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Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer

Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer

The sun’s rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good. But our love affair isn’t a two-way street. Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. Consider this: One woman at age 40 who has protected her skin from the sun actually has the skin of a 30-year-old!

We often associate a glowing complexion with good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun or in a tanning booth actually accelerates the effects of aging and increases your risk for developing skin cancer.

Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, 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.

Remember to wear your sunscreen and take precautions when you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time. There are many products available to apply both before and after sun exposure. Keep your skin well cleaned and moisturized. There is a misconception that if you have oily skin you do not need to moisturize. That is false, moisturizing is for everyone and there are different products for different types of skin.