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In our lifetime we spend a lot of time outdoors, this can cause our skin some problems if we do not care for it properly. Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can significantly damage skin.
What is sun damage?
The ultraviolet rays produced from the sun can dry out areas of unprotected skin and can reduce the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils. The sun can also cause burning to the skin and long-term changes in the skin structures.
There are different types of sun damage, the most common are;
Dry Skin: Sun-exposed skin can lose moisture and essential oils, which can make it dry, flaky and prematurely wrinkled.
Sunburn: Sunburn is the most common form of sun damage, the effects of sunburn come a few hours after exposure to UV rays, and mild sunburn causes painful reddening of the skin. In severe cases it can produce small fluid-filled bumps or even large blisters.
Actinic keratosis: This is a tiny bump that feels like sand paper, it can also come in a small, scaly patch of skin that has either a pink, red, yellow or brownish tint. This does not usually go away without professional help.
Long term changes in the skin’s collagen: The skin is made up of a protein called collagen; sun damage can damage the production of collagen causing photo ageing. This is when the skin prematurely ages due to sun exposure, the skin develops fine lines and wrinkles because of the change in collagen.
You may be able to avoid sun damage; however prolonged sun exposure can cause your skin problems later on in life. Ultraviolet rays stimulate pigment cells which then produce more melanin. The production of melanin gives our skin, hair and eyes colour and can also cause unwanted dark patches of skin called age spots.
UV rays can also dramatically add to the appearance of ageing by giving premature wrinkles, slacker skin and an uneven skin tone. It’s important to try and prevent sun damage by protecting the skin in the sun by wearing SPF daily.