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3 Ways the Sun Wreaks Havoc on Your Skin

May is melanoma and skin cancer awareness month. Around 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers, and approximately 85% of melanoma cases, are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

In addition to the risk of cancer, sun damage leads to premature aging and lasting skin imperfections. If your skincare routine doesn’t include daily protection against the sun, it might be time to reconsider.

At Associated Dermatologists, with offices in Berkley, Commerce, Novi, and West Bloomfield, Michigan, our experienced team can help remedy the effects of sun aging with skin rejuvenation treatments, and advise you on proper suncare for your skin.

UV radiation
Ultraviolet radiation comes in two forms. Sunlight is 95% UVA and 5% UVB. UVA rays cause indirect damage to your skin cells, which leads to premature aging over time and may contribute to some skin cancers. However, most of the most serious damage is done by UVB rays, which can lead to severe sunburns, damage to skin cell DNA, and a higher risk of skin cancer.

80% of visible aging of the skin is caused by sun exposure. Smoking, stress, and hereditary factors can speed up aging, but the sun does most of the work. If your skincare routine doesn’t protect against the sun, it’s next to useless.

You’re exposed to UVA rays every day: in your car, by the window, and even when you step out the front door just to grab the mail. That’s why it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, not just when you go to the beach.

Sun damage
There are three main ways sun damages skin:

1. Volume loss
When people talk about wrinkles, sagging, and deflated skin, they’re talking about volume loss. Prolonged exposure to UVA rays damages the network of collagen and elastin fibers that keep your skin supple. Production of collagen and elastin proteins naturally decreases over time, and eventually your body won’t be able to keep up with sun damage.

2. Hyperpigmentation
Sunspots, freckles, and uneven pigmentation are all common complaints among people with sun damage. When your skin is exposed to UV radiation, it tries to protect itself by producing more melanin. This can lead to dark blemishes on your face that take away from your skin’s natural complexion.

3. Rough, uneven skin texture
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and noticed that your skin has an uneven, dry appearance, it’s likely that sun damage is to blame. Exposure to the sun can cause your skin to lose moisture and essential oils, leading to patches of rough and scaly skin. Eventually, these rough patches can develop into solar keratoses.

Skin rejuvenation
If you start protecting your skin now, you can limit future damage and prevent further photoaging. Skin rejuvenation treatments like Lumecca, Morpheus8, and Forma can help treat existing effects of sun exposure. These treatments use intense pulsed light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF) energy to eliminate hyperpigmentation and tighten wrinkled skin.

Want to learn more about what skin rejuvenation can do for you? Get in touch with the team at Associated Dermatologists to set up a comprehensive consultation and evaluation. You can schedule by calling the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.