27.05.2016
For example, at the bottom of the spectrum radio waves have photons with low energies, so their wavelengths are long with peaks that are far apart. UVA rays have the longest wavelengths, followed by UVB, and UVC rays which have the shortest wavelengths.
Certain oral and topical medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and benzoyl peroxide products, as well as some cosmetics, may increase skin and eye sensitivity to UV in all skin types.
Exposure to UVB radiation helps the skin produce a type of vitamin D, (vitamin D3), which plays an important role - along with calcium - in bone and muscle health. UV radiation, in the form of lasers, lamps, or a combination of these devices and topical medications that increase UV sensitivity, are sometimes used to treat patients with certain diseases who have not responded to other methods of therapy.
Phototherapy involves exposing a patient to a carefully monitored dose of UV radiation on a regular schedule. UV exposure is also greater in areas of snow, sand, pavement, and water due to the reflective properties of these surfaces. UV is most intense at noon when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, and UV rays have the least distance to travel through the atmosphere. Many people believe that you cannot get sunburned on a cloudy day; this is simply not the case. Some surfaces, such as snow, sand, grass, or water can reflect much of the UV radiation that reaches them. The Ultraviolet Index (UVI) is a rating scale, with numbers from 1 to 11, which indicate the amount of skin-damaging UV rays reaching the Earth’s surface during the day. The daily UVI forecasts the amount of UV reaching your area at noon when the sun typically reaches its highest point in the sky. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers UVI forecasts by ZIP code on their UV Index page.


Many illustrations of the UVI use a system of colors to designate levels of UV exposure for a particular area on the map. Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players. UV radiation is only one form of radiation and it is measured on a scientific scale called the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. All EM radiation (also called EM energy) is made up of minute packets of energy or 'particles,' called photons, which travel in a wave-like pattern and move at the speed of light. The photons of microwaves have higher energies, followed by infrared waves, UV rays, and X-rays.
While UVA and UVB rays are transmitted through the atmosphere, all UVC and some UVB rays are absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer. Sunburn is a sign of short-term overexposure, while premature aging and skin cancer are side effects of prolonged UV exposure. However, the amount of UVB exposure needed to obtain a benefit depends on several factors, such as: the amount of vitamin D in your diet, skin color, sunscreen use, clothing, where you live (latitude and altitude), time of day, and time of year.
Also known as phototherapy, this method of UV exposure is performed by a trained healthcare professional under the supervision of a dermatologist.
In some cases, effective therapy requires that a patient’s skin is first treated with a prescription drug, ointment, or bath that increases its UV sensitivity. Because the sun is directly over the equator, UV rays only travel a short distance through the atmosphere to reach these areas. Exposure is also decreased because UV rays must travel a greater distance through ozone-rich portions of the atmosphere to reach the earth’s surface. Higher altitudes have greater UV exposure because there is less atmosphere to absorb UV rays.


During the summer months the sun is in a more direct angle, resulting in a greater amount of UV radiation. Especially in the hot summer months, it is a good idea to remain indoors during the peak sun hours of 10am and 4pm. Even under cloud cover it is possible to damage your skin and eyes, and cause long-term damage. Sunglasses rated for 100% UV protection, a wide-brim hat, and broad-spectrum sunscreen can help protect your eyes and skin from reflected UV rays. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an internationally recognized system of colors corresponding to levels of the UVI.
At the top of the spectrum, gamma rays have photons with very high energies and short wavelengths with peaks that are close together. Also, the FDA has not cleared or approved any indoor tanning device for producing Vitamin D. While this type of therapy does not eliminate the negative side-effects of UV exposure, treatment is carefully supervised by a doctor to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
UV radiation is also the strongest near the equator because ozone in these areas is naturally thinner, so there is less to absorb the UV radiation. These ranges describe the activity level, or how energetic the photons are, and the size of the wavelength in each category.



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