Sun damage, also identified as photo damage, refers to how the sun alters the look and feel of the skin. Sun damage is a form of extrinsic aging, which is early aging that is caused by the surroundings. Extrinsic aging is collective, and means that the effects exacerbate with repeated, unprotected contact to the sun.
What Causes Sun Damage?
Sun damage is caused by frequent exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV is an undetectable form of radiation emitted by the sun. There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are the major source of early aging and skin cancer. UVB rays primarily access the surface of the skin and are the key source of sunburns.
How Often Am I Exposed To Harmful UV Rays?
Whether you are walking to your car, driving to work, or simply sitting near a window, you are exposed to harmful UV rays. This type of daily contact is known as secondary UV exposure. Secondary exposure occurs where you least expect it. It can occur in the shade, on cloudy days, even while you are indoors. It is likely that the average individual is exposed to more than 10 hours of indoor UV rays every week. Add to that over 7 hours of outdoor UV rays a week and without a suitable shield, your weekly UV-radiation exposure might total nearly 20 hours. That’s like spending the weekend at the beach without wearing sunscreen .
What Increases the Sun’s Damaging Effects?
We are all vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. However, some people may be more at risk than others. People that have sustained burns are definitely in one of the top groups of individuals that are at a higher risk. Below you will see a list of what else can put you in a high risk bracket.
Where you live: If you live closer to the equator, the sun is directly overhead and the UV rays are stronger. Anyone who lives in the mountain regions should look out too. Studies there is a roughly an 8% to 10% increase in UV intensity for each 1,000 feet of increased altitude.
How do you live: Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Remember, sun damage accumulates over time the more you are exposed, the more damaged your skin becomes. Apply sun protection ever time you venture out.
Your Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, cause heightened sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor if any of your medications can cause photosensitivity.
Genetics: Are you fair skinned with light hair (red or blond) and freckles? If yes, you are at a high risk of developing sun damage. If you have a family history of skin cancer, take extra measures and use daily sun protection.
Is Sun Damage Dangerous?
The answer is yes. In addition to premature aging of the skin, sun damage also increases your risk of skin cancer. Cosmetic Procedures Cosmetic procedures can be completed for more serious sun damage. It should be done under the direct management of a skilled skin care professional.
-Kovack Laser Institute
For less intrusive Sun Damage, Rodan+Fields offers products that will erase the signs of premature aging, including brown spots, dullness, and sun damage by exfoliating, lightening, brightening and protecting your skin for a more even tone and texture.
Be smart. Wear a hat and use your sunscreen!
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.