With the summer season already knocking on the door, it is that time of the year again when you need to stock up your sunscreen supplies, lest you want a nasty tan or worse, a sunburn.
Applying sunscreen generously to all the exposed parts of the skin is one of the unsaid rules of stepping out in the sun. This is why the market is flooded with various types of sunscreens and sunblocks to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
The damage they can do ranges from premature skin ageing to even skin cancer. So, it is only sensible to protect ourselves against these deadly rays by slathering sunscreen and opting for full-sleeved clothing when you go out.
However, there is not a lot of clarity when it comes to the side-effects of lights we have indoors. Do these lights emit the harmful UV rays as well? We tell you. What are the UV rays? UV rays or the Ultraviolet radiation is actually one of the most harmful rays emitted by the sun. These rays are also a major cause and risk factor for skin cancer. Are you in any danger at home? The light bulbs and tube lights (the fluorescent lights) present in our households do emit UV radiation in small amounts. So are we at any risk of getting tanned by switching on these lights at home or worse skin cancer?
According to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), these lights and their UV emissions won’t cause any harm if you are using them in a correct manner. However, you must keep ensure that you do not suffer from UV light sensitivity. What is the safe distance and time exposure? Ultimately, it all boils down to the correct usage of the lights and maintaining a proper distance. You should maintain a distance of atleast 25 cm or more from fluorescent lights. Secondly, it is also important to monitor the exposure time, as a lot of us spend a considerable amount of time in the presence of these lights.
The bottom line
Sadly, there are not a lot of studies conducted which can safely rule out the possibility of indoor lights causing any damage to the skin because of the exposure time, especially in the case of photosensitive patients.
Hence, It is best advised to use bulbs that emit the lowest levels of UV rays with a glass envelope or filter.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for qualified medical advice. Please consult your trusted medical professional for further information.