Skin Safety Tips: Staying Safe From Sun Damage

Skin cancer screeningEveryone has had a sunburn at one time or another in their lives. They turn your skin a vibrant shade of red, are often painful to the touch, and hopefully scare you into using more sunscreen the next time you’re out having fun in the sun. Although they may seem easy enough to shrug off once healed, continued exposure to the harmful UV rays that cause sunburns can eventually lead to significant sun damage to your skin and, in the more severe cases: skin cancer.

But why does excessive exposure to the sun damage skin as it does, and how can you protect yourself? Well, here are some answers:

UV Rays From Space

This is a dermatology blog, not an astronomy report, so to keep it simple: the sun is constantly sending out a full spectrum of light in all directions. The earth is exposed to a few different types of UV rays, but the ones that are harmful to humans are nearly entirely filtered out by the atmosphere. However, not all of them—and it is those harmful UV rays that sneak through that cause those all-too-common sunburns and other types of sun damage.

So, your first tip is to avoid sun exposure during the peak hours of sunlight in your area.

UV Rays and Your Skin

Though getting enough sunlight in your day-to-day life is essential to staying physically and mentally healthy, the risk of sun damage can make it a somewhat stressful endeavor. Basically, sunburns happen because those harmful UV rays mentioned above damage your skin cells and can cause the DNA inside to mutate.

And when the UV exposure is too great, those cells die off—causing the typical sunburn symptoms you’ve come to know.

Your second sun-safety tip is two-fold: If you’re going out in the sun, always remember to apply SPF 30+ (reapply throughout the day) and wear protective clothing that can save your skin from sun damage.

Skin Cancer From Skin Damage

Though your skin can mend and repair itself to an extent, excessive sun exposure causes it to miss mutations in some cells, and it’s those mutations that can eventually become cancerous. Moreover, sun damage that has settled cannot be reversed with today’s technology, which is why your last sun-safety tip is to get regular skin exams, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

Resolving Sun Damage in Jacksonville, FL

If you have skin problems due to sun damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Jacquelyn Medina at 902-247-4300. Located in Jacksonville Beach, FL, and proudly serving the greater Northeast Florida area, your sun damage treatment could be just a call away.

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