What is sun damage?
Sun damage describes premature aging of the skin and skin cancer due to overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are two types of UV rays that cause damage to the skin: UVA and UVB. UVA are longer waves that give you a tan, but they also activate the skin in an unhealthy way. UVA rays are not responsible for sunburns. They penetrate the skin much deeper than UVB rays and trigger premature aging and skin cancer. UVB rays are shorter waves that are responsible for sunburns, but they can also accelerate early signs of aging. UVB rays are considered the most common cause of skin cancers.
What are the consequences of sun damage?
Sun damage hurts your skin’s ability to maintain essential components, such as antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, ceramides, and important fatty acids. All of these components normally keep our skin looking youthful and healthy.
In addition to potentially life-threatening skin cancer, the long-term consequences of unprotected sun exposure includes wrinkles and fine lines, brown spots, and dull, congested skin. UVA sun damage can be sneaky; often you won’t feel any pain or discomfort, but your skin is being damaged nonetheless. As time passes, skin abnormalities can become more pronounced and you run the risk of skin cancer.
Sun damaged skin typically affects the face, including the nose, ears, cheeks and forehead, but can also be noticeable on the arms, legs, and chest.