Golden tans and sun kissed skin is a popular look across both men and women nowadays. Basking in the rays all day long is a popular past time amongst holiday goers, but, do you know the damage the sun is causing? Most people don’t realise until after the damage is already done. The suns heat dries out areas of unprotected skin and begins to diminish the skins natural supply of lubricating oils. Along with that, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can cause burning and long term changes in the skins structure.
The most recognised types of sun damage include:
• Dry skin – exposed skin can lose moisture making it appear dry and flaky
• Sunburn – noticeable reddening of the skin and in severe cases, blisters
Actinic keratosis – a tiny bump that feels like sandpaper or has a coloured tint.
Depending on the severity of your sun damage, the duration will vary. Usually with sunburn you will find that the painful redness will fade within a few days if cared for is left unexposed to the sun. Some damage is permanent although medications and remedies may improve the appearance.
Over a long period of time, continuous episodes of sunburn and unprotected exposure to the sun can increase the risk of malignant melanoma and other forms of dangerous skin cancers. Usually those with fair skin and light eyes are at a greater risk of sun-related damage that can lead to cancers, based on the pigment of their skin.
There are simple steps you can incorporate into your ‘out in the sun’ routine:
• Apply sunscreen that is water resistant and of a high factor regularly
• Use a sunblock on your lips
• Limit your time outdoors when the sun is at its peak
• Wear sunglasses with UV protection
• Wear long pants, a shirt with long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim
• Be aware that some medicines can increase the risk of UV damage.
It’s also recommended to perform skin damage checks on yourself every one or two months. Check for patches of discoloured or flaky skin, moles, sores and other unusual skin abnormalities.