Summer is just around the corner, and many people see summer as their favorite season. And summer has a lot of great things to offer – warm weather, seasonal fruits and veggies, longer days, and dozens of summer activities.
But with all that fun comes some concerns. Summer often brings high temperatures and the risk of all that direct sunlight. In fact, the kind of unfiltered sunlight people love during the summer can cause serious damage to our skin.
Few people are immune to the irritation and frustration of sun burns, but sun damage is more than just a bad sunburn. In fact, you can develop sun damage without ever experiencing the outward signs of a sunburn.
Sun damage, also known as photoaging or solar damage, happens when the deepest layer of the skin is damaged and changed by ultraviolet light (UV) from the sun. Skin is most susceptible to this damage when sunscreen isn’t or is improperly applied. And sun damage, if left untreated, can cause serious complications down the road including premature skin aging.
Importance of Sun Damage Prevention
The most important step in the battle against sun damage is prevention. The first step in prevention is knowing which areas of your body are most susceptible to sun damage. Not all parts of your body are affected by UV rays, but areas like your face and lips, neck, shoulders, scalp, and back of your hands are most likely to see sun damage.
These areas are most often uncovered in the summer months and get the most direct sun contact. Plus, some of these areas are overlooked when applying sunscreen. That also means these areas show signs of sun damage easily – premature wrinkling, freckles, red or dark spots, broken capillaries, and even a rough skin texture.
Preventing sun damage first gives you the best chance to have healthy, youthful-looking skin for years to come. The good news is, with just a few steps, you can prevent those harmful UV rays from damaging your skin. And, you won’t have to miss out on any of the summer fun.
Here are Some Helpful Tips on How You Can Prevent Sun Damage
The next step in preventing sun damage is finding, and using, appropriate coverage measures. The best way to prevent any new sun damage is to cover up vulnerable skin.
The first step is using sunscreen – especially on your face – any time you will be outside. Many people think sun damage is only possible with warm temps and direct sunlight, but that’s not the case. Damaging UV rays can and do penetrate cloud coverage and aren’t dependent on high temperatures.
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily can prevent further sun damage. Medical-grade sunscreen is highly recommended; over-the-counter brands contain inactive compounds, fragrances, and preservatives that leave you with less sun protection. At HERA, we carry Alastin sunscreens that are perfect for everyday use!
If the UV index in your area is 3 or higher, you need to apply sunscreen – no matter what season or temperature.
If you are going to be outside, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing clothing and accessories that cover up vulnerable skin. You’ll want to invest in tightly woven fabrics in dark colors. These kinds of materials help block more of those harmful UV rays.
Remember, the best option is full coverage – long sleeves and long pants – but these options can be impractical in hot weather. If full coverage is not viable, consider a swimsuit cover-up or t-shirt.
And don’t forget the hat and sunglasses. Both accessories can add an additional layer of coverage, plus add a fashionable statement to your outing.
When possible, find some shade. A nice shady tree, owning, or umbrella can help minimize the effects of those damaging rays. Even the best shade coverage can’t keep out all UV rays, so remember the sunscreen and cover-ups.
Moisturizing the skin can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines caused by the sun.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, reduces inflammation and helps fight free radicals.
6. Water Intake
Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated helps to replenish and repair the skin cells from inside.
7. Avoid Tanning Beds
Tanning beds emit UVA rays, which accelerate the aging process of the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.
8. Regular Exfoliation
Exfoliating the skin regularly can remove dead skin cells, revealing healthier and softer new skin.
9. Antioxidant-Rich Diet
A diet rich in antioxidants can help protect the skin from sun damage. Foods high in antioxidants include berries, leafy greens, and nuts.
A sunburn is not just about the initial redness that occurs, but about the long-term damage that progresses over time. Sun damage leads to premature aging, but can also cause serious harmful skin cancers, like melanoma. Call or text us to schedule a consultation with one of our experts to determine a skincare regimen best suited for your skin type and level of damage.
Ways to Correct Sun Damage
Sun damage can happen to anyone at any age. It is easy to forget our wide-brimmed hat or miss an application of sunscreen at times. The good news is, there are a few ways sun damage can be treated and corrected.
The treatment you receive will depend on the signs of sun damage your skin is showing. If your skin is wrinkling or showing age spots because of sun damage, a physician, nurse, or nurse practitioner might treat it with a chemical peel or a special type of laser.
If your skin is losing elasticity, radiofrequency or other laser treatments may be recommended to tighten the skin. Spider veins and redness can be treated in similar ways or with intense-pulsed light treatments.
While there are some ways to correct sun damage, there is no way to reverse it completely. Our skin is an amazing design. It can heal and regenerate itself, but there are still consequences to those long sun days without little to no protection. Our skin is a highly specialized tissue that can heal and regenerate itself, however there are still consequences to long sun days without little to no protection. Just remember, your skin today is the skin you’ll have in 30 years. Be kind and be proactive.
HERA Healthcare Skin Rejuvenation Treatments
The upcoming summer months that are fast approaching can pose a serious threat to our skin health. Sun damage can occur from being overexposed to the sun at any one time, as well as the cumulative exposure of unprotected skin on a daily basis. How you treat and protect your skin from one year to the next will impact its appearance and condition for the next decade.
Those in Thousand Oaks will be glad to know that we offer a large variety of treatments and products to help with sun damage and anti-aging such as laser treatments like IPL and Alastin Skincare. Please contact us to learn more.