It’s July and us Canadians are soaking up the sunshine. That’s what happens when you only get four months of summer. But during all of your summer fun, your skin could be sustaining sun damage without you even knowing.
The signs of sun damage start accruing while you’re young, especially if you’re not wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis. Over time, this damage manifests as spots, fine lines, and moles. Even though your radiant tan may look great, it’s going to cause issues down the road.
Sun damage occurs as soon as the sun’s rays hit your skin. They bring out a chemical in your body associated with melanin that darkens your skin in an effort to protect it from further damage.
How can you tell if your skin is damaged? Here are some of the most common signs:
One of the most obvious signs of sun damage is a sunburn! Though they only last a few days, sunburns can add up to a lot of skin problems later on. We all know the feeling, your skin turns red and it’s warm to the touch. It’s painful to apply any pressure and you’re begging for a cold bath. Severe sunburns can cause nausea, fever, and even blistering. If you feel you’ve gotten a burn while outside, it’s time to reapply your SPF immediately and get out of the sun’s harmful rays.
Rough or Dry Skin Texture
Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause a rough or scaly skin texture that shows up on your face, scalp, ears, neck, arms, and hands. Appearing in a dark tan, red, or pink colour, these bumps are called Actinic Keratoses. Up to 10% of the time, these bumps can turn into skin cancer. It’s important to check often for any abnormal textures, making sure they aren’t getting larger or spreading.
Sometimes known as age spots or liver spots, they appear on your body like large freckles. With some being as large as a quarter, they tend to show up more as you age. While it may have been just a small tan spot in your 30’s, they can become dark brown as you enter your 50’s. It’s important to keep an eye on how these spots develop, whether they are raised or flat, if they change colour, or if they become painful.
Rosacea, Spider Veins, and Ruddy Skin
The sun’s rays are dangerous enough to harm the delicate web of blood vessels under your skin. As these vessels break down, rosacea can develop. When you blush, fluid will leak out and cause red blotches and bumps on your face. While it can come and go at first, it tends to stick around as you age.
Along with rosacea, the sun can deteriorate the fragile collagen structure in the skin, leading to decreased pressure around vessels and reduced elasticity in the skin. This means that spider veins are more likely to appear at the surface and cause discolouration in your skin.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
No matter how you look at it, the sun is one of the leading causes of facial aging. Exposure to sunlight over a number of years frays the fibers propping up your skin, causing wrinkling and sagging. Limiting sun exposure and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to protect the collagen and elastin in your body.
So, can you protect your skin from sun damage?
There are several steps you can take to help protect your skin. The best suggestion we have is integrating a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher into your skincare routine. A broad spectrum will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays and should be reapplied often if swimming or frequently toweling off.
Our favourite broad spectrum sunscreen is from the AlumierMD Sun Protection line. AlumierMD offers an innovative range of 100% physical, broad spectrum sunscreens. Each formula protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays while also keeping your skincare goals in mind.
Choose the Sheer Hydration to make sure that your skin remains dewy all day, available in both tinted and untinted varieties.
If you have more questions about sun damage and how you can help reverse the sun’s effects on your skin, feel free to call us at 1 519-750-3500 or email email@example.com to book a consultation appointment. You can also check us out on Facebook and Instagram to see more examples of our work! If you’d like to see examples of our pricing, please visit our services page.