It’s getting hot out there and it’s time to start thinking about protection from the sun. Sun exposure actually causes most of the changes that we associate with aging. Wrinkles, age spots and decreased elasticity all result from lifelong exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, but the most important change is a loss of the skin’s immune function.
This can lead to Pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions. In fact, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers—nearly half of all reported cancers in the United States.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll break down some of the things you can do to minimize exposure to harmful UV rays. There are several types of UV rays but the most important ones to be concerned with are UVA and UVB.
UVA rays are present all year round, no matter the season or the weather. These rays are largely responsible for the changes associated with aging.
UVB rays are more seasonal and its strength varies throughout the year and time of day. While excessive exposure to UVA rays could lead to skin cancer, the UVB rays are typically responsible for skin cancer.
Next week we’ll discuss sunscreens and provide some tips on monitoring sun exposure. So, stock up on your “broad spectrum coverage” sunscreen and have fun in the sun.