Illustrative diagram showing the effects of UVA and UVB on the skin.
6 - 8 weeks
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UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is largely composed of UVA with a small UVB component. UVA penetrates into deeper layers of the skin, causing skin to lose its elasticity gradually and start to wrinkle. Hence, exposure to high doses of UVA causes premature aging. UVA is also popularly hypothesized to increase oxidative stress in skin cells. UVB is responsible both for the darkening and thickening of the outer cell layers – these reactions are the body’s defence against further UV damage. High doses of UVB causes sunburn, which leads to greater risk of developing cancer.