Sunlight has a profound effect on the skin causing premature skin aging, skin cancer, and a host of skin changes. Exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging. Many skin changes that were commonly believed to be due to aging, such as easy bruising, are actually a result of prolonged exposure to UV radiation.
What is UV?
The sun gives off ultraviolet radiation that we divide into categories based on the wavelength.
- UVC - 100 to 290 nm
- UVB - 290 to 320 nm
- UVA - 320 to 400 nm
UVC radiation is almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer and does not affect the skin. UVC radiation can be found in artificial sources such as mercury arc lamps and germicidal lamps.