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How long does it take for sun damage to show up as skin wrinkles?

The sun causes changes in your skin's connective tissue. There is a part of the skin collagen known as elastin. This is degraded by sun and can lead to wrinkling. Genetics plays an important role here as well. The thicker and darker your skin, the longer you can be exposed to the sun before wrinkling occurs. Very short sun exposures for our fair-skinned, freckling population can lead to early wrinkling. Of course, other issues like tobacco exposure and aging can lead to wrinkling, as well.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Typically, it takes 30 years for sun damage to appear, so the damage you did in your 20s will start showing up in the form of wrinkles during your 50s. In fact, most of your skin damage will occur before the age of 20, so get the kids to pay attention. If you're one of those people who spent adolescent or other summers in the sun without wearing sun block, it's possible you'll end up with more wrinkles than a teenager's bed.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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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.