The Importance of Using Sunscreen Daily
Sunlight can stress the skin and cause damage. The amount of exposure to the sun and elements in the environment, especially ultraviolet radiation (UVR), dictates how old your skin will look.
Where does UVR come from?
Sunlight is a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, 50% is visible light (what we see), 45% is infrared and UV is 5%. UV light is further divided into three groups : UVC, UVB and UVA.
UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and doesn’t reach the ground.
UVB is the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancer.
UVA, on the other hand, represents 90% of the total UVR reaching the earth surface.
UVA penetrates deeper into the skin to cause skin darkening, and penetrates most deeply into the eyes and cause degeneration of the retina, UVA is present all day and throughout the year and can reach the skin even through windows.
What will happen if I go out in the sun often?
Consequences of sun exposure includes sunburn, darkening of freckles, premature aging or photo aging of the skin like coarse wrinkling, yellow hue, laxity, thickening and furrowing of the skin, telangiectasia, solar keratoses, cataracts, and skin cancers. Thu, the most commonly affected are the exposed areas like neck, face, forearms and back of the hands. About 90% of the unwanted changes are because of photoaging.
Can we protect out skin from photoaging?
Photoprotection or the single most cost effective therapy for photoaging which includes:
SUN AVOIDANCE – you have to limit sun exposure during peak UV times , between 10 am to 4 pm and avoid UV reflective surfaces such as the sand and water.
PHYSICAL PROTECTION – you can wear a broad brimmed hat ( at least 4 inches ) or long sleeve shirt.
You can also use dark colored umbrellas or UV blocking films or windows.
USE OF SUNSCREEN PRODUCTS has been advocated by dermatologist as a means to reduced skin damage due to sunlight.
What Exactly does a Sunscreen do? How is it different from a Sunblock?
Sunscreens do not only prevent photodamage ( damage because of UVR ), they also allow repair of the skin. These products increase the skin’s natural mechanisms to fight the harmful effects of UVR. The term “sunblock” is commonly used to refer to sunscreen and their active ingredients. Today, the US Food and Drug Administration sunscreen monograph does not sanction the term because the consumers might be misled into thinking that the product completely blocks all sunlight.
What do you mean by SPF in the labels of the sunscreen bottles?
The Sun Protection Factor ( SPF ) scale that you see is the protection to UVB, but it does not give you enough protection against UVA, so spf alone is not enough for complete protection. Thus, when choosing a sunscreen, look for the one that has both UVB ( SPF ) and UVA ( Star System ) protection.
The 4 categories of UVB sunburn protection products :
Low SPF 20 to < 15
Medium SPF 15 to < 30
High SPF 30 to 50
Highest SPF > 50
The UVA Sunscreen rating is the Star System. the rating is as follows :
The combination of UVB and UVA filters contained in the sunscreen will provide broad spectrum photoprotection. Your dermatologist can provide you with this information.
How much sunscreen should you apply?
The Teaspoon Rule of Sunscreen Application .
Use half a teaspoon each on neck and head , right arm and the left arm.
use more than a teaspoon on the upper and lower torso, right leg and left leg.
When should sunscreen be applied?
Sunscreen should be applied on expose areas 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply to expose sites 15 – 30 minutes after sun exposure begins. Further reapplication is advised every 2 – 4 hours after vigorous activities that remove sunscreen such as swimming, toweling or excessive sweating and rubbing.
When are the sunscreen preparation available for use?
Sunscreens are available in a variety of preparations and lotions are the most popular. Creams are more water resistant and provide higher SPF protection. Gels are none greasy, good for oily skin or when sweating. Sticks are the most water resistant, good for the lips or around the eyes and best for sensitive skin. Aerosols are the best for the body.
Sunglasses to protect the eyes
Avoid midday sun
Regular use of broad-spectrum ( UVB and UVA ) sunscreens – everyday, even if you will stay indoors.