What Causes Sun Damage/ Age spots?
Sun damage is caused by frequent exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV is an undetectable form of radiation emitted by the sun. There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are the major source of early aging and skin cancer. UVB rays primarily access the surface of the skin and are the key source of sunburns.
Age spots are flat brown-black spots that usually occur in sun-exposed areas on the body. Age spots are sometimes called brown spots or liver spots. They are completely unrelated to the liver or liver function. The increased pigmentation of age spots is brought on by aging, exposure to sun or to other forms of ultraviolet lights.
What Increases the Sun's Damaging Effects?
We are all vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. However, some people may be more at risk than others. People that have sustained burns are definitely in one of the top groups of individuals that are at a higher risk. Below you will see a list of what else can put you in a high-risk bracket.
- Where you live: If you live closer to the equator, the sun is directly overhead and the UV rays are stronger. Anyone who lives in the mountain regions should be cautious as well. Studies there is a roughly 8% to 10% increase in UV intensity for every 1,000 feet of increased altitude.
- How do you live: Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Remember, sun damage accumulates over time the more you are exposed, the more damaged your skin becomes. Apply sun protection every time you venture out.
- Your Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, cause heightened sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor if any of your medications can cause photosensitivity.
- Genetics: Are you fair-skinned with light hair (red or blonde) and freckles? If so, you are at a higher risk of succumbing to sun damage. If you have a family history of skin cancer, take extra measures and use daily sun protection.