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The Importance of Protecting Against Sun Damage No Matter the Weather

Rain or shine, winter or summer, protecting your skin from the sun is always important. Understanding why you need to protect your skin year-round is just as important. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to provide you tips on how and why you should protect your skin against sun damage.


The Truth Behind the Sun

Not much is better than waking up and seeing the sun shining, especially if you live in a typical gloomy place. Would you believe that even if you wake up in a gloomy place the sun can still have the same effects on your skin as if the sun was out? Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are what can cause skin damage. UV rays don’t just cause skin damage on days when the sun is shining bright. They can be just as damaging when the sun is not shining. In many cases, the days when the sun is not shining are the days you need the most protection.

The best protection is sunscreen and shade even on the gloomiest of days. Sunscreen should always be applied to the face and then reapplied every 80 minutes depending on how often you will be exposed to the sun. In addition to using sunscreen, if you plan to spend the day in the sun try to spend as much time as possible in the shade which will add another layer of protection from sun damage.


The Effects of Sun Damage

Once sun damage occurs you may notice changes in your skin. The most common physical signs of sun damage include dry and red skin, wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging. While aging can’t be reversed there are options to help reduce the sun damage effects. If you end up with dry and red skin– commonly known as sunburn– lotions can help soothe the skin and bring back its softness.

If sun damage occurs, often you may begin to notice wrinkles and dark spots. Wrinkles can be smoothed out using dermal fillers and dark spots can be lightened through other cosmetic procedures. As more and more sun damage occurs it can potentially turn into skin cancer.


Sun Damage and Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is deadly and often the result of years of sun damage. At the first signs of skin cancer a dermatologist should be contacted to diagnose it and provide treatment options based on the severity. If caught soon enough, skin cancer can be treated. Skin cancer treatment often includes Mohs Micrographic Surgery. During treatment, layers of tissue are removed and then tested for cancer. Layers continue to be removed until no cancer is found. The area is stitched up and then heals within a few weeks, but usually leaves a scar behind.

Sun damage doesn’t have to be your reality if you take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring. If you are in or around Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas and are experiencing sun damage, contact us. A dermatologist from Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can diagnose and provide treatment options.

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