UV radiation is a part of the light spectrum that the sun sends to the earth. UVA and UVB rays have wavelengths that are shorter than visible light. However, the effects of exposure to either type of radiation on the skin will be different. Burnt, red skin is caused by ultraviolet B (shortwave) rays, while DNA damage can be caused by ultraviolet A (longwave) rays penetrating deeper into the skin.
The effects of sun damage can have both short- and long-term effects. Sunburn is a prominent symptom of sun damage. It appears as red, swollen skin that is slightly warmer than usual in the mildest form. Blisters, nausea, and dizziness are common side effects in more severe cases. Sunburn, in other words, can be extremely painful and debilitating.
Unprotected sun exposure can cause dryness, dullness, and an uneven skin tone over time. As a result of the sun’s drying effects and depletion of the skin’s supply of essential fatty acids, it can appear and feel rough, flaky, and dry. Sun damage also reduces the rate of skin cell renewal, resulting in a build-up of old, dead skin cells and dull, clogged skin.
Unmistakable signs of sun damage include discolourations such as dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure. For protection against sun damage, the skin produces too much melanin when broad-spectrum sunscreen is not used. Melanin is produced unevenly and concentrated in localized areas, resulting in unsightly pigmentation marks for many people.
The collagen and elastin in your skin can also be damaged by the sun’s rays and be lost. Premature signs of skin ageing like wrinkles and fine lines can result from collagen and elastin degradation in the deeper layers of your skin. Furthermore, unprotected sun exposure reduces the hyaluronic acid content of the skin, causing it to become thinner and more fragile.