Sun Damage is something that everyone should be concerned about. It’s the end of May and the summer is seemingly present here in Kelowna. With the summer, comes beautiful weather, and everyone is keen to sit out on patios, near a pool or just at the park to catch a bit of colour before the season is quickly over. It’s no secret by now that the sun can play some pretty harsh tricks on your skin. Even here in Kelowna, we’re not immune to the damages the sun’s rays can inflict. But do you know exactly what those are? Here’s a quick breakdown of the possible effects sun damage has on your skin.
The Sun and Your Skin
The sun is a powerful thing, but its power over your skin is greatly determined on a few other factors as well. Depending on your skin type, your age, and of course the level of exposure you’ve had (and whether or not you wore sunscreen), all play a factor in how your skin will be affected long-term. Your skin will react in many different ways, such as premature aging, discolouration, wrinkles and of course, the dreaded “C” word (cancer).
Premature Aging, Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Sun damage can cause your skin, and you by association, to look much older then you are. The sun can accelerate the development of fine lines and wrinkles as well as permanent discolouration which all contribute to the ‘aged’ and damaged look. The inner layers of the skin will thicken and will lose their ability to retain moisture, all which contribute to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, extensive exposure to the sun can also cause your skin to develop permanent dark brown freckles. Not to mention, the inner layer of your skin will eventually lose its elasticity while the outer layer becomes thinner making it easy to develop blisters and other types of superficial issues.
These are skin lesions that result from prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun. They vary in size, but ultimately should be examined by a doctor as they pose a risk of morphing into a type of skin cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Though there’s a rather small chance of this happening, it’s always best to have any questionable spots checked by your doctor to make sure any potential issues are caught sooner, rather than later. Many doctors right here in Kelowna are experienced and able to examine sun spots.
It might be fun to have a great sun tan, but it’s always better to be safe (by wearing sunscreen) then sorry. Developing skin cancer is no laughing matter. Every time you step outside without sunscreen on you’re taking a risk by exposing your vulnerable skin to the effects of the sun’s damaging UV rays. This can have a lasting and harmful impact on, not only your skin, but your immune system and other parts of your body.
It’s important to protect yourself. Speak to your doctor or dermatologist about the best form of sunscreen for every day use.