We all know that getting a bit of sunshine is a prerequisite for good health. We also feel good to lounge in the sunshine, but if done in excess it can lead to many health issues. Too much time in the sun can also lead to wrinkles, age spots, scaly patches and even skin cancer.

What is suntan?

For those with a pale skin a tan may look attractive but in reality the golden colour to your skin may be an injury to the top layer of your skin. When a person soaks up the UV rays of the sun, it speeds up aging of the skin and raises the risk of skin cancer. Using an effective sunscreen will provide some protection whenever you step-out into the sun.

What is sunburn?

When the skin turns reddish or very dark and feels hot to touch with mild pain you can know that you have got a sunburn. It is first degree sunburn when it affects only the outer layer of the skin.

Take some painkillers to treat the pain and try a cold compress or apply some moisturizing cream to the affected area.


Prolonged exposure to sun’s rays can make you look older. UV light in the sunrays damages the fibres in your skin which is elastin and collagen. The result is that your skin tends to sag and stretch. This leads to wrinkles on your face and around your eyes.


This is also known as pregnancy mask since it is easily seen in pregnant women. It appears like dark patches on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Men are also prone to get melasma. You can treat it with OTC creams and prescription lotions while caring to use sunscreen outside.

Age Spots

These are brown or gray areas on the skin not caused by age though they become more detectable as you advance in age. Bleaching creams, liquid nitrogen or topical lotions can make them less visible. They are health wise harmless but consult your dermatologist and confirm that it is not something serious like skin cancer.

Actinic Keratosis

They are generally red, brown or skin coloured patches which are small and scaly. Being too much exposed in the daylight causes them. They are mostly seen in the head, neck or bands. If not properly treated they can sometimes turn into squamous carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

Actinic Cheilitis (farmer’s lips)

This usually appears on the lower lip causing scaly patches, dryness and cracking or swelling of the lip. The border line between the lip and the skin can also disappear. It can lead to skin cancer if not treated properly.

 Basal cell carcinoma

This is the most common type of carcinoma or skin cancer. It is also the easiest to treat. It occurs on sun exposed skin and the progress is slower. The tumours appear as a pearly white or waxy bump and with visible blood vessels. They can appear on the ear, neck and facial parts.


Melanoma is rarer than other skin cancers. It is also the most serious one. The symptoms may include a discolouration of a mole or a coloured area on the skin. Melanoma does not restrict itself to the skin but may spread to other organs and even bones. Early detection gives more hope for cure.

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