Chronic Nonmalignant Effects of Sun Exposure

Chronic Nonmalignant Effects of Sun Exposure

Chronic Nonmalignant Effects of Sun Exposure

Chronic exposure to direct sun may result in malignant (cancerous) and non malignant effects on skin. The and non malignant effects of chronic sun exposure are discussed here.

Exposure to sun cause photo-damage to the skin. The sun-exposed skin (long and chronic exposure) consist of wrinkling, blotchiness, and a roughened, irregular, “weather-beaten” leathery appearance. Whether this effect (photoaging) represents accelerated chronologic aging or a separate and distinct process is not clear.

Thickening occurs to chronically sun-exposed epidermis (outermost layer of skin) of skin. UV-A (UV or ultraviolet rays of sun are divided into A and B based on wavelength) is important in the pathogenesis of photoaging in human skin. The dermis and its connective tissue matrix are the major site for sun-associated chronic damage, with a massive increase in thickened irregular masses of abnormal elastic fibers in skin. Collagen fibers of skin are also abnormally clumped together in the deeper dermis of sun-damaged skin and UV-A seems to be primarily involved for clumping of collagen fibers.

There is similar molecular features like connective tissue damage and elevated matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs are enzymes which cause the degradation of the extra-cellular matrix, ultimately leading to enhanced collagen breakdown.

On chronic exposure to sun the skin changes that occurs are thickening of skin, wrinkling of skin, rough, and “weather beaten” appearance of skin.

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