Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sun and Your Skin

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause significant damage to your skin.


  • UVA rays from the sun can penetrate deep into your skin and damage collagen, which is the protein that holds your skin together in a firm and smooth way.
  • UVA breaks down the collagen structure which results in wrinkles.
  • Once collagen is damaged, it cannot re-build itself.
  • Up to 80% of skin aging is caused by the sun.

Freckles/Sun Spots

  • Freckles and sun spots are signs of skin damage and develop as a result of too much sun exposure.
  • Freckles and sun spots are frequently found on face, legs and back of hands. Individuals who sunbathe regularly may develop freckles and sun spots all over their skin.

Sun Tan

  • Contrary to popular belief, a tan is not “healthy.” A tan is a sign that damage has been done to your skin.
  • When exposed to the sun’s UV rays, your skin’s melanocytes produce melanin, the dark pigment that creates a tan. A tan is your skin’s attempt to prevent UV rays from doing any further damage to the sensitive skin cells in your epidermis.
  • A tan does not help protect your skin from getting a sunburn in the future. A tan is equivalent to merely an SPF 4!


  • Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays results in a painful sunburn. UV rays penetrate deep into the layers of your skin and kill living skin cells.
  • In response to this trauma, your body’s immune system increases blood flow into the damaged area so white blood cells can remove the dead skin cells. This blood flow is what causes your sunburned skin to become warm and red.
  • There is substantial evidence that sunburns can lead to DNA damage. Repeated sunburns dramatically increase your risk of developing skin cancer because of this damage to your DNA


Did you know your lifetime chance of getting skin cancer is 1 in 5? Approximately 90% of skin cancers are caused by the sun. In this section you will find out what to look for so you can Go Sun Smart.
There are three types of skin cancer:
  • Basal Cell
  • Squamous Cell
  • Melanoma

Basal Cell

  • Along with Squamous Cell, is the most common form of skin cancer.
  • Small skin abnormality that is flat with rounded, semitransparent edges.
  • Looks like a sore that won’t heal.
  • Does not spread to other parts of the body.
  • If detected and treated early, basal cell skin cancers have a 95% cure rate.

Squamous Cell

  • Along with Basal Cell, is the most common form of skin cancer.
  • Raised bump on the skin, usually scaly or crusty.
  • This cancer may spread to other parts of the body if not treated.
  • If detected and treated early, squamous cell skin cancers have a 95% cure rate.


  • Least common of all skin cancers.
  • Has the ability to spread to other parts of the body.
  • Melanoma is often found on areas of the body not exposed to the sun (on soles of feet, in between toes).
  • Most deadly form of skin cancer – more than 80% of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
  • Studies show that as few as two severe sunburns before the age of 18 doubles your risk of developing melanoma.

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