Sun damaged skin occurs due to over-exposure to the sun without adequate protections from sunblock and clothing. A single sunburn can cause serious sun damage and increase risk factors for various skin conditions. Tanning is equally dangerous, as tans and freckles are evidence of sun damage.
If you have sun damage and want to improve the appearance of your skin, talk to your facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist about removing damaged skin cells, skin lightening treatments, and lasers.
More important are the health risks associated with sun damaged skin, the most common being skin cancer. If you have unusual skin lesions that don’t heal, pigmented spots that are rapidly growing, changing in shape, size or color please see a dermatologist to assess skin damage, evaluating your personal medical history to determine risk for developing skin cancers and melanoma. If you don’t know a good dermatologist, call Dr. Pearlman, we can suggest some very astute dermatologists who can help make sure you don’t have skin cancer.
Prevention measures should also be discussed with your skin care specialist. Though you may think you are cautious in terms of protecting your skin against burns and other sun damage, evidence of existing damage can be an indicator of skin protection failure. We can assist with best practices for your personal skin protection steps and best practices.
Remember, the sun is out there every day with it’s damaging rays, not just on weekends, at the beach, on the tennis court or golf course.
Copyright 2012. As licensed to Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery. All rights reserved
SKIN CANCER & SUN PROTECTION: WHICH SIDE DO YOU WANT TO BE ON?
Two new drugs were just approved for the treatment of advanced Melanoma (NY Times) and the FDA just announced that they are going to standardize SPF ratings for sunscreens (FDA announcement), all within the same month. How’s that for a coincidence?
According to the American Cancer Society, over 2 million skin cancers are diagnosed per year with 120,000 Melanomas. It’s so much better to talk about prevention. While we all know that the sun affects our skin on a daily basis (e.g. walking to work, school, out to lunch, driving in a car, etc.), most people only put on sunscreens on weekends before the beach, or playing a sport outside. Maybe you don’t need the heavy stuff, but you should use at least an SPF 20 on a daily basis. For prolonged outdoor activities, this should be upped to at least SPF 50. This is the maximum SPF that will be allowed on a label by the FDA when the new regulations go into effect.
Sunscreens have also evolved rapidly over the past few years. The stronger sunscreens are no longer heavy, greasy or make your skin break out. We love the new Colorscience. It is a mineral powder makeup that has SPF 50 in it. You can apply it onto your skin daily and look great while protecting your skin. Plus it can be used under your eyes, an area that has very thin skin and needs protection. We even have Colorscience lip gloss with SPF
Sun protection is getting better and better, but you have to apply it on a daily basis and repeat for it to effectively protect your skin. That’s always better than the alternative: treating skin cancer. Steven Pearlman, MD, FACS