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Excessive UV exposure and the effects on our cells

UV radiation is a major environmental factor. It is estimated that one days worth of sun exposure results in up to 100,000 UV-induced photo lesions in every skin cell. This is quite shocking!

10 minutes of sun exposure is enough to stimulate and put stress on our melanocytes. When our melanocytes go into overdrive it is a reaction created not only in the area of exposure but throughout the entire body. Melanin is found in the dermis and epidermis and is what gives us our colour.

As we all know UV is abundant in the environment we live in and contributes to a variety of skin malignancies including inflammation, cataracts, degenerative aging, pigmentation, and cancer all due to the mutation with our cells. AS summer approaches we spend a lot more time outdoors enjoying our environment, the warm weather, sports, recreational activities and to purposely tan for the desire to be tanned.

The difference between each UV radiation is: UVA 320–400 nm, causes immediate pigment darkening as well as persistent pigment darkening of skin within hours, UVB 280–320 nm, induces a slower but more stable type of pigmentation termed delayed tanning and UVC 100- 280 nm, the highest energy portion of the UV radiation spectrum can cause severe burning.

UV radiation is classified as a complete carcinogen because it is both a mutagen and a damaging agent and has properties of both initiating a tumour and promoting tumour growth and. Skin cancers are by far the most common malignancies, with well over a million cases diagnosed each year and account for nearly 15,000 deaths each year.

To end on a lighter note UV has benefits. UV benefits our health by promoting natural synthesis of vitamin D and endorphins in the skin. Vitamin D maintains our calcium and phosphorus levels and to support muscle and bone strength and functions. Endorphins are known as the feel good hormone.

UV has complex effect on our health and cells so this summer Slip, Slop, Slap, put on the Hat and find Shade!

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