Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Ultra violet rays from sun are electromagnetic radiation which is broadly split into 3 types namely UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays are responsible for causing wrinkles, skin cancer and melanoma. UVB rays can cause sun burns.
UVC rays are relatively harmless in nature as they get blocked in the ozone layer and don’t reach the earth surface at all. There are some important points of UV rays which you need to remember.
- UV rays get stronger as the day progresses from ten in the morning till 4 in the afternoon. This is the time when your skin needs maximum protection.
- Highly elevated zones like mountains and hills have higher level of exposure to UV rays compared to sea level.
- Intensity of UV radiation is higher near water bodies, snow, sand and grass filled surfaces. It is because they get reflected.
- Depending on these factors the department of environment protection has given ratings for UV rays intensity from 1 to 11 for each city and state across USA and rest of world. 1 is the minimum level while 11 is the maximum.
Assessment Of Skin Damage From UV Radiation
Apart from sun UV rays there are many artificial sources of UV rays to which your skin could exposed during your everyday activities. Some of them are the Mercury vapor lamps, xenon lamps, sun beds, UV therapy equipment and black light lamps.
Most of the lamps are used in advertisement boards, restaurants, gardens and other outdoor setup. They help in illuminating large areas, but at the same time inject harmful UV radiations into your skin that gets exposed to them.
- Sunburn is one of the immediate effects of UV rays. Dilatation of surface layer blood vessels in the skin is said to be the cause for sun burn. Erythema is another form of sunburn which largely affects light skinned people, while kids and seniors are another group of victims. Intensity of sun burn can increase with prolonged and repeated exposure to sunlight during day time.
- Premature skin cells and tissues aging is another skin damage caused by UV radiation. It is because of dry skin. When the moisture content in the skin layers get depleted due to heat and humidity from sunlight, the layers start sagging. It results in wrinkles, tightness loss and ends in premature skin aging.
- Skin cancer is another known skin damage which occurs due to excess of UV radiation absorption by human skin. The periodical report cancer statistics show consistent increase in the number of skin cancer patients all over the world with time. If you take a look at the graphs in New Zealand and Australia you will be surprised to find “holes” in the ozone layers affecting people living in these two countries to great extent.
- Basal carcinoma of cells is uncontrolled development of lesions from the basal regions. Apart from sunlight UV rays the other probable reasons could be exposure to artificial UV light, open sores, and infections.
- Melanoma is a type of skin tumor that originates from melanocyte type of pigmentation cells. Women tend to get this type of cancer on the hind side of legs while men tend to catch them on their back. The bumps/ moles formed by melanoma are greater than 2mm in size. They cause extensive skin irritation and allergic symptoms leading to complex skin issues in the long run.
Connectivity Between Skin Cancer And Solar UV Radiation
The connectivity between UV radiation from sun and skin cancer is mainly due to destruction of hormones and DNA related to skin layers. When there are no controlling points, the skin cells in the affected region start multiplying at abnormal rates, leading to cancer.
- Two types of skin cancer can be caused by UV radiation from the sun, namely squamous and basal types of skin melanoma
- Treatment is a long procedure and it requires multiple testing points and recommended curing methods to eliminate the last known cancer cell from the body.
- Basal type of cell carcinoma can result due to increased time of skin exposure to sun’s UV radiation and other artificial sources of UV light.
Process Of UV Radiation Skin Aging
UV radiation skin aging can occur at any physical age, starting from teenagers till adults. Excess of dryness which is caused by solar UV-radiation can result in growth of wrinkles, skin lines and sagging.
The other known symptoms are dark age spots, skin discoloration, kin hardening and weakening of immune cells. These symptoms lead to premature skin aging conditions. When the aging process is left uncontrolled it can result in loss of healthy hair from the scalp regions.
It is always better to take preventive actions with respect to skin cancer cases while you can opt for various types of herbal treatments for non cancer types of skin infections. Cancer types of viruses need to be detected at the early stages in order to provide timely cure and healing solutions.
- Since the UV rays get stronger as the day progresses from ten in the morning till 4 in the afternoon, it is the time for you to avoid direct exposure to sun during this period. Use protective clothing that covers complete skin layer.
- Watch out for the index level of UV before you walk out of your home into the sun. It is better to wear sunscreen on the exposed parts of your skin.
- You can take preventive steps to avoid basal carcinoma of cells from being formed in your skin layers. It is done by avoiding exposure of sensitive parts if your skin to direct UV radiation from sunlight.
- Make a list of skin diseases caused by UV radiation and keep it with you always. Keep updating this notebook with list of preventive measures to be taken. Write down the guidelines clearly. This will help you in forming a routine schedule which you stick to over time. It is said to be one of the most recommended methods for skin protection from UV radiation.