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The main mark caused by the sun is well-known: it is tanning, which appears thanks to the production of melanin, a pigment which protects the DNA of skin cells from the aggressions of ultraviolet rays. The speed and intensity with which you tan as well as the length of tanning determines the colour of your skin.
During or following prolonged, unprotected exposure to the sun, some people can display sun erythema or heat rash. It is a burning of the epidermis due to the action of UV rays. The skin becomes red and painful: it tightens and itches. Sometimes, blisters can appear. After a few days, the redness disappears and the epidermis starts to peel.
Spots linked to the medium and long-term effects of the sun
The skin remembers all its hours of exposure to the sun: on the beach, the patio, in the garden etc.
In the medium term, the skin thickens to defend itself: it increases its horny layer (the outermost layer of the epidermis) to make a ‘physical’ barrier against ultraviolet rays. But despite this defensive reaction the sun can lead to some lesions forming on cells, tissues and blood vessels.
Marks appear as:
- moles and beauty spots
- lentigos and sun spots
The sun is also directly implicated in the acceleration of skin ageing: its ultraviolet rays makes the skin cells more fragile which tires them more quickly so fine lines and wrinkles appear.
Finally, it is responsible for the evolution of spots caused by the sun like sun spots into cancerous lesions and cancers.