Carolina Facial Plastic Surgery

How Does the Sun Effect Your Skin? What is the Single Best Product to Maintain Great Looking Skin?

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it is on display everyday.  If the skin looks bright, smooth, and healthy, it can really add to one’s appearance.  Skin that is not well taken care of can be discolored, can have wrinkles, and can sag.  Poor skin can distract from a beautiful face, and taking just a few steps to improve the skin can have a dramatic effect on the overall appearance.

What is the main cause of aging skin?

Sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure is the single most damaging factor for our skin.

What is UV radiation?

UV radiation is a type of non-visible light that is produced from our 6 billion year old sun.  It penetrates our atmosphere and eventually can be absorbed by our skin.  When the skin absorbs UV light, this causes the changes in the skin and is responsible for prematurely aging skin, skin cancer, and cataracts.

What are the types of UV radiation?

There are 3 types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

How is UVA radiation different from UVB?

They differ in how deeply they penetrate the skin.  UVA rays are more powerful, and they can penetrate very deeply into the skin.  UVB rays only penetrate and damage the very top layers of the skin.  UVA rays account for 95% of sun exposure, and are responsible for causing skin cancers and premature aging of the skin.  UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburns, tans, and skin cancers.

How does UV light cause my skin to age?

Healthy, young-appearing skin is smooth, free of color changes, and has very few wrinkles. Collagen is responsible for keeping the skin smooth and helps prevent wrinkles.  Elastin is the material in your skin that acts like a rubber band.  When the skin is stretched, elastin causes the skin to come back into place.  When elastin fibers are injured, the skin begins to sag.  Over years of sun exposure, UV light causes damage in the skin by activating enzymes that break down the collagen and elastin.  Over time, the damage of these structures prevents the skin from being able to repair itself with repeated exposure to the sun.  This is a major cause of aging skin.

What causes sun spots?

Melanin is a substance produced by the body that absorbs the UV light to help prevent damage.  Over a long period of sun exposure, the body’s cells that produce this pigment are also damaged and they can overproduce the pigment trying to protect the body.  This causes a sun spot.

What is the single best product to keep great looking skin?

Sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays will prevent damage to the skin from the sun.  Sunscreen should be worn everyday as UVA radiation penetrates through the clouds and glass.  There is a special film that can be placed over the widows in your house, car, or place of business to protect your skin.

 

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