During the Florida Summer, many may desire a temporary golden glow from the sun. However, the sun can also affect the skin in permanent, less enjoyable ways. Understanding how the sun affects skin can help you to better understand seasonal skin conditions. Here are 5 ways the sun affects skin:
UV light exposure increases melanin production, or the pigment that darkens skin. In small amounts, this melanin can create a tanner appearance. However, with too much exposure, small pigment spots can permanently form in the skin. The UV light penetrates the deeper layers of the skin to leave these permanent marks.
Dilates Blood Vessels
A large amount of sun exposure can also dilate blood vessels. According to Mayo Clinic the heat and intensity of UV light can cause these blood vessels to expand near the upper layers of skin. Although some shrink back to original size, other vessels may become permanently dilated and visibly appear on the upper layers of skin.
Breaks down Connective Tissue
The UV rays can also break down connective tissue – collagen and elastin fibers – in extreme amounts. Although sun does emit vitamin D, it can cause the skin to sag and wrinkle faster than with less sun exposure.
Creates Red Spots
Sunburn can cause skin discomfort, but repeated burning can lead to permanent discoloration. Neck poikiloderma, a skin condition, also occurs with excess sun exposure. The condition leaves the skin with brown and red splotches for a marred appearance.
Forms Rough Patches
Finally, excess sun exposure can lead to the formation of rough patches. The skin, in response to the UV light, produces scaly patches of skin. Eventually, if untreated and unprotected, these scaly patches can eventually turn into skin cancer.
It is important that patients take protective measures to prevent these conditions from occurring. At Orlando Plastic Surgery Associates, we offer Sun Skin Screening. Sun screening, as a quick, non-invasive analysis, can identify sun damage in the lower layers of the skin. By detecting areas at risk, patients are given recommendations