6 Side Effects of UV Rays on Aging Skin

Sydelle Enoch 

The external environment cannot be evaded. It is part of your daily routine as you move from home to work and as you enjoy your outdoor games and sports. Though you need your vitamin D from the sun, too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to your skin. In this, you need to counter the following effects. They consist of both the short-term and long term side effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well as therapeutic lamps on your aging skin.

UV Rays Side Effects

1. Sunburn

This is a more obvious side effect that every individual will experience with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It damages aging skin by causing redness and peeling of the skin. This side effect is in the short term and can be easily treated.

UV Rays on Aging Skin

The sun’s UV rays cause damage to your epidermal cells. Your body will try to counter this by increasing blood flow to the area where the cells are being damaged. While your body is trying to get rid of the damaged cells, you may also experience an itch around the area. These symptoms get worse over the year as older individuals are affected quicker making their appearance even more aged. In this, it is best to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.

2. Photoaging

Photoaging refers to premature aging. This is as a result of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This comes as a long-term side effect as it takes time to see the result of the exposure. The signs you will start seeing include formation of wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydrated skin.

These are caused by the ultraviolet rays destroying collagen in your skin. It also dehydrates you leaving your skin dry and flaky. Once the collagen is destroyed and your skin is dehydrated, it loses its elasticity and thus the signs of aging. Problem is that you may never get to know until the symptoms show which may take even years.

3. Skin cancer

The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause melanoma a type of skin cancer. This cancer starts at the epidermal cells. These cells are responsible for the production of melanin. Another wrinkles and skin cancer that is as a cause of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, is non-melanomas. Non-melanoma starts to develop in areas that are exposed to the sun’s UV rays be it the face, hands, back or neck.

Ultraviolet rays may boost cancer infection by either damaging skin cell DNA which causes abnormal growths or by weakening your immune system which will not be able to create a defense system against cancer cells.

4. Actinic or Solar Keratoses

If you expose your skin to the sun’s ultraviolet rays over a long period of time, you stand to be infected by solar keratoses. This is a pre-malignant skin condition that may lead to skin cancer. It is characterized by some sort of growth that is rough to the touch or scaly.

This is a long-term side effect that you will notice after a long period. The signs may start as small as sun burns but if you ignore it, it may be developed to an actinic or solar keratosis.

5. Immune Suppression

UV rays affect your overall immune system making it more vulnerable to attacks from infections and diseases. In this, your skin cannot defend itself from other skin ailments. As a result, your skin becomes more sensitive to light. A weak skin that has a low immune system is vulnerable to several other ailments cold sores.

6. Tanning

Many individuals believe that skin tanning is a healthy process. To tan, you need to expose your skin to the sun. As you expose your skin, it tends to try and protect itself by producing melanin. As a result, your skin tone will darken very fast within hours. Safe tanning can only be advised by a dermatologist and he must be present to oversee it.

Ultraviolet rays have side effects in the short-term and in the long-term. In this, it is important that you protect your skin care from the ultraviolet rays. Ensure that you always use a sunscreen of a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 and above. You can also include protective gear such as hats and sunglasses that have 100% of UV protection.

As skin ages, you need to avoid UV rays as it will bring about signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and folds, spots and dry skin. Avoid these by protecting your skin and avoiding UV rays to maintain a healthier and more youthful skin.