Age spots are a natural part of life, especially if you spend a lot of time basking in the sun, hiking the Flatirons, tubing at Boulder Reservoir, or going window shopping at the beautiful Pearl Street Mall. Each of these things help make Boulder County one of the best places to live, and it would be a shame not to enjoy them because you’re worried about getting sun spots on your aging skin. At Kallgren Dermatology Clinic, we understand that sun-damaged skin is a concern for many people in Colorado, so here are a few tips to help you prevent sun damage and age spots as you camp, hike, and enjoy a craft beer or two on a sunny restaurant patio.
Wear (Good) Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to avoid developing sun spots on your skin as you age — that is, if you get the right kind and use it often enough. Our Boulder dermatologists highly recommend wearing sunscreen every time you go outside, whether you are going to your hour-long child’s soccer game or are simply pulling a few weeds in the garden. Sun lotion with an SPF of at least 30 with both UVA and UVB protection is best, and if you’re prone to getting sunburned on your face, ears, neck, and the part in your hair, it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality, moisturizing sunscreen for your face.
Not many people know that sun damage is cumulative, meaning that if your skin is regularly exposed to the sun without protection, the damage will keep building on itself over time and result in sun spots on the skin. So, even if you are religious about applying sun lotion as an adult, you might still get age spots from those second-degree sunburns you got when you sunbathed using baby oil as a teenager. That being said, it is never too late to start protecting your skin from sun damage, so be sure to apply a quality sunscreen every time you go outside for more than a few minutes.
Don’t Use A Tanning Bed
You don’t have to be a skincare professional to know that tanning beds are bad for your skin and can have the same negative effects on your skin as regular sun damage. Numerous studies show that tanning beds are linked to basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and other types of skin cancer. Those who regularly use tanning beds put themselves at a heightened risk of developing signs of skin cancer than those who don’t, including moles and actinic keratosis (precancerous scaly skin cells).
Not only that, but people who regularly visit tanning salons also tend to show early signs of aging, such as sun spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Though these are not necessarily symptoms of skin cancer, they can negatively affect your self-image and make you look much older than you really are. So, if you’re looking to get that nice bronzed look, keep your tanning to a minimum, use sunscreen when you do, or try another method such as a natural tanning lotion.
Another easy way to prevent age spots is to cover your skin when you go outside. Sun hats, baseball caps, and lightweight clothing is your best friend during the summer months, as these things keep those harmful UV rays from directly shining on your skin. Though some sun will shine through thin clothing, this is better for your skin than wearing a tank top and exposing your shoulders to the sun. The same goes for baseball caps and straw hats — these protect your scalp from getting burned, which is an area that is easy to neglect when applying sunscreen and is very sensitive when burned. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sun protection, so if you’re heading out on a sunny day (even if it’s cold), be sure to have a hat and layers on hand!
Visit Our Boulder Dermatology Clinic
We hope that you have found this blog post informative and that you will use these tips to help prevent your skin from showing premature signs of aging, such as sun spots and wrinkles. If you are noticing an increase in age spots and are concerned about your skin health, contact Kallgren Dermatology Clinic or visit us in Boulder today. Our dermatologists would be happy to take a look at your skin and recommend skin care products for age spots.