Go to AAD Home
Donate For AAD Members Search

Go to AAD Home

Sun damage and your skin

When sunlight hits your skin, it damages healthy cells. Without sun protection, this damage can build up. In time, you see signs of sun damage like freckles, age spots, and wrinkles. Some people develop precancerous skin growths, skin cancer, or both.

Clearly visible hidden UV sun damage on 37 year old woman
See how the sun damages your skin

UV photography allows us to see sun damage that you cannot see with the naked eye. Take a look at these UV photos, which show sun damage in people of various ages.

Mother hugging young daughter with sunscreen on their faces at the beach.
Prevent skin cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Find out what you can do to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

A happy maturely aged couple standing together outdoors.
Sun damage can cause precancerous skin growths

People who have light skin tones and seldom protect their skin from the sun can develop precancerous skin growths called actinic keratoses (AKs). Learn why it’s so important to see a board-certified dermatologist if you have these growths.

Woman looking suspicious mole in hospital room
Types of skin cancer

As sun damage builds up in the skin, some people develop skin cancer. This page shows you what the different types of skin cancer can look like.

 Woman applying face cream while looking in bathroom mirror
Treatment for sun-damaged skin

While you cannot undo years of sun damage, treatment can even out your skin tone, smooth wrinkles, and more. See what’s possible.