Skin Is Damaged After Exposure To The Sun
The skin’s protective barrier is altered, causing irritation and redness. The effect on the skin can be immediate or delayed.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) are the chief cause of skin damage. Although accounting for a very small percentage of UV radiation, UVB rays are very powerful and can damage the epidermis. UVA rays, which make up a large part of UV radiation, are present throughout the year, even on the greyest days, and are a lot more dangerous, because not only do they penetrate the epidermis, but are also capable of reaching the dermis.
Immediate damage (due mainly to UVB rays) is caused by prolonged and incorrect exposure to the sun and includes rashes, burns and urticaria; these are symptoms that are particularly uncomfortable but that can be resolved quickly and easily with the appropriate treatment.
Delayed effects, caused mainly by UVA rays, are more complicated however: the rays penetrate deeply and silently, causing symptoms like brown spots, keratosis (thickening of the skin), premature aging and the breaking down of membrane phospholipids. Over time, and if the skin is still subjected to prolonged exposure to the sun (UVA + UVB), these conditions can damage cell DNA and encourage the growth of melanoma.
- Protect your skin from UVB and especially UVA rays (including long UVA rays) by using broad spectrum sunscreens which respect and preserve hydration and skin barrier functions
- Apply the right amount of sunscreen several times when out in the sun
- Expose skin to the sun gradually, so it can develop a natural tan
- Be especially careful to protect certain areas of the body like the nose, lips, ears, neck, shoulders and scalp
- Wear clothing and accessories to protect yourself from the sun
- Going out in the sun in the middle of the day
- Exposing small children under the age of one to direct sunlight