Exposure to Sun in Childhood. It is estimated that 50 - 80% of skin damage occurs in childhood and adolescence from intermittent, intense sun exposure that causes severe sunburns. In spite of this now well-known effect, many people still believe that a tan is a sign of good health in children. Even though many parents are concerned about sun exposure, they still rely too much on sunscreen and not enough on protective clothing.
The Elderly. Most people over 70 have at least one skin disorder, and many have three or four skin disorders. Everyone experiences skin changes as they age, but a long life is not the sole determinant of aging skin. Family history, genetics, and behavioral choices all have a profound impact on the onset of aging-skin symptoms.
Activities Leading to Overexposure to Sunlight and Ultraviolet Radiation
Of all the risk factors for aging skin, exposure to UV radiation from sunlight is by far the most serious. The vast majority of undesirable consequences of aging skin occur in individuals who are repetitively exposed to the sun, including the following:
- Outdoor workers, such as farmers, fishermen, construction workers, and lifeguards
- Outdoor enthusiasts
- People who regularly attend tanning salons or use tanning beds
Review Date: 10/15/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, In-Depth Reports; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.