Ultraviolet light

Any time we think about getting out into the sun, we always call to mind that ultraviolet light causes skin damage. However, unless you actually understand what UV light is and how it can affect you, taking the right steps to protect yourself may not seem that serious. In order to avoid consequences, it is vital to educate yourself about UV rays.

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When it comes to summertime the two most popular terms thrown around are UVA and UVB rays. These are two types of ultraviolet light that offer their own share of damage when it comes to your skin and your health.

UVA rays, also known as ultraviolet A, are responsible for the majority of premature aging and skin damage that often does not show up until years later. This type of light penetrates through to the second layer of skin, called the dermis. The more UVA rays you expose your skin to, the more likely you are to suffer from wrinkles, fine lines, and roughly textured skin (this skin type also appears leathery in appearance). Excessive UVA exposure breaks down the skin's natural supply of elastin and collagen. When this happens, the skin is no longer firm, taut or supple. This type of skin damage is difficult to control or eliminate once it happens.

UVB rays, also called ultraviolet B, are a stronger form of light and wreak havoc on the outermost layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. Exposure to this type of UV light can result not only in the tanning of the skin but sunburn as well. The problem with this is that the more severe the sunburn, the more damaged the skin cells suffer. This increases the chances of developing skin cancer. UVB rays are so powerful that they are responsible for more than 90% of skin cancer (mostly benign). However, UVB rays also play a key role in the most deadly type of skin cancer-melanoma.

Without proper use of sunscreen or sunblock, ultraviolet light can do a lot of damage to your skin, complexion and health so be diligent about keeping yourself safe.

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