What are ultraviolet radiations?

Sunlight consists of different types of rays as UV rays.

UV rays are the non-visible lights with comparatively shorter wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. These are invisible, but they can produce their effect on our skin cells.

In literature, there are two most common rays, which account for the most harmful effects on the skin:

  1. UVA (Ultraviolet A):

In comparison to UVB, UVA hasa relatively longer wavelength. UVA can penetrate the skin more deeply.

Thus it plays its role in:

  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Photoaging and wrinkle formation
  • Formation of skin cancer

In regular sunlight, UVA is presently more than 500 times the UVB rays.

 

  1. UVB (Ultraviolet B):

UVB is another typeof ultraviolet radiation with a shorter wavelength. The main effects of UVB on the skin arethe burning of skin or skin cells. These rays tend to affect the skin’s outermost layer.

Harmful effects of UV rays on skin:

According to the clinical research and evidence, UV rays can cause BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma) and SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma).UV rays act as anenvironmental carcinogen that persists inside the sunlight. For human health, these rays account for the toxic effects inside the human body.

In this article, we will discuss few dangerousside-effects of UV rays on the human body and skin:

  • Cancer of the skin:

UVAs are the culprit for skin cancers in most of the population.

According to the statistics of the disease:

  • In the US, more than one million non-melanoma skin cancer emerge every year.
  • Most of the time, skin cancers start at the age of 50 years. But the damage due to sunlight can begin even in earlier stages of life.

 

  • Sunburn:

The most acute effect of UVB rays is the immediate erythema after exposure to the sunlight. Erythema is the reddening of the skin.

Damage and risk of damage also depend upon the color of the skin.Fairer people are more prone to having damage due to UV rays.While those with darker skin color have enough melanin production, which doesn’t cause instant erythema or burns.

 

  • Pigmentation:

In the case of chronic UV exposure, radiations can lead to several degenerative changes in the skin. These radiations can damage blood vessels, fibrous tissues, and cells of the body.

These damages include:

  • Freckles
  • Lentigines
  • Nevi
  • Brown pigmentation
  • Skin aging
  • Gradual skin elasticity loss
  • Dehydration of the skin
  • Coarse and dry skin
  • Wrinkling of the skin

 

Protection:

Protection from UV rays is the best approach.

  • You must include the use of sunscreenin your daily skin during the day. Sun protection can help with skin health.
  • Other than it, try to avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight during harsh timings as mid-day.
  • Sunburn can cause irritation, redness, and even inflammation in some cases. Most of the sunscreens (above SPF 30) can efficiently block both UVA and UVB radiations.
  • However, during summers, always keep your body hydrated to prevent excessive transpiration from the skin.

 

Takeaway:

Sunlight can affect the human skin in several ways. UVA and UVB are the most dangerous radiations, which can penetrate deep inside the skin cells. The best thing to prevent these damages is to protect from sunlight exposure. You should use a sunscreen with more than 30 SPF for better results and protection.