How Sunbathing Affects Mammary Glands, Eyes, Hormonal Profile, And Other Aspects Of Women’s Health
July 6, 2018 11:23 By Fabiosa
Summer is something we wait all year, every year. However, even in this beautiful season, there is something to be concerned about. Sun rays are very tricky, and you need to be careful with them.
1. Mammary glands
A shield that protects the skin from ultraviolet is melanin – a dark substance that doesn’t let harmful rays into the tissues. It is produced on the entire surface of the skin, except for the nipples. Therefore, topless sunbathing should be an absolute taboo for all sensible women, unless the areolas are at least covered with special reflective stickers.
On the other hand, among the inhabitants of northern countries, where due to the lack of sunlight a vitamin D deficiency is very common, there is higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Thus, with a reasonable approach, sunbathing can be a good prevention measure against new growths.
Ultraviolet B rays have a detrimental effect on the immune system.
Exposure to them leads to:
- some viruses becoming less treatable and having more severe manifestations;
- relapses of long-forgotten infectious diseases.
This is often the reason why after a holiday at the seaside women develop candidiasis and vaginitis: The depleted immune system can’t fight pathogens that may be present in the vagina.
You need to protect eyes, as well as the skin, from the harmful effect of ultraviolet rays. Long exposure to ultraviolet rays increases the chance of developing cataract and pinkeye 2-4 times. Wear sunglasses.
4. Hormonal profile
Vitamin D, which is formed under sunlight, helps to improve the synthesis of estrogen and testosterone, and also increases tissues susceptibility to these hormones, which:
- increases libido;
- normalizes the menstrual cycle;
- improves women’s reproductive health.
Ladies having benign tumors (fibroid or mastopathy) or those at risk may find the effect of sun rays undesirable.
5. Menstrual cycle
Staying in the sun helps normalize the menstrual cycle. It is well known that sunlight stimulates the synthesis of estrogen and ovulation.
Effects of ultraviolet:
- an irregular cycle becomes regular;
- its duration somewhat shortens;
- the number of ovulatory cycles increases.
In northern countries, where there are fewer days of sunshine, the menarche occurs earlier in girls’ lives. A woman can notice that the duration of the menstrual cycle in the summer is slightly shorter than in the winter.
- transformation of benign tumors of the uterus, ovaries, or mammary glands into malignant;
- uterine bleeding due to hyperplasia and endometrial polyps.
Therefore, when planning a long-awaited vacation, examine your health carefully.
Under the influence of sunlight, the synthesis of endorphins and serotonin – substances responsible for a good mood – is enhanced. Women become more relaxed and intellectually active. This anti-stress environment, good mood, hormonal changes, and the synthesis of vitamin D significantly reduce the symptoms of PMS.
7. Menstrual pain
Menstrual pains are associated with increased production of prostaglandins in the uterus. Their function is to stimulate uterine contractions in order to quickly remove the unnecessary endometrium and blood from its cavity. However, they cause spasms in blood vessels, which is the original reason of pain. The sun helps form nitric oxide in the blood vessels, which has vasodilative effect, which neutralizes the vasoconstrictive effect of prostaglandins, minimizing discomfort in the early days of menstruation. However, due to it, the menstrual discharge can become more abundant than usual.
8. Fighting obesity
A study conducted by specialists at the University of Edinburgh in 2014 showed that eating the same amount of high-calorie fatty foods led to obesity and triggered the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in laboratory animals that had no exposure to say rays. The other group, which received sufficient amount of sun shine, remained healthy for a long time.
It is known that obesity in women is associated with:
- violations of the menstrual cycle;
- suppression of ovulation;
- complications of pregnancy.
Thus, by regulating the carbohydrate and fat metabolism, sunlight indirectly improves women's reproductive health.
9. Prevention of osteoporosis
After menopause, with a drop in blood estrogen levels, women are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. And one of the functions of vitamin D, which is synthesized in the skin under the influence of UV rays, is regulating calcium metabolism. Therefore, menopausal women, as well as women who had their ovaries removed, have a particular need for sun bathing in order to maintain the bone density.
10. Melatonin – the sleep hormone
When the eye retina perceives sunlight, it sends signals to the corresponding parts of the brain, which control the synthesis of melatonin. The less the signal from the retina is, the more of it is produced. And vice versa: The more sunlight, the less melatonin is produced. Mind that this hormone suppresses ovulation, so abundant sunlight is associated with increased chances of ovulation. However, this rule is valid until this change doesn’t provoke a sleep disturbance. Be careful.
11. Hair and nails
Hair and nails are sensitive to testosterone, which accelerates their growth. Under the exposure to sunlight, the synthesis of the male sex hormone increases too. That’s why you can notice that in summer, hair and nails grow faster and get stronger, than in winter.
Despite the fact that testosterone in women leads to increased secretion of oil and sweat glands, you must have noticed that the skin becomes purer in summer. The thing is that ultraviolet rays have anti-bacterial and drying effect. This is the secret behind the elastic and smooth summer skin.
To preserve and improve your health with the help of the sun, remember that it’s safe to remain under direct rays only for 15-20 minutes a day. The rest of the time, the skin should be protected with sunscreen of an appropriate SPF level, the head – with some kind of headwear, eyes – with sunglasses.
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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.