Worshipped for centuries, the sun is crucial to our survival of earth. We have gone from idealizing it in dance and ceremony, to baking in it till we turn a golden tan. With a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer, more of the sun’s harmful components known as ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (or what we call UV-A and UV-B) are penetrating the Earth.
The Earth’s Shield Is Deteriorating – Ouch!
Without the ozone layer absorbing the sun’s rays, the sun would cause rubber to crack, damage plant life and harm people’s lung tissues.
But it’s not just our skin which needs protection, excessive UV-B and UV-A radiation can lead to skin cancer and eye damage.
Sun Necessities: Screen, Hat, Glasses & Clothing
Extra protection is needed when we go out in the sun for work and leisure. Overexposure on the skin causes premature aging – that means wrinkles as well as freckles, age spots, dilated blood vessels and an increased risk of skin cancers.
Protect your eyes with UV protected sunglasses. Too much exposure to UV light raises your risk of eye diseases, including cataract, macular degeneration, growths on the eye and cancer. It is also recommended that we avoid going out in the sun during the hottest part of the day, seek shade rather than direct sun and cover up.
Sunburns Are Not Recommended
If you find yourself with an angry red burn, there are some home remedies for your discomfort. These are only remedies to soothe the affects; the true damage caused by overexposure cannot be reversed.
The gel inside the Aloe Vera plant leaves soothes burns and tightens pores.
To calm your inflamed skin all over, add a cup of milk to a cool bath. Soak in it for 10 minutes.
Make a vinegar solution (1 tsp vinegar plus 1 cup water). Soak a cotton ball in solution and dab on your skin.
For stinging skin, add ½ to 1 cup of finely ground oats to a tepid bath. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Apply a thin layer of natural honey on the burn to speed up healing and minimize pain.
Blend chunks of thinly sliced potatoes until they’re liquefied, adding water if necessary. Saturate your skin with the juice and let it air dry.
Soak a towel in cold tea and apply to burned areas to cool down skin and repair any damage.
Cool skin by smoothing about an inch of organic or Greek yogurt on the skin. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse off and repeat a few times a day.
Reduce itchiness from a sunburn by adding ½ cup of baking soda to a warm bath. Soak for about 15 minutes and air dry.
Sources: ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov, womansday.com, brown.edu