Wrinkles and other visible signs of aging are unavoidable. The severity of aging signs, however, can be affected by factors that are sometimes preventable. A major factor that contributes to visibly aged skin is sun exposure. Here we’ll tell you three facts about what’s called “photoaging” and three ways to protect yourself against skin damage from the sun.
Facts about photoaging:
- Rays from the sun that affect the skin are UVB and UVA. UVB rays are shorter and usually cause burns. UVA rays are longer and penetrate deeper into the skin. When UVA rays penetrate the skin they damage collagen fibers. This leads to a reaction that will prevent collagen from rebuilding correctly and will show as wrinkles on the skin.
- When you are tanning, your skin is producing melanin to block radiation from the sun. This is a way to prevent sun damage but by the time you see a tan the damage has already been done. Both tanning and sunburns are signs of skin damage and can contribute to premature aging.
- Sun exposure can cause age spots, also known as “solar lentigos.” An age spot is just a smaller area of skin that has pigmentation from repeated exposure to the sun.
Protect yourself from photoaging:
- Wear sunscreen daily in areas where photoaging is likely to occur.
- Stay out of the sun when it is the strongest or use an umbrella.
- Avoid both tanning outdoors and tanning salons. Remember that besides premature aging, sun exposure can also cause skin cancer.