Source: The Mayo Clinic
Is Your Skin Ready for Summer?
We often associate a glowing complexion with good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun – or in a tanning booth – actually accelerates the effects of aging and increases your risk for developing skin cancer. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily — taking longer to heal.
Sun Exposure Causes:
- Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions – due to decreases in the skin’s immune function
- Benign tumors
- Fine and coarse wrinkles
- Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
- Sallowness — a yellow discoloration of the skin
- Telangiectasias — the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
- Elastosis — the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines, wrinkles and sagging skin)
Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the U.S. and the number of cases continues to rise. It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. This rapid growth results in tumors, which are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are less serious types and make up 95% of all skin cancers. Also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers, they are highly curable when treated early. Melanoma, made up of abnormal skin pigment cells called melanocytes, is the most serious form of skin cancer and causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Left untreated, it can spread to other organs and is difficult to control.
- Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater (for UVB protection) and zinc oxide (for UVA protection) 20 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 hours thereafter, more if you are sweating or swimming.
- Select clothing, cosmetic products, and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and neck.
- Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours (between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.).
- Perform skin self-exams regularly (at least monthly) to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths.
- Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child.
Help reverse sun damage and stimulate the healing process with an oxygen facial. Oxygen facials are optimal for damaged and sensitive skin and do not cause any side effects, such as stinging, itching, or burning. The method of delivery used in order to pump oxygen into the skin is gentle, which makes the treatment a viable option for those with sensitive skin, and who have difficulties with injections or other non-invasive treatments. Those who have an oxygen facial can resume normal activities right away and even apply makeup or lotion without worrying about how the skin will react.
The infusion of oxygen and vitamins is excellent for skin health to not only encourage the regeneration of new cells, but also collagen production. This treatment may also rejuvenate skin that has been exposed to pollutants, such as tobacco smoke and other toxins that starve cells of their oxygen. This treatment has even been clinically proven to lessen the affect of acne scars, as the infusion of oxygen helps the skin to create new cells at a faster rate and reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Determine the damage under the skin with a VISIA. The VISIA Skin Analysis system utilizes epidermal digital imaging technology to analyze fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, age spots, pore size, bacterial level and overall skin tone. This valuable information helps to determine the best treatment options to maximize results. The VISIA system generates comprehensive reports and provides high definition images to help track progress to a healthier, more youthful and vibrant complexion. To learn more about our medical-grade skin care treatments and pharmaceutical skin care solutions please call (216)831-7007.