Sunshine naturally lifts a person’s mood and makes the whole day seem brighter but the rays are also dangerous. The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) light that damages your skin and causes sunburn. Sunburn leads to premature aging, wrinkles, and age spots. Researchers at the Department of Applied Research and Development in Paris, France have found that UV exposure accounts for 80 percent of skin’s facial aging.
What is a Sunburn?
Infrared sunlight rays produce heat but do not burn your skin. UV rays are what cause sunburn. The sun produces UV rays all year so you can easily suffer from sunburn in the winter or summer months. This is why you often develop sunburns during hot and cold day.
Types of UV Rays
The sun produces two types of UV light rays, UVA and UVB.
- UVB: UVB light is what causes your skin to pinken and form what is commonly referred to as a ‘sunburn.’ The UVB light kills skin cells on the skin’s surface. As the skin’s cells die, they will turn red and eventually peel away.
- UVA: Although UVA does not cause the pink appearance of a sunburn on the skin’s surface it still causes damage by penetrating into the deep layers of the skin. Exposure to UVA leads to premature aging.
Sunburn and Skin Cancer
Suffering from a sunburn once every two years puts you at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. The UV radiation damages the skin’s DNA. Eventually, the cells will cease replicating correctly and grow out of control which leads conditions such as solar keratosis or cancer.
Degrees of Sunburns
Many people mistakenly believe that the skin must be extremely red, painful, blistered, and peel to have sustained a sunburn but this not always the case. Even if your flesh turns only slightly pink, you have still suffered sunburn and damaged your surface cells.
Seek Shelter at the First Sign of Sunburn
Any time you start to notice your flesh becoming pink, you should immediately cover up to prevent further damage. If you do not have anything to cover up with, then you need to go inside or seek out a shady location.
UV rays do more than just cause sunburn and surface damage. Over time they break down the skin’s collagen and elastin which are the proteins that keep your skin smooth and firm. As the collagen depletes from natural aging and UV damage, you will develop more severe wrinkles. The loss of elastin causes sagging which makes you look older than your years.
Cosmetic Methods to Repair UV Damage
If you have sustained sunburns during your lifetime and have started to notice surface changes, then you might want to explore cosmetic methods to repair the damage and create a younger appearance.
- Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that makes your skin more flexible and supple. Sun-related wrinkles become less noticeable. Beta-carotene can be obtained naturally by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and cantaloupe. You can also opt to take a supplement.
- Retinoids: Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A. They help boost the body’s production of collagen. Your physician can prescribe a cream, or you can purchase less strong over-the-counter brands.
- Facial Peels: Facial peels, also referred to as chemical peels, are treatments that lift away the damaged upper layers of your skin to create a smoother, younger appearance.
- Microdermabrasion: With microdermabrasion, the top layer of the skin is exfoliated and stimulated to encourage collagen production. The cells are then hydrated using antioxidants and peptides to create a plumper, younger visage.
- Laser Rejuvenation: Laser rejuvenation therapy relies on short pulses of concentrated light to rejuvenate skin and create a smoother texture.
Please contact the Laser Skin & Vein Clinic to book a detailed consultation with one of our medical professionals and discuss your many cosmetic options to reduce UV damage and create a younger appearance.