SUN DAMAGE - SUN PROTECTION
What are the effects of too much sun exposure?
Overexposure or long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun is responsible for a big number of mostly harmless but aesthetically unpleasing skin conditions like Freckles, photodamage wrinkles, lines and Melasma, but can also cause skin cancer.
As for skin cancers, the less dangerous types, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, result from accumulated sun damage, whereas the more dangerous melanoma results from episodic yet severe sunburn experienced long ago, perhaps in childhood or in teen years.
How to repair sun damaged skin?
Many of these conditions are best addressed with the right type of advanced laser therapy, but mostly take repeated and committed treatment and can also benefit from certain chemical peels.
Although the best cure is prevention by using sunscreen and avoiding over-exposure, our German board-certified dermatologist can help you effectively with any of the named conditions and will determine which treatment protocol is best suited to get the wanted result in a safe way.
How to protect your skin from sun damage?
Adopting the following simple precautions, can make all the difference. Shade, clothing and hats provide the best protection – applying sunscreen becomes necessary on those parts of the body that remain exposed like the face and hands. Sunscreen should never be used to prolong the duration of sun exposure.
- Limit time in the midday sun
The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To the extent possible, limit exposure to the sun during these hours.
- Watch for the UV index
This important resource helps you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays. While you should always take precautions against overexposure, take special care to adopt sun safety practices when the UV Index predicts exposure levels of moderate or above.
- Use shade wisely
Seek shade when UV rays are the most intense, but keep in mind that shade structures such as trees, umbrellas or canopies do not offer complete sun protection. Remember the shadow rule: “Watch your shadow – Short shadow, seek shade!”
- Wear protective clothing
A hat with a wide brim offers good sun protection for your eyes, ears, face, and the back or your neck. Sunglasses that provide 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection will greatly reduce eye damage from sun exposure. Tightly woven, loose fitting clothes will provide additional protection from the sun.
- Use sunscreen
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15+ (or higher) liberally and re-apply every two hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.
- Avoid sunlamps and tanning parlours
Sunbeds damage the skin and unprotected eyes and are best avoided entirely.