Skin Sun Damage Symptoms & Treatments

Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses Skin Sun Damage Symptoms & Treatments

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Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses Skin Sun Damage Symptoms & Treatments
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Sun damage is a very common process that occurs in North Americans, especially since we don't get a lot of sunlight and so people seek it whenever they can.

A very easy way to see what sun damaged skin looks like in compairson to normal skin is to look at the inside of your arm, which is generally protected from the sun.

And you'll notice that on sun damaged skin, which primarly effects obviously exposed areas of the body, the skin can have a change in its appearance, such that brown spots will develop, the skin becomes more sallow in complexion, wrinkles can start to develop as well. The skin also can be somewhat thicker and when you run your hand over the skin it feels more coarse.

Sun damage doesn't necessarily occur only in old people. It can occur if you have enough exposure to ultraviolet light early in life. People who are very fair skinned are most susceptible to sun damage, whereas African Americans, who have intrinsic pigment protection, are less likely to develop this, but can if they get enough sun exposure.

Unfortunately in North America, especially in Canada, only about 50% of people use sunscreens during the summer months. But we do know that this is a very effective way of preventing sun damage to the skin if used adequately and frequently.

Also, clothing goes a long way to help reduce sun damage and should be considered as a first line of treatment against sun damage.

Presenter: Dr. Jason Rivers, Dermatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Dermatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.