Sunbathing Woman with Sun Hat and Sunglasses

Protecting Your Skin From Sun Damage

Avoiding harmful UV rays to harness health and beauty

Ah, summer. Where days are marked by vacations with friends and family, long days on the beach, and soaking in the sun’s rays – whether you intend to or not. Sunlight is good for us in some ways, providing much-needed vitamin D. But it also contains harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause harm from wrinkles and age spots to cancer. How much does sunlight cause visible signs of aging? We examine this, how you can protect yourself, and what treatments we offer to help with effects of sun exposure.

How Much Damage Does Sun Really Do?

When we examine the effects of aging, sometimes it’s hard to parse how much each factor – time, genetics, outdoor forces – contributes. While we can’t run away from our genetic makeup, we do have control over how much we expose our skin to the sun. The World Health Organization has said that up to 90% of visible facial aging signs can be attributed to UV rays from sun exposure. Wrinkling, sagging, and changes in texture and elasticity are just some of the ways the sun can alter our skin.

Not only can UV rays affect our physical appearance, they can also weaken our immune system, cause sunburn, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Do Your Best to Minimize Sun Exposure

The simplest way to protect your skin from UV exposure is to wear sunscreen daily, not just when going to the beach or pool. Many moisturizers and foundations have built-in SPF, making it easy to remember. However, check the level, as many have a very low SPF level, which doesn’t protect for as long, especially for people with lighter skin.

Wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves when possible. Guard against squinting, which can cause eye wrinkles, by always sporting sunglasses when outside or driving. Also, try to avoid being outdoors during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Treating Skin With Sun Damage

Despite our best efforts, many of us will still inadvertently end up with visible signs of sun damage, especially on the face. Brown spots and redness can be nuisances that can be difficult or burdensome to cover up with makeup every day. River Oaks Gynecology & Aesthetics (ROGA) offers skin rejuvenation procedures for pigmentation issues, such as fractional lasers, chemical peels, and using IPL technology.

UV rays can also change the skin’s texture, leaving many with fine lines, wrinkles, and loose skin. ROGA can help you look and feel your best again with various procedures that will smooth your skin and take years off your appearance. The Core CO2 and Lumenis® ResurFX™ are fractional lasers that can help with both tone and texture, with less downtime than other resurfacing methods. As we age, our bodies don’t produce as much collagen, causing skin to loosen. The elōs® plus Sublime™ procedure can help with sagging skin that results from this.

Protecting your skin from the sun is a good idea not only for cosmetic purposes, but for long-term health as well. Remember to enjoy the sun and outdoor activities this summer, but protect your skin as best you can. If the sun’s rays have wreaked havoc on your skin, visit ROGA today!