Your Skin & the Sun
It is well known that excessive sun exposure leads to early skin aging. It is also well known that excessive sun exposure leads to skin cancers due to the UV radiation.
What is UV?
There are 2 main types of Ultraviolet rays or UV:
- UVA rays – make up most of the sun’s natural light. They can penetrate deep into the skin causing wrinkles and premature aging of the skin.
- UVB rays – are the main cause of sunburn. They are nearly 1,000 times stronger than UVA rays.
Some Facts about UV rays:
- UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze
- Water, sand, concrete and snow reflect the sun’s rays and make them even stronger.
- The main source of UV radiation is the sun but sun lamps and indoor tanning beds are other sources.
UV radiation and skin cancer:
Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight and tanning beds raises your risk of developing skin cancer. There are 2 types of skin cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma. UV radiation causes about 90% of skin cancer cases. Of note, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, but it is also one of the most preventable.
Follow these steps as much as possible to protect your skin from harmful UV exposure:
- Avoid the sun whenever possible specifically between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
- Wear protective clothing – long sleeves/pants/covering hats/sunglasses.
- Place yourself under shade whenever possible during hot summer days.
- Use broad spectrum (to protect against UVA & UVB radiation) sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Studies have proven that sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and reduces the risk of skin cancers when used daily. Sunscreen also helps to reduce the risk of early skin aging.
More information on skin care/skin cancer prevention/sunscreen safety can be obtained from your family physician. As well, we are happy to answer any questions you may have surrounding this important area. We offer sunscreens of various SPF strength, tinted and non-tinted by SkinMedica and SkinCeuticals at Wave Skin Care.