Sun-Damaged Skin Symptoms: What You Need to Know
Are you always under the sun? You may have sun-damaged skin. Here’s how you can tell and what to do about it.
If you work outside all day, commute, or like outdoor activities, your skin is at risk of sun damage. No one is exempt from it — yes, even if you’re moreno. Overexposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can lead to skin issues, collectively known as photoaging, which covers regular signs of aging only sped up by ultraviolet light. If you haven’t been diligently applying sunscreen, chances are you already have sun-damaged skin. Here are its symptoms and what you can do about them.
Symptoms of Sun-Damaged Skin
Sun-damaged skin is hard to miss, but how does it happen anyway? There are two types of UV light linked to sun damage. First is Ultraviolet A or UVA, which has longer wavelengths that can penetrate the glass windows in your house and car. This type of ultraviolet light causes skin aging, and the reason sunscreen is a must, even when you’re indoors or it’s overcast out.
The second is Ultraviolet B or UVB, which has a shorter wavelength. This type of UV light is what causes sunburn, which according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, puts you at risk of developing melanoma. The more you expose yourself to UV rays unprotected, the more damaged your skin gets. Here’s how to tell if you have sun-damaged skin.
• Sunburn – One of the most obvious signs of sun damage, sunburn can range from mild and tolerable to severe and life-threatening. You can get a sunburn from , hiking, chilling at the beach, and even commuting to work.
Mild sunburn can heal in a few days, while severe ones will need medical attention to heal. Keep in mind that damage from UV exposure is cumulative, so every time you get a sunburn, you increase your risk of skin cancer.
• Dryness and Wrinkles – The sun’s heat can cause the moisture from your skin to evaporate, making it look dry and dehydrated almost immediately. Frequent UV exposure can lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles since it damages the elastin fibers that make the skin plump and bouncy.
• Brown Spots and Hyperpigmentation – Frequent sun exposure can also lead to sunspots, also known as age spots. These are small, uniform patches on exposed skin. They are usually darker than your skin color and occur when UV rays trigger an overproduction of melanin.
• Irregular-Shaped Moles – Like sunspots, moles are also made of melanin — specifically, melanocytes, which are special cells that produce the pigment. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from melanocytes that have mutated after being exposed to UV radiation. According to Cancer Research UK, you are most at risk of developing melanoma if you have a lot of moles and get too much sun exposure.
• Acne Is Getting Worse – Some people sunbathe to “dry out” their pimples — do not do this. While acne is not usually associated with sun exposure, the latter does make it breakouts even worse. Acne results from the in the skin. This sebum, along with dirt, bacteria, and dead skin, clogs the pores and creates comedones like blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
As mentioned above, too much sun exposure can dry out the skin, which in turn can trick your oil glands into producing more oil even if you’re already oily. Cleanse your skin of excess oil with Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Wash. This refreshing, double-duty cleanser effectively removes dirt, sebum, and bacteria to prevent breakouts, while deeply moisturizing the skin.
How to Protect Skin from Sun Damage
The American Society of Dermatologic Surgery recommends limiting sun exposure as well as reducing it by wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes when it’s hot.
Apply sunscreen regularly and make sure your product offers broad-spectrum protection and is at least SPF 30. Don’t forget to protect your head by wearing a hat, especially if you’re . Do not expose sensitive skin or already burned skin to UV rays. And finally, get 15 minutes of sun daily, ideally in the morning, to promote vitamin D production.
Prevent sun-damaged skin by being aware of its causes and protecting your skin. Wearing sunscreen won’t make you uncool or sticky when you have the right products — ask your doctor, girlfriend, wife, or mom about it!