Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Six-billion-year-old star: Part Two.

Day number two of my talk about the sun and skin cancer awareness.

Did you miss yesterday's post?

Read it here.

Before, there was a lot I did not know about the sun.

I am going to break it down like an elementary school teacher for you.


To better understand how to protect yourself, you need to know about the actual sun.

The sun produces ultraviolet radiation.

There are three types of ultraviolet rays.

First, we have UVA.

UVA rays make up 95% of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth.

UVA is known as the "tanning ray" and the "skin-aging" ray.

Next, is UVB.

UVB rays are responsible for skin reddening/sunburn.

UVB rays peak time is April-October from 10am to 4 pm. Love how those times are when we are always at the pool or beach?

UVC rays are extremely toxic. They are also known as germicidal ultraviolet rays. They are carcinogenic to humans and are thankfully filtered out by the ozone layer. Makes you want to look out for the ozone layer now, huh?

Ok, so do you have all that?

Now, I'm going to talk about them (UVA and UVB) all together. We will not talk about UVC since (thank God) we do not come into contact with them.

Here we go... again.

UVA and UVB both penetrate your skin.

You have three layers of skin.

The epidermis is on top.

Followed by the dermis, in the middle.

Then you have the hypodermis/subcutaneous layer on the bottom.

UVA rays penetrate more deeply than UVB. UVA rays actually penetrate your epidermis and dermis leading to more/deeper damage.

(Remember, UVA is the "tanning" ray.)

UVB rays only damage the superficial layer... the top layer... the epidermis.

If those rays can get through your skin, remember that both rays can get through clouds. So, even on a cloudy day... you can get burned/tanned.

Also know that UVB rays bounce back by 80%. These rays can bounce off of snow, ice, sand, and water. This means you are getting hit TWICE.

I'm sure you are overwhelmed with information right now but let me tell you two more things.

First, I found out that tans aren't as pretty as they appear. It seems nice to be tan/dark. It makes you look pretty.

Well, tanning is actually your skins way of protecting itself.

UVA rays cause damage to your skins DNA. Therefore, your skin darkens to prevent further damage.

Didn't know that did you? Me either and I thought it was very interesting.

Also, tanning beds let off UVA rays.

Remember these are the rays that penetrate your epidermis and dermis.

In a tanning bed, you are exposed to 12 times the UVA rays than that of the sun. Can you see why tanning beds dramatically increase your risk of cancer? Don't ever let anyone tell you that a tanning bed is just like the sun. WHATEV!

Ok, I hope you guys understood all of that.

Tomorrow, I will be talking about sunscreen! Get ready! I'm excited.


Krystyn said...

The sun is amazing and dangerous at the same time, isn't it?

Kari said...

Very interesting, Hailey!

John said...

For some real info try sites such as www.uvtalk.com