The simplest way to avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun. Other protective measures include using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding sunlight when the UV rays are strongest in the middle of the day.
Sun exposure can cause skin texture changes including a dry, wrinkled, discolored, leathery look. The skin may appear to be thicker, but it has actually been weakened. The sun can cause the appearance of tiny blood vessels in the skin, especially on the face. Skin color changes are another common effect, the most noticeable being brown spots, or solar lentigos. UV exposure can also cause small white spots on the legs, backs of the hands, and arms. The sun’s most serious threat is that it is a major cause of skin cancer, which many doctors believe can be avoided by preventing sun damage.
Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid sun damage, but it is not ideal for many people. When you go outdoors, always apply sunscreen. Make it a part of your daily routine. The sun’s UV rays are strongest from about 10 am to 3 pm, so avoid the sun during these times. Wear protective clothing such as long sleeve and long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses that filter UV light. Don’t forget your lips! Apply a lip-protection balm and reapply at least every hour.
Even if you do not burn often, you should still use a sunscreen with a higher SPF. If you were only trying to avoid sunburn, it would be okay to use a lower SPF if your skin is not prone to burning. However, it would not be sufficient for reducing sun damage. Your skin can be harmed by sun exposure even if you do not see or feel a burn.
Always apply sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors if you will be exposed for 30 minutes or more. Reapply every 2 hours and if you get wet or perspire heavily, reapply more frequently. Cover all exposed areas; don’t forget your ears, lips, face, and backs of your hands. Make sure you are using a generous amount to cover your skin.
For the past three decades, Premier Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has been Delaware’s practice of choice in skin and aesthetic services. Our goal is to address all of your skincare needs under one roof by integrating medical, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic expertise with the highest standards of care and compassion. We are able to provide a comprehensive approach utilizing our different but complementary training backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, to achieve premier results. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians work collaboratively to integrate treatment plans that help you look and feel your best. Contact us today!