The sun is a must in our lives and has various benefits, the most crucial being that it is the best natural source of Vitamin D, which is essential for our bodies. Vitamin D helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body, thereby ensuring healthy maintenance of the bones of the body along with the teeth.
Apart from the vital vitamin D, the sun also has beneficial effects on several types of skin disorders including psoriasis, acne, and eczema. A few types of fungal infections also benefit from exposure to the sun.
However, too much exposure to the sun and its harmful UV radiations can be a bane too, as it can lead to fatal conditions, such as skin cancer. Apart from serious medical conditions, such as cancer, exposure to the sun for long periods of time can cause other medical illnesses as well, most of them being skin-related disorders.
Medical diseases caused due to the sun and warm weather
● Heat stroke
Prolonged exposure to the sun or warm temperatures or physically exerting oneself in sunny temperatures can lead to overheating of the body, which is called heat stroke. When the body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher, then it is considered to be a heat stroke. Heat stroke is a progression from exhaustion, cramps, and fainting due to the heat and is often accompanied by dehydration. Symptoms include seizures, disorientation, confusion, nausea, and even going into a coma. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention as it can further lead to damage of the kidneys, muscles, heart, and brain.
Dehydration is another condition caused by the heat that can become serious if left untreated. Our bodies are constantly losing water in the form of urine, sweat, stool, tears, and breathing, and replacing it too via fluids and food ingested. However, when the fluid content in the body is drastically reduced, either due to overexposure to the sun or because of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, it leads to dehydration. Along with water, the body loses various essential salts too, like potassium, calcium, phosphate, and calcium bicarbonate. Symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, thirst, reduction in frequency of urination, dizziness, increased breathing and heart rate, confusion, and dry mucous membrane and mouth.
When overexposure to the sun and its harmful UV radiations cause the skin to turn red in patches accompanied by rashes that burn, the condition is called sunburn. Sunburn is just an external symptom of the harmful radiations of the sun penetrating the skin, altering the DNA and often causing skin cancer. Other symptoms include swelling and blisters along with rashes. In severe cases, nausea, headache, weakness, and fever with chills are also seen.
Other conditions that may arise due to the sun are heat rashes, heat exhaustion, and skin disorders, like freckles, tanning, or dry skin.
The solution for most of these is to avoid going out in the sun for long periods of time, especially in the afternoons, and to stay covered in light clothing while out in the sun.