At Advanced Liposuction Center, our plastic surgeons offer Pittsburgh area clients many procedures to improve the appearance of the skin and reverse damage done by the sun. Limiting your exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays will definitely help reduce wrinkles and age spots. However, there’s another even more serious reason to practice safe sun techniques: preventing skin cancer. May is Skin Cancer Prevention month. Below are some skin protection tips that will improve your appearance and protect your health.

Tips to protect your skin:

  • Don’t use tanning booths. Although many people think a tan makes you look healthy and glowing all year round, the facts tell a different story. Clients who use UV tanning machines are 74% more likely than nonusers to develop melanoma—one the deadliest forms of skin cancer. The risk for developing basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas also increases significantly for indoor tanners.
  • Wear protective clothing. The UV rays of the sun are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are going to be out during those times, use a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses as well as lightweight clothing made of densely woven fabric—bright colors provide best protection.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on a daily basis. Don’t forget hands and feet if you are wearing open shoes. For a beach or pool day, make it a water-resistant sunscreen and up the SPF to 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours and also immediately after swimming.
  • Conduct self-exams. Be diligent about examining your entire body once a month to check for new freckles or moles or changes in existing ones. This is the best way to detect skin cancer in its earliest stages. A professional skin exam done by a doctor should be scheduled annually.
  • Don’t Smoke

Smoking causes wrinkles and makes your skin look older. Smoking constricts the small blood vessels in the skin’s outer layers, reducing blood flow and making the skin darker.

This depletes the skin’s supply of oxygen and nutrients, all of which are essential for skin health.

Collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity, are also damaged by smoking.

Furthermore, smoking-related facial gestures, such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep smoke out, can contribute to wrinkles.

Furthermore, smoking raises your chances of developing squamous cell skin cancer.

Quitting smoking is the best method to protect your skin. Consult your doctor for advice or therapies to assist you in quitting smoking.

  • Avoid Stress

Stress can make your skin more sensitive, causing acne breakouts and other skin issues.

Take efforts to control your stress to promote healthy skin and a healthy state of mind.

Get enough sleep, set acceptable limitations, pare down your to-do list, and schedule time for your favorite activities. The outcomes may be more drastic than you anticipate.

  • Change Your Clothing

UV protection is provided through long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and skirts.

The finest protection comes from textiles that are tightly knit. A damp T-shirt provides far less UV protection than one that is dry, and darker colors provide more protection than lighter colors.

Some clothing is made expressly to give UV protection and is certified according to international standards.

If this style of attire isn’t practicable, opt for a T-shirt or a beach cover-up instead. Keep in mind that a common T-shirt has an SPF of less than 15, therefore you need apply additional sun protection.

How does sun rays damage your skin?

Sun rays can damage the skin through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is emitted by the sun. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC radiation is largely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach the skin. However, UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the skin and cause damage.

  1. UVA Radiation:

UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin, reaching the dermis, which is the middle layer. UVA rays contribute to skin aging by breaking down collagen and elastin, which are essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. They can also cause DNA damage in skin cells, leading to an increased risk of skin cancer. UVA rays are present throughout the year and can penetrate through clouds and glass.

  1. UVB Radiation:

UVB rays primarily affect the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. They are the primary cause of sunburn and can also contribute to skin aging and skin cancer development. UVB rays have varying intensity depending on the time of day and season, with the highest levels typically occurring between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UVB rays are more intense during the summer months and at higher altitudes.

Both UVA and UVB radiation can have harmful effects on the skin, including:

  1. Sunburn: Overexposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn, characterized by red, painful, and inflamed skin.
  2. Premature Aging: Prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays can accelerate skin aging, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
  3. Skin Cancer: UV radiation is a major risk factor for skin cancer, including both melanoma (the most serious form) and non-melanoma skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  4. Eye Damage: UV radiation can also damage the eyes, contributing to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems.

What can you do about sun damage your skin already has? We offer a wide range of options from Silhouette Facelifts to dermal fillers and laser resurfacing. Our expert plastic surgeons can help you decide which treatments will best help you achieve your appearance goals during your free consultation. To learn more, contact us by calling: 724-683-7581.