This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Ultraviolet sunlight (and sunscreens)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

To choose the correct sunscreen, one must be aware of the nature of the damaging agent: ultraviolet - UV - radiation. UV rays are classified into three groups:

  • UVA - wavelength 320-400nm; accounts for 90% of the total
  • UVB - wavelength 290-320nm; higher energy rays which are by far the most damaging
  • UVC - wavelength 200-290nm; filtered out by the ozone layer

Sunscreens mainly work by blocking ultraviolet B wavelengths which are primarily responsible for sunburn. There is however now evidence that ultraviolet A can also damage the skin. Now most sunscreens available in the UK have good ultraviolet A blocking agents in addition to ultraviolet B blocking agents.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page