Skin changes (photoaging) can occur from too much sun over
many years. Some of these changes include wrinkles, dryness, freckles, "liver
spots," easy bruising, skin growths, skin patches (actinic keratoses), and changes in skin color.
Photoaging is seen more in people who burn easily.
aging causes fine, shallow wrinkles. Photoaged skin creates wrinkles that are
deep and thick. Photoaging can be stopped by using sun protection measures.
Even after skin changes have started, the skin can repair itself if you limit
further sun exposure and avoid getting sunburned.
self-examination of skin moles, blemishes, or birthmarks is important to notice
any skin changes that may lead to skin cancer. Check for the ABCDEs of skin cancer:
Asymmetry. One half
doesn't match the other half.
Border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched, or
Color. The pigmentation is not
uniform. Shades of tan, brown, and black are present. Dashes of red, white, and
blue add to the mottled appearance. Changes in color distribution—especially
the spread of color from the edge of a mole into the surrounding skin—also are
an early sign of
The mole or skin growth is larger than 6 mm (0.2 in.), or about the size of a
pencil eraser. Any growth of a mole should be of concern.
Evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.