Summer brings in holidays and fun times, but it also brings various health issues. India being a tropical country, we get exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation daily which can adversely affect one’s overall health, and not just the skin.

Ultraviolet or UV radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation directly emitted through sun rays. Scientists call UV radiation a natural carcinogen and a long-term, excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause irreparable effects on the body.

A girl protecting herself from sunrays with a file

To know more about the ill-effects of excessive UV exposure, read on.


Erythema or sunburn in a layman’s language may sound simple but it can cause a lot more than red skin. Besides getting tanned due to stimulated levels of melatonin, it also thickens the outer layer of the skin. Long term exposure to the UV degenerates cells, fibrous tissues and even blood vessels of the skin, causing wrinkles, freckles, pigmentation, speeds up aging by making skin lose its natural elastic properties.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer:

Non-melanoma skin cancers comprise both basal and squamous cell carcinomas and are rarely fatal. However, a surgical intervention becomes imperative while treating this condition and cause disfigurement. Treating this condition is extremely painful and it often occurs on face, ears, neck and forearms.

Malignant Skin Cancer:

Malignant skin cancer or melanoma is the major cause of deaths due to skin cancer. Studies reveal that malignant skin cancer could be genetical but can get triggered by UV exposure. It is more common with people with a lighter complexion and those living in decreased latitude.

Affects Vision:

Strong UV rays can interfere with the natural defences of the eye causing photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis. These both conditions can cause swelling of the eyelids, eyeball. Though reversible, these conditions are very painful. Cataracts are another common condition that can be caused due to UV rays, besides the age. Doctors advise protecting eyes with UV protection sunglasses.

Alters Immunity:

Studies reveal that a continuous exposure to UV rays can result in suppressing the immune system and can alter the activity and distribution of cells that are responsible for boosting immunity. Constant exposure to UV rays may lead to viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and can also reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.