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Woman looking at sun

You might feel great while you’re out soaking up the sun, but when you do, you put your health on the line. If you love the outdoors, talk to your dermatologist about how you can protect your skin from harmful rays. Here is a look at some of the ways the sun can change and damage your skin.

Lines and Wrinkles

Immediately after a day in the sun, your skin may appear tan and healthy. However, a tan isn’t a healthy glow – it is actually a sign of skin damage. The effects aren’t immediately apparent, but the tans you get when you’re younger will make your skin age faster when you’re older. That is because the same rays that make you tan break down the collagen and elastin that help your skin stay firm and smooth. As a result, your skin will sag and wrinkles will appear as you age.


If you’re prone to freckles, then sun exposure can make your existing freckles appear more prominent and cause new ones to develop. The more you’re out in the sun, the more freckles you’re likely to get. They are most likely to develop on the hands and face, but they can occur anywhere. While freckles aren’t medically dangerous, they cause cosmetic concerns for some people.

Skin Cancer

The most dangerous impact the sun can have on your skin is skin cancer. Repeated sun exposure is associated with basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Severe sunburns before age 18 are linked to the development of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, later in life. Report any abnormal skin growth or changes in moles or freckles to your dermatologist so you can be screened for skin cancer.

At Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology, our doctors are committed to educating patients about sun safety. Make an appointment to learn more about protecting your skin from the sun and treatments for existing sun-related skin damage. Call 801-266-8841 to reach our Salt Lake City office.