The sun does so much more to your skin that just burn it. This is a very short-term form of sun damage, and usually drinking plenty of water and moisturising ushers this burn away within a few days. Because the sun penetrates far deeper into our skin and causes changes to how it operates, most sun damage develops over time and worsens with more exposure. Some of the signs continue to develop as we age, so it’s never been more important to wear sun protection. What does sun damage to our skin, and how can we treat the signs of it? Persona Cosmetic Medicine in Kent are here to shed some light on sun damage.
Photoaging is the premature wrinkling and loss of volume and structure in the skin. This presents itself as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Caused by sun exposure, this wrinkling and sagging is caused by the destruction of collagen and elastin in the dermis. These proteins are essential to skin’s firmness, laxity, and youthful appearance, so their break down causes our skin to appear aged. The UVA rays from the sun have a long wave length that penetrates the dermis and damages the collagen, which our body tries to prevent. This prevention, however, often worsens the degrading of these proteins, causing our skin to sag after frequent periods of exposure. The most important thing to remember in order to prevent this kind of skin degradation is to wear sun protection whenever you are exposed for long periods of time.
Hyperpigmentation and sun spots
Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, prompting the skin into inflammation. This response starts as early as the first step we take outside, and repeatedly exposing your skin to long periods in the sun drastically increases your inflammation levels. When this happens, our body produces hormones to lessen this inflammation, which encourage the production of excess melanin in the skin. Over the years, if you keep exposing your skin to the sun for long periods of time, the hormones that activate melanin production remain permanently active and continue to darken the skin.
Sunspots on the skin form mainly as a by-product of the skin’s attempt to protect itself from the sun. When the skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays, your body’s natural defence is to produce this melanin to neutralise the damage. Over time, as the area continues to be exposed, sunspots on skin begin to form. These dark spots on face and hands can vary significantly in size, but are usually small and have a smooth texture, very much like the rest of your skin surface. Sunspots on skin can appear anywhere, but they are most common on the face and the arms, where the skin is exposed to UV rays on a regular basis.
The sun does so much more than burn us, and we won’t even notice at first. Because the visible signs of ageing continue to worsen with more exposure, you might not realise the harm you’re doing to your skin. Sun exposure causes visible and premature ageing in the skin, hyperpigmentation, and sun spots, but luckily, we have treatments that will help.
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