May 14, 2012 – A recent study done by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia and highlighted in ScienceDaily has shown that most skin damage from sun exposure happens in our childhood and teenage years. UV exposure from the sun causes the most premature skin aging and skin cancer risk by the time we are 18 years old.
The study was conducted on 180 people who ranged in age from 18 to 83. A UV camera was used to measure the participant’s skin in terms of hyperpigmentation, which in turn measured how much sun damage, wrinkles and early aging were present. The camera is a non-invasive way to evaluate skin for damage and skin cancer risk.
The article went on to say that while early UV ray sun exposure is responsible for the most damage by age 18, those age 50 and older showed the slowest rate of skin damage from sun exposure. That older age group still showed signs of continued sun damage to their skin, but it happened much slower than it did in the younger age group.
The conclusion is that those under 18 should take special precautions to protect their skin from UV sun damage. But everyone, no matter what age, needs to place emphasis on sunscreen as part of their daily skin care routine because skin cancer risk, premature skin aging and sun damage can happen at any age.