A Guide to Protecting your Skin from Sun Damage
Sun safety is something that every individual should know about. The sun can really damage the skin when it is exposed to it on a frequent basis. It is essential that when in the sun, the body be well protected, with either a sunscreen or a hat or lightweight clothing. This is especially applicable during the warmer months of the year. It’s also just as important to remember, even in winter the sun can still damage your skin, this is why it’s vital to protect your skin with an SPF even during the cold wintery months.
How to protect the skin
There are a number of things that an individual can do for sun safety. These include:
- Wearing a high quality sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of the number one products that an individual will read about when learning about sun safety. Sunscreens come in different forms- creams, ointments, gels, sprays, lotions, wipes and lip balms. Sunscreen will help to protect against the sun’s rays. Many do not realise that sunscreen will only keep part of the sun’s rays from entering the skin. This is why it is essential to know about different forms of sun safety. It is recommended that a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 be worn. The sunscreen should have a broad spectrum protection, meaning it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. When applying sunscreen, be generous. It is recommended that about 35ml of sunscreen be applied to the entire body, paying close attention to the arms, legs, neck, ears, face and any other exposed skin. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors to allow plenty of time for it to soak in.
- Wear a hat. A hat that has a 2 to 3 inch brim all the way around is the best hat as this will protect areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the ears, forehead, and nose. It is not recommended to wear a straw hat for sun safety as they are made of tightly woven fabrics.
- Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses will not only protect the eyes but also the delicate skin around the eyes. Look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wrap around glasses will do a better job at protecting the eyes and skin from light that is coming in at different angles.
- Seek shade when outdoors. One of the best things that a person can do for sun safety is to avoid the direct sunlight. Limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, but if you must be outdoors at this time, seek shade.
- Wear protective clothing. A great piece of advice for those that are looking for sun safety tips is to cover up the skin as much as possible. Look for lightweight clothing in darker colors, as the darker colors generally provide more sun protection than lighter colors.
Reverse Sun Damaged Skin
There are a few things that an individual can do to reverse sun damaged skin. Besides following the sun safety tips listed above, an individual can also exfoliate the skin. The skin will look smoother and healthier when loofahs, skin scrubs and alpha hydroxy acid are used. The skin should also be hydrated, so keep a moisturiser with AHA handy.
Sun Damaged Skin Treatments
If the skin is damaged by the sun, there are some sun damaged skin treatments that can be performed by a skin specialist. These include:
- Chemical peels- The top layer of the skin is removed using chemicals so new skin can regrow.
- Laser resurfacing- The top layer of the skin is removed with a laser beam to allow new skin to regrow.
- Tretinoin- These creams and gels will reverse sun damage to the skin, working within a few weeks.
- Tararotene- This retinoid product (vitamin A) has shown to be significant in reversing sun damaged skin.
At Advanced Dermatology we provide treatments for sun damaged skin so if you feel that you have been exposed to too much sun during the Summer months, give us a call or simple fill out the contact form and we will call you back.