Sun Damage: the Main Culprit to Skin Problems
The vast majority of our skin problems, including so-called laugh lines, crow feetâs, and wrinkles, are due to what dermatologists call âphoto aging,â or damage caused by exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by the sun. Compare the condition of the skin of on your face to the condition of the skin on any other part of your body that is usually by clothing. The difference is striking. The skin that has rarely seen the light of day will look decades younger. UV light is the reason. Damage from UV light is cumulative and can take years before it is apparent. Generally, by the time we reach our mid-thirties the longâterm effects of UV exposure start to become visible in the form of the fine lines, wrinkles, and telltale changes in skin tone and color. No one is immune.
Do not assume just because you are not a regular sun bather or you do not spend a lot of time at the pool or on the tennis court that you are safe. Most of us get a heavy dose of UV rays when we are going about our daily business, even when we are going to and from work or the grocery store. Over a lifetime this kind of brief but chronic exposure leaves its mark.
There are two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. Both types stimulate the formation of free radicals on the skin. These free radicals are the very same highly reactive oxygen molecules that promote aging inside the body and are causative factors in such diseases as diabetes commonly associated with aging. By the way, if you smoke cigarettes, you are essentially inhaling thousands of free radicals with each puff. By age forty smokers tend to have wrinkles comparable to people ten years older.
UVBs rays, commonly referred to as the burning rays, inflict immediate damage on the epidermis. Even brief exposure to UVB rays can turn sensitive skin red and cause pain and inflammation. UVB rays are particularly nasty because, in addition to