Skin Aging and Sun Exposure

When we were just a baby our skin was very soft on touching as it was rich in collagen and elastin fibers and there were no pores or any irregularities in texture. There were no any signs of aging such as wrinkles, loss of texture and others. But as we grow older our skin also starts showing the signs of aging and it can’t be avoided at any cost. The only factor that can be avoided is sun damage which accounts for more than 90 percent of wrinkles and almost 100 percent of pigmentation changes in the skin.

Aging of skin can be seen as early as first few years of life and that’s freckling of the skin due to sun damage. Although it may not be evident as older individuals, but if you compare quality of skin from new born, a five years old boy and a teen you can see the difference in which sun exposure plays an important factor.

Men and women in their twenties and thirties start to see the damage done by sun exposure. There are several factors that contribute to skin aging, so there is no any magic formula that can reverse the aging. The collagen starts to break down which can further be exacerbated by sun exposure. You cannot stop the process even if you live underground without sun but that’s not possible. Protecting your skin from sun exposure will help slow down the aging process of skin but won’t stop.

During your forties and fifties your skin starts to loose fats and thins. The collagen continues to break down in the middle and outer layer and your thin skin loses its elasticity resulting in sagging of the skin. This aging can be seen more frequently on those people who are frequently exposed to prolonged sun. It may also be associated with more freckling and age spots. Those who protected their skin throughout the early years might not notice such changes. Women in their late forties may experience menopause which further causes pigmentation changes and dry skin that can be sensitive to sun.

The sixties and seventies brings more facial pigmentation, sun spots and sagging of the skin. Not only skin, hair may also starts to thin and grays and may fall-off. Graying of the hair is not a problem for many of us, but if it starts to fall off than there might be a problem. To prevent the thinning and brittle hair, regular healthy balanced diet must be taken. It is also very important to rule out other systemic causes if brittle hair.

skin aging

skin aging

There is no doubt that sun exposure plays an important role in the process of aging of skin throughout life. The ultraviolet rays from the sun damages the DNA in the skin which may be irreversible as we age. When we are young our skin has some mechanism by which it can repair the damage cause by sun but becomes less efficient as we grow older. Repetitive prolonged sun exposure to the skin result in damage to DNA that can’t be repaired and these skin cells begins to mutate and grow in an abnormal ways and may become cancerous.

Finally I’m not going beyond your eighties and nineties, it’s just the same collagen breakdown, more shagging, more sun spots and so so. What is important is “Good Broad-spectrum Sunscreen”. Yes, regular use of good broad-spectrum sunscreen can prevent or at-least slow down the aging process of the skin caused by UV exposure. If you start applying regular sunscreen from your early teens you may still enjoy a beautiful younger looking skin while you are on your fifties and sixties.

Protect Your Skin From The Sun

If you have either dark or black complexion, you might feel the need to protect your skin from the sun exposure. Whether you are using dark skin care, African American skin care, Asian skin care, or other ethnic skin care products, you will usually find a sun protection cream in any of those treatments.

When your skin is prone to acne, sun exposure can be damaging and cause acne aggravation. Further, it can cause acne black spots and other skin discolorations. For people with black acne, which is acne occurring on dark to black skin, excessive sun exposure can cause post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, which is the darkening of the skin in areas of acne inflammation. Additionally, the risk of acne scarring will also be increased.

There are various acne treatments for black skin that encourage protection against damaging effects of sun exposure. Various African American skin care products are being offered to the market addressing this problem.

The damage of sun exposure for your skin can be explained in few points:

1) It can aggravate your acne.
2) It can cause premature aging.
3) It can cause various pigmentation and skin discoloration effects.
4) It can cause dryness and promote acne scarring.
5) It can cause instant redness and irritation if you have oily and sensitive skin.

Those are basic damaging effects of too much exposure of sunlight.

Each day, you should not expose your skin to the sun exposure for more than 15 minutes. You should only allow the morning sunlight to penetrate the skin. Other than in the morning, you should always wear a sun block lotion wherever you go outside. This simple skin care advice can save your skin from the damage caused by excessive sun exposure and prevent sunburn from peeling.

There is no exact difference in skin care treatments for men and women. Usually, the damage of sun exposure is related to two main skin problems such as acne and premature aging. Therefore, sun protection is commonly found in natural acne skin care products and natural anti-aging products.

So, if your complexion is dark, sun exposure may damage your skin. Therefore, you should only expose your skin to natural sunlight in the morning for no more than 15 minutes each day. Whenever you have to go outside, you should always remember to apply a sun block lotion to prevent the sunburn.

Here are some tips to choose the best sun block for your skin:

1) Avoid harmful ingredients such as Benzophenone-3 (Bp-3), Octyl-Dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA), Octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), Oxybenzone, Homosalate (HMS), Dioxybenzone, and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC). Those ingredients may damage your skin and unfortunately, those ingredients can easily be found in various popular sun block products.

2) The usage of natural sun protective lotion is encouraged and must be applied whenever you go outside. Choose safe products with natural ingredients such as virgin coconut oil, aloe vera, and shea butter.

Risk Of Melanoma Is Related To The Pattern Of Sun Exposure

In a study to assess the risk of melanoma in relation to its  tumour site and latitude, it was shown that risk of melanoma  at different body sites is associated with different amounts and patterns of sun exposure. Recreational sun exposure and sunburn are strong predictors of melanoma at all latitudes, whereas measures of occupational and total sun exposure appear to predict melanoma predominately at low latitudes.

They performed a pooled analysis of 15 case–control studies (5700 melanoma cases and 7216 controls), correlating patterns of sun exposure, sunburn and solar keratoses (three studies) with melanoma risk. Pooled odds ratios (pORs) and 95% Bayesian confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Bayesian unconditional polytomous logistic random-coefficients models.

The Followings Were The Findings From Study:

  • Recreational sun exposure was a risk factor for melanoma on the trunk and limbs, but not head and neck, across latitudes.
  • Occupational sun exposure was associated with risk of melanoma on the head and neck at low latitudes.
  • Total sun exposure was associated with increased risk of melanoma on the limbs at low latitudes, but not at other body sites or other latitudes.
  • pORs for sunburn in childhood were 1.5, 1.5, and 1.4 for melanoma on the trunk, limbs, and head and neck, respectively, showing little variation across latitudes.
  • Presence of head and neck solar keratoses was associated with increased risk of melanoma on the head and neck and limbs.

As a conclusion study showed that Melanoma risk at different body sites is associated with different amounts and patterns of sun exposure. Recreational sun exposure and sunburn are strong predictors of melanoma at all latitudes, whereas measures of occupational and total sun exposure appear to predict melanoma predominately at low latitudes.

Adapted from materials provided by: International Journal of Epidemiology