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The real dangers of sun damage and why you need to take it seriously

‘Sun damage’ is a catchall phrase that refers to any harm done to your skin by the sun and for many reasons prevention is better than cure.

Daily protection is critical for avoiding sun damage from both UVA and UVB rays. This is because much of the sun damage that accumulates in our skin is the result of daily incidental sun exposure.

Various studies have shown that regardless of the weather or daily activities, the skin of the people who used sunscreen everyday aged significantly better.

Start taking care of your skin now

Don’t wait until you see signs of sun damage to start taking care of your skin. Daily SPF is essential, wear sunscreen on any skin exposed to direct sunlight, and not just when you go to the beach.

Wear hats and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face and seek shade as soon as you feel the sun is too harsh.

Try avoiding direct sunlight at peak hours which varies depending on where you live, but usually occurs in the afternoon.

Wear light, breathable, long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible, especially if you’re particularly susceptible to sunburns. These may seem obvious, but current data suggest they are not always observed, to the detriment of our skin.

DNA damage to your skin

You can treat the aesthetic effects of sun damage. But you unfortunately can’t reduce or reverse DNA damage caused by the sun. Once DNA mutation has occurred due to UV irradiation, there is no way to undo that.

What sun damage actually looks like

Sun damaged skin can show up as actinic keratosis, wrinkles, spots, spider veins, a blotchy or ruddy complexion, and can even progress to skin cancer. It often looks different across skin tones.

In lighter skin types, thinning of the skin, fine lines and discolorations will be apparent. In darker skin types, discolorations may be the most prominent feature of sun damage.

UVA rays are generally linked to the aging of skin cells and tend to be the cause of wrinkles, sunspots and other signs of sun damage.

UVB rays, on the other hand, are the principal cause of sunburns, directly damage DNA in skin cells and are linked to most skin cancers.

How some damage can be reversed

While the negatives seem overwhelming, it is possible to reverse (sun damage) to some extent. This can be done by utilizing lasers, chemical peels and certain topical medications to destroy dark spots and vessels. You can encourage collagen deposition and remove the damaged layers of skin if you have discoloration, wrinkles, or fine lines.

At Gentle Revive we understand you dermatological and personal requirements better than anybody else. If you’ve been burned one too many times and regret the outcome, let us discuss what options you might have.

Sources:

  1. https://www.skincancer.org/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/
  3. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/
  4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/

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