1. The term ‘sunburn’ is a bland term for what is actually a skin injury. When you stay out in the sun too long without protection you are injuring your skin, and when you peel that is because you KILLED the top layer of your skin!
2. If you are a pale-skinned northern European, long term exposure to the sun almost always causes a condition called ACTINIC KERATOSIS. These are small patches on your skin that feel rough and flaky. They can be pink, red, yellow or brownish and won’t go away unless they are frozen, chemically peeled, or cut out. Actinic keratosis is a warning sign of an increased risk of skin cancer and about 15% of all actinic keratoses eventually become skin cancer.
3. Sun damage causes long-term changes in the underlying structure, or collagen, of the skin. Damage to your collagen causes sagging, bruising on the backs of hands and forearms, deep lines and wrinkles, and leathery skin, making you look much older than you are. These changes will occur years after your exposure to the sun by which time it is too late to do anything about it unless you want to go under the knife.
4. UVA rays cause AGEING. UVB rays cause BURNING. Both cause damage.
5. UVA rays go through glass! If you live in a hot country and don’t apply sunscreen at the beginning of every day you can damage your skin whilst driving, sitting in your conservatory or in a room with lots of windows. In fact, anywhere!
6. Any suntan lotion that is less than Factor 30 is not worth using. And don´t forget your lips. Cancer of the lip is not uncommon, particularly in males over 50, and sun damage is the main cause.
7. Always wear sunglasses when you are out and about, even in winter. Eye melanomas occur mainly in pale-eyed people who have spent a lot of time in the sun. Sunglasses without UV protection are useless. And it’s important to remember that parents should be protecting their children’s eyes as well as their skin!
8. There are some medicines and skin care products that can increase the risk of sun damage. These include some antibiotics, some blood pressure medication and some acne medication. Always read the label.
9. Vitamin A can help reverse some of the signs of ageing. This can be applied to the skin in the form of retinol cream. You cannot buy an effective over-the-counter retinol cream. This is because it is a regulated medicine and can only be obtained from a clinic in the strength you need to combat skin damage caused by the sun. Book a free skin consultation with us to find out if retinol can help you.
10. Chemical Peels are an effective treatment for sun damaged skin and a course of peels can effectively treat actinic keratosis. Always speak to a skin-care specialist if you are at all concerned about the condition of your skin.