Passion | Precision | Perfection

Providing Expert Medical and Aesthetic Treatments to the Southwest

Q&A Article For West Magazine

Posted on: 9th June 2017

Q: I have always enjoyed the sun but I am almost approaching my mid 50’s so what damage has really been done to my skin?

A: Although most people love the warmth and light of the sun as well as how it makes them feel, too much sun exposure can significantly damage the human skin. The sun’s heat dries out areas that are unprotected and can deplete the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils. In addition, the sun’s ultra violet ( UVA/ UVB) radiation can cause burning and long term changes in the skin’s structure.

UVA rays tend to cause the ageing effects on the skin and the UVB rays tend to be responsible for skin burning issues.

The most common types of sun damage to the skin are:

  • Dry skin- Sun exposed skin can gradually lose moisture and essential oils, making it appear dry, flaky and prematurely wrinkled. This can even be seen in younger people.
  • Sunburn- This is the common name given for skin injury that appears immediately after the skin has been exposed to UV radiation. A mild case only causes reddening of the skin but the more severe cases can produce tiny fluid filled bumps or larger blisters. The effects of sunburn are permanent, even after the skin has healed.
  • Actinic keratosis- These feel like tiny bumps that can feel like sandpaper or a small scaly patches of sun damaged skin, They tend to have a yellowish, pink or brownish tint. Unfortunately, once your skin starts to develop these lesions, they can only be removed unless they are frozen off or chemically treated by a doctor. An actinic keratosis develops in areas of skin that have undergone repeated or long term exposure to the suns UVB rays.
  • These lesions tend to be an early sign of skin cancer. About 10 -15% of actinic keratoses eventually change into squamous cell cancers of the skin.

  • Long term changes in the skin’s collagen matrix. Collagen is the skins structural protein and some changes include photoaging (premature ageing of the skin because of sun exposure) and actinic purpura. This is bleeding of the fragile blood vessels beneath the skin surface). This can also lead to the formation of threadveins. In actinic purpura, UVA and UVB damages the structural collagen that supports the walls of the skins tiny blood vessels, In older people, this collage damage makes blood vessels more fragile and more likely to rupture following a slight impact.
  • Over a lifetime,repeated episodes of sunburn and unprotected sun exosre can increase a persons risk of malignant melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. White Caucasians have less of a dark pigment called melanin, which helps to protect the skin from the effects of UV radiation.

    There is no way any one can avoid the sun as it also has its benefits from making feel more positive, alert with increased energy. The sun is also essential for the formation of Vitamin D , an essential vitamin that is necessary for healthy bones. It is recommended to harness the suns Vitamin D producing power by allowing 20 mins of sunlight only per day only.

    To avoid DNA damage as much as possible, make sure a physical sunscreen is used daily. I recommend a product that tends to be bought in a Medical Aesthetic Clinic as this will tend to work in the live part of your skin, the dermis. I personally use Image Prevention Plus moisturiser with built in physical sunscreen . This then protects my skin and allows the skin in the deeper layers to start repairing to reduce even further damage to the collagen matrix.
    Skin Analysis machines are great at discovering what real damage has been done to the skin. It harnesses different light modalities to help you see how much sun damage , pigmentation and vascular lesions are under your skin , sometimes without the person knowing.

    Skin Southwest are offering a COMPLIMENTARY Skin Analysis for every reader. Quote ‘Skin check’ when booking.

    « Back to All Blogs
    We offer a wide range of facial aesthetic treatments Explore Now

    Patient Reviews & Testimonials

    testimonial View All Testimonials
    accreditations accreditations
    WhatClinic Patient Service Award