We are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet spectrum (UV rays) during multiple activities every day. And we’re not just talking about tanning on the beach. Think about all the times you’re exposed, even briefly, to sunlight: morning walks, watering flowers, even driving in the late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky. There’s a catch-22 in our relationship with the sun, because its light is essential for good health and the production of vitamin D. But, the harmful radiation of UV rays causes skin cells to age and damages cells’ DNA.
An estimated one in five adults develop skin cancer in their lifetime, but despite it being the most common form of cancer, it’s also highly preventable.
Here, we’ve outlined four proactive measures you can take to reduce your risk of melanoma and other types of sun damage, like fine lines and age spots.
Don’t skimp on the sunscreen
Medical-grade sunscreen is your first line of defense against skin cancer and premature aging. Proven by science, these sunscreens contain minerals that block UVA and UVB rays. Unlike other types, medical-grade sunscreen isn’t absorbed into your body and is more effective at protecting your skin.
In general, you should apply two tablespoons of sunscreen 15-30 minutes before your anticipated sun exposure, then reapply every two hours. Sunscreens do expire, so be sure to throw away products that have been sitting in your cabinet for a few too many summers.
In addition to applying sunscreen, it’s helpful to wear lightweight long-sleeves and pants for extra protection when you know you’ll be exposed to the sun for longer periods. A wide-brimmed hat will also cast excellent shade to protect your face’s thin skin and prevent wrinkles.
Some people with a lighter complexion, or those who easily sunburn, may want to consider wearing outer layers specifically designed to block UV radiation.
Stop using tanning beds
The Skin Cancer Foundation says tanning lamps damage your skin cells because of their direct use of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. They are not safe to use and are a known carcinogen, like cigarettes. Just one indoor tanning session can increase your risk of skin cancer by 20%. If you want a golden glow this summer without damaging your skin, use self-tanners or spray tans.
Get checked out
Even if you don’t have a family history of skin cancer, it’s prudent to schedule an annual skin check. Elevé staff members are trained to spot any moles that may be starting to become cancerous and offer guidance as necessary. Our skincare experts will also provide tips for check-ups you can conduct at home to stay proactive about your skin health. Skin cancer is highly curable if caught early.
Skin checks (from the neck up) are just $75 at Elevé during May.
Reverse the Appearance of Sun Damage
Over our years of life, the time in the sun adds up. Though, there are solutions for correcting dark spots, wrinkles and broken capillaries. At Elevé, we often recommend:
Chemical peels: By accelerating skin exfoliation, chemical peels smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve hyperpigmentation.
Dermaplaning: Using a small surgical blade to remove dead skin buildup from the top layer of your skin, dermaplaning will help brighten your complexion and fade age spots.
Microneedling: Microneedling activates your body’s regenerative process to encourage collagen production and cell turnover which helps lighten and reverse hyperpigmentation.
Sun damage accumulates over time, so it’s never too late to reduce your risk of cancer by taking preventative steps. At Elevé, skincare is one of our specialties, and we have vast experience helping educate and treat patients with a variety of conditions, including sun damage. Contact Elevé today to set up a consultation: 715-847-0000. We’re ready to recommend the top products and services available to help you fight the effects of overexposure, protect your skin from additional damage, and develop a roadmap for “turning back the clock” to a more refreshed and younger-looking you!
Elevé specials cannot be combined with other special offers. All expire 5/31/22.
About Elevé Plastic Surgery, MedSpa, Vitality
Elevé Plastic Surgery, MedSpa, Vitality helps patients achieve aesthetic goals and maximize their healthspan, both physically and mentally. Located at 2606 Stewart Ave. in Wausau, Elevé’s advanced aesthetic menu includes FDA-cleared CoolSculpting®, laser hair removal, radiofrequency skin tightening, chemical peels, HydraFacial®, vein treatments, medical-grade skincare as well as many other award-winning treatments and products. As a subsidiary of Surgical Associates, Elevé is part of a network committed to excellence in patient care and satisfaction. Learn more at: www.eleveplasticsurgery.com