Ultraviolet rays make you look older

A 69-year-old man presented with a 25-year history of gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin on the left side of his face. The patient reported that he had driven a delivery truck for 28 years.

Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmit through window glass, penetrating the epidermis and upper layers of dermis. Chronic UVA exposure can result in thickening of the epidermis and stratum corneum, as well as destruction of elastic fibers. This photoaging effect of UVA is contrasted with photocarcinogenesis. Although exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is linked to a higher rate of photocarcinogenesis, UVA has also been shown to induce substantial DNA mutations and direct toxicity, leading to the formation of skin cancer.

Always use sun block! Not only do UV rays cause cancer, but they also age your skin. Even if you’re outside gardening or just going for a walk, it’s best to lather up with at least SPF 30. This will help protect your skin from wrinkles and brown spots due to sun damage.

Sources: Image Northwestern University, Chicago, IL via The New England Journal of Medicine.

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