Being outdoors without proper sun protection can result in skin damage, in more ways than one. While the damage doesn’t show up immediately, it does gradually build up and you will see changes in your skin. You can tell the difference between people who practice sun safety when they’re outside and people who do not. The latter will have older-looking skin, with more wrinkles present, and a more dull complexion. However, there are more serious ways that the sun can damage your skin. Here are three of them:
- Skin Cancer – There are 5.4 million cases of skin cancer treated annually in the United States. A big risk as to why people are getting skin cancers like melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is their prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. While it is the most common form of cancer diagnosed by doctors, it’s also the most easily treated form IF it is caught early enough. If you have skin lesions that may be asymmetric, have irregular borders or colors, or if they are bigger than a pencil eraser, and that they change appearances, then you should go see your dermatologist.
- Sunburn – A sunburn is exactly what it is: a burn from the sun. Sunburns, which causes damage to your blood vessels and your skin cells, can be painful and it is caused by exposing your skin to the sun without proper protection. Repeatedly doing this increases your risk of developing cancer, and also makes your skin look older than it is. Remember to wear sunscreen every day before you go out. Choose a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF, and to re-apply regularly.
- Dark Spots – Hyperpigmentation can be caused by the sun. They are flat, brown spots that appear on your skin from sun exposure. Keep in mind that they are noncancerous and they don’t pose any risks to your health, but they may be unsightly. Sun spots usually start to appear on people over the age of 40, but those who have been out in the sun for prolonged periods of time might start developing them at a younger age. These can be removed by laser treatments, chemical peels and microneedling.