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Exposure to the sun for a long period of time can result in several skin problems. They occur on the basis of heat, humidity and the rays of the sun. Here are the most common skin problems caused due to sun exposure:
- Sunburn: Sunburns occur as a result of overexposure of the skin to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Melanin in the skin protects it from the sun’s rays, but in case of overexposure, melanin fails to work and sunburn is caused. The symptoms of sunburn include the skin turning red, burning in the affected areas, skin tightness and a sensation of itching. Severe symptoms are blisters, chills, fever and fatigue.
- Age spots: Age spots are caused due to overexposure to the sun. They are brown marks, which appear on the surface of the skin, especially in the arms, hands and other body parts. Age spots get more prevalent with ageing. Symptoms of this condition include brown and gray pigmentation on the skin surface. The pigmentation occurs in a circular shape and is flat on the skin.
- Photosensitivity: This condition is also known as sun allergy. People with photosensitivity are likely to get burned from sun exposure very easily, and symptoms of sunburn are observed. Symptoms include red and pink skin rashes accompanied by itching and burning. The area gets scaly and blistered.
- Moles: Moles occur commonly due to sun exposure. They may appear on any part of the body. Moles may vary from being harmless to cancerous. Common symptoms include raised skin and the skin tone changing into reddish brown or black. Moles are round in shape, and some moles are painful.
- Solar elastosis: This condition is commonly known wrinkles and occurs when the elastic tissues of the skin get deteriorated due to sun exposure. The skin turns limp on account of no strength of the tissues and collagen. Wrinkles appear, and the skin seems loose and sagging. Deep lines are formed on the skin.
- Skin cancer: Skin cancer accounts for being the most severe and fatal result of prolonged exposure to the sun without any kind of protection. There are many forms of skin cancer. The most primary skin cancers include Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
- Polymorphous light eruption: This condition, known as PMLE in short, affects women between the age group of twenty to forty. It also occurs in light sensitive people who spend more time under the sun. Symptoms include a red or pink, bumpy rash and raised areas on the skin surface. Itchiness and dry patches are indicated.
A large number of skin problems occur due to long hours of sun exposure. Some of these are chronic problems, which require proper treatment.
Aging of the skin is a natural process that affects all aging individuals. It manifests itself in the form of skin wrinkling, sagging, discoloration and other visible effects. Such changes become more apparent as soon as one reaches late thirties or early forties but early onsets are now very common too, which can be caused by a number of factors.
Damage due to sun exposure is the primary cause of skin aging. It especially affects those who have lighter or fairer skin as the low melanin content in their skin makes it more prone to damage and aging.
Although skin aging cannot be entirely stopped or reversed, the process can be slowed down to prevent its early onset.
There are many ways of doing so through some simple lifestyle modifications such as the following:
- Avoid sun exposure : This is the most basic way of reducing the rate of skin aging and slowing down the process. While going out in the day cannot always be avoided, it is important to keep the skin covered with clothing, hats and sunglasses.
- Always wear sunscreen : This provides protection from the harmful rays of the sun (known as UVA and UVB). Making a habit of constantly applying sunscreen on all exposed parts of skin plays an important role in preventing skin aging. It is also necessary to use the right products, which should have an SPF rating or 30 or more.
- Eat healthy: Having a nutritious balanced diet can make a tremendous positive impact on your skin. Consumption of food items that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is essential. It is also important to drink lots of water and fluids to stay hydrated. Junk food and sugary drinks should be avoided as it negatively affects skin health.
- Exercise regularly: Keeping fit through regular workouts and exercise improves the circulation of blood in the body and consequently, the supply of blood and oxygen to the skin. This keeps the skin healthy and young and prevents early onset of wrinkling and aging.
There are several other ways of preventing skin aging such as not smoking, avoiding the use of too many products and cosmetics, getting enough sleep, and always keeping skin cleansed and moisturized. Following these simple ways can effectively make your skin look younger and slow down the aging process.