Wrinkles and sagging skin is a natural process that comes as people age. However, there are instances where external factors may affect and even quicken the process. The elements are among the contributors.
Prolonged exposure to the sun may cause skin damage and lead to premature aging. The hot temperature may cause the skin to sag and develop wrinkles. In fact, researchers report that sun protection devices like solar film and sunscreen may be a necessity nowadays as most signs of aging are the result of the sun’s UV rays.
UV Rays and Premature Aging
A study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, revealed that around 80% of an average person’s fine lines and wrinkles may be due to UV exposure. In a study of 300 women, researchers found that sun seekers look older than their real age compared to sun-shy people. Long-term UV exposure may lead to a 2% increase in facial skin aging by about 3 years.
How it happens
A student researcher at the University of British Columbia revealed how UV exposure causes premature aging through enzymes. The Granzyme B regulates cell apoptosis or the process of removing old cells. When exposed to UV rays, this enzyme grows and accumulates between cells, causing damage to proteins.
Prolonged exposure to UV rays may speed up deterioration of such nutrients, resulting in wrinkles and skin structure breakdown. This leads to a variety of skin problems, including pigmentation, reduced elasticity and texture degradation. Such health problems may escalate to severe conditions like skin cancer, if left untreated.
Treatment and Prevention
Given the health risks posed by the sun’s UV rays, researchers highlight the importance of using or wearing UV protection devices. People who work or stay under the sun for too long should cover their skin entirely with clothes and sunscreen body lotions. They should also take cover from the sun during peak hours as much as possible.
UV rays can reach indoors, which is why some experts suggest the use of films, blinds, curtains and other window treatments that block UV rays.
People who are already showing signs of premature aging and other skin conditions must consult a dermatologist immediately for more appropriate assessment and treatment.
UV rays may cause premature aging and other health conditions if people do not avoid them. It’s important to keep the skin healthy and safe from the harsh elements with preventive measures.