If you are like most people, you have been told countless times that going out into the sun unprotected is not only dangerous but harmful to the appearance and integrity of your skin. But still, the American Academy of Dermatology found in a recent survey that most Americans admit to getting burned by the sun, even though the effects cause significant discomfort, lack of sleep and even embarrassment over the appearance.
While most people consider using protective products like sunblock when they go out to beaches or pool parties, they don’t consider the fact that sun damage can occur anytime you are exposed to the sun. They might also understand that sunburns are bad for obvious reasons, but don’t know there are a lot more effects that sun exposure has on your body.
To help spread awareness, we wanted to list five of the most common effects that sun exposure can have on your skin, along with some tips on how6.5 to protect yourself.
1. Fine Lines and Wrinkles
One of the most significant impacts that the sun has on your skin is the damage is causes to the integrity of your tissue. When UV light is absorbed by your skin, it works to break down the protein structures that are built to keep your skin taut. Over time, consistent exposure or even acute instances of damage can cause noticeable symptoms of aging to develop. This is why many people who live near coasts or have a particularly active outdoor lifestyle begin to notice fine lines and wrinkles developing much earlier on average than those who avoid sun exposure.
If you find yourself in a situation where you already have some of these signs showing, there are some ways you can try to reverse some of the effects. Microneedling
is an effective way to reach deep into the dermis to help alleviate some of those problems.
2. Rough Skin
Wrinkles aren’t the only noticeable effect on your skin. If you (or your partner) are a fan of having smooth, soft skin to touch, then spending too much time in the sun can be problematic. As the skin adapts to being exposed consistently to the harsh UV light, it becomes tougher and rougher to the touch — similar to the callouses that develop from using a pencil consistently. It doesn’t always happen evenly, either. A lot of people experience this change in concentrated areas of the skin. So while you might maintain smooth skin on your forehead or nose, your cheeks mind end up becoming tough or leathery.
For rough skin, we generally recommend something that excels at exfoliation like the HydraFacial
, chemical peels
or the IPL Photofacial
. These treatments focus both on bolstering collagen production and removing the problematic surface layer of skin.
3. Lowered Immune System
White blood cells play a critical role in repairing sun damage. So when your body is working overtime to fix some of the UV-related issues, you may be diverting resources away from the rest of your body, which can put the rest of your body at risk. While the severity of this process depends on your personal health and body’s response, it is something to consider when thinking about UV exposure. A normal cold or even a more serious condition like COVID can become much more problematic when your immune system isn’t operating at 100%.
4. Skin Cancer
You probably don’t need to be told about the dangers of skin cancer or melanoma. Most people have at least heard of it in some capacity. And while you’ve probably also heard that sun and other UV exposure is a contributing factor, it might not have been presented to you in clear terms. But listen to this: 80% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. That’s not only sun damage, but also the effects of sunbeds and tanning lamps that are popular at spas.
5. Eye Damage
One of the things that many people don’t consider is the amount of exposure that your eyes are subjected to in excess sunlight. While sunblock and other products can block the radiation on the skin, most sunglasses you can get at the store aren’t perfectly effective in providing the same amount of safety for the eyes. There is a host of conditions that can develop from excessive sun exposure in the eyes, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae and pterygia.
How to Avoid Sun Damage
1. Always Wear Sunscreen.
Even if you are just on your way to the store, applying a layer of sunblock will help reduce the long-term effects of skin degradation over time. If you wear makeup, try finding product that have UV protection built-in. On hot days, wearing cool clothing that provides some cover from the sun is also a good way to block out harmful rays.
2. Stay Indoors Midday.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Avoiding direct exposure during the day will drastically reduce your risk levels. Try to plan trips or activities around those time frames.
3. Wear UV Filtering Sunglasses.
Not every pair of sunglasses filter UV light, but finding a pair that do (even if they cost a bit extra) will save your eyes a ton of strain and damage in the long run. You usually don’t need to sacrifice form for function — even the most luxurious brands have UV options. ‘
4. Develop a Professional Skin Care Routine.
If you don’t already, having routine treatments at a licensed facility like Aesthetic Envy is a great way to mitigate the long-term effects of sun exposure. Having procedures like chemical peels, facials, injectables and even microneedling can preserve your appearance and fight off unwanted developments.
Get Started Today
If you are ready to learn more about how to fight off the power of the sun, give our office a call at (916) 333-4906. You can also fill out this contact form
to have someone from our office reach out to you at a later time. We are looking forward to being your trusted partner throughout this entire aesthetic process.