Proper immune system health can give you a much stronger chance to battle any type of disease or unhealthy attack. This premise can be applied to your skin vs. sun. Sunscreen is thought to be the best protection for some of the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, it does not allow your skin to fight its own battles and gain the healthy rays from the sun. Therefore, it leaves your skin weaker when in the sun without sunscreen, becoming very dependent on it. Since your skin becomes “out of practice”, it adapts to wearing sunscreen in the sun, and will be devastatingly vulnerable when there is a lapse in routine.
Building a strong immune system is beneficial to maintaining your overall health for the long term. The University of Maryland Health Systems made a post on how you can boost your immune system. The article recommends healthy living habits like regular exercise and a healthy diet. In addition, to a strong living strategy, supplements like vitamins and probiotics, all listed in UMD’s article, will boost your immune system making it stronger. This is the best way to prepare your body for any type of personal health crisis.
Another way your immune system can become strong is through experience. Just like any physical sport, you will improve as a player the more you practice and train your body. This creates a muscle memory that will be ready to perform when the opportunity arises. Of course through practice and training, in the beginning your body will be sore and achy, but as you continue to train your body will adapt and strengthen, ridding your body of the soreness. This sports example directly relates to the way your immune system works. When you become sick via a virus, your immune system will learn about that virus and practice different methods of fighting it. Once you feel better, the immune system has found an effective battle technique and will keep that training experience in mind for whenever the virus may try to reappear. Sharon Reynolds, writer of Lasting Immunity found after recovery from Covid-19, has proven this theory in her study of covid-19 immunity. In the article, she explains that people who have been infected and recovered from covid-19 show high levels of immunity through antibodies from the virus in the following months. Reynolds says, “After people recover from infection with a virus, the immune system retains a memory of it. Immune cells and proteins that circulate in the body can recognize and kill the pathogen if it’s encountered again, protecting against disease and reducing illness severity.”
When your skin experiences the sun’s rays, Melanin is produced. Melanin, which pigments the skin, is the skin’s natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays. In an article by Heather L. Brannon called How Melanocytes Defend Your Skin Against UV Rays, she says, “Melanin protects the skin by shielding it from the sun. When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanin production increases, which is what produces a tan. It’s the body’s natural defense mechanism against sunburn.” Through the skin’s first couple experiences of this, you may experience some sunburn. However, if you continue to allow your skin to practice and train against the sun’s rays you will grow tanner and build an immunity against it, creating strong and healthy skin.
Sunscreen does not allow the skin to absorb the benefits of the sun. Kellie Brambet, writer of How does sunscreen work, explains the types of sunscreens. Physical Blockers are ground particles that lay on your skin and reflect the UV rays from the sun away from you. Chemical Absorbers are thin layers on the skin that will absorb the UV rays before reaching your skin. These are most often used together, therefore it is hard to individually argue each one. Both of these types of sunscreen create an artificial shield over your skin blocking the contact between your skin and the sun. This leads to the lack of Melanin produced from your skin. Basically, in sports terms, you are sending someone out to practice and train for you while you sit at home doing nothing. When it comes to playing the game you have zero exposure to what you are supposed to be doing which will obviously result in a negative experience. So while the sunscreen you’ve applied blocking your skin from the experience and practice your skin is growing weak and unhealthy.
A strong immune system will protect you from many things including the sun. This idea not only redurs sunscreen useless and also makes it an opponent to the healthiness of your skin. Your skin should fight the battles it will have against the sun’s harmful rays. Through this fight, your skin will adapt to react in different ways to win the battle, creating strong, healthy skin.
MD Anderson Cancer Center, & Bramlet, K. (2020, February 4). How does sunscreen work? MD Anderson Cancer Center. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/how-sunscreen-works.h27Z1590624.html.
Boost the immune system. University of Maryland Medical System. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/managing-medical-conditions/healthy-habits/boost-immune-system.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, February 11). Lasting immunity found after recovery from covid-19. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/lasting-immunity-found-after-recovery-covid-19. Heather L. Brannon, M. D. (2019, June 19). How melanocytes defend your skin against UV rays. Verywell Health. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-melanocyte-1069513.