Even on a cloudy summer day our skin is constantly exposed to the sun, so it is important to be aware of the risks and dangers of sun damage to our skin. Protection is the best prevention, and here are some tips on how you can look after your skin and avoid sun damage to it all summer long.
Aside from the detrimental effect on your health, sun damage can also have an effect on your skin in the form of premature aging caused by sun lines, dry skin and wrinkles. The more UV (ultraviolet) that hits your skin the more damage is being done all of the time. The most visible of these are brown patches or liver spots on the skin, which is called solar lentigos. Moles and liaisons that grow or change can be early indications of skin cancer, of which the majority are treatable. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is also entirely curable if caught in the early stages. In the last quarter century statistics on melanoma have risen more quickly than any other cancer in Great Britain.
It is widely known that the closer you are to the equator the higher the risk of skin damage from the sun. Also the risk of ultraviolet rays are increased by around 10% which each 1000 feet of altitude. Even if the day does not look like strong, blazing sunshine, it can burn through clouds especially at a higher altitude and create a strong risk for you. The highest risk areas of sun damage and skin cancer are North America and Cuba, Australia and the Asian Pacific and somewhat surprisingly Northern Europe and Russia. Fairer skinned people are at a higher risk of skin cancer and damage as they have less melanin than people with naturally darker skin tones.
One of the best ways that you can help look after your body and do your own bit to prevent sun damage to your skin is to always wear a suitable SPF (Sun protection factor) cream. For the first time there is now a SPF 70 available, and with the SPF factors starting from a grade 2 you now have such a huge range that is no excuse for sun burn or skin damage. The higher the number means the more the protection for your skin.
Another way to protect yourself is to cover up, always wear hats in the sun and instead of sunbathing, use a self tanning cream or a spray tan to achieve that golden glow that not only looks great, but more importantly is healthy.
Helping Already Damaged Skin
If in the past you have been a sun worshipper there are a few natural creams and lotions that may actually help remedy the pre-existing damage to your skin. Creams that are high in vitamin ‘A’, ‘E’ and ‘C’ combat against harmful free radicals and lotions containing natural collagen such as emu or ostrich oil. It has been documented in the last ten years that creams containing vitamin ‘C’ can even reverse some of the damage done.