retinopathy and cataracts. While sun exposure is necessary for Vitamin D production, staying outside for prolonged periods is not a safe way to fulfill this requirement.
So, it is essential to avid excessive exposure to the sun. Also, use sunscreen and sunglasses along with other necessary measures to reduce exposure of UV radiation from the sun.
Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.