Sun and your child's skin - what the experts say
The effects of the sun on our skin
The positive effects
The sun's rays trigger positive biological reactions, the main one being the synthesis of vitamin D. This vitamin stimulates the metabolism of calcium and promotes bone growth. The sun also has a positive effect on our mood, and moderate exposure to it can prevent seasonal depression.
The negative effects
Nevertheless, solar radiation can also induce harmful biological effects, both short-term and long-term:
- In the first few hours following exposure, two types of phenomena can occur, depending on the duration and intensity of exposure, as well, as the subject’s skin type:
- The calorific affect from infrared rays can lead to sunstroke with dizziness and/or headache, or even heatstroke, with acute dehydration and confusion and disorientation. Children are especially prone to this.
- The epidermis can be burnt by UVB rays and partially by UVA rays, resulting in sunburn.
- After several years, repeated exposure to the sun without suitable effective protection leads to the skin cells deteriorating.
- UVA rays speed up skin ageing and destroy the skin's elasticity.
- UVB rays, with the help of UVA rays, can induce skin cancer via a photo-carcinogenesis mechanism. Epitheliomas can be distinguished, appearing in the form of little round white or pink-colored elevated areas or persistent scabs, and malignant melanomas, appearing on healthy skin, or resulting from a change in a mole. To catch these melanomas at an early stage, you need to keep an eye on any moles that change their appearance, color, shape, or thickness. Do not hesitate to consult your physician on a regular basis.