Summer is almost here, and this season is made for days at the beach and barbeques in your backyard. However, it also means hot sun for longer periods of time, and that can be a problem for your skin.
Here are 5 ways the summer sun can attack your skin.
IF you’re not protecting your skin form the summer sun, you should, if for no other reason than to avoid the dreaded C word: cancer. Skin cancer comes in many forms, including basal cell skin cancer (occurring in the basal cells that make up the lower-level of the epidermis), squamous cell (a cancer of the upper layer of the epidermis that may grow or spread), and melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. Although some skin cancer occurrences can be safely removed if found early, others could spread to other parts of your body. You can help keep your skin healthy and cancer-free by applying a sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF daily and covering your skin if you go out.
That sun-kissed look may make you feel sexy, but sun over exposure can be extremely damaging in the long run. Ultraviolet rays contribute to more than 80% of environmental factors when it comes to aging skin. Some signs of aging skin due to sun exposure include blotchy tone, wrinkles, freckles and loss of firmness. Sunblock can help protect your skin and actually improve the look; in fact, a study in 2007 found sunscreen is as effective as regular moisturizer. Your best bet? Find a wrinkle cream with an SPF factor, like the Neutrogena healthy skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream with SPF15.
That rough, dry patch of skin on your arm might be more than just a nuisance; it could develop into skin cancer. Actinic keratosis is marked by small, raised areas on skin that has had a great deal of exposure to the sun. If you find actinic keratosis on your skin (or find a rough, raised spot that appears suddenly) it’s best to get it checked because actinic keratosis can turn into squamous cell skin cancer down the road. Treatments include medicated creams , laser surgery or chemical peeling.
Excessive sun exposure can be unattractive and uncomfortable. Dry skin is a common complaint for individuals whose skin has been affected by the summer sun; Skin feels rough and scaly and is accompanied by an intense itch. To combat the effects of summer sun on your skin, take a shower after spending time in the sun and moisturize well. Another great option for treating dry skin is an oatmeal bath – simply grind oats in a food processor, sprinkle in the tub with warm (not hot) water and soak for 15 minutes. You could also wear a long sleeve UV protection shirt.
Sun spots are very common as your skin ages (and become most common after age 40), and are marked by a light brown or black spot on your hands, arms or forehead. These spots (also known as liver spots) are painless and medically benign. Common treatments for age spots include chemical peels and dermabrasion, which removes the top layer of your skin with a rapidly rotating brush. If those treatments sound way too harsh, try some home remedies, like lemon juice (applying juice to your skin two times a day can lighten the spots) and buttermilk (the lactic acid in buttermilk can lesson the appearance.)
Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day and a blogger and freelance writer by night. She’s also a mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip. Amanda loves coffee, fashion, Twitter, makeup, nail polish, and cats (not always in that order.) Her work has been published on family.com and blogher.com. For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda’s blog, It’s Blogworthy (http://itsblogworthy.com) or follow her on Twitter and Google+.