Its Time to Get Outside and Save Your Skin! The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are warming up! Here in Minnesota, we get to lift our faces to the sunshine and welcome spring and summer …
Its Time to Get Outside and Save Your Skin!
The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are warming up! Here in Minnesota, we get to lift our faces to the sunshine and welcome spring and summer once again. Its very hard to remain indoors when the great outdoors is calling us to get out of the house, and go outside to play! Just one thing: too much of a good thing, and be too much of a good thing, and in this case, too much sun exposure can put our skin’s health in jeopardy. The ultraviolet (UV) rays of our sun are the culprits of burning, which can cause changes to our skin’s structure. If we’re proactive, we can avoid, or greatly reduce damaging our skin and still enjoy our precious “outdoor play time”.
There are different types of skin damage, and I’ll list a few here: Dry Skin: has lost its moisture and essential oils. It appears dry and flaky, and prematurely wrinkled.
Sun Burn: skin injury that appears immediately after exposure to UV radiation, which can range from mild (a painful reddening of the skin) to severe, which includes blistering. In more severe cases, dizziness and nausea could also be present.
Actinic Keratosis: tiny bumps that may feel like sandpaper, or a small scaly patch of sun damaged skin that has a pink, yellowish, or brown tint. These usually don’t go away. They may have to be frozen, chemically treated, or removed in a doctor’s office.These develop in areas of the skin that have undergone repeated long-term exposure to UV light. This increases the risk of skin cancer by 10 to 15% as AK can change into cancers of the skin.
The long-term changes to our skin’s collagen (a structural protein) can include photoaging, or premature wrinkling because our skin develops changes to the deep layer of the skin called the dermis. Another change to collagen is actinic purport, which is a bleeding of fragile blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface. UV radiation damage here causes structural damage to collagen that supports the walls of the skin’s tiny blood vessels. This type of damage makes blood vessels more fragile and more likely to rupture from even the slightest knock or bump to particularly the backs of the hands or forearms.
If you find that you’re dealing with any of these symptoms in the list below, you may want to schedule an appointment with your Health Care Provider (HCP) to learn more about what the issue may be, and what action steps would need to be taken to treat your symptoms: Dry skin that doesn’t respond to non-prescription treatment.
A severe case of blistering sunburn.
Sunburn over a large portion of your skin that makes it hard for you to sleep or wear clothing.
A persistent, scaly patch of skin, or a skin ulcer that doesn’t heal.
Abnormal bleeding under the skin’s surface, or skin that bruises very easily.
Any changes in moles.
Its beyond the scope of my knowledge to recommend treatment for any skin issues we may deal with. This is why professional advice may be necessary to get a correct diagnosis and treatment plans if needed. Sometimes, sun damage may be a permanent concern. Most importantly, the longterm impact of sun damage can increase our risk of developing skin cancer. The more our skin is unprotected from sun exposure over our lifetimes, the greater the risk of skin cancer is. Two references to get you started on good information regarding skin health are the American Academy of Dermatology at https://www.aad.org/ and the Skin Cancer Foundation at https://www.skincancer.org/. The information I used as a reference for this article came from Harvard Health Publishing.
Here in Minnesota, we value our warmer months and to be outdoors is one of the great joys of living in our beautiful state. We can enjoy our outdoor life and protect our skin at the same time. Using SPF-infused topicals, wearing clothing to protect skin, limiting over-exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, and using good sun exposure after-care protocols will help us be proactive in maintaining our skin’s health, and keeping us cancer free. As “they” say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”! Cheers and Be Well.