Avoiding sun in Dubai can make you sick: Expert


Avoiding sun in Dubai can make you sick: Expert

Do you know the health risks you are exposed to by avoiding the sun?

By Anita Iyer

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Published: Mon 31 Jul 2017, 3:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 1 Aug 2017, 7:26 AM

There is an abundance of sunlight in the United Arab Emirates through the year yet many suffer from health risks of not soaking it enough.
Too often we read about the risks and damage sun overexposure can do to our skin and health. And the temperature of the city touching 50°C gives us yet another reason to stay indoors. But running from shade to shade to escape the sun can do you more harm than good.
Health experts strongly say that sun exposure is a double-edged sword - Excessive exposure can lead to skin cancer and avoiding it can lead to immune diseases.

Health risks

Our body's ability to boost the Vitamin D supply is the best-known benefit of sunlight. Not surprisingly, most cases of vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure. Dr Jimmy Joseph, Specialist, Internal Medicine, Universal Hospital warns, "The Vitamin D deficiency is a common concern in the Gulf region and I have lot of patients suffering because of their lifestyle and lack of exposure to sunlight. Common signs of deficiency include fatigue, tiredness, pain in bones, muscle weakness and high risk of fractures in elderly and children."
Healthy vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, a must to keep bones and teeth healthy.
Low exposure to the sun puts you at risk of developing diabetes, multiple sclerosis - an immune disorder of the nervous system. "People closer to the equator have lesser incidents of multiple sclerosis. Exposing yourself to the right amount of sun can keep the diseases at bay," he says. 

What is the right exposure?

For healthy living, it is important to soak in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes, at least two to three times a week. Avoid applying sunscreen on your face and hands as it can block all the radiation.
10 to 15 minutes for a fair-skinned person.
20-30 minutes for a dark-skinned person.

What is the best time?

Best time to soak in the sun is between 9 am to 3 pm. But considering the increasing temperature in the emirates, it would be safe to soak in the sun between 9am to 10am and 2pm to 3pm.
"And don't worry about skin cancer or getting skin burn as only 10 minutes won't do you any harm."

What are the healthy levels?

To keep your levels in check, it is recommended to get tested twice a year. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.

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