When Do You Start to See Sun Damage?


Many of us know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are one of the skin’s worst enemies. And despite this, a lot of us still bask in the sun a little too long or neglect sun protection, especially on cloudy days. We are not so concerned about the cumulative effects of UV damage, which in most cases, take years before becoming visible. 

What Age Does Sun Damage Start to Show

How does the sun damage your skin?

One of the most notable effects of too much sun exposure is that it dries out the skin by depleting it of its natural oils and moisture. UV rays, furthermore, prematurely age your skin and cause DNA damage that can increase your risk of skin cancer. Below are the most common types of skin damage. 

What age does sun damage start to show?

In some cases, like after a holiday or vacation, your skin may look tanned, dry, or flaky, especially with no or insufficient sun exposure. With sunburn, you may notice redness within three to four hours, and will reach its peak between 12 and 24 hours later. The redness, pain, and inflammation can keep developing after a couple of days.

With unprotected sun exposure, it can take about 10 to 20 years for sun damage to show up. So, if you enjoyed lots of unprotected sun exposure, you may start to see the effects of it in your 20s or early 30s.

Sun damage or photoaging happens in the dermis, the skin’s middle layer. This is why it can take years before the damage appears and becomes visible. As previously mentioned, it can show up sooner with early years of unprotected exposure and much later or less visible if you’re diligent with sun protection.

For further reading: 9 Ways to Up Your Sunscreen and Sun Protection Game  

Can you reverse sun damage?

Our aesthetic clinic in Singapore has skin rejuvenation procedures that stimulate the skin’s natural processes to reverse the effects of sun damage. 

Laser skin rejuvenation – This non-invasive procedure uses micro-pulses of laser energy that gently heat the upper dermis well below the skin surface. This also generates additional heat in dilated capillaries to address skin redness.

What laser skin rejuvenation does is stimulate collagen regrowth to improve both skin tone and texture. It also helps with the development of new skin cells, which restores the skin’s health, clarity, and youthfulness. Laser skin rejuvenation Singapore treatments can give you a glowing complexion by treating or improving:

  • Sun damage
  • Age spots, freckles, and unevenness
  • Tiny facial veins
  • Skin redness or rosacea
  • Acne, acne scarring, and other types of scarring
  • Other signs of aging (including fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores)

The recommended number of treatments to achieve optimal results is four to six. Initial improvements can be seen after one to two sessions, but full results take about three months to develop. The results can last six to 12 months and patients may need maintenance treatments to keep the results over time. 

Other treatments that can improve sun damage

  • IPL Photo Facial – uses intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat freckles, brown spots, and uneven complexion. 

How to prevent sun damage

It is all about protecting your skin from the sun and avoiding prolonged and unprotected sun exposure. Below are a few things that can help prevent sun damage.

  • Wear sunscreen every day – Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen and make sure to wear it even when it’s not sunny. Apply liberally and reapply after sweating, swimming, or toweling.
  • Avoid peak sun – Stay out of the sun or try not to have outdoor activities between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Seek shade – When outside, seek shade under a tree or a shelter. You can also use an umbrella when walking on a sunny day.  
  • Mind your outfit – Long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as those made with tightly woven fabrics offer good protection from the sun. There are also clothing choices that are specifically manufactured to have UV protection. 
  • Accessorize – Wear a wide-brimmed hat for added protection. Don’t forget your eyes; wear wrap-around sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.

Book a consultation today

Dealing with signs of sun damage or looking to unveil a more glowing and youthful-looking complexion? Get in touch with us today! Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors.

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