Although Infrared rays are at the opposite end of the rainbow
UV shielding is not enough
In this series we are looking at UVC and Infrared waves and how they effect our skin.
UVC is the shortest and the highest energy UV with wavelengths 280nm and shorter.
UVC are 280nm and shorter, these rays are highly dangerous to the skin, and yet not many people are aware of them, this is due to the fact that when it comes to the sun, most of these are filtered out by the biosphere.
However we are subjected to them from most office lighting!
- UVA Rays, these are the longest rays which you can read about here.
- UVB Rays you can read all about here.
Before you read this, it is recommended to read the article on electromagnetic waves.
Infrared waves omit wave lengths that are shorter than microwaves, and longer then visible wave lengths.
Infrared waves are referred to as infrared radiation (IR), they consist of wavelengths ranging from 760 nm to 1 mm,
They can be subdivided into 3 types of increasing wavelengths:
- IR-A (760–1400 nm)
- IR-B (1400–3000 nm)
- IR-C (3000 nm–1 mm)
Interestingly half of the solar energy that reaches the earth’s surface is in the infrared radiation range, this type of solar, is expected to have significant affects on our skin.
IR radiation transmits heat in the form of energy, which leads to raised temperature in the skin.
Under direct radiation the skin can heat up to more that 40°C, erythema of the skin or redness, is often caused by chronic exposure to heat.
Whilst they have failed to reveal themselves for decades, recent studies have shown that infrared can have the following devastating effects on the skin.
The Naked Truth
These poisonous rays are really underestimated, clinical evidence has found, skin exposed to chronic heat can break down in the dermis.
It is now thought, that they have similar sun poisoning effects as ultraviolet light rays.
They can destroy collagen, creating solar elatosis deep in the dermis, which is similar to photo ageing.
Infrared rays can create a clinical condition known as reticular pigmentation, which is an unusual pattern of pigmentation on the skin.
They can also cause oxidation, creating free radicals and causes the release of heat shock proteins, this breaks down the connective tissue, which can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.