Most people know the sun causes premature skin aging, but many are unaware of the mechanisms behind the damage. Part of staying healthy involves learning about the risks of sun exposure as well as behaviors that may increase risks. The sections below explain how severely the sun can damage a patient’s skin and provide information on pigmentation treatments and other methods of minimising the signs of aging.
Premature Aging and Sunlight
Continual sun exposure can damage skin in a variety of ways, but one of the biggest is the breakdown of the skin’s natural collagen reserves. Collagen helps skin maintain its resilience and appearance but, over time, exposure to the sun can break down existing collagen and prevent new stores from developing. Most people produce less collagen as they age and, when these two factors are combined, it is easy to see why the sun can make a patient look older. The sun can strip the skin of natural oils, which can cause the formation of wrinkles, lines, age spots, and actinic keratoses that may require pigmentation removal.
The Severity of Damage
While UV rays have been proven to damage skin, many patients are unsure of the extent of the damage. A recent study done by French researchers revealed that ultraviolet rays can cause up to 80% of visible skin aging signs. Additionally, the study found that those with severe sun exposure tend to look a few years older than their chronological age, while those with limited sun exposure look younger.
What Patients Can Do
Patients can take certain steps to minimise the risk of UV exposure. Those who do not wear sunscreen regularly should begin to do so, and they should apply it plentifully and regularly. When in the sun, patients should wear clothing that covers the legs and arms and, if possible, wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the eyes and face.
While the tips above can prevent future sun damage, patients can ask their dermatologist how to reverse sun-related aging with pigmentation removal and photorejuvenation treatments so they don’t look older than their years. Patients should receive a yearly dermatological exam so they can be examined for early, treatable skin cancer signs. Postponement of regular screenings can have severe consequences and, if it’s been a while since the last screening, you can schedule an appointment for skin treatments in Auckland with Avana Cosmetics at avana.co.nz as soon as possible.