Sun Damage - An Overview
Sun damage can have a variety of negative effects on the skin. There are short term and long term consequences.
Acute sun damage:
Sunburn is one of the most common and obvious forms of sun damage. Often occurring several hours following sun exposure, redness, warmth, and inflammation occur on the exposed skin.
- Sunburns are a very common and immediate result of sun damage
- Sunburns are caused by the UVB spectrum of light
- Those with lighter skin burn quicker than those with darker skin
- The exposed skin becomes red and warm to the touch shortly after exposure.
- The skin will often peel off several days later
- Severe cases of sunburn are uncommon, but can become a medical emergency if left untreated
- Sunburns, especially during a young age may increase the risk of certain cancers occurring later in life
Chronic sun damage:
Sun exposure also has long-term effects, which may be more dangerous because they are invisible for so long.
- Photoaging, sometimes called premature aging is a long-term consequence of sun exposure
- Sun spots, and melasma are some forms of pigmentation problems that can occur as a result of accumulated sun damage
- Chronic sun damage often does not show up until a person's thirties, but the damage is hidden, and will show up later as the skin's ability to recover from damage weakens
- Pre-cancerous legions like actinic keratosis are caused by accumulated sun exposure
- Wrinkles can develop earlier due to sun damage
- Several types of skin cancer are caused in part by accumulated sun damage
Back to Sun Damaged Skin Index |