The Importance of Daily Use of Sunblock

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If you have ever been in our office, at Medical Aesthetics of the Hudson Valley, you know we always preach the importance of sunscreen: 365 days a year!

The sun gives us precious life. We all know the feeling of needing to get a little sun, to feel the warmth of the sun on our body and skin.

But that which sustains us can also damage us. We need to find a balance. We need vitamin D from the sun, but we do not want to receive all of the harmful effects of the sun. The three types of rays that damage our skin are UVA, UVB and infrared. These rays penetrate our skin and cause damage to cells and DNA.

What we see is fine lines and wrinkles, laxity and discoloration, freckles, brown spots, age spots, veins and vessels.  What is more worrisome is the increased risk of skin cancer. Sun damage can mean skin cancer.

Sun Damage
Ultraviolet or UV rays are part of the invisible energy that comes from the sun. UVA (Aging) rays account for 95% of our sun exposure. These are the aging rays that also contribute to skin cancer. UVA rays are deep penetrating, damaging to the skin and give us all of the problems associated with aged skin: wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots, liver spots, freckles and a leathery feel due to loss of elasticity and collagen damage. UVB (Burning) rays affect the outer layer of the skin. UVB causes burning and tanning which increases the risk of skin cancer.

The risk for skin cancer doubles in people who have had five or more sunburns. Skin Cancer Foundation (Nov. 2010)

What is the difference between Physical Block vs Sunscreen? And what is SPF?
Physical Block sits on top of your skin and reflects the damaging rays. Chemical sunscreen has UV absorbing ingredients that degrade the harmful rays through a chemical reaction. The most important thing to look for is the label “broad spectrum.” This indicates that there is full coverage form the entire spectrum of UVA and UVB.  SPF only represents the amount of time you are protected from the UVB rays or the amount of time before you burn!

So, why should I wear Sunscreen?
You will regret not wearing it in 20 years.
You don’t want skin cancer.
It prevents brown spots and wrinkles.
It prevents blotchiness, veins and vessels.
It’s the cheapest anti-aging tool.