N Engl J Med 2012; April 19, 2012, 69 year old Truck Driver with Severe Sun Damaged Skin/ Unilateral Dermatoheliosis.
This picture featured in The New England Journal has been in the news recently and has sparked interest in how we can best look after our skin with regards to the sun.
While it may be enjoyable to feel the kiss of the sun during the summer months, it is important to remember that the sun’s rays can cause permanent damage to the skin over time. UVA and UVB rays from the sun are responsible for a variety of skin ailments and conditions, including but not limited to, the different types of skin cancer. In order to fully protect ourselves from some of the sun’s harmful effects, it is important to understand and protect against the specific types of damage resulting from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The individual effects of UVA and UVB rays are described below.
UVA rays reach into the dermis and cause destruction of elastic fibers to contribute to skin aging, including wrinkles, sagging, and hyperpigmentation. Chronic UVA ray exposure can also result in thickening of the epidermis, a process known as Dermatoheliosis, which can lead to the condition seen in the photo.
UVB rays, on the other hand, mostly penetrate the epidermis. They play a major role in tanning and burning of the skin. SPF, which stands for “Sun Protection Factor“, represents the degree of protection a sunscreen offers against UVB rays.
Both UVA and UVB rays have been proven to cause damage to skin cells, including damage to the cells’ DNA, increasing the risk of developing skin cancer.
Dr. Holder recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen, such as ANTHELIOS SPF 60 because it blocks both UVA and UVB ray and acts as a powerful weapon to protect against skin damage and prevent skin cancer. ANTHELIOS is available at Pure Essentials our favorite neighborhood health and beauty pharmacy located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Additionally, she recommends that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once per year for a full body exam and skin cancer screening.
At Park Slope Dermatology & Medi-Spa, Fraxel Restore laser is utilized as a tool to reverse Photoaging and damage to the skin. Fraxel Restore laser is able to treat wrinkles, Hyperpigmentation, age spots, Melasma, and pre-cancerous conditions such as Actinic Keratosis. Fraxel effectively resurfaces the skin from the inside out to reveal the radiant and healthy skin of youth.
In order to protect your skin against sun damage, visit Park Slope Dermatology & Medi-Spa and speak with Dr. Holder about how sunscreen and Fraxel Restore can be used to prevent and reverse photo-damage of the skin. In the meantime practice sun safe behavior by wearing a broad brimmed hat, protective clothing, and reapplying your sunscreen every two hours this summer.