Sun damage can cause a variety of unwanted skin conditions, including age spots, melasma, wrinkles, broken capillaries and sunspots. The good news is that you can reverse some of the telltale signs of sun damage once you start treating it.
Repeated or long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light can alter the DNA of skin cells, causing several types of skin damage, including actinic keratosis, that may be a warning sign of skin cancer. It feels like a small, rough bump and may be pink, brown, red or yellow. According to studies, 10 to 15 percent of actinic keratosis cases change into squamous cell skin cancer. Unlike a sunburn, actinic keratosis will not go away unless it is properly treated.
Dry skin is another result of long-term sun exposure and sun damage. The skin gradually loses essential oils and moisture. As a result, it appears dry and flaky. Premature wrinkles form even in young people that make the person look much older than they actually are.
The sun can cause long-term changes in the collagen that is produced by the skin. Collagen is a structural protein that is needed to keep the skin smooth. When it is broken down by the sun’s light, it results in premature aging and even bleeding from the tiny blood vessels that are just beneath the surface of the skin. The skin develops wrinkles and fine lines as the collagen changes in the deeper layers of skin.
As you can see, sun damage and skin cancer are very closely connected. In many cases, limiting your exposure to the sun and taking the necessary precautions when you are out in the sun can help to prevent skin cancer from developing. Our team at Dr. Yeoman’s Dermatology Office would be happy to provide you with other helpful tips for preventing sun damage and the resulting skin cancer.
Of course, if you suspect that you may already have skin cancer, we can help you with that as well. During a consultation at the Dermatology Office in Poplar Bluff or Paragould, our team can assess your case and come up with a personalized treatment plan for you that aims to get rid of the cancer once and for all. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more!