What you really need to know about UV rays!


Who’s excited that summer is nearly here?

We certainly are, and after what felt like a long and cooler than normal winter here on the Sunshine Coast, we’re ready to enjoy the sun, the warmth and the beach. With this in mind, it’s the perfect time to reflect on something that should be at the forefront of our minds long before we start basking in our incredible weather.

Queensland is known as the skin cancer capital of the world, so while we should still enjoy the sun, it’s important to remain aware of the dangers and to be diligent when it comes to protecting ourselves. UV rays are the culprits when it comes to sun damage and skin cancer, therefore understanding the impact they have on our skin is essential.

You may or may not be aware that there are three types of UV rays; one we really don’t need to worry about, but the other two impact our skin differently and both can be quite detrimental.  If you’re unsure of the differences and the impacts, make sure you read on.

UV Aging rays

UVA rays, or UV Aging rays, aren’t absorbed by the ozone layer at all and account for approximately 95% of the sun’s rays. We call them UV Aging rays as they can deeply penetrate our skin and are responsible for long term skin damage such as wrinkles, premature aging, sun spots and overall skin damage, which can also lead to cancer. It’s important to remember that these rays are predominant all year round and remain at an equal strength regardless of the season. This is why it’s still important to stay sun smart even in winter.

UV Burning rays

UVB rays, or UV Burning rays, are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer and therefore account for a smaller portion of the sun’s rays that reach the earth, but they are the most dangerous. These rays penetrate the epidermis, the outer layer of our skin, causing it to burn and mutate our skin cells, which can lead to cancer. These UV rays are stronger in the summer months as we’re closer to the sun during these months. Clouds don’t stop these rays, so that’s why when it’s overcast you’re still at risk of getting burnt.

UVC rays

The third type are UVC rays. We don’t have a nickname for these as, thanks to the ozone layer, they don’t have a chance to reach the earth’s surface and impact us. We do however, use man made UVC rays for things such as medical treatments. The overall impact of these being part of our world is limited unless we’re being treated using the highly tested and supervised medical procedures.

It’s so important to make sure your skin is protected against UV rays all year round. As we approach the holiday period, we get excited about relaxing and enjoying the time that sometimes we forget how damaging the sun can be. Whilst we encourage you to get out and enjoy our incredible weather, please remain vigilant.

If you have any questions about non-melanoma skin cancers and their associated treatment options, feel free to contact us on 07 5348 9460, email us at admin@justskin.com.au or click here for more information.

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