Here's what wearing sunscreen on your face but not your neck does to your skin

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-12 16:20:02

It is well known, the sun can have a catastrophic effect on the skin. Indeed, it has the potential to damage our cells, which can notably lead to certain cancers. If there are sun creams capable of blocking the worst of harmful radiation very effectively, some still overlook the importance of putting it on. Yet it can have awesome consequences.

Credit: AaronAmat/iStock

And it is not the image that you will see in this article that will make us say the opposite. The latter was published in the Journal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and shows the face and neck of a 92-year-old who used UV-protective moisturizer on his face but not on his neck. The result is a striking difference in visible UV damage.

Sun exposure can have an aging effect on our skin as ultraviolet (UV) rays are able to penetrate its layers and damage our cells. We call 'chronological aging' the fact of aging because we are old, but we call photoaging the fact of aging because of exposure to the sun. The skin is directly affected by environmental exposure, including UV rays from the sun. This can result in the areas of our body most regularly exposed to the elements (face, neck, arms and hands) appearing older than the areas usually covered, such as the trunk.

In addition to making skin look older, sun exposure can damage DNA in skin cells, which can build up over time and increase the risk of genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. This is why, when it comes to Sun , cancer and aging unfortunately go hand in hand. Doctor Christian Posch, a specialist in skin cancer research, says that “The parallels between aging and cancer risk demonstrate that if we treat the signs of aging, we can, arguably, also reduce the risk of disease. »

Credit: C Posch

The effects of the sun on the skin

He adds : “While it is unlikely that we can or even should seek to overcome human aging for various reasons, modifiers of aging may nonetheless modify both life expectancy and lifespan. After all, who wouldn't agree to benefit from 20 to 40 extra years of good health? Such progress will be achieved through a significant reduction in age-related diseases, including the prevention of cancers. Why ? Because there is a significant overlap between the characteristics of cancer and those of aging. Thus, by tackling the biological changes of aging, one will also be tackling the preconditions for carcinogenesis. »

Skin that looks older is often the result of the type of cell damage that increases the risk of developing cancer. Whether through diet, lifestyle or simple sun protection, preventing aging can be likened to a preventive measure against skin cancer. And while this will never completely eliminate the risk of cancer, it is a good argument for extending the application of sunscreen to all exposed areas of the body.

Source : The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology