Remember that in the Mediterranean region, the sun is present for most of the year, and it is not necessary to go to the beach to have lesions due to ultraviolet radiation and risk of skin cancer. Although sun exposure on the beach is very intense, the sun “from the street” is enough to cause skin cancer in the future. The sunscreen should be applied routinely for outdoor living and not just to go to the beach.
- The sun exposure in a person’s life includes from childhood to old age, adding the sun “from the street” and the sun on the beach. Life outdoors in the Mediterranean (walking, doing sports) by definition involves a very intense passive sun exposure.
- Minimize the sun exposure in hours of higher radiation, between 10 and 16h, since it is when the sun is closer to the Earth’s atmosphere. When its shadow is longer than its height, avoid sun exposure.
- Use physical sun protection whenever possible:
– Synthetic clothing (Preferably polyester, which protects from UVB rays). Dark and fluorescent colors protect more. Tight clothes, clear and wet with sweat, protect less.
– Hat with 360º brim.
– Sunglasses homologated against UVA and UVB radiation.
– There are sunscreens that are adhered to clothing when it is washed with specific products.
- Whenever you go outside (even if you are not at the beach) apply a sunscreen with a minimum protection factor of 30 – 50 FPS, which covers against UVA and UVB radiation. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and renewed every 2 hours and after each bath (or intense sweating). Apply on all exposed areas of the body, not forgetting the nose, lips and ears (and the scalp in people without hair).
- Use the sunscreen as if it were a moisturizer to get accustomed to it, after shaving in the case of men, or as a morning nourishing cream in any case. Remember that there are presentations that incorporate makeup and are available in the form of cream and powders. The best cosmetic anti-aging that exists is a sunscreen.
- Natural tanning of the skin provides an ultraviolet protection factor of approximately 2-4 FPS. Black people have a natural protection factor of about 13 FPS and filter twice the UVB radiation. For this reason, when a person tans, it is NOT recommended to lower the protection factor of the sunscreen, since a great part of its effect is lost. For example, if you start the summer season with an FSP50 and, once tanned (+ 4FPS), it drops to FPS30, you lose 16 FPS. This increases the risk of skin cancer.
- The application of a sunscreen does NOT prevent tanning of the skin. It decreases the probability of getting burned (erythema) and of suffering skin cancer, allowing the cosmetic benefit of tanning. The fact of wearing a sunscreen does not completely neutralize ultraviolet radiation or confer invulnerability even if it is ‘full screen’: it will also tan, it will only take a little longer.
- Wearing a sunscreen does not have to increase the hours of sun exposure due to a false sense of total protection. The protector will never filter 100% of ultraviolet radiation, it only reduces a percentage (highly variable depending on the FPS, the form of application, the type of photoprotector …).
- Avoid exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation (tanning booths), which accelerate the early aging of the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer when exposure is repeated. In case you want a darker skin tone for aesthetic reasons you can use tanning cosmetics (sprays, creams, wipes).
- Do not hesitate to consult with a Dermatology professional with any questions or for the appearance of any new skin lesions. It is advisable to go for a skin checkup with a dermatologist at least once a year, and consult whenever there are changes in an existing injury or a new injury.
TYPES OF SOLAR PROTECTORS TOPICS
Apply directly to the skin surface.
- Physicists. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They absorb and reflect ultraviolet radiation. They are little allergenic and easily visible at the cosmetic level since they leave a white residue.
- Chemicals. They can be more effective against ultraviolet radiation B (Paraaminobenzoic acid, cinnamates -octylmethoxycinnamate-, salicylates -octasylate, homosalate, trolemin salicylate-, ultraviolet A radiation (benzophenones-oxybenzone-, avobenzone- butylmethoxydibenxoylmethane-, ecamsule -mexoryl SX-) Or have an antioxidant potential (flavonoids, resveratrol -in the grape-, hydroxynamic acids, green tea, Polypodium leucotomos).
Carotenes, flavonoids, tea and wine polyphenols, Polypodium leucotomos.
Dermatology Unit / Dr.R.Molina