The tell-tale signs of sun damage

By October 14, 2013 No Comments

Signs of Skin Damage


As the weather in the South of England has changed dramatically from Indian summer to winter in the last few days, thoughts shift to the distant prospect of a warm sunny holiday.

This has tended to be the national habit over the last decades, but perhaps recurrent strong sun exposure as a result of the package holiday industry, may be in some way contributing to the enormous rise in skin cancer.

Over the last 40 years, the incidence of some skin cancers has increased by 400%. Dermatologists are highly trained in recognizing and treating these conditions and there is plenty of information out there (click here for details). But what about the other forms of sun damage – the precancerous lesions?

Here is our guide of what to look out for if you are worried about sun damage:

  1. freckles – small brown spots on the face that are considered normal by most, but represent excess sun exposure
  2. lentigos – much larger versions or freckles, commonly known as ‘liver’ or ‘age’ spots, but in fact related to sun exposure.
  3. Actinic or solar keratosis – red slightly scaly patches appearing in areas of sun exposure, such as the nose or face. Over time there is a slight chance of these progressing to squamous carcinoma.
  4. Bowen’s disease – red scaly plaques that occur in areas of sun exposure, which over time will progress to squamous cell carcinoma

All of the above are readily treated at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic – see our before and after photos here.