Sun’s Effect on Skin | Chemicalsblog

Summers are filled with bright days to enjoy the outdoors, but you must have appropriate sun protection to avoid skin damage. Here we look at how the sun affects the chemistry of our skin.

Sun and UV Radiation

The sun emits both ultraviolet and visible light. Ten percent of sunlight is in the ultraviolet range. Tans and burns on some people’s skin are caused by UV radiation exposure.

UV radiation can cause skin damage that eventually leads to cancer. However, exposure to a limited amount of UV radiation is vital because our skin uses it to produce vitamin D.

Read more related article about cosmetics

Melanin, Burning, and DNA Damage.

Melanin is a protective polymeric pigment that absorbs UV radiation and converts it to heat, preventing the light from harming other molecules. Melanin is produced by melanocytes, which are cells found in the skin’s epidermis. When people are exposed to UV light, their cells produce more melanin, causing the skin to darken.

Example Melanin Structure

UV light can directly damage DNA by forcing DNA bases to react with one another, resulting in compounds such as pyrimidine dimers, which are the primary cause of skin cancer in humans. Light can also damage DNA indirectly by causing stimulated melanin to produce reactive oxygen species.

DNA-repair enzymes can repair damaged DNA by deleting and repairing faulty segments. However, if cells are severely injured, they self-destruct, alerting immune cells with substances such as prostaglandins and cytokines. These proteins stimulate blood flow and inflammation, resulting in the pain and sometimes redness of a sunburn.

Also read : Sun Screen and Coral Reef Damage

Source : Clancy, Suzanne. “DNA Damage & Repair: Mechanisms for Maintaining DNA Integrity.” Nat. Educ. (2008).

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