While chronological skin aging is inevitable, cumulative sun damage accelerates the process of aging, known as photoaging. The good news is that photoaging is preventable by protecting skin from UV radiation, which causes 90% of visible skin changes such as photodamage, sun damage, or solar damage. Although such damage occurs in the skin's deepest layers, it may take years for it to become visible on the skin's surface.
To see the difference between chronological aging and photoaging, compare skin on an area of your body that is not exposed to the sun with the skin on your face. Signs of photodamage begin in the teens to early twenties. Symptoms include the following:
2. Pigmentation changes such as age spots, liver spots (solar lentigines) and freckles
3. Loss of skin tone (decreased elasticity)
4. Rough, uneven skin texture
5. Broken capillaries (spider veins), usually around the nose and chest
6. Redness and blotchiness
Once UV radiation changes your skin cells’ DNA, the DNA damage can’t be reversed. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change the appearance of your skin. You can treat, reduce and/or repair the effects of sun-damaged skin. Treatments can remove spots and other skin discolorations, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, smooth out skin, stimulate new skin and collagen production — steps that improve the look, tone and quality of your skin.