Posts for tag: Skin Protection
Too much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.
Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.
- Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.
Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:
- Previously treated for cancer
- Family history of skin cancer
- Several moles
- Typically burn before tanning
- Blond, red or light brown hair
If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.
If you have fair skin, you are often told to stay out of the sun, or to at least wear sunscreen with the highest SPF. Fair skin ranges from being extremely dry to very greasy, but the most common denominator is a susceptibility to irritation, sensitivity and damage caused by UV exposure.
- Choose a good cleanser that is gentle and won’t dry out your skin.
- Use a good moisturizer that replenishes the skin without clogging pores.
- Protect your skin from the elements.
- Schedule routine skin checks with your dermatologist
In the summer—or any season for that matter—protecting your kids from the sun’s harmful rays is a must. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood—that one blistering sunburn can double the risk of getting melanoma later in life. Protect your children now so that you can protect them for a lifetime from skin cancer and other skin conditions.
The American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer five important steps to sun safety for children. By following these tips, you can continue to protect your children from the harmful effects of the sun:
- Limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Even when it is cloudy or cool out, the ultraviolet (UV) rays continue to remain strong. Shady areas can even be tricky because of reflected light.
- Apply sunscreen properly. Thirty minutes prior to your child going out in the sun, it is important to apply sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 or higher. Scented or colorful sunscreens might appeal to some kids and can even make it easier to see which areas have been covered properly. When applying sunscreen, don’t forget the nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders and behind the neck.
- Cover up. Wearing protective clothing is also an excellent choice in protecting your children from the sun’s harmful rays. When wet, light-colored clothing transmits just as much sunlight as bare skin, so keep your kids covered in dark colors, long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses and hats for added protection.
- Understand your child’s medications. Some medications can increase your child’s skin sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to ask your doctor whether your child is at risk or not. The most notorious culprits of this sensitivity tend to be prescription antibiotics and acne medications.
- Set a good example. Remember, your children will often mirror your actions so make sure you follow these sun safety rules as well. Skin protection is not only important for children, but it is vital for every member of the family—regardless of age. Team up with your children and stay protected when life brings you outside to bask in the sunshine.
Contact your dermatologist for more information on how you can successfully protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays. While it is not required to avoid the sun altogether, your dermatologist does urge you to take every precaution possible to protect your child for a lifetime.
Many people enjoy basking in the sun and spending extra hours outside, especially in the summertime. Unfortunately, too much time spent soaking up the sun’s rays can be damaging to our skin, as evidenced by a dull, wrinkled complexion that makes us appear older than we really are.
Premature skin damage and wrinkling from sun exposure is known as photoaging. Unlike natural aging, photoaging causes dry, leathery and discolored skin, as well as deep wrinkles and sunspots. Talk to your dermatologist for easy ways to minimize sun damage and restore your youthful appearance. There are many ways we can help you soften and remove those unwanted wrinkles brought on by sun exposure.
Here are a few tips for improving sun damaged skin:
Moisturize. Because the sun is very drying, it is important that you rehydrate your damaged skin by applying moisturizer daily. This is an easy way to restore the moisture lost from over-exposure to the sun and improve dull, leathery looking skin.
Chemical Peels. Chemical peel applications are effective for removing fine lines, minimizing sun damage and smoothing out the skin. This procedure removes the damaged upper surface of the skin to expose newer, brighter skin.
Mircodermabrasion. This nonsurgical procedure involves exfoliating the top layer of aging skin to stimulate new skin growth. This procedure works best on mild to moderate skin damage and may require multiple treatments. Following treatment, fine lines appear softened and wrinkles are shallowed. Your skin will be rejuvenated, smoother and younger looking.
Laser skin resurfacing. This laser treatment uses high-energy light to remove a thin layer of damaged skin. As the skin is dissolved, it also minimizes wrinkles, sunspots and scars. New, blemish-free skin grows back smoother and tighter, which results in a younger looking you.
Prevention. Remember, prevention is key to addressing sunspots, wrinkles and other types of sun damage. Be smart when you’re outdoors, and limit the amount of exposure you get to the sun. Prior to stepping outside, always apply sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses and seek shade when possible.
The good news is that with proper prevention and a treatment plan to repair signs of sun damage, you can restore your youthful glow. Talk to a qualified dermatologist and find out if you are a candidate for any of these cosmetic procedures.
The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can result in skin damage from freckles and cosmetic blemishes to more serious conditions like cancer. Sun damage doesn’t happen overnight, and the long-term effects of repeated sun exposure may not appear for years. It’s a gradual process brought on by repeated exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which can have serious consequences later in life. But it's never too late to start protecting your skin from sun damage!
Signs of Sun Damaged Skin
Tans or sunburns are two visible signs of sun damage. A tan reveals that your skin has attempted to protect itself from sun damage by producing melanin, the brown pigment that colors the outer layer of skin. And sunburns indicate damaged skin cell DNA, which increases your risk for skin cancer.
The following signs indicate sun-damaged skin.
- Change in Texture - Skin may become dull and leathery as it is repeatedly exposed to the sun.
- Age Spots - As sun exposure increases so does the body’s production of melanin, which leads to the gradual appearance of blotches in skin tone and brown, black or gray spots on the face, chest, shoulders and hands.
- Wrinkles - As the sun depletes collagen and elastin, the substances that keep skin firm and flexible, skin sags and wrinkles appear which make you look older.
- Red or Inflamed Skin - Symptoms of sunburn such as heat, pain, redness or blisters indicate damage to the epidermis.
The best way to maintain a youthful appearance and avoid skin cancer is to make sun protection a part of daily life. Take extra precautions when outdoors. Always apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses. Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight and seek shade when possible. Tanning beds are just as harmful for your skin and should also be avoided.
When to Visit Your Dermatologist
Sun damage should not be overlooked. It may be time to visit your dermatologist about potential sun damage if you:
- Experience a severe sunburn with blistering or other serious side effects, or if you have a history of sunburns
- Notice changes to existing skin growths or develop new or irregular shaped moles or spots, as these could be indications that you have skin cancer
- Have sun spots on your skin, especially if they appear suddenly or are dark in color
- Have a family history of skin cancer
At a minimum, you should visit a dermatologist once a year to have your body inspected for moles or growths. A dermatologist will not only look for signs of cancer, but can also offer cosmetic treatments to reduce the visible signs of sun damage, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.