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What is UV Radiation?

UV Radiation

UV radiation can cause serious damage to your skin over time. As the summer months approach, we want to remind you to practice sun-safe behaviors to prevent skin cancer from UV radiation. Keep reading to learn more about UV radiation and how you can protect yourself from these harmful rays all year long.

What is UV radiation?

Before we begin, let’s break down what UV radiation is first. UV radiation stands for ultraviolet radiation. Radiation is the emission of energy from any source. In the case of UV radiation, the emission of energy comes from the sun, or man-made sources like tanning beds. There are many kinds of radiation, including low-frequency radiation (like radio waves) or high-frequency radiation (found in X-rays). 

Why worry about UV radiation?

You can feel the sun’s heat and see the sun’s light, but you can’t detect the UV radiation it emits, which is why you can burn on a cloudy day. This can be very dangerous because the sun’s UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Too much exposure to UV radiation without proper protection will cause sunburn, which increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

The different types of UV radiation

Did you know there are actually different kinds of UV radiation? The two main kinds are UVB and UVA radiation. Learn the difference below.

Ultraviolet A (UVA) Radiation

  • Longer wavelength
  • Strongly associated with skin aging
  • Makes up the majority of UV radiation
  • Can cause sunburn, but it takes longer to burn
  • Radiation is constant and year-round
  • Can pass through glass

Ultraviolet B (UVB) Radiation

  • Shorter wavelength
  • Associated with skin burning
  • More energy than UVA rays
  • Can cause sunburn faster
  • Occurs more in the summer
  • Strongly linked to skin cancer
  • Rays are entirely absorbed by glass

How are we exposed to UV radiation?

There are many factors throughout the day that expose us to UV radiation including:

  • Time of day, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest
  • Spring and summer months when UV rays are strongest
  • Where you are located in the world: UV exposure goes down the farther away you move from the equator
  • Reflection off surfaces like water, pavement, and even grass

What are the long-term UV Radiation effects?

Are you familiar with the famous image of the sun-damaged truck driver? After 28 years of driving a truck, he was left with dramatic asymmetrical facial aging. The side of his face nearest to the window was far more wrinkled and damaged from UVA radiation. It may seem silly to wear sunscreen indoors, but this real-life example shows you not to avoid it.

Find Sunscreen at SomaSou

SomaSou is Del Ray’s first MedSpa offering services to help our community regain vitality, strength, and confidence in themselves. SomaSou means “your body,” and we give you options to help you feel confident about it. Start your journey by taking an active role in your well-being and schedule a consultation with us today. For more information about our services and to schedule a treatment, please contact us.

Visit our online shop to see our favorite sun protection products. 

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