How the Summer Sun Damages Your Skin (and What You Can Do About It)
The summer is here, which means it’s time for a lot of fun in the sun. Yet too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Not only will sunburn and sun damage accelerate the aging process, they can also increase your risk for skin cancer.
The team at Jefferson Plastic Surgery here in Philadelphia, PA would like to go over some of the dangers of excessive sun exposure. We’ll also share some simple skin care tips to protect your skin and help you look great and feel great this summer and countless summers down the road.
The Sun and Your Skin
The skin uses sunlight to help create vitamin D, which is crucial for your bones. When a person gets too much sun, they experience sunburn. The ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate the epidermis (the topmost layer of your skin) and do cellular damage to the underlying layers of the skin in the process.
This repeated cellular damage due to UV rays prematurely ages the skin while simultaneously increasing a person’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
A Risk of Skin Cancer
The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer is the most common type of all cancers, with approximately 5.4 million individual basal and squamous cell skin cancers diagnosed annually.
You may recall the actor Hugh Jackman appearing in the news in recent years after having multiple basal cell skin cancer growths removed. His advocacy for proper skin care screenings and the use of sun protection could potentially save lives.
Use Sunscreen Whenever You Go Outside
One of the best things you to do to prevent skin cancer and protect your appearance is to wear sunblock any time you are outdoors. Aim for an SPF 30 or higher, and reapply the sunblock periodically to maintain the sun protection benefits.
Earlier in the year we offered some insight into cosmetic procedures can make you look 10 years younger. Wearing sunblock is a sure way to help fight unwanted signs of age without injections or incisions.
Consider a Zinc Nosecoat
In addition to sunblock, you may want to consider a zinc oxide nosecoat. Applied to the nose and the cheeks, zinc oxide can prevent sunburn on particularly exposed parts of the face.
Switch to an SPF Lip Balm
Your lips are important to protect as well. Find a lip balm with a sun protection factor to keep your lips from getting chapped as well as burned.
Wear Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes
The sun not only causes skin cancer but can also increase your risk of cataracts. Find a pair of sunglasses to wear when you’re outdoors to protect your skin and your vision.
Wear a Hat with a Brim to Shade Your Face
Sunglasses can protect the eye area, but a hat with a brim offers shade and coverage for the forehead and other parts of the mid and upper face.
Head for the Shade
The sun is going to be harshest between 10am and 4pm most days. While you can get out in the sun during those times, try to seek shade during those hours to help your skin cool off and to prevent sunburn.
Consider Clothes to Cover Up
We’ve focused a lot on the face, but you should wear long sleeves and other kinds of clothing to cover up the rest of your skin as well. Dark colors tend to provide better protection than light colors since they are more effective at blocking out the sun.
Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery
For more information about looking your best during the summer and all year round, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic surgeons. We look forward to your visit and discussing your aesthetic goals with you in greater detail.