The damage the sun can do to skin ranges from adding more wrinkles to more significant problems such as skin cancer.
One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer and, according to Skin Cancer Foundation Statistics, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Sadly, nearly 60,000 will be diagnosed annually with melanoma, the leading cause of all skin cancer related deaths. Furthermore, melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 25-29 and second only to breast cancer in women 30-34. Worse, melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer and projected to affect one person in 50 by 2010, currently it affects 1 in 75. In 1935, only one in 1,500 was struck by the disease.
Yet about 90 percent or more of melanoma is caused by ultraviolet radiation either from the sun or tanning salons.
Some easy-to-follow tips for summer skin care can make a big difference, especially down the road.
Cover up. You now can purchase special summer wear that is sun-protective.
Use UVA -aging and UVB-burn sunscreens with a SPF over 15 at all times and reapply every two hours if in the sun.
There is not true waterproof sunscreen so after you bath- reapply immediately.
Avoid the sun if possible from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when sun rays are most intense.
Remember you can burn even if it is a cloudy day.
Stay away from tanning beds and salons due to the focused effects of ultraviolet damage to skin. If you like to look tanned, use a spray-on tanning lotion, which is safe and looks natural and can last for a week or longer.
For those trying to recover from years of bad sun habits, ask about Retin –A, the only anti-aging skin care currently available with any scientific backing behind it.
If you have sun damaged skin-you can improve it with continuous use of Retin-A daily for over six months.
For more robust treatments, there asre also a number of quick office procedures that are now available. In-office and lunchtime chemical peels, for example, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments can help restore sun-damaged skin as well.
For tips and more information on plastic surgery at UT Southwestern, go to www.utswplasticsurgery.com
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