Getting a sunburn shouldn’t be your only skin concern this summer…
Summer is finally here. Which in turn means lots of outdoor activities and major exposure to the sun! While it’s great to be outside enjoying the great weather, it is important to note that this great weather can have adverse effects to your skin. When people hear the term sun damage, they usually immediately think of a sunburn. But long term sun exposure can lead to a number of different skin conditions, some of which will be discussed in this blog post.
Age spots, sometimes called “liver spots” are due to long term exposure to UV light. This light can come from both the sun and tanning lamps or beds. Age spots can appear on any part of the body that is exposed to UV rays repeatedly over a long period of time.
What is happening under the surface? UV light speeds up the production of melanin,which gives your skin its color. After years of sun exposure, melanin can build up in certain areas causing darker pigmentation.
The sun is your #1 enemy when it comes to aging, especially wrinkles.
What is happening under the surface? Elastin, a very important protein that can be found in the connective tissue under the skin, allows it to bounce back and stay tight. As we get older the elastin naturally begins to wear away. Over time UV rays from the sun can further deteriorate elastin as well as collagen, another protein in your body that helps maintain the youthful tight appearance of your skin.
It’s inevitable – once the temperature begins to increase, the sweat soon follows. The problem arises when your skin begins to form heat rashes.
What is happening beneath the surface? Sweat glands keep our body cool by excreting sweat to the surface of our skin. We form rashes when the glands become blocked and sweat cannot reach the surface. This results in small red bumps on the skin. Most times heat rashes will go away on their own, but if the area does become infected you should seek counsel from a dermatologist.
Different forms of Skin Cancer
If you are an avid reader of our blog or website, then you’ve probably heard us mention the effect that extended exposure to UV radiation has on your chances of getting skin cancer.
What is happening beneath the surface? Skin cancer is defined as the increased growth of abnormal skin cells. Long term exposure to UV radiation prompts this uncontrolled development. Skin cancer affects 5.4 million people annually and is the biggest health concern associated with sun exposure.
For more information on the different types of skin cancer and more visit our recent blog post “Spelling out Skin Cancer”.
Be smart when it comes to your sun safety, and following these quick tips:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ an hour prior to going outdoors.
- Stay out of the sun when UV rays are the strongest, typically between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.
- Don’t only focus on the main areas when applying sunscreen: face, arms, legs, stomach and back. Remember to apply sunscreen on the tops of your hands and feet, shoulders and even your scalp!
- To avoid heat rashes try wearing light, loose-fitting clothing.