Dark spots on the face, skin ageing and sun

Sunlight is needed for living. However, excessive sun exposure has been linked to certain skin problems: dermal elastosis, changes in the three-dimensional structure of dermal tissues, alterations of pigmentation, cellular alterations…

“Skin damage caused by the sun is cumulative”

Dermal elastosis

Dermal elastosis is a disorder in which elastic fibres such as collagen, hyaluronic acid or elastin lose part of their functional ability as they become more rigid and lose their elasticity and natural firmness. Therefore, skin becomes flaccid and less elastic over the years: it is the beginning of flaccid facial skin. When long term sun exposure without appropriate protection takes place, solar radiation (UV-A, UV-B, UV-C) causes cumulative damage that will change the structure of dermal tissues (collagen, elastin…). The extent of the cumulative damage will depend on the length of sun exposure over the years.

These changes in the three-dimensional structure of the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) affect cutaneous microcirculation. The latter is responsible for providing the nutrients, oxygen and metabolites that are necessary for a correct metabolic skin balance. Moreover, cutaneous microcirculation is responsible for removing waste substances such as free radicals, metabolites or substances produced by the skin that need to be removed or cleansed. This alteration on the three-dimensional structure affects microcirculation, that slows down the processes of providing and removing metabolites. Therefore, skin cells find it hard to receive nutrients for their correct metabolism and to remove them. Besides, excessive sun exposure causes, triggers and sometimes perpetuates alterations on pigmentation. In fact, sun-exposed areas such as face, neck, neckline and hands are the first places to show sun damage. This is the reason why it is important to always bear in mind the amount of exposure these areas get and protect them to prevent sun damage. To do so, we should always use sunscreen. Sun exposure at 10 a.m. is not the same as at 2 p.m. It is also different in February or in August. Thus, we should use sunscreen wisely depending on the time of the day and the season of the year.

After any treatment regarding skin resurfacing, skin regeneration and skin rejuvenation carried out at our clinic, we always prescribe high sun protection factor sunscreen. During recovery, it is important to avoid overstimulation of melanocytes, which are pigment cells. It is also important to choose the right sunscreen depending on the type of skin. For example, for oily skins, non-greasy sunscreen should be used. Drier skins need a richer, creamier sunscreen in order to keep moisturised. Sunscreen must be used every hour to adequately protect your skin.