UVA rays and UVB rays in sunlight damages skin cells on overexposure. Sun damaged cells can develop into skin cancer.
WWhile most claims made by cosmetic companies come across as suspicious, there’s one that does hold a considerable amount of truth – the need to use make-up products that have UV protection. And for those who do not use make-up, a sunscreen lotion is a must-have. Why? Ultraviolet Rays in sunlight can damage skin and even lead to cancer!
WHAT IS ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION?
Ultraviolet Radiation (or UV Radiation) is a type of non-ionising radiation present in sunlight and in other artificial sources such as tanning beds, Mercury vapor lighting, some halogen, fluorescent, incandescent lights and in some types of lasers. Exposure to intense, direct amounts of non-ionizing radiation may result in damage to tissue due to heat.
Ultraviolet Radiation is divided into three types: UVA, UVB and UVC – all based on their wavelengths. UVA rays have the longest wavelengths, followed by UVB and UVC rays which have the shortest wavelengths. All three can affect skin health. However, UVC rays are absorbed entirely by the ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere, along with part of the UVB rays. This means the type of UV radiation that our skin comes in contact with the most are UVA rays and then UVB rays, and both damage skin cells on over-exposure. Sun damaged cells can develop into skin cancer.
UVA versus UVB
UVA rays have longer wavelengths and are less potent than UVB rays. Nevertheless they penetrate deeper and form the maximum part of UV radiation in sunlight. This means that when our skin is exposed to sunlight, UVA rays can penetrate the middle layer of the skin. The damage caused leads to skin-aging.
UVB rays that escape the ozone layer, form a small part of the UV radiation that our skin comes in contact with. However, UVB rays are stronger than UVA rays and damage the outer layer of the skin, causing sunburns.
SKIN DAMAGE CAUSED BY UV RADIATION
STAYING PROTECTED FROM UV RADIATION:
CONSULTANT – RADIATION ONCOLOGY
MBBS, DM RT, DNB (RADIOTION ONCOLOGY)