There are few things more glorious than spending a few hours on the beach soaking up the sun and getting that signature holiday glow. But these days, with the sun’s rays getting harsher and harsher, it’s a luxury none of us can afford.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and the main cause is chronic exposure to sunlight. That red or brown ‘glow’ that looks great on a selfie now could be the precursor to skin cancer. What’s more, too much sun can cause damage to the structure of skin cells and cause premature ageing.
While we’re not saying you should miss out on all the fun, be sun smart this summer and follow these four commandments to safely catch your daily dose of Vitamin D.
1. Never forego sun protection
Sunscreen is not just for beach days and UV rays are not the same as heat. In other words, you can get sunburnt through your car window or on a cool, overcast day. Look for a CANSA-approved SunSmart sunscreen with broad spectrum sun protection (UVA and UVB). Products usually expire within two years so never use a product that has been opened and used after a year has passed. Be sure to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before venturing out into the sun, and keep reapplying throughout the day. Always wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.
Worried about sun damage to your skin? We offer a number of skin renewal therapies such as chemical peels to rejuvenate sun damaged skin on the face, neck and décolletage.
2. Fake it till you make it
With the number of excellent self tanning products available on the market, there really isn’t an excuse to overdo it in the sun. Whether you opt for an at-home version, a professional spray tan or even body make-up, no-one will know that you weren’t really just in St Tropez! A fake tan is a great way to appear slimmer and hide things like cellulite and varicose veins.
Know what else is great at dealing with imperfections? Dermapen is a great treatment for things like acne scars and stretchmarks. A roller containing numerous fine needles punctures the upper layers of the skin to create controlled micro ‘injuries’. By harnessing the skin’s natural ability to repair itself, this therapy encourages it to release growth factors that naturally stimulate new collagen production.
3. Keep hydrated
One of the biggest favours you can do for your skin – besides getting enough sleep! – is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Especially if you are going to be active or hang out in the sun, drinking enough water will help keep skin supple and prolong your tan. Also use a rich moisturiser in summer to feed and nourish dry skin and prevent peeling.
Did you know? As your skin ages, it gradually starts to produce less and less collagen – the framework that supports your skin. If you want to regain your youthful, plump look, dermal fillers can add back hydrolic acid to dry, sagging, thin-looking skin to make it appear youthful and plump again.
4. Do a monthly skin self-exam
Just as important as your monthly breast check, so is a regular monthly skin self-examination to check for any changes or irregularities in moles or other parts of your body (such as small grazes that won’t heal).
CANSA recommends the A, B, C, D, E warning signs for early detection of melanoma (skin cancer):
A – Asymmetry: When one half of a mole is unlike the other half (should be symmetrical)
B – Borders: Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.
C – Colour: Varied from one area to another (shades of tan or brown, black, red, white, or blue).
D – Diameter of 6mm or larger (size of a pencil eraser) should be of concern.
E – Evolution: Looks different from the rest, or is changing in size, color, or shape.
If you would like to speak to a specialist about removing any unsightly moles or if you are considering any cosmetic surgery, please get in touch with us to set up a consultation with Dr Winkler.
Tel: +27 (0) 87 630 0183