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Our Skin - The FactsSkin Cancer Information
Our skin is our body’s largest organ that performs a variety of
vital functions - learn how UVR affects and damages our skin
Skin cancer is the UK’s most common and fastest rising cancer.
It is now one of the biggest cancer killers in 15-34 year olds.
Solar Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) is a known carcinogen.
It cannot be seen or felt and is the primary cause of skin cancer
Sunburn is a reaction to UV radiation and is a clear sign that
you have seriously damaged your skin.
Sunbeds are not safe - FACT! UV radiation from sunbeds can
cause serious and irreparable damage and cause melanoma
Worried about Vitamin D? Know the facts and how much sun
we need to produce the required daily levels.
All skin types can be damaged by UVR, but some skin types
and family history of skin cancer can mean you are more at risk
Our skin performs the following functions:
- A protective barrier eg. against physical injury and penetration of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Immune function.
- Prevents loss of body fluids.
- Controls body temperature.
- Plays a role in metabolism eg. getting rid of waste products through sweating.
- A role in Vitamin D production.
- Acting as a sensory organ and giving us a gripping surface.
- If the barrier function of skin is compromised it can have serious consequences.
eg. severe burns can cause fluid loss and dehydration and increase the risk of severe infection.
The skin is divided into 3 main layers:
- Epidermis - This acts as protective barrier (UVB and UVA rays penetrate the spidermis).
- Dermis - Gives structural support to the epidermis and is composed mainly of specialised proteins called Collagens (UVA rays also penetrate the dermis).
- Subcutaneous Layer - This is mainly fat and can be quite thick in certain areas of the body eg. Stomach area.
The most serious health effect of over exposure to UV is skin cancer.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. Skin cancer can grow when the cells that make up our skin are damaged. In most cases this damage is caused by over-exposure to solar UV.
Our body is made up of tiny building blocks called cells. Cells normally grow, divide, die and are replaced in a controlled way. Cancer is a disease that occurs when the cells of the body are damaged, causing them to grow out of control.
The top layer of the skin contains three different types of cells: basal cells, squamous cells and melanocytes. Skin cancer types are named after the type of cell in which the cancer develops.
You may also be interested in the following related topics:Skin Cancer TypesThe UV IndexUVR - The FactsEarly Detection
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