The approaching heat wave this weekend means more of us will be heading outdoors to cool off at the lake or beach. Sun safety should be on top of our minds this time of year, but somehow many of us are still feeling the sting of a sunburn.
Amber Cameron Owner of Radiant Skin Clinic, located in Moose Jaw, shares what skin damage looks like, “It’s little clusters of brown spots, in most of the sun-exposed areas tops of shoulders, tops of nose and cheeks, ears and lowers arms. That will be where you see it the most.”
Many of us have had our fair share of sunburns. Can you reverse sun damage? “Saskatchewan people are very sun-exposed, we have great skies and clear days. We do have a lot of sun exposure, there are some things we can do, we can use lasers to break apart that melanin and remove some of those spots, we can use a facial with a chemical peel component and lighten some of that. It is important to understand that once we damage those melanocytes that don’t function like they used to, it is better to prevent than to correct,” shares Cameron.
It’s important to slather the sunscreen on the kids and yourself, but also take a minute to read what is in your sunscreen. “SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, it’s interesting that people will come to me and say they always use 60 SPF and they think that the number is the most important thing and it is important; however, what we are trying to do is be healthy. If we have an SPF of 60 that protects us from radiation from the sun which is cancer-causing, what if that 60 SPF also has a chemical carcinogen in it which is also cancer-causing? It's good to understand that the SPF is not the only thing to consider, look at the ingredients, and make sure you have natural things like zinc, physical barriers, and things that aren’t full of chemicals,” says Cameron.
As you look ahead to your summer outdoor adventures Cameron has some sun-safe tips, “I’ve been around the skin industry for 13 years now, so I have quite a bit of experience with it, I think that it is important to think about when the sun is the most harmful generally is when the sun is high noon, between 12:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. it’s really important to think about how much sun exposure you’re getting during those hours and maybe find a shady shot, put your sunscreen on in the morning and reapply. It’s always good to wear a hat, loose clothing like linens, and clothing with a high collar, always think about your nose, cheeks, and ears, those areas that are sensitive and exposed to a lot of sun.”
For more information from Cameron about sun safety and sun damage, you can visit here