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Sun cream: Striking pictures show effects of UV rays on woman, 92, who only ever protected her face

A 92-year-old woman has a sun-damaged neck riddled with wrinkles and age spots from not using UV protection under her face for more than 40 years

Why You Can’t Forget Sunscreen On Your Neck! Striking image shows UV-wrinkled and blotchy skin of 92-year-old woman who only ever used lotion on her face

  • The woman had a sun-damaged neck covered with wrinkles and age spots
  • She only used UV-protecting moisturizers on her face and not her neck
  • Experts warn that not enough is being done to encourage sunscreen use

A shocking photo reveals the consequences of only using sunscreen on your face and not your neck.

A 92-year-old woman had a sun-damaged neck covered in wrinkles and moles after deciding not to use UV-protecting moisturizers under her face for more than 40 years.

But the retiree, whose name was not released, had flawless skin on her face where she had used SPF products.

Experts from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, said the images showed the “striking difference in sun damage” between parts of the body that were protected from the sun.

They warned that not enough is being done to encourage the use of sunscreen, which is crucial for reducing skin cancer.

The NHS encourages everyone to use at least a protection factor of 30.

Regular users of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher can halve their risk of melanoma – a skin cancer that kills 2,300 people in the UK and 7,650 in the US each year, studies suggest.

A 92-year-old woman has a sun-damaged neck riddled with wrinkles and age spots from not using UV protection under her face for more than 40 years

A 92-year-old woman has a sun-damaged neck riddled with wrinkles and age spots from not using UV protection under her face for more than 40 years


Sunburn increases a person’s risk of skin cancer.

It can happen abroad or in the UK.

To stay sun-safe, experts recommend people:

  • Seek shade between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s rays are usually strongest
  • Wear at least a sunscreen with SPF 30
  • Reapply sunscreen for 30 minutes and just before UV exposure
  • If necessary, opt for a waterproof sunscreen and reapply it after swimming, sweating or using a towel
  • Cover yourself with protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Be especially careful with babies and small children. Infants under six months should be protected from direct sunlight
  • Do not use tanning beds or sunlamps
  • Checks moles and skin for changes
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Source: NHS Choices

The image of the woman was first reported in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The dermatologist Dr. Chritsian Posch wrote in the magazine that the image shows how “preventing the negative effects of UV radiation is both important and achievable”.

He said: “Clinical examination shows a striking difference in sun damage between her cheek and neck.”

Looking older because of time is natural — but doing so because of sun exposure is called photo-aging.

Around 90 percent of all visible skin changes are caused by photoaging, claims the Skin Cancer Foundation.

UV rays can penetrate the first two layers of skin – epidermis and dermis – and damage the DNA of the cells.

Damage to the top layer of the epidermis causes the body to produce melanin as part of its attempt to stop the sun from continuing its attack.

This usually causes the body to tan because the substance creates a darker pigment in the skin.

Exposure to UVA waves, which are longer in wavelength and penetrate deeper than the other form of UV, UVB, causes damage to the middle layer of the dermis over time.

The layer contains collagen, elastin and other fibers that support skin structure.

The deeper penetration damages these proteins, causing the skin to gradually loosen and wrinkle.

For this reason, UVA radiation is considered the main cause of photoaging. UVB is the type of radiation more associated with sunburn.

Meanwhile, infrared light, which is felt as heat, and high-energy visible (HEV) light from the sun are also linked to damage to the dermis.

The combined effects can cause the skin to become looser, wrinkled and mole-like.

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