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Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Can Too Much Sun Age Your Skin?

Exfoliating is important for removing dead skin Exfoliating is important for removing dead skin
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Getting too much sun can have a negative effect on your skin, and it’s not just a temporary burn that causes problems.

“When the sun’s UV rays hit the skin, they start a process called collagen breakdown," said Loose."When your collagen starts breaking down it’s a progressive thing that happens over the course of many years,” said Katherine Loose, a physician’s assistant at Charlottesville Dermatology.

Although you may not have thought about it while basking in the sun, there is a long-term toll that too much sun can, and will, take.

"Your skin gets thinner, more easily bruised, and you get some brown spots," noted Loose. “Red spots, vascular damage, you might see some broken vessels at the surface."

Loose says the best thing to do is to prevent issues from happening in the first place by using broad spectrum sunscreen. If damage has already occurred, however, there are products that can help build collagen back.

“Vitamin A, which is a type of a product called a retinoid," says Loose. "Retinals, retinoids, those are very important."

Additionally, removing any dead and damaged skin also helps to clear the way for improvement.

“Exfoliating is really important to get your dead skin off and so you can actually absorb the retinals," said Loose.

Skin cancer is also a risk of too much sun exposure.

“It really depends on your genetics and skin type and the amount of damage as to whether you’ll get a skin cancer” said Loose.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA.

If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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