Sun, Sun, Glorious Sun

Let’s talk about summer in Australia…

Australia is known for the surf and beaches. Being from Western Australia where the beaches are beautiful, people are shocked when I tell them I am almost ‘vampire’ to the sun. I want to avoid both the immediate effects of sun exposure like burns and blisters, and the long term aging effects of the sun. The prone areas for sun exposure are the face, décolletage and back of hands.

When considering whether to go out tanning on a sunny afternoon, there are many aspects of UV which we don’t really think about and probably should.

 

First of all, let’s take it back to good old school knowledge of UV itself and sun protection available on the market.

UV itself stands for ultraviolet radiation.  The depth of penetration into the skin categorises Ultraviolet Rays.

  1. UVC
  2. UVB
  3. UVA

UVC is very high energy blocked by the ozone layer penetrating fairly superficial in the skin. UVB and UVA are two are the bad boys who cause most damage due to their deeper penetration into the skin compared to UVC rays . UVB and UVA have higher absorption in the epidermis and dermis of the skin.

UVB is a big player in the redness and blistering of sun soaking where the end results are to  burn burn burn. It is very epidermal and scientifically stronger in the middle of the day when the temperature hits the maximum.

UVA is accounted for 95% of UV light and causes long term damage in the skin by breaking down elastin and collagen in the skin. It is most harmful during sunrise and sun set. I know what you’re thinking, I thought I was safe . but due to its dermal penetration many have linked  UVA as a large contributor of photo aging and aging of the skin. This means on the way to and from work it’s important to re-apply sun-cream even if you think you may be okay. This includes your hands.

But SPF there are so many on the market!  How do you choose the right on for you?

Sunscreen, as the name suggests, is a filter that help reduce the rays of light penetrating into the skin. It forms a protective barrier by either reflecting the sun rays ( a physical blocker) or absorbing it (in chemical sunscreens)

Regardless which on you choose to use, one application is not enough. Make sure you re-apply throughout the day!

So next time you come into the clinic have a chat to the Dermal Clinician about your SPF and whether there is another option for more comfortable and simple answer to your sun-care.

Maddison Pugsley – Dermal Clinician

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