Too Much Summer Sun Can Be Even More Dangerous Than You Think
For those who live in sunny Florida, soaking up the sun can be a favorite pastime – especially in the summer months. But even a little sun, let alone too much of it, can have potentially damaging effects.
The sun, specifically UVA and UVB rays, accelerates the breakdown of collagen in our skin creating laxity as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Pigment is also affected by the sun, causing melanocytes (pigment cells) to cluster and darken, leading to what are commonly referred to as sun spots.
Prolonged sun exposure, especially in our teens through our 30s, causes premature aging. In addition to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sagging and rough skin texture, the sun also induces basal and squamous cell carcinoma as well as AKs (precancerous growths). The artificial lights in tanning beds used during this period are also very harmful, as they can increase one’s risk of malignant melanoma by 75%.
From a facial standpoint, the good news is some sun-related damage can be reversible, with depending on the amount of damage and time spent in the sun. The best remedy, however, is to practice safe sun exposure before heading outside for that much-coveted beach day:
- Wear a large-brimmed hat and generously apply high SPF (30+) sunscreen to your skin
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours
- Avoid going out between 10AM and 2PM, when the sun is at its most intense
- Take advantage of shade, like sitting under an umbrella
- Avoid exfoliants like Retin A and AHAs just before a beach trip (these cause the skin to burn more quickly)
Should anyone find themselves suffering from sunburn, apply aloe vera or an after-sun care product, as well as avoiding the beach for several weeks. To avoid long-term damage, high SPF sunscreen should be applied daily, even when rainy or cloudy. UV-protectant clothing should also be worn.
If you feel you have sustained long-term facial sun damage or have other questions about your complexion, contact us to set up a free consultation. Our board certified doctors and licensed aestheticians have decades’ worth of experience and an array of facial cosmetic products to serve the skin care needs of all our patients.
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