Taking care of your skin while aging can sometimes be challenging. One of the most important things you can do for your skin is protect it against sun damage. This is especially true as you age. With summer upon us, it’s important to be safe while we have fun in the sun. Let’s take a closer look at why sun damage happens, how to prevent it, and the importance of senior sun safety.
What Causes Sun Damage?
The easy answer is the sun! Jokes asides, sun damage is caused by UV radiation constantly emitted from the sun. UV radiation penetrates our skin and damages it over time. Radiation from the sun actually kills your skin cells. The radiation can even damage your DNA and greatly increase your chance of developing skin cancer. This damage creates more melanin in the skin.
Melanin naturally occurs in the skin and is what gives skin its darker pigments. Melanin protects the skin from sun damage by absorbing the light and redistributing it. As your skin cells die, your body naturally will produce more melanin in your skin to mitigate further damage. This process is called tanning. What we call “age spots” or “sunspots” on the skin are where melanin has clumped up in an area that was damaged by the sun.
Preventing Sun Damage
Whether you’re 26 or 62, protecting your skin from the sun is important. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is with a sunscreen that has a minimum of 30 SPF rating and provides broad-spectrum sun protection. Sunscreen works by either absorbing sunlight or scattering and reflecting it. However, there are other things you can do to protect your skin without sunscreen. You can provide a physical barrier from the sun with protective clothing, staying in the shade, or simply going outside when the sun is low.
Protecting Aging Skin
As mentioned before, the best practices for protecting your skin from sun damage are the same for young or senior skin. That being said, senior skin protection needs to be taken seriously. Aging skin is more vulnerable to the sun and will become damaged easier. As we age, our skin becomes thinner because of fat and water loss. This makes it easier for UV light to penetrate deeper.
Taking care of your skin is important; that’s why Dr. Nita Patel provides comprehensive sun damage care services. Dr. Patel understands that protecting your skin 24/7 is a challenge, and mistakes will happen. Dr. Patel brings experience, expertise, and care to every treatment and patient. If your skin has become sun damaged, contact Dr. Patel’s office at 310-577-7544 today.