Sun damage can be both a cosmetic and medical concern. While many people notice visible signs of sun damage as they grow older, this can also put them at an elevated risk for skin cancer. If you notice sun damage, you should schedule an appointment at Silver Falls Dermatology at one of our many Oregon and Washington locations.
What is Sun Damage?
Sun damage is simply damage to the skin as a result of excess exposure to UV rays over time, whether from direct sun exposure or artificial tanning. Sun damage may also be referred to as photodamage, photoaging or solar damage. Through exposure to UV light, the DNA of skin cells changes within the deepest layer of the skin, known as the dermis.
As sun damage progresses through the years, it can eventually become visible on the skin’s surface in the form of sun spots or age spots. Sun damage will also contribute to signs of aging including wrinkles and sagging or poor elasticity. Finally, you may also see redness, rough texture and spider veins.
In addition to cosmetic concerns, sun damage also increases risk for skin cancer. Sun damage may contribute to many types of skin cancer, including melanoma. This is why preventing excess sun exposure is so important to your skin’s health in addition to your appearance.
Who Is More Likely to See Sun Damage?
While all people can experience sun damage and should take steps to protect their skin’s health, some are more prone to both cosmetic concerns and skin cancer due to sun damage. In particular, those with lighter skin tones are most likely to see sun damage over time. If you have fair skin with a tendency to burn, you are more likely to see sun damage.
Regardless of your skin tone, it is important to avoid sun damage by wearing SPF daily. This will keep your skin in good health and help prevent skin cancer.
Sun Damage Treatment Options
If you see visible signs of sun damage, several cosmetic treatment options are available. They include:
- Laser resurfacing
- Chemical peels
- Medical-grade skincare