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I didn’t know that was sun damage!

I didn’t know that was sun damage!

Many of the skin changes that we see in our older friends, relatives and ourselves are not related to aging, but in fact, they are due to long term sun exposure.

We all assume that the changes such as pigmentation, wrinkling and broken blood vessels go along with having birthdays, when in fact, the sun is really the one to blame. If you were to live your life totally indoors, your appearance would be decades younger than of your current self.

Why is this important? Because if the sun is the true cause of these problems, then protecting your skin from the sun will minimize these changes and promote a younger appearance. This is true no matter what age you start getting serious about sun protection. It’s never too late to start!

Here are a few of the changes that can be minimized with diligent sun protection:

Hyperpigmentation

This brown flat discoloration is commonly seen on faces, arms, neck and chest. It is the body’s attempt at protecting the skin cells by making dark colored pigment that shields the cell. The pigmentation can be diffuse or clustered (solar lentigos). Covering skin will minimize the worsening of the problem and help prevent new lesions.

Wrinkling

Wrinkles are caused to a great degree by the sun breaking down connective tissue in the skin (collagen and elastin). This is demonstrated by the fact that most of us have very few wrinkles where the sun doesn’t shine.

Telangiectasia

These thread-like red lines are dilated blood vessels that can be caused by several conditions, but the most common cause is sun damage. They are the body’s response to ultraviolet injury.


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