Our Beautiful Sunny South African Sun is a very important yet, misunderstood star, which has been around for about 6 Billion years!
Being educated about the sun is the best way to ensure that we understand why we need to protect our health and skin from excessive sun exposure.
UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers.
UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photo aging), but until recently scientists believed it did not cause significant damage in areas of the epidermis (outermost skin layer) where most skin cancers occur. Studies over the past two decades, however, show that UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. (Basal and squamous cells are types of keratinocytes.) UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.
UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, cause cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin’s DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.