We live in this world where the things that we live with are inevitable. The air that we breathe, the water in the seas, and even the sun are all elements which we cannot stop, eliminate, or live without. But as much as we need them to survive, too much of something is never beneficial for anyone. Take the sun for instance. We need the sun to produce light, to grow strong and develop normally, and plants and animals also need sunlight as a basic source of energy. But when you become excessively exposed to the sun, it can have unstoppable damage on your health, particularly on your skin.
Sun damaged skin is not easy to acquire. We are all exposed to sunlight especially when we are walking outside of our homes, but that doesn’t mean that we can all get sun damaged skin. Individuals who perform proper skin care are less likely to acquire sun damage on the skin. Wearing clothes that effectively prevent the sun from touching the skin or using sun block or sun screen to protect the skin from UV rays are some very effective methods in preventing the appearance of sun damaged skin. But not all people perform these methods. So how will you be able to detect sun damaged skin?
One of the most common symptoms of sun damaged skin is hyperpigmentation. There are a lot of hyperpigmentation problems which may appear on the skin including freckles, dark spots, melasma, and others. But these do not necessarily depict sun damaged skin. It is true that the skin acquires such problems when it has been long exposed to sunlight, but sun damage is more serious that just the appearance of dark spots. The more common signs of sun damaged skin are the appearance of sunburn, very dark spots all over the sun-exposed skin areas, and excessive dryness of the skin. It is fairly understandable why sun damaged skin becomes extremely dry, since the heat of the sun can make natural skin moisture evaporate and completely disappear.
Sun damaged skin problems are not simple or easy to treat. In fact, they can be very hard to manage. Sunburn in particular can be very painful and the dryness and scaling associated with sun damaged skin can become very unpleasant both to the touch and to the sight. Some of these problems can even become very severe diseases such as skin cancer.
Some examples of severe skin illnesses associated with sun damage are solar lentigo, actinic keratosis, poikiloderma of civatte, and cutis rhomboidalis nuchae. Solar lentigo is similar to freckles and dark spots but this skin problem can be very massive. It can affect a very large area of the skin and the dark spots are big as well. Actinic keratosis creates extreme dryness on the skin area, making the skin appear wrinkled, scaly, and very dry. Poikiloderma of civatte creates an abnormal discoloration, typically hypopigmentation, on a certain part of the body which has been exposed to the sun for a long period of time. A specific pattern is followed by this skin problem. Cutis rhomboidalis nuchae occurs on the skin at the back of the neck. When this skin area has been exposed to the sun for a very long time, the skin can become very dry and the result is the scaling of the skin. However, not only does the skin scale, it also thickens because the skin aims to protect itself from the sun damage. As the skin produces more and more layers, these layers pile up and become a thick, scaly nape skin.
To prevent all of these sun damaged skin problems, it is important to perform proper skin care by using sun block, wearing clothes that prevent skin contact of the sun, and avoiding prolonged stay outdoors while exposed to the sunlight.