Signs of sun damage and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
The sun can leave its mark on your skin long after you’ve lost that tan. Sometimes the effects can be worse than expected. It’s important to pay attention to any visible changes on the skin because it may be a sign of something serious. Here are some of the marks sun damage can leave on the skin.
Freckles can be small red or brown scattered spots on the skin. They can come in groups of hundreds or just a few spots on areas of the body like the cheeks, arms, chest, or back. Unlike other types of sun damage, they are flat to the touch. Freckles are often genetic, but other people do get them from exposure to the sun. Either way, people with freckles are at a higher risk of developing cancerous skin damage.
2. Age Spots
Flat brown or grayish spots that look a lot like larger freckles are known as age spots. They are more commonly found on elderly people, but they do also indicate that sun damage has occurred. If you have age spots, keep an eye on them so that if any changes occur you can immediately notify your doctor. Age spots look very similar to other more dangerous sun damage marks, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on them.
3. Actinic Keratosis
Otherwise known as AK, this skin condition is often mistaken for age spots but they’re actually much more serious. These lesions come in rough patches and appear in groups on the skin. AK often starts simply as rough areas on the skin that can only be felt. It’s important to see a doctor immediately if these lesions appear as they can develop into a form of cancer.
Sun damage doesn’t always look ugly. Suntans are a form of sun damage that many people actually aim to get. Many believe it gives them a healthy look, but suntans can actually be dangerous. When skin gets too much sun, it begins to produce more melanin which in turn browns the surface of the skin. Melanin is what skin cells produce to protect the body from UV damage. A visible tan is a sign that skin cells have been damaged. Limit the amount of time you expose your skin to the skin to avoid causing damage that could be irreversible.
UVB rays, or the shorter rays of sunlight, are what cause the skin to burn. The effect can be quite painful and unattractive. Redness, swelling, and later as the skin heals, excessive peeling are common effects of a sunburn. Severe sunburns can cause painful blisters, headaches, and even vomiting. Even just two or more severe sunburns during a lifetime can be enough to potentially cause skin cancer.
They mostly considered a sign of aging, but wrinkles can also be an indicator of sun damage. UVA rays are longer sun rays that can penetrate skin and cause aging. By breaking down skin cells beneath the skin, these types of rays can cause wrinkles. Along with wrinkles, the skin also loses its elasticity and begins to get loose and saggy.
The Best Way To Avoid Any Kind Of Sun Damage
Avoiding direct contact with the sun is your best bet, but is not always possible or even practical. In these cases, wearing long sleeved clothing, pants, and a hat with a wide brim is a good precaution. Applying sunblock is always a good idea and over course enjoy the shade with the help of an instant canopy. Making this a daily practice will ensure that premature aging and freckles don’t become a problem.