The answer is yes, long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV), the biggest damage is the possibility of skin cancer. But the good news is that you can greatly reduce the risk of UV radiation! Yes, you can still enjoy outdoor activities while reducing the risk of skin cancer by taking simple and smart protective measures.
What is ultraviolet radiation?
Ultraviolet radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. In the electromagnetic spectrum, ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength than visible light, so your eyes cannot see ultraviolet light, but your skin can feel ultraviolet light.
Two types of UV rays have been shown to increase the risk of skin cancer:
Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength and is related to skin aging.
UVA rays cause tanning, which is slightly weaker than UVB, but can penetrate your skin more deeply. Exposure can cause genetic damage to the cells in the innermost layer of the skin where most skin cancers occur. The skin tries to prevent further damage by darkening, resulting in tan. Over time, UVA can also cause premature aging and skin cancer.UVA is everywhere.
UVA accounts for 95% of the ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth. During the daytime throughout the year, these rays maintain the same intensity. This means that all of us are exposed to high levels of UVA rays throughout our lives.
UVA can penetrate windows and clouds, so there is also UVA indoors.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a short wavelength and is associated with skin burns.
UVB penetrates and damages the outermost layer of the skin. Overexposure can cause tanning, sunburn, and blistering in severe cases.
UVB rays can be filtered and will not penetrate glass.
What are the dangers of long-term exposure?
Ultraviolet radiation: It has been proven to be the cause of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and they often appear in areas of the skin exposed to sunlight. Fortunately, once these common forms of skin cancer are detected early enough, they can almost be cured.
UV rays cause sunburn: It has been shown to play an important role in the development of melanoma, which is the most dangerous of the three most common skin cancers. Recent studies have shown that ultraviolet rays that damage the skin can also alter genes that inhibit tumors, thereby increasing the risk of sunburned skin cells developing into skin cancer.
Nevertheless ultraviolet light can also bring many benefits to people, such as：
UVA light is widely used in ink and glue curing printing.
UVB light is often used for stimulation of plant trichome growth in medical cannabis.
How to protect yourself?
Despite the risk factors, you can still protect your skin from UV rays by using sunscreen, sunscreen clothes, hats and glasses, so that you can enjoy outdoor activities safely and happily. You can also consider installing UV window film for your house and car.
Make protection a way of life. Even in cloudy weather, protect yourself every day and avoid indoor tanning completely.