Photodamage Treatment In Gainesville, FL
Regular, unprotected exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, but it can also cause a wide range of damage to the skin which can degrade the health of skin and increase the rate of apparent aging. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can damage the skin, even without developing cancer — this damage is identified as photodamage. For solutions to help reverse the effects of photodamage, contact us to schedule a dermatology appointment with a Gainesville dermatologist at Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery.
What Is Photodamage?
Photodamage, or extrinsic aging, is defined as damage to the skin, which results from prolonged exposure to solar irradiation. Photodamage causes photoaging — an alteration of the skin caused by prolonged sun exposure. UV radiation damages the skin’s fibers and results in the loss of collagen and elasticity as well as the formation of wrinkles, sun spots, and uneven skin texture, among other forms of premature skin aging and skin damage. Aging of the skin is a normal part of growing older, but photodamage may exacerbate and increase the rate of the visible skin-aging process.
Three Categories Of Photodamage
Photodamage can manifest in a manner which ranges from person-to-person, but the visible signs of photodamage generally apply to one of the three categories of photodamage.
Photodamage can result in discoloration of the skin which is visible to the naked eye. Color photodamage may affect a small section of the skin or it may affect large portions of the skin.
Dermal photodamage affects the top layers of the skin, primarily through changes to collagen. The effects of dermal photodamage are typically cosmetic and may easily be identified.
Epidermal photodamage impacts the innermost layers of the skin. Without professional treatment, this form of photodamage may potentially develop into skin cancer.
What Are The Signs Of Photodamage?
Photodamage generally develops in a manner unique to each person. While most commonly visible on the face, photodamage can affect all parts of the body. The following comprises the most common signs of photodamage to the skin.
- Long-term skin darkening
- Visible blood vessels
- Leathery skin
- Liver spots
- Sagging skin
- Lack of elasticity
- Changes to skin texture
- Development of wrinkles
- Discolored skin spots
- Deep wrinkles
- Skin pebbling
- Overall fragility of the skin
Where Does Photodamage Occur?
Photodamage and sun damage may occur anywhere on the body, but the most common areas in which damage of the skin occurs includes the face, neck, upper chest, arms, hands, and legs, due to a high degree of ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The areas least affected by photodamage include the buttocks, the genitals, and the inside portion of the upper arms. The Gainesville dermatology experts with our clinic can provide patients with information about protecting every part of the skin, including the portions of skin most prone to photodamage of all types.
Who Is At Risk For Photodamage?
Every individual is at risk for photodamage. The most prevalent risk factor associated with the development of photodamage is prolonged UV sunlight exposure. As such, those who are most prone to developing photodamage include individuals who spend a significant portion of time outdoors during the day time over a prolonged period. Individuals who fail to apply and to reapply adequate sun protection with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 35 or more are also at high risk for developing photodamage. Contact us to learn about your risk for photodamage.