Finally, summer is here! It’s the time to be alive, the season to enjoy the warm fuzzy feelings and do whatever makes you happy that you normally can’t do during the last 9 months.
When you're out having fun on a beautiful summer day, it's easy to forget the dangers of the hot, bright sun. Watch out for sunburns! It could happen on your unprotected skin just within 11 minutes.
Sunburn is not the heat of the sun that burns skin. Although the clinical symptoms are similar to thermal burns, sunburn is a type of radiation burn, which causes a very acute chemical reactions in human bodies.We need to understand that the only factor that causes sunburn is UV, not heat, wind or sunlight.
The sun emits three different types of UV radiation which is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
They are invisible and can’t be detected by our senses. They act like three ninja assassins carrying out a secret mission, so we won’t notice the dangers until the damage has been done, such as sunburn (skin and eye), wrinkles and ageing. And yes, tanning is dangerous and can increase the risk of skin cancer.
As the shortest of all UV rays, UVC never reach the earth because the ozone absorbs it. Therefore, it is not usually considered a risk for skin damage.
One ninja is down, but UVA and UVB have a safe landing and start their mission on Earth.
UVA rays are long wave lights, they account for 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the ground. They penetrate more deeply into the skin and play a greater role in premature skin aging including wrinkles and sun spot formation. They also contribute to skin cancer.
While the UVA ninja arrives and uses its dig ability to attack us somewhat unforseen it is the UVB rays which is good at finding the weak spots of our skin and attack with red fury.
UVB rays are responsible for producing skin reddening and sunburn. They are also strongly linked to skin cancers. They tend to damage the skin’s top layers and causes irreparable damage to the genes in the skin's cells.
But how can we determine the day to day dangers of UV danger?
The intensity of UV level varies by a number of environmental factors including cloud coverage and altitude as well as the time of day and month of the year. It is measured by a numbered index. A number between 0 (Low) to 11+ (Extreme) is given to rate the strength of UV rays. Sun protection is recommended when UV levels are 3 (Moderate) or higher. It’s a good habit to find your area’s UV index daily through the SunSmart website/apps and determine your risk factors and take the necessary precautions.
As the old saying goes “prevention is better than cure”, be sun-smart and use a combination of five sun protection measures to reduce your risk of sunburn.
It is also important to check your skin regularly and see your doctor if you notice any changes.