It's easy to brush off sun damaged skin as something that only happens during the summer, but the truth is that you should be protecting your skin from the sun all year round. Here are a few reasons why.
Whether you like it or not, the sun has the potential to cause skin damage all year long. In fact, sometimes winter can make the sun's light even more harsh. When the sun gets reflected off of snow, the odds of sun damage increase. Not only that, but UV rays -- the specific radiation that can cause skin cancer -- can still penetrate even the cloudiest skies. Hats and sunscreen are good daily measures to take if you want to avoid sun damaged skin all year long.
Sunburn, among other things, is just plain unpleasant. Even a mild sunburn can be annoying and painful. In severe cases, sunburn can swell, peel, and even form blisters on your skin. These blisters can be painful and result in scarring if you're not careful about how you treat them. And when you get sunburnt, you're increasing the chances that you'll develop skin cancer later in life. It comes down to a choice between applying sunscreen a few times a day or putting yourself at risk for developing skin cancer.
Sun damaged skin is another unfortunate thing you can avoid if you practice sun protection for your skin all year round. Excessive exposure to the sun -- particularly UV rays -- has the potential to speed up the aging process in the skin. This failure to protect your skin can result in things like sagginess, wrinkles, discoloration, leathery feel, and even age spots on your skin. Wearing protective clothing like hats and long sleeves, as well as applying sunscreen year round can help you keep your skin glowing and youthful for many years to come.
While sunburn might be a temporary condition, hyperpigmentation is not. Sunspots and hyperpigmentation are two common issues that arise when your skin is sun damaged. These issues will stick around and be indicators of skin damage and could lead to early signs of skin cancer. Your complexion may be compromised in a way that you don't like. If you want to keep your skin looking the way you like it, make sure you protect yourself from the sun.
Skin cancer is the most serious result of not protecting yourself from the sun. While not all skin cancer is the result of sun damage, sun damage almost always leads to early signs of skin cancer. Different types of skin cancer can develop at different rates, but sun exposure is one of the factors that almost every skin cancer has in common. The best way you can prevent skin cancer is to take protective measures for your skin anytime you're outside or traveling. That includes during the winter!
Protecting your skin from the sun all year is important. If you have questions about your sun protection routine or want to schedule a skin cancer screening, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology to set up an appointment today.