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June Sun Dangers: Too Much Sun Exposure Is Obviously Bad, but Too Little Could Also Be Unhealthy

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 3-Jun-2016

We all know that sunburns aren’t healthy and that they can lead to skin cancer. However, could some doctors be overly and inappropriately concerned about sunlight exposure for some people? For instance, does recommending the use of sunscreen for everyone – even those who spend little time outdoors – really lead to health benefits? New science suggests that people who avoid the sun like the plague might not get the health benefits they’ve been promised.

Sunlight exposure causes the skin to manufacture Vitamin D, for instance, and studies show that this hormone plays an important role in various aspects of wellness. In addition, other research demonstrates that sun exposure produces other positive health effects that have nothing to do with Vitamin D. This science suggests that getting some rays every day (not too much!) can lead to a host of positive effects, such as:

  • Protection against breast, colon and prostate cancer
  • Lowering of the risk of multiple sclerosis
  • Enhancement of mood through the release of endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in the brain
  • Lessening of the severity of skin disorders such as psoriasis and vitiligo
  • Regulation of the production of melatonin, the chemical that promotes sleep
  • Reduction in the mortality of melanoma
  • Treatment of seasonal affective disorder

A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine shed more light on the critical mistake of avoiding sunlight exposure. The authors found that too-little sun exposure "is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking." Consequently, they advocated the use of sunscreen only in situations that involve prolonged time in the sun.

While safe sun exposure seems to promote good health, tanning beds may be a different story. For more information, see FDA Proposes Reclassification of Tanning Beds.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, and you believe a caregiver’s negligence or carelessness cause the problem or made things worse, our D.C. medical malpractice attorneys can help you and your family seek compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.

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