Sun damage is the effect that the sun has on your skin. Too much sun exposure can cause damage in the form of wrinkles, age spots, freckles, leathery-looking skin, mole changes and sagging skin. Too much sun exposure can also lead to skin cancer also known as melanoma.

How Sun Damage Develops

The suns UV-A and UV-B rays are the ones that do the most damage. The UV rays damage the skins DNA. Once the DNA is damaged, it can make the skin thin and the good cells die and slough off. The skin can not always rebuild the good cells. Once the skin is damaged, it shows on the skins surface in the form of wrinkles, age spots and freckles. Most of the damage done to the skin is done before the age of 18.

How to Prevent Sun Damage

There are a number of great ways to prevent sun damage. Trying to avoid the heat of the day is one of the best ways, but if you do need to be out in the sun during the hottest part of the day, make sure to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen does need to be applied at all times of the day. Wearing lightweight clothing and hats to cover all areas of the skin will also help. If you need to be outside try to stay in the shade as much as possible. It is still always a good idea to wear sunscreen any time you go outside.

How to Repair Sun Damage

If you have developed sun damage, there are ways to try to repair it. The best way to begin repair of your skin is to avoid sun exposure, and if you do go out, make sure to apply sunscreen or cover up. There are also creams that you can apply to the skin such as Retin-A or Vitamin A cream. These types of creams can be obtained through a doctor. They help to repair the skin's damaged cells by increasing the blood flow to the skin's surface.

Laser removal is another way to help repair the skin. Lasers treatment is done by a trained professional. The treatment uses the lasers and carbon dioxide to remove the damaged top layers of skin. This gives the skin a more fresh look. Chemical peels are another way to help reduce the suns damage. If you have experienced extensive sun damage and wish to treat it, contact a dermatologist in your area.

Since the sun can be so damaging to the skin, it is important to watch for any skin changes. Changes in moles such as getting bigger or color pigmentation can be a warning sign. If you think your skin is changing, talk to your doctor; he will be able to help with cancer screening. Remember if you are out in the sun, it can cause damage quickly, so always apply sunscreen, and it important to make sure that your kids wear sunscreen also.