How does overexposure to the sun harm my skin?

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Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
If you’ve purposely gotten a tan ever since you were a kid, probably with baby oil to speed up the process, the price you’re paying now is thickened and wrinkled skin. Worse yet, cumulative sun exposure over years may also put you at risk for skin cancer, the most common form of cancer. The ultraviolet rays from the sun or from the tanning booth are known to be complete carcinogens. This means that exposure to enough UV alone over time, without any additional toxins or cancer causing agents, can cause skin cancer. The sun is also an immunosuppressive, which means that it can slow healing, and it leads to the breakdown of collagen, especially after UVA exposure This process not only causes wrinkles, which is bad enough, but it also slows would healing. Remember, too, that the sun’s rays are dangerous even during the winter and on gray days. The rays penetrate the clouds and reach your skin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.