There is no denying the fact that sunshine makes people feel good, and better yet look good. A nice glowing tan, now what could be better than that? However, there comes a dangerous price tag alongside that marvelous tan. Frequent exposure to the sun causes wrinkles and age spots that appear on the face and body. Just because someone seems to have a glowing complexion and great looking skin, doesn’t mean their body is not at a serious risk for developing skin cancer.

Sun exposure causes the majority of how our skin changes, despite the normal impacts of aging. Sunlight definitely helps our bodies get a natural and healthy dose of vitamin D, which is crucial for bone formation – but a little really goes a long way. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages fibres in the skin called elastin. When the fibres start to break this is when you begin to see sagging and stretching skin.

A person’s skin has many layers; with the outer layer (epidermal) containing the pigment melanin, which is used to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. When someone has an extremely dark tan this is a cause of more melanin to be produced due to the continued damaged this person is doing to their skin. The worst thing you can do is burn! When the skin is being penetrated deeper into the skin’s layers this is when we damage or kill cells.

So what are some more damaging effect the sun has on a person’s skin? Exposure to the sun can cause many effects such as:

  • Freckles
  • Discolored areas of skin
  • Benign tumors
  • Photo-aging: wrinkles, rough dry skin
  • Develop cataracts (not protecting your eyes in the sunlight)
  • Pre-cancerous/cancerous skin lesions
  • Elastosis – which causes wrinkles, sagging of skin, etc.

Frequent and prolonged exposure to UV rays over many years is the number one cause of skin cancer. Be sure to examine skin regularly for development of suspicious growths or changes in an existing lesions. Take precautionary measures – always wear SPF and use the proper attire to protect yourself (a hat, sunglasses, etc.). Just because you’re young youthful skin is appearing dewy and tanned now… you never know how it’ll look in 5, 10 years.