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Sunglasses make You More Susceptable to Sunburn

Claim- Wearing sunglasses can make you more susceptible to sunburn.


Status- True. Although you can still burn with or without them, when you wear sunglasses you actually are slightly increasing the chances of getting sunburn. When we are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, our pituitary gland produces and releases Melanocyte-stimulating hormones (MSH) into our bloodstreams, triggering Melanocytes under our skin to produce more Melanin, which in turn protects us from exposure of UV rays. (Melanin is also responsible for our skin color- more melanin means a darker color, and better protection from UV rays, while on the other hand albinos lack melanin, and burn easily in the sun.) Our skin produces melanin without the signals from pituitary gland, but it will turn up production when signaled to do so.

Our pituitary gland is tied into our optic nerve meaning that it can sense light, which kick starts the whole process of producing MSH based on the UV our eyes receive. When we wear sunglasses to shield our eyes, we are also shielding the pituitary gland from knowing to turn up our melanin production. This in turn, leaves us at greater risk of the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.

So are sunglasses bad? No, not really unless you refuse to take them off. Removing your sunglasses for short periods of time will give the pituitary gland the opportunity to ramp up production of MSH, which can last for several hours, and repeating will slowly help build up higher melanin levels over several days to assist protection from UV rays.

Even inanimate objects can cop an attitude.
Sources
How Sunburns And Sun Tans Work
Melanocyte
The Pituitary Gland
Melanocyte Stimulating Hormones
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