The Dark Side of the Sun

Likely, most of us moved here for the weather – the lack of snow and the abundance of sunny days. The latter, though a draw, unfortunately also can be a danger to people and their possessions in more ways than you may realize.

Don’t get us wrong: We love the sun and the good it can do in moderation, from increasing serotonin in the brain to enhance mood and melatonin to improve sleep, to providing Vitamin D for bone health to luring us outdoors for fresh air and exercise.

But, as in most cases, too much of this good thing can tip the scales the other way.

The most obvious – and most significant – risk, of course, is to health, with overexposure potentially leading to skin cancer, which reportedly strikes more people in the United States than all other cancers combined. As the sun’s bad effects are cumulative, with damage developing over years, the older you are, the more likely you are to develop

one of the three common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

One of the most prevalent negative effects of the sun’s ultraviolet light is the common sunburn, which can be accompanied by swelling, significant pain, flu-like symptoms and

extensive fluid-filled blisters. In the process, skin cells can be damaged, die or develop into cancer. Also, according to, when the skin gets burnt, your white blood cells go to work to help create new cells, leaving your immune system at risk in other areas that might need protection.

Sun lovers without adequate eye protection also can suffer consequences that include corneal sunburn, retinal damage, accelerated cataract development and growths on the white of the eye, according to medical experts. And those who take that protection off to smooth their tan can wind up with wrinkles and loose skin around their eyes.

In addition, those of us over 50 also have to worry about heat exhaustion, often called sunstroke, which can cause damage to the brain and other internal organs and result in permanent disability or even death. That said, the young are not completely immune to this 911-emergency condition, according to WebMD. Heat rash can strike all, as well, causing small blisters in skin folds.

And for those of us getting rays around the pool or on our lanais, it’s important to remember that their surfaces are reflective, increasing the risk.

These negative effects extend to our outdoor furniture, as well, which can fade, mildew or grow mold in our subtropical climate of sun, rain and humidity. Depending on how a home oriented, even indoor furnishings, flooring and artwork can be impacted by the sun’s rays streaming through windows.

There are remedies and preventive measures of which we all likely are aware but may not take seriously enough. Using sunscreens, limiting exposures, wearing UV protection glasses and covering up are among them.

There also are sun protection products, such as retractable screens and awnings, which can decrease UV exposure to make living spaces safer, provide mildew and mold mitigation, reduce fading and create the perfect setting for your lifestyle.

And that’s where we come in, with a wide variety of solutions to protect the people and things you love.

If you’re ready to maximize your home’s living and leisure environment, give us a call to get started on the ultimate home improvement.