Dangerous Trends for Sun Damage

Dangerous Trends for Sun Damage | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose

Dangerous Trends for Sun Damage

Record-breaking temperatures around the globe seem to be on par with last summer—but there’s more risks than heat stroke. One of the most common reasons patients come to RefinedMD is to get help with reversing sun damage and get up to speed with the best practices for preventing sun damage. Sun damage is 100 percent preventable but also cumulative and can take years to show full effects. In other words, that sunburn you got 20 years ago as well as all those days you forgot sunscreen when it was rainy or cloudy are adding up right now via brown spots, sagging, and skin laxity. But don’t worry. It’s never too late to improve your sun protection approach and it’s relatively easy to reverse sun damage when you have the right tools and technologies.

Unfortunately, one “trend” that has to do with sun damage is out of our control in the short-term, and that’s record-busting heatwaves. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (which is home to more expatriates than locals) experiences highs that are routinely close to 120 degrees during summers due to sun rays being exceptionally strong, even in winter months. The BBC Weather is rating UAE rays as “extreme” right now, the highest rating on the charts. Temps are the same in Delhi, India and it won’t be a surprise if similar highs can be found in parts of the U.S. this summer (much like last summer).

It’s Not Just the Heat

The “UV index” rates the severity of these dangerous rays reaching the ground. Currently, in the UAE and other places around the globe, this index varies from 8 – 9. This means there is a high-risk for radiation intensity from the sun, which translates to those in these extremes also experiencing more severe and faster sun damage. Immediate sun damage presents as a burn that can sometimes transition to a tan, but the real damage takes much longer to appear. There are various types of skin cancers, with melanoma being the most dangerous.

The rates of skin cancer are on the rise around the world, but unfortunately, a lot of people also go undiagnosed. There are the ABCDEs of skin cancer, but not all cancerous situations fall so neatly into these categories—which means everyone, regardless of skin tone or history of sun exposure, should see their skin care expert annually for an overall skin check. The good news is that skin cancer, when caught early, is fast and easy to treat (usually just a biopsy followed by removal of the impacted area). However, a lot of people never see anyone for a skin check or wait until it’s too late.

Beauty Trend Alert: The Sunburnt Look

You may have seen the sunburnt or sun-kissed makeup look on social media and, interestingly, this is one trend that is sticking around for a while. It’s largely achieved by placing blush in areas that mimic a sunburn, including the nose, forehead, and a wide swathe of the cheek with rouge. Playing with makeup can be a great confidence booster and creative outlet, but it’s important to note that this particular look should not intentionally be achieved naturally. There’s nothing truly cute about a sunburn, regardless of what influencers are saying.

This goes without saying for adults, but impressionable younger people have been taking to trying to get a “natural sun-kissed look” by skipping sunscreen or even intentionally getting a burn. Just when you thought the days of baby oil and sunbathing were over, a new generation is risking their health (and youthful skin) for a temporary fad.

What You Can Do to Treat and Prevent Sun Damage

Treatment for sun damage depends on the severity and type of damage as well as your skin tone and type. Lasers are a fantastic method for many types of sun damage, including melasma (a particularly stubborn type of hyperpigmentation that is often triggered by pregnancy). Chemical peels might be another solution, and microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy that has shown to be helpful with both hyperpigmentation and skin laxity.

From facials to light-based energy devices, reversing sun damage is possible when you rely on expert care. When it comes to preventing sun damage, an SPF of 50+ from a medical-grade line is a must. Only medical-grade products can carry the best ingredients in the highest concentrations. To find out more about sun damage and create your individualized plan, get in touch with RefinedMD today by calling the office or completing the online contact form.