Ever wondered why you have hairs on your brows, head, arms, legs, and other parts of the body? Human body hair has its uses. The physiological reasoning is that they protect our skin from temperature, dust, and the environment.
Body hair shields the skin from the damaging effects of the ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun. One of these risks is skin cancer. Apart from its function as skin covering, body hairs sometimes act like antennas wherein they give out warning signals to our brain when it generates a sensory feedback from external factors.
Male vs. Female
It is not just the body structure of the male species that differs from its female counterpart. The difference also extends to body hair growth. Men tend to develop more facial hair than women. The explanation behind this is that in earlier times, men spend more time outdoors hunting and scavenging. They need to be protected from the harsh environment, extreme temperatures, and the scalding heat of the sun’s rays.
Scientifically, the difference in hormones between males and females is the one of the reasons why body hair growth among both genders vary.
Protection Against UV Rays
A University of Southern Queensland study indicated that beards protect the skin from the dangerous influences of UVs and help inhibit skin cancer by about 90 to 95 percent. Those behind this research, which was also printed in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, did the experiment on different mannequins, from clean-shaven to those with beards of varying lengths.
A dermatologist from the Rosacea Treatment Clinic in Melbourne, Australia, seconded the findings of the study and stated that beards with longer hair can provide better protection from the UV rays. However, men will still have to count on the help of sunscreen creams because beards alone cannot fully counter the effects of the sun. In addition, there are several areas in the body, especially the face, that do not have body hair and are still exposed to exterior elements. Apart from sunscreen protection, hats, caps and other forms of defence from direct exposure from the sun can also help lower the risk of skin cancer.