Harvard Health Letter: moderation and sun exposure go hand-in-hand

BOSTON , MA . – There is no getting around the fact that sunlight is hard on your skin. But what about the positive benefits of sun exposure? The June Harvard Health Letter discusses the good and the bad of the sun.

The sun's short UVB wavelengths that cause sunburn can damage DNA and suppress the skin's immune system. The longer, more penetrating UVA wavelengths may create highly reactive oxygen molecules capable of damaging skin cell membranes and the DNA inside.

According to the Harvard Health Letter, skin cancer risk is affected by both a person's genes and skin type. Additionally, the "dose" and the timing of sun exposure are crucial elements to the likelihood of developing skin cancer. Suddenly getting lots of sun is more dangerous than steady exposure over time.

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