The bright golden sun is a magnificent source of energy and light. Radiation from the sun, once thought to be a source of health and healing is now well known to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin; the longer the wavelength of the rays, the deeper the penetration through the skin. The depletion of the ozone layer and higher levels of pollution makes the suns rays more damaging than ever before.
- Ultra violet A: UVA, also called the ‘aging’ rays, have the longest wavelengths of all the ultra-violets and are present all year round. These Ray’s have many damaging effects. They destroy collagen and elastin. This makes your skin appear older and look tired. They are also responsible for the slow cumulative damage that occurs over-time, which can result in skin cancer. Many medications may also make you more sensitive to UVA.
- Ultra violet B: UVB, better known as the ‘burning’ rays, have medium ultraviolet wavelengths. The intensity of these rays is higher in the summer and in the middle of the day often causing blistering sunburns. Individuals that experienced traumatic sunburn before the age of 18 are twice as likely to develop melanoma skin cancer. Chronic exposure to UVB is thought play a large role in the development of most of the common skin cancers.
- Ultra Violet C: UVC rays have the shortest wavelengths. Once believed to be effectively filtered out by the atmosphere, new research suggests these rays also penetrate and damage the skin.