-: Damages Caused By Sun :-
- The sun has a profound effect over years of exposure on the skin, causing
premature skin aging, skin cancer, and many other skin changes.
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun accounts for most premature skin aging.
- Skin texture changes caused by UV exposure include thick skin in coarse wrinkles, especially
- Many skin changes that were commonly believed to be due to aging, such as
easy bruising,are actually a result of prolonged exposure to the sun.
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- Blood vessel changes lead to bruising with only minor trauma in sun-exposed areas.
- The sun also causes the appearance of tiny blood vessels in the skin, especially on the face.
- On the back of the neck (cutis rhomboidalis nuchae), and thinning of the skin causing fine wrinkles,
easy bruising, and skin tearing, particularly on the forearms and back of the hands.
- Skin color changes caused by sun exposure are common. The most noticeable sun-induced pigment change is brown pots.
- Light-skinned people are particularly prone to freckles. Large freckles, also known as age spots or liver spots,
can be seen on the backs of the hands, chest, shoulders, arms, and upper back.
- UV exposure can also cause small white spots on the legs, backs of the hands, and arms
as well as red areas on the sides of the neck (poikiloderma of Civatte).
- Moles (nevi) are usually seen in sun-exposed areas. Although it is normal to acquire new moles from childhood
through young adulthood, their formation is stimulated by the sun
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- Most moles are normal; atypical moles, which are seen in non-sun-exposed areas and are larger and more irregular
than normal moles, serve as an indicator that the person with these types of moles may be prone to developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
- Pre-cancerous skin changes include red, scaly lesions especially on the face, ears, and backs of the hands called actinic keratoses.
- When on the lip (usually the lower lip), it is called actinic cheilitis.
- Actinic keratoses are considered premalignant lesions because 1 in 100 cases
per year will develop into squamous cell carcinoma, another type of skin cancer.?
- Sun tans are a symptom of damaged skin.
- They are the result of UV radiation stimulating the melanocytes to produce more melanin or pigment.
- Sun tan is a natural defense of the skin to protect against ultraviolet.
- However, while the melanin helps protect the skin, over exposure and repetitive exposure of the skin
to the sun's rays or to tanning booth rays damages melanocytes and many other cell types in the skin.
- This damage is cumulative and potentially irreversible, ultimately leading to premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
- Therefore, the tan you thought beautiful for a few days may lead to a lifetime of skin problems.
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- As we begin to understand the importance of avoiding sun tans and exposure to ultraviolet radiation,
numerous organizations have developed education programs about skin cancer prevention and education.
- Sun protection methods can, and should, be taught at all ages.
- Sun tans should be avoided. Sun tans are a symptom of damaged skin and are a red flag to doctors to look
for skin cancers and problems associated with premature aging.
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- Sun protection clothing is a relatively new concept in the United States.
- Most people don’t realize that regular summer clothing lets through a surprising amount of UV.
Of course, summer styles also typically expose a lot of skin to the sun.
- Good quality sun protection clothing typically covers a maximum amount of skin yet is designed to be cool and comfortable to wear.
- Sun protective clothing is also very reliable - providing consistent and constant UV protection.
- It does not fade or wear off during the day. It is less expensive, as the clothing is bought
only once and will last many seasons or until outgrown. This form of protection is not messy, and
it reduces the amount of sunscreen needed on exposed areas. This is particularly appealing to mothers of young children and to men.
- And protection is provided for both UVA and UVB.
- Clothing is rated for its level of UV protection according to an Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF.
- This is a similar rating to the SPF used with sunscreen except that it addresses UVA and UVB whereas SPF only covers UVB.
- Most dermatologists recommend clothing with a UPF 30 or higher rating.
- According to American guidelines the highest rating is UPF 50+.
Exposure to the sun causes:
Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions - caused by loss of the skin's immune function
Fine and coarse wrinkles
Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation;
Sallowness -- a yellow discoloration of the skin;
Telangiectasias -- the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin;
Elastosis -- the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles.
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What is the difference between UVA, UVB and UVC?
The three types of UV radiation are classified according to their wavelength.
They differ in their biological activity and the extent to which they can penetrate the skin.
The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful the UV radiation.
However, shorter wavelength UV radiation is less able to penetrate the skin.
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- Short-wavelength UVC is the most damaging type of UV radiation.
- However, it is completely filtered by the atmosphere and does not reach the earth's surface.
- Medium-wavelength UVB is very biologically active but cannot penetrate beyond the superficial skin layers.
- It is responsible for delayed tanning and burning; in addition to these short-term effects it enhances
skin ageing and significantly promotes the development of skin cancer. Most solar UVB is filtered by the atmosphere.
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- The relatively long-wavelength UVA accounts for approximately 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface.
- It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and is responsible for the immediate tanning effect.
- Furthermore, it also contributes to skin ageing and wrinkling. For a long time it was thought that UVA could not cause any lasting damage.
- Recent studies strongly suggest that it may also enhance the development of skin cancers.
- Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging.
- Over time, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin.
- When these fibers breakdown, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.
- The skin also bruises and tears more easily -- taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be
apparent when you're young, it will definitely show later in life.