Summer Skin

More and more people these days are having issues with their skin and don’t understand why. What people don’t realize that in our quest for a tan, we are severely damaging our skin. Several things can happen when we tan. You skin will become dull, have increased redness, brown spots, wrinkles, and in some cases skin cancer. Being in the sun for long periods of time without the proper knowledge will cause problems. But with the proper protection and skin care it will remain safe and fun.

With prolonged exposure to the sun, brown spots and redness in your skin may become more common. With prolonged exposure, Melanocytes that make your brown pigment, become stimulated by the sun.  Freckles, moles, and pigmented producing conditions such as melasma, are exacerbated and increased by the excessive pigment production. Along those same lines excessive sun causes inflammation, which increases blood to the surface of the skin, exacerbating rosacea and increasing skin vascularity. This makes us look red and flushed even if we have not been in the sun. In addition the sun creates free radicals, and they attack the collagen, breaking it down, lessening the structural integrity of the skin, which in turn leads to wrinkles in the skin.

In addition to all these problem that the sun may cause, there is always a risk of skin cancer. Each year in the US, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer, and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Exposure to UV radiation (ultraviolet light) is the main factor that causes skin cells to become cancer cells. Approximately 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 95% of melanoma are caused by too much UV radiation from the sun or other sources as such sunbeds, and sun lamps. UV rays penetrate deeply into the skin causing damage to the skin cells. When your body is unable to repair the damage caused by the UV rays, the cells may begin to divide and grow at an uncontrollable rate. This process is known as cancer.

Enough about the consequences of prolonged sun exposure. The first step is prevention. Simple things such as, protective clothing, sunscreen, staying in the shade, and using antioxidants. However in some cases the damage is done. There are ways to help recover and even start to reverse some of the signs of damage.

For dull skin you need to moisturize and exfoliate on a daily basis. Glycolic acid is a natural acid that helps to balance your skins hydration and exfoliate naturally. Plus it’s something you can use on a daily bases to prevent cell build up. When  Glycolic acid  is  not enough, treatments such as, Chemical Peels, or Microdermabrasion, help to exfoliate the skin on a deeper level leaving your skin feeling smooth with a healthy glow.

Most people suffer from increased redness and brown spots.  Retnol (vitamin A) is an antioxidant that helps the body shed old skin cells and produce new ones, keeping your skin smooth and resistant to irritants, brown spots and even redness. The best thing you can do for the redness in your skin is antioxidants, such as caffeine, and green tea. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and the damage caused by the sun. When applied to the skin directly they help calm the skin. However brown spots require a little more than just antioxidants. With the pigment producing Melanocytes, create brown spots, by being over stimulated by the sun, we need inhibitors, such as hydroquinone, which helps to stop the over production on pigment in the skin. Although skin care is essential, sometimes a little more help is required. Lasers such as IPL and Genesis can help to penetrate the skin on a deeper level. If you have major browns or melasma you may need to go even deeper with Fraxel or even a CO2 laser.

Winkles need a little more help. With free radicals breaking down the integrity of your skin it’s important to use products that stimulate collagen. As collagen is stimulated, it helps strengthen the skin.  Retinol, Glycolic, Vitamin C, and Peptides are the 4 major products that will help diminish wrinkles by stimulating collagen. Retinol and Glycolic help exfoliate, shed old skin cells and produce new ones, increasing collagen production. Peptides are active derivatives of a protein that penetrate deep into the outer layer of the skin to stimulate collagen production while at the same time plumping the skin. Last but not least Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging free radicals and the breakdown of the integrity of the skin. For people with deep lines, lasers or fillers may need to be considered.

When it comes to skin cancer the best we can do is use preventative steps to avoid bad sun damage. Wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and stay in the shade. If you feel like you have cancerous spots on the skin you should consult with your physician immediately. Liquid nitrogen, topical prescriptions, radiation, and even surgery may be required.

With the proper knowledge, proper action can be taken to protect the skin from the harmful damage that excessive exposure to the sun may cause. But just because all these issues may arise doesn’t mean you should completely avoid the sun. Sunscreen is the most important step to protecting your skin. Make sure it’s at least in SPF 35 and reapply every 3-4 hours. Call Dermacare today for your complementary consultation, to see what product or treatments are best for your skin 760-472-5088 or visit www.dermacaresandiego.com