Articles & Recipes

Sun Protection

August 10, 2018

 

Sun protection is an important part of preventing and treating hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation (respectively, lightening or darkening of the skin, which accentuates old acne scars). Skin that has been disrupted because of acne initiates the process of healing at the site of each lesion. Different layers of skin contain different concentrations of melanin (the pigment in our skin that gives it color and is responsible for darkening with exposure to UV rays) and, therefore, will have a varied response to UV light exposure. Essentially, as your skin heals from a pimple, the underlying newer layers of skin are exposed, and they may “tan” differently than the surrounding areas. This leads to hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation may be treated with laser therapy.

 

Avoidance

First and foremost, the best method to protect your skin from UV damage is to avoid the sun. This means limiting your exposure on moderate- to high-UV days as best as possible.

 Covering the skin on your chest, shoulders and back is an easier task, since shirts and tops take care of the bulk of UV protection. However, it’s important to limit your exposure to the sun even when you’re wearing a layer of clothing — many fabrics, particularly those with a looser weave, allow some degree of UV penetration. Think of clothing as a good starting point to protect your skin from developing scars, but do not depend on it exclusively. As an additional precaution, consider UV-blocking clothes, now available, which have been developed to protect from the sun’s UV rays.

 

Sunscreens

Commercial sunscreens use chemical ingredients to filter the UV rays and protect our skin from their harmful effects. Various chemicals are used to block UVA and UVB rays from reaching our skin. Common chemical UV filters include avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone.

 We do not yet fully understand all of the long-term implications of these chemicals. They may act as hormone disruptors and produce free radicals (as a result of absorbing UV rays), which can accelerate cellular damage.

 

Learn how to take proper care of your skin with the help of naturopathic doctor Makoto Trotter's The Complete Acne Health & Diet Guide.

 

 

 

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