Monday, 9 May 2011

Sun Damaged Skin & Sun Beds

Welcome to ‘Skin Deep’ – This month’s feature looks at ‘Sun Damaged Skin and Sun Beds’. Any questions, just ask Dr. Angie Winnington-Sharp or 01925 263660 & 07967 481594.  Next month we’ll be looking at ‘Top 10 Treatments for Summer’.

Most people are aware that sun beds and excessive sun exposure can cause long term damage to our skin.  A tan itself is an indication that our skin has already been harmed in some way by UV rays and is actually trying to protect itself from further damage. Whilst having a ‘healthy glow’ can make many of us feel more attractive, going ‘over the top’ can have really destructive consequences in the long-term. Sun beds use for many young people may mean that a few decades after they initially used the devices they may suffer from premature wrinkles, aging, ‘leathery’ skin and even cancerous growths.
Some of the damaged skin can be treated successfully with laser resurfacing, collagen boosts, chemical peels and radio-frequency tightening and toning to give a non-surgical face lift.  Back in the 1970’s there wasn’t the same degree of awareness that there is now so many people who were teenagers at the time have no option but to have some form of corrective, preferable non-invasive, procedure to ‘put right their wrongs’.  However, in 2011 there really is no excuse.  If you feel that you must use a sun bed then keep it to a bare minimum and anyone with pale/freckled skin should avoid them completely and apply a regular SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of around 25-30 whenever they are outside, even in the UK and even in April/May.  The warm weather is wonderful, but UV is a powerful wavelength that can do invisible damage initially – but it wont stay that way for ever, and after the age of 18, who wants to look older than they actually are?!