Regular exposure to the sun can damage the skin gradually, increasing a person’s risk of premature aging. The more time you spend outside in direct sunlight, the more likely you are to develop wrinkles, sagging, dark spots, and dry skin, to name a few complaints.
Never underestimate sun damage, as excessive exposure to the sun’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays can do much more than cause painful sunburn. It can damage the inner layers of your skin, resulting in skin cells dying and unwanted complexion complaints. Keep reading to learn about the different ways the sun can damage your skin.
Collagen and Elastin Loss
As much as you might enjoy basking in the sunshine, the UV rays could slowly but surely destroy your skin’s elastin and collagen fibers. If you’re unsure what this means for your appearance, elastin is a support fiber that helps skin bounce back, and collagen is a protein responsible for your skin’s firmness. If UV rays penetrate the deep layers of your skin, they can cause elastin and collagen to degrade, accelerating the aging process.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to reverse the damage caused by the sun, but options are available to reduce signs of aging. For instance, people who develop fine lines and wrinkles due to a loss of elastin and collagen can schedule an appointment for Botox in Chicago. The minimally invasive cosmetic injection can be administered within 10 minutes to smooth wrinkles and fine lines in one or more areas of the face, such as crow’s feet or forehead lines.
Skin discoloration is a permanent and obvious sign of sun damage, as it can cause noticeable dark spots or hyperpigmentation. If you have noticed dark, patchy spots on your skin, it is likely due to UV rays increasing melanin production, which is the body’s way of protecting itself from sun damage.
The good news is that discoloration treatments are available to fade unwanted dark spots or uneven skin tones. For instance, consider applying skincare products with vitamin C and retinol to reduce brown spots and brighten your complexion.
A Dry and Dull Complexion
If you fail to shield your skin from the sun, you shouldn’t be surprised if you develop a dry, dull complexion throughout the years. Sun damage can cause long-term consequences, including dried-out, rough, and flaky skin. Also, the long-lasting damage can reduce the skin cell renewal rate, causing you to develop a build-up of dead skin cells that will create a dull appearance.
If a dry, dull complexion affects your appearance and confidence, you can embark on a cosmetic treatment to restore your skin to its former glory. For instance, laser skin resurfacing can remove a thin layer of dead skill cells using an ablative laser to create a healthier-looking complexion.
An Increased Risk of Skin Cancer
Of course, the biggest risk of sun damage is skin cancer, as powerful UV rays can damage DNA in the skin cells. For this reason, you must sit in the shade, apply an SPF of 30 or higher daily, wear clothes to cover your arms and legs, and wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses.