Sun damage results from the skin’s excessive exposure to UV rays. Sun damage does not appear all at once, rather it accumulates slowly over time and starts at an early age. In fact, by age 18 you’ve already accumulated a significant percentage of the sun damage you’ll incur in a lifetime. As far as aging, almost 90 per cent of the visible signs of aging, including brown spots, wrinkles, sagging skin and spider veins, can be attributed to sun exposure. While some sun damage may result in cosmetic skin concerns (which appear prominently on the face and décolletage), other effects, such as skin cancer, are more serious and potentially deadly.
SUMMER SKIN HABITS THAT MIGHT BE AGING YOU:
Whether you are lying by the pool, or the lake or sitting on a patio, Canadian’s alcohol consumption tends to increase in summer months. Drinking alcohol (yes even wine) can produce free radicals that can damage the skin, causing wrinkles. So try to limit your alcohol intake and remember to stay hydrated especially if you are drinking.
MOST COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS RELATED TO SUN EXPOSURE AND TREATMENTS:
-Sun damage (Year round sunscreen and sunblock, Levulan, Laser Therapy, PRP)
-Sun/Brown Spots (ResurFx, Pico Laser)
-Rosacea (Laser and Lumenis One Treatment)
-Fine lines and wrinkles (Neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport and Injectable Filler and PRP)
-Actinic keratosis (Photodynamic Therapy)
-Skin cancer (Surgical Excisions, Photodynamic Therapy)
WHAT ARE SUN SPOTS:
There are several different types of sun spots, the most common being lentigines which can appear on the face, neck, trunk and extremities, or anywhere on the body that is exposed to sunlight. Lentigines are a clear indication of sun damage and although they can be treated successfully, the best cure is always prevention as they can be permanent. Furthermore, exposure to sunlight can make pre-existing spots darker. Malignant melanoma can resemble a sun spot so if you notice any new spots or changes in existing spots you should be examined by a dermatologist to rule out melanoma. The risk of malignant melanoma has increased 1800% over the past 80 years and can be life threatening.
AT HOME REMEDIES:
-Use lip balm with sunscreen in it which can also be used around your eyes and underneath your nose
-Vitamin C is one of the most effective over the counter ingredients that help skin looking its best. Look for products containing vitamin C (ascorbic acid) as they can help prevent and repair free radical damage caused by UV damage and from drinking Rosé!
-If you somehow manage to get sunburnt drink extra fluids, and apply cold compresses and you can even take an aspirin or anti-inflammatory to help with the discomfort and most importantly, stay out of the sun. If the burn persists, you should see a Dermatologist as you may require prescription-grade topical steroid ointment.
-To freshen up your skin at home, remove dead skin by washing with a gel-based exfoliating cleanser or by using a mask which can remove the dead skin cells to facilitate collagen regeneration.
-To repair your skin after the summer months use a topical Vitamin A 1% retinol or higher to boost collagen and speed cell turnover to help even out discoloration and smooth the skin.
ABC’S OF SUN PROTECTION:
a) SPF 30+ Year round (Don’t forget chest, neck, décolletage and back of legs and hands)
b) Use 1 ounce (or a full shot glass) of sunscreen for a normal application
c) Wear a wide-brimmed UPF 50 sun hat, and sun protective clothing all summer as the best way to treat sun damage and sun spots is to prevent them!
d) You should wear sunscreen even if it’s cloudy because up to 80% of the sun’s rays can pass through, even when it’s raining
e) Water doesn’t filter out the UV light so you should always wear waterproof SPF before and after entering and exiting water to minimize the risk of sunburn, skin damage and maybe even skin cancer.
f) Avoid peak sun time which is from about 10am-4pm and seek shade when you can whenever you’re outside.
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