Sun Damage / Photoaging
Photoaging is a term used for the characteristic changes to skin induced by chronic sun exposure. Sun-damaged skin is caused due to prolonged exposure of your skin to the harmful UV radiation emitted by the sun.
Areas of your body such as the face, arms, legs, chest and neck are most likely to be affected as they are exposed the most . The effects of this exposure range anywhere from dry and flaky skin, skin redness or darkening, freckling and sun spots, sunburn to full blown skin cancer.
Two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk for skin damage and skin cancer: UVA &UVB. UVA has a longer wavelength ,can penetrate your skin more deeply and is associated with skin aging. UVB has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning.
UVA rays About 95% of the UV rays that reach the ground. UVA rays can penetrate your skin more deeply and cause your skin cells to age prematurely. The other 5 percent of UV rays are UVB.
They have higher energy levels than UVA rays, and typically damage the outermost layers of your skin, causing sunburn. These rays directly damage DNA and are the cause of most skin cancers.
To keep your skin healthy, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays.
Consider the following tips to limit sunburn, premature aging, and DNA damage:
- Apply Sunscreens
- Wear a hat
- Cover up
- Wear sunglasses
Sunscreen is a photoprotective topical product for the skin that mainly absorbs, or to a much lesser extent reflects, some of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and thus helps protect against sunburn and most importantly prevent skin cancer.
Physical or chemical sunscreen? The key difference between mineral and chemical sunscreen is that minerals/physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block rays at the surface, while chemical sunscreen absorb rays like a sponge. It turns the rays into heat and releases it from the skin.
What about vitamin D?
The sun is one source of vitamin D, which is why it’s sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin.” However, we advise against getting vitamin D from sun exposure or tanning beds, as UV rays can cause skin cancer.
Rather, we recommend following a healthy diet that includes foods that are natural sources of vitamin D. These include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardine. You may also want to consider taking vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D affects the health of many parts of the body, including the skin and hair.
Vitamin D plays a role in the creation of new hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hairs grow.
Sun rays trigger various types of DNA damage that have several deleterious consequences, such as cell death, mutagenesis, photoaging and cancer. Contact your health provider for Skin DNA test. Your results will indicate the steps you can take to fight the effects of genetics to maintain younger, healthy-looking skin.