The sun’s rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good. But our love affair isn’t a two-way street. Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. shutterstock_119775346Consider this: A woman at age 40 who has protected her skin from the sun actually has the skin of a 30-year-old!

We often associate a glowing complexion with good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun – or in a tanning booth – actually accelerates the effects of aging and increases your risk for developing skin cancer.

Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily — taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life.

Exposure to the sun causes:

  • Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions – due to decreases in the skin’s immune function
  • Benign tumors
  • Fine and coarse wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
  • Sallowness — a yellow discoloration of the skin
  • Telangiectasia — the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
  • Elastosis — the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines, wrinkles and sagging skin)

Call the office to speak with our nursing staff to discuss how to protect your skin and repair the damage that may have already occurred.