The way that the sun affects our body is linked to various factors including age, skin sensitivity, the environment and the conditions of exposure. From superficial burns to skin cancer, over-exposure to the sun may have short and long-term effects which are impossible to guard against.
Exposure to the sun is often enjoyable. But the discomfort that can result can soon lead to trouble.
Sunburn or solar erythema is the most frequent sign of excessive exposure to UVB rays.
Certain dermatological disorders such as atopy or rosacea make the skin extremely sensitive to environmental variations and in particular to the sun which can trigger unpleasant reactions.
Although the sun appears to improve acne to begin with, the effects are short-lived: exposure to UV rays thickens the upper layer of the skin. Watch out for the rebound effect that leads to the appearance of pimples after the summer.
Photodermatosis occurs following exposure to the sun, due to an abnormally high sensitivity to UV rays. Among the best known, sun allergies or benign summer light eruption cause small red pimples to appear on the chest area, shoulders, arms and legs.
What are the consequences of sun exposure on unprotected skin?
Protection begins in childhood
From the youngest age, exposure to the sun has a great impact. Children's skin is finer than that of adults and not used to the sun since it is exposed less frequently, and therefore should be the focus of our attention.
Each person is born with a certain sun resistance that will help protect against a certain quantity of UV rays. When this resistance is depleted, the body is no longer able to repair damage caused by the sun. The earlier a child is exposed to the sun, the faster his/her sun resistance is depleted. To save this reserve, the only solution is to use effective protection from the youngest age.
Be informed about the best protection
The Laboratoire Dermatologique La Roche-Posay is committed to fighting skin cancer, and has developed a preventive educational tool available to all. The interactive site Myskincheck.org promotes self-examination to detect suspicious lesions as early as possible. If you see a recent change or if you are in doubt, see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Remember that Myskincheck.org is no substitute for your dermatologist, who is the only person able to make a diagnosis of suspicious lesions and decide whether or not to start treatment.
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