Sydney: If you are able to protect your skin as a child, you might prevent wrinkles and skin damage later on in life, says a new study.
"The message is to look after your skin when you are a child and teenager to prevent wrinkles and skin damage. Sun protection when you are young sets you on a lifetime of good skin health," said Michael Kimlin, research professor at Queensland University of Technology AusSun Research lab.
The study found ultra violet (UV) exposure during a person`s first 18 years of life was the most critical for cancer-causing skin damage and skin aging, said Kimlin, the journal Science of the Total Environment reported.
Kimlin said while people aged over 50 had the slowest rate of skin degradation, results indicated that damage still occurred even at that age, so lifetime protection from the sun was important, according to a university statement.
The study used a unique, non-invasive UV camera, which took images of skin damage and aging invisible to the naked eye, to measure the relationship between lifetime sun exposure and skin cancer risk.
Kimlin said the majority of skin damage occurred in the early years of sun exposure, with a much slower increase in damage in subsequent years over the age of 50 years. "We looked at how age impacted on the skin damage we saw and found it`s not a simple one to one relationship," said Kimlin.
One hundred and eighty people aged 18 to 83 years were imaged with the UV camera and interviewed to determine the level of their sun exposure. The study measured hyperpigmentation of the skin to determine level of damage and wrinkles to indicate skin aging.