Common Types of Sun Damage

Sun damageWarm sun on your skin is one of the greatest feelings in the world, but unfortunately that feeling often comes with a price – sun damage. Unprotected skin is vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause long-term changes to your skin.

Sun damage comes in many forms, but some of the most common types include:

  • Dry skin – When exposed to excessive amounts of sun, your skin can slowly lose natural moisture and essential oils. This can cause your skin to appear dry or flaky – resulting in an aged appearance.
  • Sunburn – Sunburn is a skin injury that occurs after the skin is exposed to UV radiation. Mild to moderate sunburn results in skin reddening and discomfort, but more severe cases can result in vesicles (fluid-filled bumps) or large blisters.
  • Actinic keratosis – When exposed to the sun for a long period of time, small rough patches may develop on your skin. It is possible for actinic keratosis to eventually turn into skin cancer.
  • Premature aging – UV damage to your skin can cause structural changes to the collagen beneath your skin, which ultimately results in fine lines and wrinkles.

Repeated unprotected sun exposure can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. As a general rule, men and women with fair skin and light eyes are at an increased risk. This is due to a lack of melanin in the skin (which shields the skin from UV rays).

Wearing a daily SPF of 30 or greater is the best way to protect your skin from sun damage, but for some of us, the damage has already been done. If you’re unhappy with how sun damage has impacted your appearance, there are a variety of cosmetic treatment options available that can help:

Learn more about laser skin resurfacing and other treatments for sun damage in Urbana.

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Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

He completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Will also completed a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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