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Signs Of Sun-Damaged Skin

Daily sun exposure can take a toll on our skin. One of the biggest influences of aging in the skin is the sun.

The sun’s harmful UV rays have the potential to cause temporary and long lasting changes within the dermal structures. The productive way to avoid photodamage is by applying sufficient amounts of sunscreen every day prior to sun exposure. Sunscreen not only protects the skin from UV rays; it also acts like a barrier between the skin and the harmful rays by stopping the UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin.

Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause many unwanted symptoms on the surface of the skin. Common signs of sun damage include following.


Also known as a tan, melasma appears on the skin when the ultraviolet rays affect melanocytes (cells that control pigmentation in the skin). Melasma develops as patches of dark discoloration on the skin. These patches are often darker than your usual skin tone. They tend to appear on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin. Melasma can occur on any area of the body that is exposed to chronic sun exposure like the neck, arms, chest, etc.

Fine Lines And Wrinkles

Sunlight damages connective tissue like collagen and elastin fibres, causing them to degenerate, which leads to the loss of structural support in the skin. The wrinkling of the skin from UV radiation is also known as solar elastosis. The loss of strength in the connective tissue is what causes premature aging in the skin with symptoms like thin skin that appears crepey with less volume, accompanied by loose or sagging skin.


Uneven pigmentation is usually one of the first signs of sun damage on the skin. The skin produces increased amounts of melanin (dark brown pigment) to protect itself from the harmful effects of the sun. Pigmentation from sun damage appears as brown spots, sun spots, freckles (ephilides), and liver spots (solar lentigines).

Dilated Blood Vessels

The sun causes blood vessels to dilate, eventually leading to visible broken capillaries that are identified by their colour qualities. Visible blue blood vessels, also known as spider veins, are referred to as venulectasia, and red blood vessels are called telangiectasias or angioectasias.

Sunburn From Sun Tanning Indoors Or Outdoors

A suntan is essentially injury to the top layers of the skin. Areas of the skin that have been overexposed for a prolonged period of time will eventually lead to a sunburn. Sunburns are first degree burns with physical symptoms such as red skin that feels hot, often associated with mild pain. In severe sun burn cases, people can experience blistering of the skin. That can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Burns can scar the skin.

White Spots

White spots, medically referred to as idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, are a skin disorder that cause white patches to form on the skin when over-exposed areas of the skin stop producing melanin. Depigmentation or white spots are not usually dangerous. However, they can be long lasting and develop more easily on sun-damaged skin on people over the age of 40.

Rough Skin Texture

Textural changes in the skin develop after many years of sun exposure. The symptoms include scaly patches and crusty skin that is thicker in density and raised from the surface. These types of growths on the skin are known as actinic keratosis (AK) or solar keratosis. Skin experts believe AK is the earliest stage of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), also known as non-melanoma skin cancer. Any signs of SCC should prompt an immediate visit to your doctor’s office for an accurate assessment of the presented symptoms.

Most skin conditions associated with UV radiations are preventable and can most often be treated if they are diagnosed on time. Skin cancer is a common cancer in North America. Millions of people can avoid the dangers of sun exposure by practicing good habits like wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily prior to going outdoors.

When it comes to your skin, daily protection from the sun is the best way to prevent the signs of sun damage.

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