Facial Skin Care, Sun Damage and Sunscreen Use

facial skin sun damage sunscreen

At the offices of Steven Warnock MD, one of our specialties is various facial treatments. Using both surgical and non-surgical methods, we can help correct signs of aging including lines, sagging and wrinkles, bringing you a more youthful facial appearance.

The single most common exterior cause of certain early aging signs that some people experience at an earlier age than they’d prefer? Sun damage. Ultraviolet rays are potentially very harmful to skin after prolonged and repeated exposure, and can often be the direct source of both health issues and aesthetic ones. Let’s look at the risks you take if you overexpose yourself to the sun, plus how some basic sunscreen habits can protect you even if you’re a total beach bum.

Appearance and Short-Term Issues

As we noted above, sun damage is the primary environmental factor that plays a role in the aging of your skin. In the short-term, it can cause the skin to become darker, drier and even harder in some situations – this hardness may also lead to the formation of lines or wrinkles, which signal aging. Major skin sagging due to loss of elasticity is also possible.

In most cases, temporary sunburn symptoms will include things like red or peeling skin, plus possibly photo-aging, broken blood vessels, sun spots, and roughness on various parts of the skin. But over time, these kinds of issues become more and more permanent and can lead to significant long-term risks.

Long-Term UV Risks

Ultraviolet rays are not only a risk to your appearance – they play a big role in the formation of skin cancer, which is very common. To complicate things further, the signs of these kinds of risks aren’t usually visibly present right away; we don’t get sunburned once in our 30s and connect that directly to a risk of skin cancer.

But over time, these signs will begin to appear. As a simple example, look at the top part of your arm – the part that’s exposed to the sun most often – and note how much darker it is than the bottom part. This is based on years of sun exposure that have changed the very complexion of your skin. This same effect is possible all over the body, and in more severe ways in areas like the face.

Sunscreen Factors to Consider

To protect yourself from many of the risks above, both on the face and in other skin areas, take the following precautions involving sunscreen:

  • Always look for sunscreen choices with SPF 15 or higher, and preferably 30 or higher.
  • Ensure your sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB rays – some only are made for one or the other, and SPF only tracks UBV protection.
  • Choose a sunscreen you’re comfortable with and will wear regularly.

For more on skin care, sun damage and sunscreen, or to learn about any of our cosmetic surgery offerings, speak to the staff at the offices of Steven Warnock MD today.