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Sun Damage or Aging: Which Is Worse for Your Skin?

Posted on: April 24th, 2023 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

Although aging is blamed for skin concerns such as laxity, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles, the truth is that most of these problems are the consequence of sun damage. According to the World Health Organization, up to 90% of the visible changes you see on your skin are from sun exposure. To learn more about how you can look younger than your age throughout your life, listen to what the doctors at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic have to say about sun damage. 

How the Sun Damages Your Skin

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays. When UV hits your body, it can harm your skin’s DNA. This process is called photoaging. To protect itself from UV, your skin starts to produce extra melanin, the substance that provides your skin with pigmentation. That is why your skin turns tan after sun exposure. 

There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. Most of the damage caused by UVB rays (e.g., sunburn) occurs in the outermost layer of the skin. UVA rays can penetrate deeper layers of the dermis, harming the collagen fibers. This causes the body to produce collagen that is not as effective at improving the tone and texture of your skin.  

The Cosmetic Benefits of Skin Care Are Clear

You may not be able to do anything about getting older but knowing that you can take great care of your skin to minimize signs of aging may be just the incentive you need to better protect yourself from photoaging. 

You should wear sunscreen anytime you go outdoors during daylight hours. If possible, try to avoid being outside during the hours when the sun’s UV rays are strongest: late morning and early afternoon. Hats, sunglasses, long sleeves and pants are also useful in blocking UV rays from reaching your skin.   

The sooner you start putting these tips into action, the easier it is to keep your skin looking young, but any age that you improve your habits can help diminish future signs of aging. 

Meet with Our Doctors to Discuss Skin Care

When our esteemed dermatologists encourage you to protect your skin from the sun, we do so not only to reduce your risks for skin cancer, but also because we understand the sun’s aging effects on your skin. 

If your skin is already suffering some of the ramifications of sun exposure, the good news is that Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic has a variety of non- and minimally invasive treatments that can improve the tone and texture of your skin for a rejuvenated appearance. To learn more about these cosmetic treatments, please arrange a consultation by calling (619) 462-1670 today. 

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology