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4 Signs Your Skin's Been Damaged By the Sun

4 Signs Your Skin's Been Damaged By the Sun

It’s common knowledge that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays damages the skin and causes degenerative aging. The importance of sunscreen and other forms of sun protection have been stressed by doctors and aestheticians alike. How do you know when your skin has been damaged by the sun, and what should you do about it?

At New Image Medical Spa in Fremont, California, Dr. Surinder Sandhu provides a range of premium skin care treatments to nourish, enhance, and safeguard your skin. Here’s how to tell if your skin has been sun-damaged.

Sun damage, or photoaging, is insidious  

Your skin is the largest organ of the body, supported by a vast network of cells and blood vessels. When you’re young, your skin is supple, elastic, and recovers quickly from injuries like scratches, scrapes, and sunburns. However, the sun may still cause permanent damage, even if your skin looks healed and unblemished.

Sun damage, also known as photoaging, occurs over time and prematurely ages the skin. UV light doesn’t just cause sunburns, it penetrates deep into your dermis and affects the cells beneath the surface. Over time, this accumulates and leads to significant damage. 

As you age, production of necessary skin-regenerating proteins like collagen and elastin begins to decline. This causes your skin to become more fragile and slow to heal, and makes the signs of past sun damage more obvious. 

4 signs of sun damage 

Sunburns are just the beginning of what UV light can do to your skin. Here are four common signs of significant sun damage. 

1. You see fine lines and wrinkles 

While some loss of volume and elasticity is to be expected as you age, sun damage can cause you to develop deeper wrinkles earlier in life, and these can be difficult to get rid of without the help of an aesthetician or even a plastic surgeon.

2. There’s significant hyperpigmentation 

Sun damage affects melanocytes in the skin, which can lead to the formation of freckles and solar lentigines (also known as sun or liver spots). Photoaging can also cause the skin to darken considerably,  more than the average tan seen in people who spend long hours outside.

3. Your skin texture has become uneven

It’s difficult for damaged cells to produce smooth skin. Constant UV exposure can cause your skin to feel dry, rough, and uneven as cellular regeneration struggles to keep up. 

4. Broken capillaries are starting to show up

Known commonly as spider veins, these are tiny, broken blood vessels under the skin. Poor circulation often causes spider veins on the calves, but sun damage can make capillaries burst on the exposed skin of the chest and around the nose and upper cheeks of the face. 

Treating sun damage 

While sun damage is permanent, there are many ways to improve your skin texture and appearance. At New Image Medical Spa, Dr. Sandhu and her team can evaluate your skin and suggest solutions to brighten your complexion and reduce signs of aging. Potential treatments include: 

Unhappy with your complexion? Suffering from years of sun damage? To learn more about photoaging and discuss treatment options, schedule a consultation by calling 510-269-2324, or request an appointment online.

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