What is UV Radiation?

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Ultraviolet Rays

We are told to be careful about UV radiation, but what exactly is it and why is it a risk to the skin?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a type of energy. It is produced by the sun and also some artificial sources which replicate the sun (i.e. tanning beds or solariums).

UV light is categorised by 1 of three wavelengths:

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

UVC does not reach our skin as it is absorbed by the ozone layer, so is not a concern. However, both UVA and UVB rays can be very damaging to the skin.

Ultraviolet radiation is not visible to the naked eye, but when the skin is exposed to UV rays, it starts to produce pigmentation in an attempt to stop UV radiation reaching the deeper skin tissues. This is noticeable as the skin turns darker – but it is important to understand that ‘tanning’ is the body’s reaction to UV exposure – your skin is trying to protect itself against UVA rays.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun doesn’t only cause tanning, there are other less attractive potential risks:

  • UV rays are the main cause of skin cancer (e.g. squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma)
  • UV damage can cause premature ageing (pigmentation, lines and wrinkles) and can even damage the eyes
  • UV rays can reduce collagen which makes the skin more prone to lines, wrinkles, loss of volume and sagginess
  • Risk of solar elastosis (thick/yellow skin caused by the sun)
  • Sunburn in the short term – pink/red, sore, painful skin, which may then ‘peel’

On a cloudy day, over 80% of UV radiation can still make it through. That’s why skin experts recommend a good quality, high SPF sunscreen every day of the year, to protect the skin.

Skin Cancer Protection and Detection

It is very important to be vigilant for changing moles and odd skin lesions, as issues can appear years after the original sun damage.

Melanomas caught at the earliest stage can be treated very easily with mole removal surgery. Early treatment has excellent outcomes, but as melanoma progresses and spreads, the chances of a positive outcome decline.

Private Mole Checks & Removal

The London Mole Removal Centre is a private company, offering checks and treatment for unwanted moles and other skin lesions (cysts, skin tags, warts, verruca, lipoma etc) at 5 mole removal clinics.

All consultations and treatments are carried out in person by doctors who are specially trained in the latest laser and skin surgery techniques and are highly experienced in the field.

Further advantages of private treatment at the London Mole Removal Centre include:

  • No waiting lists
  • Moles can often be removed in the same appointment as the consultation
  • Choice of clinics in London and also Bristol
  • Removed moles tested with report provided

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7731 3791.