Summer months and hot weather have many effects on the human body. We can prepare our skin for the negative effects of hot weather and sunlight with some precautions, so we can enjoy the sun and summer to the fullest.
How does the sun damage our skin and disrupt its structure?
The harmful effects of sunlight are the negative effects of ultraviolet rays on our skin. Ultraviolet A and B are also present in the DNA of cells that produce hyaluronic acid and collagen-elastic fibers, which paves the way for color changes (spots) on our skin, the emergence of capillaries (rosacea, etc.), moles and malignant lesions (melanoma, skin cancer). These are the rays that cause damage and age the skin. Ultraviolet rays that can reach cells are radiation with a certain wavelength, and the harmful mechanism of action directly affects the DNA of the cell, as I have just mentioned; DNA becomes unable to repair itself and breaks, repair errors and damaged structures occur in collagen and elastic fibers called proteins. It’s called aging.
There are also cases where the sun is beneficial. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin by ultraviolet rays in the body, and vitamin D has a very important role in bone formation. In addition, some diseases can respond positively to ultraviolet. It also has positive effects on the healing of psoriasis, some skin diseases and acne.
Can sun rays cause skin allergies? What are the effects, especially on children?
The sun’s ultraviolet rays and heat can cause reactions of varying degrees on light-sensitive skin. It is responsible for a variety of conditions, from a mild rash to an itchy, raised rash (polymorphous light eruption), from rosacea to triggering lupus erythematosus. In addition, sun rays have more negative effects on children and babies; their skin is more transparent and more vulnerable. Produced for babies and children; Regular use of sunscreens with UV A and UV B protection is essential.
What is sun – age spot?
They are spots on the skin surface and on the sun-exposed areas with an average diameter of 1 cm with stellar extensions. Lesions that occur most frequently on the back of the hand, neck-chest V region, and face, are more common with age. For this reason, they are also called age spots.
In its treatment, peeling procedures and cryotherapy can be applied. However, the most effective method is laser or light treatments. Especially in IPL treatment, it is possible to reduce or eliminate these spots without damaging the skin.
How does the sun’s rays affect our moles?
Moles are skin-colored, benign lesions that vary slightly from the skin to dark or brown to black in color, usually raised from the skin, sometimes with hairs on it. Moles are especially common in people with fair skin. They may increase in number or change in size with age and sun exposure.
The important thing is to preserve the benign state of moles. For this, the first thing to pay attention to is not to go out in the sun during hot hours and to use sunscreens that protect against ultraviolet in summer and winter in order to be protected from the negative effects of the sun.
In addition, everyone needs to know and follow the characteristics of their own self well. While following up, he or she can see if there is a change in the size and color of the mole in a short time, whether there is itching or bleeding. However, it is more ideal for dermatologists to follow their patients at regular intervals with a dermatoscope instrument. If a mole is found to be suspicious, that mole should be surgically removed and pathological examination should be performed.
Why do we tan?
Our skin contains pigments called melanin. These pigments, which give skin color, are found in different amounts in everyone. Therefore, there are 7 different skin colors from light skin to dark skin. Since the number of these pigments increases with the sun in summer, tan is obtained. It is necessary to consciously tan. It is necessary to go out to the sun at certain times by giving certain rest intervals and to apply sunscreen creams frequently.
How do sunspots occur, how can we recognize them? How do we distinguish it from other spots and moles?
Some of the sunspots are only seen after sunbathing and are necessarily in sun-exposed areas. These spots are milky brown in color and vary in size from 0.5-2 cm. These permanent spots are called lentigo solaris, that is, solar spots. Freckles appear with the sun, but are not permanent and disappear again in winter. Some spots are still in the sun-exposed area, but there may be another underlying cause. These are spots that are usually seen in women and are hormonally formed. As the moles are exposed to the sun, their number may increase or their color may become darker and their size may increase. However, it can also be seen in places that do not see the sun. It may be raised above the skin or at the level of the skin. They should be controlled by a dermatologist with the dermatoscopic method.
How are sunspots treated?
In very new and superficial spots, treatment can be applied by peeling the upper layer of the skin, that is, by microdermabrasion method or chemical peeling. However, the treatment of old or deeper spots is more difficult and takes more time. The most preferred treatment method is IPL laser or laser treatments.
Are creams that whiten the skin and lighten blemishes effective?
These creams can be successful in new and superficial lesions. Sometimes it can also be used as a supplement to other treatments. It can be decided according to the degree of the stain.
Do sunspots cause cancer? How?
