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Sun Damage Prevention

We have all heard the reports and seen the news; over-exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on your skin. Doctors have been telling us for years that we must protect our skin from the sun to prevent skin cancer and premature aging. I find it so surprising when a patient comes for a BOTOX® treatment but is not using a daily sunscreen. The wrinkles will get worse without good sun protection I can promise you that!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, protection from the ultra-violet rays emitted from the sun should occur all year round. Let’s look at the facts and see how the sun destroys your skin’s structural support system, breaking it down and causing you to age prematurely, and find out how we can protect our skin from looking like an old catcher’s mitt.

What does sun exposure do to the skin?

Without the proper protection, the sun can cause damage to your skin. The sun breaks down the support structure and oxygen free radicals are formed within the layers. It is these free radicals that attack the skin’s collagen layers, breaking down the integrity, causing wrinkles and unwanted lines. Pigmentation can also occur, which adds years to your appearance.

Prevention through protection is the key to keeping your skin looking youthful. You must minimise the free radical formation within your skin to keep it looking healthy and radiant. Only a good quality sunscreen and products containing vitamin C or B can help minimise free radical formation.

Without a good quality sunscreen as the first line of defense, significant changes occur. Sun damage accelerates the effects of aging and increases your chances of developing skin cancer and precancers like actinic keratosis. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two million people are diagnosed annually.” Research has revealed that most skin cancers are associated with overexposure to sunlight. Fortunately, with the right skincare practices, issues that derive from sun-damaged skin are mostly avoidable.

Home > Sun Damage Prevention
Sun Damage Prevention
We have all heard the reports and seen the news; over-exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on your skin. Doctors have been telling us for years that we must protect our skin from the sun to prevent skin cancer and premature aging. I find it so surprising when a patient comes for a BOTOX® treatment but is not using a daily sunscreen. The wrinkles will get worse without good sun protection I can promise you that!

Sun Damage Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, protection from the ultra-violet rays emitted from the sun should occur all year round. Let’s look at the facts and see how the sun destroys your skin’s structural support system, breaking it down and causing you to age prematurely, and find out how we can protect our skin from looking like an old catcher’s mitt.

Without the proper protection, the sun can cause damage to your skin. The sun breaks down the support structure and oxygen free radicals are formed within the layers. It is these free radicals that attack the skin’s collagen layers, breaking down the integrity, causing wrinkles and unwanted lines. Pigmentation can also occur, which adds years to your appearance.

Prevention through protection is the key to keeping your skin looking youthful. You must minimise the free radical formation within your skin to keep it looking healthy and radiant. Only a good quality sunscreen and products containing vitamin C or B can help minimise free radical formation.

Without a good quality sunscreen as the first line of defense, significant changes occur. Sun damage accelerates the effects of aging and increases your chances of developing skin cancer and precancers like actinic keratosis. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two million people are diagnosed annually.” Research has revealed that most skin cancers are associated with overexposure to sunlight. Fortunately, with the right skincare practices, issues that derive from sun-damaged skin are mostly avoidable.

Mike’s top tips to avoid sun damage of your skin;

1. Stay out of the sun in summer between 11am and 1pm
This is not that tough really. The benefits significantly outweigh the costs. Stay inside, sit in the shade, read a book, just don’t be in the direct sun between 11am and 1pm.

2. Apply Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or Higher
At least 30 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours thereafter, put on sunscreen. If you plan to participate in rigorous activities, such as swimming or running, apply sunscreen more often. DON’T abuse use the sunscreen and stay out in the sun all day.

3. Use the right AMOUNT of sunscreen.
Don’t be a miser with your sunscreen. A good rule is one teaspoon full of sunscreen per area. Eg 1 teaspoon full for your face, 1 teaspoon full for your neck and so on.

4. Use a ZINC sunscreen on your face – you only get one
Zinc or mineral based sunscreens contain active ingredients that physically block the UVA and UVB radiation, rather than absorb harmful radiation like most chemical based sunscreens. Without adequate evidence regarding the safety and long-term effects of the use of chemical based sunscreens, mineral based products are a welcomed product in the prevention of skin damage.

Sunscreens that include zinc oxide have properties that block harmful UV radiation the moment it is applied to the top layer of the skin.

They do not irritate the skin, like some chemical sunscreens, which are prone to cause problems on sensitive skin. Look for a percentage of zinc oxide above 15% for best protection.

5. Wear UV Protection Sunglasses, Wide Hats and Other UV Protection Goods
Wearing a good pair of sunglasses is an easy solution for protecting the skin around your eyes and eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Notably, long-standing exposure to UV emissions can harm the eye’s surface, including its inner structures; on occasion, this deleterious contact can contribute to cataracts (blurring of the eye lens) and blurred vision. Pair your sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat to help shade your face and neck. Remember the sun causes wrinkles and sun damage.

6. Conduct Regular Skin Self-Checks
Done routinely, skin self-examinations can alert you to changes in your skin, such as a new growth or changes to an existing growth, and may prevent the worsening of a preexisting condition. If you notice something odd or suspicious, see a doctor. A physician can help determine the state of spots, freckles or moles you observe. Remember, sun damage is often easily discernible, and early detection can be instrumental in saving your skin or your life.

7. Forget Tanning Salons!! – I can’t believe this even needs to be said….
Tanning beds are harmful to the skin. Tan beds or tan lamps emit harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and damage skin cells. The accumulative damage can age skin prematurely in the form of brown spots, loose skin, wrinkles and skin cancers. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation noted that individuals who use “indoor tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma” than individuals who do not indoor tanners. Nothing makes me more frustrated than a patient who comes in asking for Botox® while currently using a tanning bed. Ludicrous! Either you want the wrinkles or you don’t? Please, please don’t use tanning beds.

Ultimately, forming the right habits is critical to avoiding the consequences of sun-damaged skin. Preventing sun damage to your skin is possible using the right products and coverage material, from sunblock lotions and UV protection sunglasses to wraparound clothing. You are also your best protector, so be proactive by conducting self-examinations.

By Mike Clague