What are the signs of sun damage?
The most noticeable sign that you have damaged your skin due to excessive sun exposure is burning. This will happen within a few hours of exposure and can take many days to recover from. Did you know that at the cellular level any level of redness is a sign that the skin has been damaged by the sun? Thankfully our skin is very clever and is repairing minor sun damage all the time and can cope if the amount is limited.
Your skin can be permanently damaged from the sun. The signs to look out for may include more dryness and flaking of the skin, a rougher texture, permanent redness, brown pigmentation and small lesions growing on your skin.
How can I protect my skin?
There are a number of treatments that can help reverse these signs of aging, but they are not complete. The best treatment is prevention.
The most investigated method is to wear sunscreen regularly. If you have pale skin, the majority of the signs of aging will be due to the effects of the sun. Wearing a daily sunscreen on your face will reduce these signs over time and also reduce your risks of developing sun cancers when you are older. i.e. it will keep you looking younger for longer!
In addition, you might want to consider the following
- Wearing a broad brimmed hat when it is particularly sunny either at home or abroad
- Consider wearing UV protection clothing when abroad.
- Consider wearing a UV protection top as part of your swimwear if you are spending many hours around the pool abroad
Try to avoid the following
- Spending more time than necessary in the midday sun, when the sun is at its most intense, especially when abroad.
- Using Sunbeds. Using regular sunbeds have been shown to accelerate the signs of aging and significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Go for fake tan instead. It is much safer.
I hope you have found this useful. Remember, protecting your skin from sun damage is a marathon not a sprint.