Lauren's Ultimate Guide to Safe Sun & Great Skin

Posted on 11/02/2020

Lauren's Ultimate Guide to Safe Sun & Great Skin name

As we enjoy our beautiful summer, it’s important to remember to keep safe. New Zealand has the highest skin cancer rate in the world due to our elevated levels of UV.  Following a healthy sun exposure protocol is imperative and regular mole checks are recommended. At The Face Place we advise that you have a skin check before embarking on any type of treatment that may affect the appearance of pigmented lesions, such as IPL. Altered or diminished lesions through treatment may make it harder to detect any adverse changes in the skin. If you are thinking of embarking on a course of IPL this winter, please organize a skin check with your GP or skin cancer specialist first.

How to keep your skin safe in the sun 

  • Research mainstream sunscreen products and see if they’re actually serving their purpose and protecting you sufficiently ( see https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/sunscreens/latest-news )
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or even more frequently if you are swimming or exercising outside
  • There’s no substitute for covering up: sunscreens are exactly that, a ‘screen’ not a ‘block’ so exposure should still be limited even with sunscreen
  • Wear fine-woven, wide hats and long-sleeve tops.
  • Use topical antioxidants on your skin such as vitamins A, B, C and E. These are a necessary part of skin protection.

The three most common forms of skin cancer

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of cells which most often develops in sun-exposed skin but can also occur in areas that are not exposed.

BCC: Basil cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is so named because it affects the basal cells or the small round cells at the base of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin). When these basal cells turn cancerous, they can form skin tumours which can potentially destroy surrounding skin tissue.

SCC: Squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the middle and outer layers of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive. Untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.

Melanoma: The most serious type of skin cancer, this develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its colour. Melanoma can also form in your eyes and, rarely, in internal organs, such as your intestines.

Remember some lesions are very hard to detect, so please look after your skin and remember to have annual skin checks with your GP or dermatologist.

From your Skin Team Leader, 

Lauren. 

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