If there are sunspots, it can mean that the skin is open to the harmful rays of the sun and may be prone to skin cancer. The known sunspot called lentigo can rarely turn into skin cancer called lentigo maligna. However, lentigo solaris (sunspots), which are frequently seen on the hands on the chest and shoulder heads, should not be taken to mean that they will turn into cancer.
The important thing is to reach the awareness of; “If there are spots on the skin, then the sun can do something to the skin”, in this case it is affected and the invitation to cancer is open.. Then sunscreen creams should be used and we should avoid sunbathing during the hours when the sun is hot (10-16).
How should we choose sun protection creams? What should be the priority criteria?
There has been a huge increase in the variety of sun protection creams in recent years. Almost most of them are effective against both ultraviolet A and B, some are also effective against infrared. There are many substances that are mineral-based (zinc oxide) and have a good filter-effective barrier (mexoryl XL etc.). When choosing these products that can be used safely in children, we should choose products with a protection factor of at least 15-30 and above, which are suitable for our skin type.
Sensitive & dry skin
Apart from lack of moisture, this type of skin sometimes has conditions such as redness or a predisposition to capillary formation. Therefore, it has a special place for us. Even the daily products used should be carefully selected and evaluated separately in summer and winter. During the summer months, water and mineral loss may occur in the skin with sweating, but this situation can be compensated by the slightly increased oiliness in the summer months.
Having common channels of sweat and sebaceous glands is a natural defense system to balance water loss. In order not to disrupt this natural protection system, excessive skin cleansing is not recommended for dry and sensitive skin. However, once a week with enzyme peelings or once or twice a week with mild glycolic acid or salicylic acid tonics or masks, it also helps to prevent dead skin accumulation and blackhead formation on the skin caused by the summer season. Summer and winter milks can be preferred for daily cleaning of this type of skin. However, additional cleaning can be done with tonics during the summer months. Moisturizing with a little more water-based products in the evening than in winter, and 30-protection sunscreens that do not contain vitamin C with high zinc oxide and titanium dioxide ratio (it may not be suitable for daytime use in summer) can be used.
Oily & acne prone skin
As I mentioned before, the increase in oil (sebum) secretion with sweat in the summer months makes it necessary to care with the opposite procedures for dry skin. In particular, the increase in black spots of this type of skin or the increase of white spots called closed comedones can prevent the skin from breathing through the pores and cause it to become more clogged with the products used. For this reason, we should clean the skin with products that cleanse the skin in the form of gel or foam, and purify it every evening with a suitable tonic. In addition, once or twice a week in the evenings, we can revive it with peeling masks with antioxidant content, light peeling and moisturizing effects. More liquid products of sunscreens suitable for combination skin can be preferred during the daytime. However, it should be known that every sunscreen necessarily contains some oil due to its feature. For this reason, with a good skin cleansing in the evening, the oiliness created by these products should be reduced. In the evening, when the skin needs moisturizing, water-based light vitamin products can be used.
The most important feature of mature skin is that the collagen and elastic fibers are worn, and the production of fibroblasts, which are factory cells, has decreased in accordance with chronological-genetic-hormonal aging mechanisms. Our recommendation for this type of skin is to support the repair with creams rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, retinol, peptides or herbal antioxidants at night, and to use antioxidant sunscreens during the day. In addition, this type of skin needs more moisture and more vitamins and minerals in the summer months. Apart from the treatments applied once or twice a week, I recommend to continue professional help without interruption, and even to get support from a dermatologist if they have not consulted before during this period, because the sun, which is the most important external aging factor, affects mature skin much faster. Supporting the defense cells of mature skin should be the main care in fighting ultraviolet. For this purpose, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, grape seed oil etc. It can be benefited from high antioxidant preservatives and moisturizers such as
Should we use separate products for body and face, why?
The product we choose for our face can be a product in liquid or cream form, which is chosen according to whether our skin is oily or dry. There is no harm in applying this product to our body. However, we need to check whether a product taken for the body is intense on our face. Products in the form of an easy-to-use spray for the body can be preferred.
How should we eat to get a healthy tan and be less affected by the sun’s damage?
Is it true that foods such as carrots, apples, etc. are beneficial in this sense?
Taking vitamin A as beta carotene has no harmful effect on the body, and does not cause toxic effects in the liver by being stored. However, it is known that vitamins, which have the ability to protect these cells, are effective in repairing the damage caused by the sun. This type of food is not recommended to be taken during sunbathing. Recommended after sun exposure.
It is better to turn to vitamin C and zinc minerals in summer. Plants and fruits that fight the aging effects of the sun as antioxidants should be consumed. Abundant greens, grapes (with chewing the seeds), purple fruits can be recommended.