Skin Care FAQ
What does sun exposure do to skin?The sun emits two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB). UVA penetrates clouds and glass and plays a major role in causing skin aging. UVB can’t go through glass but it does penetrate the skin’s outer layer of your skin, causing redness and sunburn and raising skin cancer risk, including basal cell and squamous cell cancers.
What should you look for in a sunscreen?Effective sunscreens should protect against both UVA and UVB and have an adequate Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The SPF number indicates how long it takes UVB rays to redden the skin—not how much protection the product gives you. For example, SPF15 means it takes 15 times longer for sun exposure to redden the skin when you use that product than going without sunscreen. It’s important to reapply sunscreens every two hours, too. New FDA rules for sunscreens take effect this year. The highest permitted SPF factor is now 50 and products with a “broad spectrum” label must demonstrate protection against both UVA and UVB. To best minimize exposure to UV radiation, use physical sunblocks which include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These products are available in my office.
What can be done to correct and protect already sun-damaged skin?Products with antioxidants, especially vitamin C, can reduce wrinkles and lighten hyperpigmentation. Other methods for treating sun damage include microdermabrasion, chemical peels and a skin care regimen prescribed specifically for your skin. For additional or products, please call our office.