While spending time in the sun is a favorite pastime for many people, especially during warmer seasons, it can also cause a lot of damage to the skin. Long-term and repeated exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet light, can cause a variety of cosmetic and medical problems related to the skin, commonly referred to as sun damage.
What Is Sun Damage?
A healthy amount of sun can result in the benefit of Vitamin D to the skin, but too much sun can lead to sun damage which manifests visibly on the skin as liver spots, age spots, pigmentation, and in serious cases, skin cancer. Sun damage can affect any area of the skin as a result of excessive exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands, and arms, and may lead to rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging. Some individuals may notice skin lesions that are a form of actinic keratosis, which is a precancerous skin condition that develops from years of sun exposure.
How Do I Know If I Have Sun Damage?
Sun damage can manifest on the skin in multiple ways. Some of these include:
- Pigmentation, age spots:
- Loss of skin tone:
- Uneven skin texture:
- Spider veins surrounding the nose:
How Can I Prevent Sun Damage?
The best treatment against sun damage is preventing it from occurring in the first place. It is important to wear sunscreen on a daily basis and avoid excessive exposure to the sun, especially during mid-day hours when the sun is strongest. Additional ways to prevent sun damage include:
- Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
- Wear a hat in the sun
- Wear long sleeves and long pants
- Avoid tanning beds and salons
What Are the Treatments for Sun Damage?
Once sun damage has occurred, there are options available to cosmetically improve damage that has already been suffered. Injectable fillers such as collagen helps to fill out lines and wrinkles to give the skin a fuller, smoother look and feel. Phototherapy can reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation and laser treatments may also be effective for these conditions. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion soften and rejuvenate the skin by removing old and dead layers of skin cells. This helps to promote new growth and enhanced texture of the skin. resulting in a noticeable renewal of the skin.
What Happens If I Leave My Sun-Damaged Skin Untreated?
Sun-damaged skin that is left untreated is most of the time unharmful, however, without the proper protection from preventative sources such as sunscreen, added exposure to the sun’s UV rays can worsen the uneven appearance of your skin. This may result in looking older than your current age and an increase in age spots, freckles, and wrinkles. In serious cases, leaving sun-damaged skin untreated without any analysis from a medical professional or dermatologist may lead to skin cancer.
How Do I Know If My Sun Damage Is Skin Cancer?
Individuals that notice any suspicious growths or skin patches should immediately consult with a doctor, as early detection is extremely important in treating any form of skin cancer that may have developed as a result of sun damage.
Can Anyone Get Sun Damage?
Though everyone’s skin is different and responds to the sun’s UV rays differently, all skin is susceptible to sun damage. However, people with fairer skin are much more prone to sun damage. It is recommended to apply and re-apply sunscreen if you plan to spend time outside or in the sun. Sun damage may be physically seen less in children due to the lower amount of years they have spent in the sun compared to an adult. Sun damage will become more visible as you age without the proper protection.
Schedule a Consultation
As proud servers of the Florida community, we know how important it is to spend time at the beach, in the sun, and outside, however, it’s also a huge priority for us to take care of your skin! If you have any appearance of sun damage on your face and are interested in improving the way you look, contact our team at Dania Dermatology by clicking here to request an appointment today. Call 954-807-9433 for more information.
Additional Sun Damage Information Resources