The symptoms of sun damage vary according to the amount of time the skin has been regularly exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun and the type of skin. The damage may range from mild sunburn that is red and painful after a few hours in the sun to serious skin cancer issues after years of exposure to the sun. The skin gets dry and flaky and premature wrinkles start to appear when the skin loses moisture from the sun’s heat. With constant dryness and burning, the skin’s structure undergoes long-term changes.
There are various types of sun damage, including:
- Dry skin, which occurs when the sun causes essential oils and moisture to dry up. This can cause wrinkles, even in younger people.
- Sunburn, which is actually a skin injury from the UV radiation of sunlight. Mild sunburn shows itself as painful, red skin, but severe sunburn can have small bumps that are filled with fluid or large blisters.
- Actinic keratosis, which consists of small bumps that feel like rough skin or may also be a scaly patch of skin that has a red, pink, yellow or brownish color. These bumps can only be removed by skilled professional. Our specialist may use chemicals or freeze the actinic keratosis. You should take care if you see actinic keratosis developing because it can be a warning of more serious skin diseases in the future. About 10 to 15 percent of the cases of actinic keratosis change into squamous cell skin cancer.
A change in the structural protein that may cause premature aging and fragile blood vessels to bleed is serious. Premature aging happens because the collagen in the dermis or deep layer of skin is changed by UV radiation. This weakens blood vessels, especially in older people where the vessels may more easily rupture after a small impact.
Repeated exposure to the UV rays of the sun can damage anyone’s skin, but people with light-colored eyes and fair skin are more at risk for sun-damaged skin becoming skin cancer. This is because fair skin does not contain enough pigment called melanin to protect the skin from UV rays.
The symptoms of sun-damaged skin are easy to see. Dry skin is itchy and wrinkles easier than parts of the skin that are not exposed to the sun. Along with blisters, severe sunburn may cause dizziness and nausea. The symptoms of collagen changes include thick skin, fine lines, deep wrinkles and skin that bruises easily on the back of the hands and forearms.
During a consultation with our expert at Guelph Medical Laser and Skin Centre, your skin issues will be examined and diagnosed. Treatments can be recommended. Some sun damage may be permanent, but there is still a lot we can do at our office in Guelph to resurface your skin and help diminish the effects of sun damage. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more.