Sun Damage and Your Skin – Results of UV Exposure
- Actinic Keratosis – a precancerous growth on the skin (most common)
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – a skin growth that is the result of sun exposure but one that will not spread beyond the skin
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – a sun related skin cancer that can sometimes spread to other organs
- Malignant Melanoma – a very deadly skin cancer that must be removed immediately
- Lentigo Maligna – a pre-malignant lesion that should also be removed as it may become a melanoma one day
Before & After treatment for long history of sun exposure and clear sun damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Sun Damage?
- Rough and dry skin lesions
- Patches or growths on the skin
- Localized growths
- Appearance on the face, scalp, back of the hands, chest, or other common sun-exposed areas
- Gray, pink, red, or flesh-colored discoloration
- Begins as flat and scaly evolving into a wart-like or rough surface
What Are the Causes of Sun Damage?
Actinic Keratosis is specifically caused by repeated sun exposure. Ultraviolet light damages the elastin (elastic) fibers in the skin leading to increased signs of aging and vulnerability to the effects of sun damaged skin. Common risk factors contributing to the expression of sun damage are:
- Having fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair
- Long-term, daily sun exposure (for example, if you work outdoors)
- Multiple, severe sunburns early in life
- Older age
As a result, it is imperative to keep a strict regimen in terms of sun exposure throughout your life. Dr. Crippen recommends daily application of a UV-A and UV-B blocking sunscreen to help prevent the most common types of skin cancer.