How to Recognize Sun Damage

The sun has a tremendous effect on the skin after years of exposure, causing premature aging, skin cancer, and other skin changes. Most premature skin aging is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Many skin changes previously thought to be caused by aging, such as easy bruising, are caused by prolonged sun exposure. Other types of injuries are more difficult to detect. The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of sun damage Fort Worth:

Age spots

Age spots, also called lentigines or liver spots, resemble large freckles. These discolored regions, which can be as large as a quarter, tend to darken and appear more frequently with age. A tan spot that you initially noticed in your 30s can turn brown, then dark brown, in your 40-50s. Keep an eye on these spots and notify your doctor if you notice any changes in texture, a raised surface, multiple colors within the spot, sudden darkening, or an unusually shaped border.


Sunburns may only last a few days, but they can lead to skin issues later in life. Mild sunburn causes your skin to turn red and feel painful and warm to the touch. Your skin may feel itchy, and peeling may also be experienced. Blisters indicate a severe burn. Visit a physician if you have extreme pain or a fever of 101 degrees F or higher for more than 48 hours.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is characterized by noncancerous (benign) wart-like growths on the layers of the skin. They are painless and can be found on the face, chest, shoulders, back, or other regions. They can become agitating and itch. They also have a mildly higher, flat surface and can be yellow, brown, black, or other colors. These growths can have a rough or warty texture and a waxy surface. They may show up to be “pasted on.” There may be only one growth, but there are usually several.

Atypical moles

These are moles that appear unusual and have distinctive features under the microscope. Though benign, atypical moles should be given more attention because they put people at risk for melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer. Atypical moles can appear on any body part. These moles can have a wide range of appearances. The best advice is to get to know your skin. Keep a record of any moles you have. This provides you with the best opportunity to notice anything new, different, or unusual and bring it to the attention of your dermatologist.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin growth. A rough and dry skin lesion, patch, or growth on the skin may be visible. It is usually limited to a single area, such as the face, scalp, back of the hands, chest, or other sun-exposed areas. They can be gray, pink, red, or skin color. It usually starts as a flat and scaly area that progresses to a hard and wart-like, rough surface. The skin lesion can be easier to touch than see.

The key to avoiding sun damage is to wear sunscreen whenever you go outside and reduce possible or prolonged sun exposure. Call Northstar Dermatology or schedule an appointment today to learn more about sun damage.

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