Skin Tip: Sun Sensitivity and Medication!

Happy Friday everyone!

If you noticed that lately you’re more prone to getting sunburned all of a sudden, certain medications may be the culprit.  Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and antihistamines like Benadryl can cause you to be more sensitive to the sun.  Always use sunscreen and wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to further protect you from the sun.

Have a great weekend and make sure to stay hydrated and protected.

Stephanie

Reader Question: Treatments for Hyperpigmentation!

 

question mark

Hi readers!  Anyone else excited that it is Thursday? 🙂

Someone recently asked me about what they can do regarding sun spots.  What is commonly referred to as sun spots or age spots is hyperpigmentation. Simplified, hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin (brown pigment that gives skin color) that causes the darkening of the skin.  Below are causes of hyperpigmentation along with possible treatments.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

  • Overexposure to sun, tanning beds, fluorescent and ambient lighting
  • Hormones/ Pregnancy
  • Medications- birthcontrol, thyroid, hormone replacement therapy (*Note: Never discontinue medication without the approval of your physician)
  • Stress
  • Inflammation/trauma caused by heat, acne, wounds, burns, eczema, etc
  • Age

Treatment Options

  • Exfoliation/chemical peels such as TCA, Jessner’s peels or lactic acid peels
  • Increased cell turnover with retinol/retinoids (Retin-A)
  • IPL/Laser
  • LED Light Therapy
  • Skincare products that contain arbutin, kojic acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), lactic acid, azelaic acid, phytic acid, and licorice extract.  Hydroquinone is another option available but it is a controversial ingredient that has a high risk of creating skin sensitivity.  Hydroquinone also must be used in 3/6 month cycles meaning you can only use it for a few months at a time and then cycle off.
  • Sunscreen!  Important no matter what!  None of the above treatments will be effective if you don’t protect your skin from sun damage-you’ll end up right back where you started and can even cause more pigmentation problems.

Remember that these are guidelines and the treatment option that will work best for you depends on a consultation with a skincare professional/dermatologist.

I hope this was helpful. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie  

Summer Leaving You Looking Like A Lobster?

lobster

Days spent at the beach or by the pool is one reason we love summer but sometimes this enjoyment renders one caveat: leaving us lobster hued.  Sunburns can be painful and in some cases be accompanied by blisters.  Note:  If you have blisters and severe swelling, seek medical attention immediately.

But once your sunburn heals and the peeling has stopped, all is good right?  Not really.  Sunburns can double your chance of developing melanoma later in life but it may take several years for the damage to show up.

So what is a sunburn and how do we get relief?

Simply put, your skin turning red is an indication that your skin has been severely damaged due to extreme UV exposure causing blood vessels to dilate.  The skin starts to lose moisture and hydration causing a feeling of tightness. Although our body can cope with minimal amounts of sun damage, the danger happens when our DNA becomes damaged and its repair process is compromised, which can lead to skin cancer.

Application

application

Application and reapplication of sunscreen is crucial.  Ensure you are applying enough- a teaspoon for the face and one ounce shot-glass size for the body- and reapply about every two hours.

Hydration

water

Your body is overheated so it’s important to drink a lot of water.

Skim Milk Cold Compress

skim milk

A cold compress or cloths soaked in skim milk can relieve pain-skim milk is the preferred choice because it does not have any fat content. The protein found in milk binds to the burned skin to soothe the pain.

OTC Remedies

meds

Aspirin or ibuprofen can slow down the inflammatory reaction.

Application of a 1% hydrocortisone cream may help with sunburn pain and swelling.

Simple DIY Remedy

 

yogurt

Plain cold yogurt can be used on sunburned areas.  Leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse off.

Final Say

Until your skin heals, stay away from the sun, heat, friction and excessive exercise and do not pick at loose skin-it can scar!  Avoid exfoliating and keep your skincare regimen simple.  The key is to soothe and calm inflammation.

 

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.

 

Hello Sunshine!

sunshine

Spring is here and with the weather warming up, we’re bound to spend more time outside enjoying the sun.  Our exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is important for enabling the body to properly absorb and use calcium, which is needed for proper bone development and maintenance; it’s also essential for cell growth, wound healing, proper barrier function and recently, research has suggested it may protect against cancer. Deficiencies in vitamin D can cause rickets leading to bowed legs in children; osteomalacia in adults, which is the gradual softening and bending of the bones; and nervous system irritability.

Although sunlight is our natural source for vitamin D production, we must also be mindful that the skin is severely damaged by sun exposure.  So, how can we balance the beneficial effects against the detrimental consequences?

Minimal amounts of sunshine are all that is necessary for vitamin D synthesis and wearing SPF is still absolutely crucial in maintaining skin health.  Other sources of vitamin D include dairy(e.g. fortified milk), fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines in oil and mackerel, and mushrooms exposed to UV.  Supplements are a third option, however always consult your physician first to determine if this is an appropriate choice for you.

*Note: Be wary of tanning salons who claim tanning beds can produce vitamin D.  UVB produces vitamin D and tanning beds use UVA.  Excessive and unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer!

Complete avoidance of the sun is not really possible nor desirable.  After harsh cold weather, sunny days provide a perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy life.  So relish watching flowers bloom, take a relaxing yoga class at the beach-just make sure you stay protected and practice better judgement!

What’s your favorite spring time activity?

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.