The Rx: Don’t use the sun to “fix” breakouts

July 03, 2012

Don't use the sun to fix breakoutsHave you noticed that your acne is worse in hot weather? Skin tends to get oilier in the summer because of heat and this can lead to flare-ups. But don’t be tempted to use the sun’s rays to dry up acne breakouts. Sun damage is more damaging than acne and it’s everlasting.

Consider these facts if you are tempted by this quick fix:

  • Your tan may camouflage pimples, but as it fades your pores may get even more clogged as sun damaged skin does not shed surface cells normally.
  • Your skin may respond to the drying effect of the sun by producing more oil to compensate.
  • Your acne products may make you more sun sensitive therefore increase the chance of sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.
  • Your skin might wrinkle prematurely and may be prone to skin cancer from overexposure to the sun.

So what should you do?

  • Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin—generously and often, at least every two hours.
  • Wear sun protective clothing.  Swim shirts are a great option for kids and don’t forget the hat.
  • Apply daily sunscreen to your face, chest and the backs of your hands from April to October.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure between 10am and 4pm when the suns rays are strongest.
  • Apply sunscreen to your lips and ears.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand since they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn
  • Don’t use your daily moisturizer with sunscreen as your protection for a day at the beach.  These products often degrade quickly and typically do not deliver prolonged protection.
  • Don’t rely on the sun for Vitamin D production. There is no safe level of unprotected sun exposure so get your Vitamin D through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Based on currently available scientific evidence that supports a key role of calcium and vitamin D in skeletal health, the IOM Recommended Dietary Allowance* (RDA) for vitamin D is: 400 IU (International Units) for Infants/Children 0-1 yr 600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70 yr 800 IU for adults 71+ yr * The RDA is intake that covers needs of 97.5% of the healthy normal population.



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