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When you get a sunburn, it is not just the surface of the skin that is getting damaged. UVB rays can cause surface tanning and sunburns. UVA rays can penetrate deep into your skin and cause DNA and cellular changes that could lead to skin cancer.
Just one to two severe sunburns in a lifetime can double the risk of skin cancer. Over 3 sunburns can increase your risk by six times! According to a 2017 DU sun exposure survey, 80% of students have had at least 1 or more red or painful sunburns within the last 12 months.
Premature aging caused by sun damage is called photoaging. Photoaging can speed up the natural aging process and cause leathery skin, deep wrinkles, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, spider veins on the face, and age/liver spots.
Photoaging occurs when the sun's rays break down the collagen in your skin at a faster-than-natural rate. Collagen is the structural protein that is found in the skin that makes it elastic and youthful looking.