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Sunscreen: Striking photos show effects of UV rays on a 92-year-old woman, who only protected her face

Why you shouldn’t forget to put sunscreen on your neck! Striking photo shows UV-wrinkled and blotchy skin of 92-year-old woman who only smeared her face

  • Woman was left with a sun-battered neck full of wrinkles and age spots
  • She only used UV-protective moisturizers on her face and not on her neck
  • Experts warn not enough is being done to encourage sunscreen use

A shocking photo exposes the consequences of using sunscreen only on your face and not on your neck.

A 92-year-old woman was left with a sun-battered neck full of wrinkles and liver spots after choosing not to use UV-protective moisturizers under her face for more than 40 years.

But the retiree, who was not mentioned by name, was left with flawless skin on her face, where she had used SPF products.

Experts from the Technical University in Munich, Germany, said the images show the “striking difference in sun damage” between parts of the body protected in the sun.

They warned that not enough is being done to encourage the use of sunscreen, which is vital in reducing skin cancer.

The NHS encourages everyone to use a minimum of factor 30 protection.

Regular users of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher can halve their risk of melanoma – a skin cancer that kills 2,300 people in Britain and 7,650 in the US each year, studies suggest.

A 92-year-old woman has a sun-battered neck full of wrinkles and age spots after not using UV protection under her face in over 40 years


Sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer.

It can happen abroad or in the UK.

To stay safe in the sun, experts recommend that people:

  • Seek shade between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are usually strongest
  • Wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen
  • Apply sunscreen for 30 minutes and again just before UV exposure
  • If necessary, opt for water-resistant sunscreen and reapply after swimming, sweating or using a towel
  • Cover up with protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Take special care with babies and young children. Babies under six months should be kept out of direct sunlight
  • Do not use sunbeds or sunlamps
  • Checks moles and skin for any changes

Source: NHS Choices

The photo of the woman was first reported in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

In the journal, dermatologist Dr. Chritsian Posch that the photo shows how ‘preventing the negative effects of UV radiation is both important and doable’.

He said: “Clinical research reveals a striking difference in sun damage between her cheek and neck.”

Looking older because of the passage of time is natural – but doing so because of sun exposure is known as photoaging.

About 90 percent of all visible changes to the skin are caused by photoaging, claims the Skin Cancer Foundation.

UV rays can penetrate the first two layers of skin — the epidermis and dermis — and damage the cells’ DNA.

Damage in the top epidermis layer causes the body to produce melanin, as part of its attempt to block the sun from continuing its attack.

This usually results in the tanning of the body as the substance produces a darker pigment in the skin.

Exposure to UVA waves, which have a longer wavelength and penetrate more deeply than the other form of UV, UVB, leads to damage to the middle dermis layer over time.

The layer contains collagen, elastin and other fibers that support the skin structure.

The deeper penetration damages these proteins, gradually loosening and wrinkling the skin.

This is why UVA radiation is considered the main cause of photoaging. UVB is the type of ray more associated with sunburn.

Meanwhile, infrared light, which is felt as heat, and high-energy visible (HEV) light from the sun have also been linked to dermis damage.

The combined effects can cause the skin to become looser, wrinkly and liver spots.

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