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Ultraviolet (UV) Light

UV rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can penetrate and change skin cells. The three types of UV rays are ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC).

  • UVA is the most common kind of sunlight at the earth's surface, and reaches beyond the top layer of human skin. Scientists believe that UVA rays can damage connective tissue and increase a person's risk of skin cancer.
  • Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, so they are less common at the earth's surface than UVA rays. UVB rays don't reach as far into the skin as UVA rays, but they can still be damaging.
  • UVC rays are very dangerous, but they are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the ground.

Too much exposure to UV rays can change skin texture and cause the skin to age prematurely, leading to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. UV rays also have been linked to eye conditions such as cataracts.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ultraviolet