The Causes of Wrinkling Due to Sun Exposure

UV Radiation is all around us

Did you know that wrinkles from sun exposure around the eye area is very common? Listed below are common causes of them on a cellular or molecular level. By the way, a similar cellular process can lead to the formation of a skin cancer. That being said, it is exposure to radiation that causes that. 

Sun UV Rays

Scientists use the term radiation to describe energy traveling through space, and UV rays of sunlight are a form.

Exposure to radiation in large doses can cause poisoning, and the symptoms include nausea and vomiting. If you are exposed to small doses over a long period of time, it causes other health complications.

No one can predict how or when the symptoms will appear. Due to that, the health problems caused by exposure to small amounts of radiation over a long period of time can affect people in different ways. Some could end up with skin cancer, or other forms of cancer, others could develop other health disorders.  It's important to use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen that helps to moisturize the skin.

People who work in areas that expose them to high levels of radiation such as X-ray technicians must wear tags monitoring their exposure levels. When levels become too high, they may have to choose a different field or else their health will be at risk.

What happens in the cell when UV rays hit them?

Inside of the skin's cells are molecules which are known as free radicals. They react to many environmental factors such as the radiation from the sun.

UV rays stimulate the free radicals, causing them to search for an electron to replace the one they are missing. During their search, they may steal electrons from the cell's protective membrane or from its DNA strands. As a result, damage starts to happen.

However, some of the damage is repaired and this leads to wrinkles from sun exposure. DNA mutations or changes caused by free radicals can eventually lead to the formation of a skin cancer cell. Look for a sunscreen with topical antioxidants (Vitamin E or C).

In addition to skin cancer and wrinkling, UV rays can damage the insides of the eyes, leading to the formation of age related cataracts and macular degeneration. Even though most of the body is protected from the damaging effects of sunlight through skin layers, the eyes have very little naturally occurring protection. Sunglasses help to filter UV rays.

Some of the wrinkles from sun exposure are caused by constant squinting. This is usually the cause of crow's feet, those tiny lines you see at the corners of people's eyes.

Wrinkling beneath the eyes and sagging in the area can occur as UV rays damage the skin's elastic collagen fibers. Those fibers normally provide support and prevent bags from forming.

Dark circles beneath the eyes can be related to sunlight exposure or to aging in general. As we get older the skin's collagen content naturally decreases. Overexposure to sunlight can decrease the amount of collagen present, too.

Collagen makes the skin's surface more opaque. As the collagen content decreases, tiny blood vessels beneath the skin's surface become more visible. That's why dark circles sometimes appear as people age.

Some types of skin cancer are not believed to be related to sunlight, but it does play at least a small role in all of the visible signs of aging.