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What is ultraviolet (UV) light?

The main source of light given off by the sun is ultraviolet (UV) light, also called ultraviolet rays or radiation. There are two types of ultraviolet rays:
  • UVA rays make it hard for your body to fight infections and cancer. UVA rays can also pass through windows and change the deeper layers of the skin. This can cause spots on your skin, premature aging and wrinkles.
  • UVB rays are the main source of sunburns. Sunburns will increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Ultraviolet light from any source is dangerous. All sources of artificial sunlight or ultraviolet light, including tanning beds and salons, should be avoided. Ultraviolet light is sometimes used for medical purposes but should be done under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.