THINGS WE MUST KNOW TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM UV RADIATION INDUCED SKIN CANCER
The incidence of skin cancer has grown over the years due to direct exposure to sun rays. As we know the over growing pollutants has caused ozone layer depletion compromising the protection from harmful UV radiation of the sun. Studies have a show that UV radiation induces skin cancer upon overexposure to sun rays. We should adopt precautions like using sunscreen lotions, avoiding direct exposure to strong sun rays etc. In this article, we shall discuss in detail about the things we must know to protect ourselves from UV radiation-induced skin cancer.
WHAT IS UV RADIATION?
Ultraviolet radiation is the part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum which comes from the sun and reaches our planet Earth. As its wavelength is shorter than normal light so we cannot see it with our necked eyes. These wavelengths are categorized on the basis of the nanometre.
- UVA or near UV (315-400 nm)
- UVB or middle UV (280-315 nm)
- UVC or far UV (180-280 nm)
Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that makes black-light posters glow and is responsible for skin tan, apart from that the excessive exposure leads to UV light damage the living tissues.
These electromagnetic radiation coming from the sun transmitted in waves and the broad ranges of wavelengths are known as electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum is divided into 7 regions and they are listed as follows:
- RADIO WAVES
- VISIBLE LIGHTS
- ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION
- X-RAYS and
- GAMMA RAYS
Note: Radiation with wavelengths from 10-180 nm is blocked by the air and cannot reach the earth’s surface.
COMPARISION BETWEEN UVA/UVB/UVC RADIATION:
Almost all of us love bright sunny days as it fills our heart and mind with a new hope. But the bright sunny rays of the sun are not equally good for our skin. Within 15min of the exposure to the sun damage our uncovered skin areas.
But we can protect our skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun by shielding our skin properly otherwise it would lead to premature ageing, skin cancer and other types of skin problems.
UVA radiation causes premature ageing, sun’s spot, wrinkles and skin cancer in some cases.
UVB, on the other hand, causes sunburns some skins top layer problems and skin cancer in some cases.
The last but not the least, there is another radiation known as UVC. People who work with welding torches or mercury lamps may expose themselves to UVC rays which is one of the most harmful radiation.
Among UVA and UVB, UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and produce skin ageing and wrinkles. UVA and UVB are very much responsible for skin tanning and burning. Moreover, it may lead to skin cancer in some cases.
BESIDES SUN’S UV RAYS, WHAT ARE THE ARTIFICIAL SOURCES OF UV RAYS?
- STERILIZATION AND DISINFECTION
- CHECKING OF BANKNOTES AND VOUCHERS
- RESEARCH LABORATORIES
- WELDING AND METAL WORK etc
Read this article: ANTIOXIDANTS, THEIR MECHANISM TYPES AND BENEFITS
WHAT IS SKIN TANNING? HOW UV RADIATION CAUSES SKIN TANNING?
Skin tanning is a kind of hyperpigmentation. When some portion of the skin become darker to the rest of the parts of the skin then it is called tanning.
After the exposure to the sun for a long period of time skin colour become yellowish-brown or golden brown, which is known as tanning of the skin. UVA rays play an important role in tanning.
Tanning does not only mean skin’s discolouration but also it is the injury to the DNA of the skin. The skin gets darker to prevent further DNA damage and this imperfection of skin colour or mutation leads to skin cancer.
Not only the UV rays of the sun causes tanning but also the high-pressure sunlamps used in tanning salons emit doses of UVA 12 times more than that of the sun. So, the people who use tanning salons are more prone to develop skin cancer than that of sun’s UV rays.
THINGS WE MUST KNOW TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM UV RADIATION INDUCED SKIN CANCER.
We should know the fact that most skin cancers are the direct result of exposure to the UV rays of the sun. Both Basal Cell and Squamous cell skin cancers (the most common type of cancers) are usually found on sun-exposed body parts.
The risk of melanoma (more severe but least common type of skin cancer) also related to sun exposure. Besides the sun’s UV rays there are some other artificial sources of UV rays which leads to skin cancer.
There is a certain behaviour of people which make them prone to Basal and Squamous cell skin cancers and they are as follows:
- Going to the beach and spending too much time below the sun for recreational purpose.
- For the purpose of swimming spending maximum time under the sun.
- Living in an area of the earth where the sun shines brightly throughout the year.
- Some severe sunburn which had in the past.
- Having skin damage due to sun rays.
- Going on vacation on sunny days et
- Some previous sunburns
- Signs of sun damage to the skin such as Liver spots, actinic keratoses, and solar elastosis etc.
SOME OTHER TYPE OF CANCER CAUSED BY UV RAYS:
There is a good news among all these bad aspects of UV rays that it doesn’t penetrate deeply into the body so it is not expected to cause cancer of the internal organs. However, some possibilities of other types of cancers are there and they are as follows:
- Merkel cell cancers
- Lip cancer
- Melanoma of the eye and squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva (some type of eye cancers)
VITAMIN D AND UV RADIATION:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble organic chemical compound which protects our body from weak muscles, weak bones, some skeletal deformities in children and soft bones as well as mineral loss in adults.
There is an interesting fact that the sun’s UV rays are both have some benefit and some disadvantage also as its a major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin-D which is essential for our body.
So the question is, do we need UV rays for vitamin-D??
When the sun shines brightly in the sky then exposed human skin can produce the high amount of vitamin-D. The human body has the capacity to produce vitamin-D from the sunlight and the important part of this sun’s ray is UVB rays.
But besides this, we have to remember the fact that it’s not only the ultraviolet rays our body can manufacture vitamin-D with the help of both UV rays and 7-dehydrocholesterol which is present in the skin. Not much vitamin-d is produced by the UV rays.
At the last, we can say that we should enjoy the bright sunny summer days with a little bit of sunshine without worrying about the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. We can protect ourselves by proper sunscreen, protective clothing, scarf and proper sunglasses for the protection of our eyes.
And with this little bit of precautions, we can enjoy outdoor activities without fearing the damaging effects of UV rays. We can enjoy our today without the fear of damage to our skin in the future.