Why should I limit my time in the sun?

The single most damaging thing a person can do to his or her skin is spend too much time in the sun without protection. Excess sun exposure increases the risk of all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease.

In addition to raising a person's risk of skin cancer, excess sun exposure also causes photoaging, a condition that makes skin look old before its time by:
  • causing or accelerating wrinkles, age spots, and pigment changes
  • making skin feel tough and leathery

The amount of sun exposure people receive before age 30, particularly blistering sunburns, accounts for the majority of photoaging. Sun exposure is responsible for 90% to 95% of all wrinkles and nearly 100% of pigment changes. Sun exposure also can contribute to freckling, dryness, acne, and precancerous skin growths and can weaken the skin's immune response.

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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.