Exposure to sun is good because our body soaks Vitamin D directly from the sun rays and
also the warmth makes us feel comfortable but too much of it, considering that the UV content in the sun’s rays is increasing by
the day can prove really harmful.
- The Common Sun Damage Types
A dried out and darkened skin is the most common sun damage that we see but there are other changes too which affect the skin in the long run. A list of the various sun damage types is given below:
- Dry Skin: Constant sun exposure evaporates the skin’s moisture and if the same keeps getting repeated over a period of time, it may result in dry flaky skin which looked aged
- Sunburn: The pigmentation patches on the skin or the reddened skin- both come under the category of sunburn. Based on the skin’s characteristics, some people experience temporary melanin deposition while others may experience near permanent skin darkening. Sunburn is mainly caused by the harmful UV and infrared rays
- Actinic Keratosis: A tiny bump on the skin that looks like a small scaly patch either pink, red, yellow or brown in color depending upon the skin type. Actinic keratosis develops in people who have had prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays and it can be a warning sign for increased risk of developing skin cancer. About 10% to 15% of actinic keratoses eventually change into squamous cell cancers of the skin.
- Changes in Skin Collagen: These include photoaging and actinic purpura. While photoaging is the premature aging of the skin, actinic purpura is defined as the bleeding of blood vessels beneath the skin surface. The changes in skin collagen, esp. Actinic purpura makes the blood vessels even more fragile and vulnerable to being ruptured at older ages.
A simple skin examination is enough to determine the Sun Damage but if it is that visible, then the damage extent is obviously alarming.
At Kosmoderma, we do a special 3D Facial reveal which shows even the damage spots which are otherwise not visible to the naked eye.
Other than this, in some cases where the symptoms are extreme, a biopsy may be suggested.
You can help to prevent sun-damaged skin by taking the following steps:
- Be sure to apply an SPF 30 or above before you go outdoors. Do it at least 20 minutes before stepping out so that the sunscreen gets well absorbed in the skin. If you are getting exposed to the sun regularly, make sure that you apply sunscreen after every 3-4 hours to maintain the effectiveness of your sun protection
- Avoid going out between 12 to 3 pm when the sun is at its peak. But, if you have to then cover yourself properly to avoid any sun exposure. If you use hats, use the large rimmed ones.
- Wear sunglasses, especially UV tinted ones to avoid any sun damage in the under eye area.
- Be aware that some medicines and skin care products can increase your skin's risk of UV damage. Hence, if you are taking a prescription medication and you normally spend a great deal of time outdoors, ask your health care professional whether you should take any special precautions to avoid sun exposure. Also, be aware that certain nonprescription skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids can make your skin more vulneraBe aware that some medicines