EXPRESS MAY 7th 2015
VOTE SPF AND GET SUN SMART
Most of us think we’re sun savvy but according to new research there still remains much confusion when it comes to sun protection. In fact 40 per cent of Brits still think you don’t need sunscreen unless you are on holiday. A common misunderstanding is that you only get sunburn when it’s hot but it isn’t the heat that burns your skin but the UV rays from sunlight. Anytime you go outside, cloudy or sunny, you’re exposing yourself to damaging UVA and UVB rays, and the result is cumulative. A little bit here and a little there adds up, and getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of developing skin cancer. Even reddening of the skin is a sign of damage and latest research shows that much of the damage occurs in the hours after sun exposure. In the UK, Around 13,300 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma and 250,000 with non-malignant melanoma each year, and the sun, sunbeds and sunlamps cause ninety per cent. Yet, skin cancer remains the most preventable cancers by simply decreasing the amount of exposure to UV rays, protecting your skin with an SPF30+ and by regularly checking for any changes in moles or skin lesions.
To mark this week’s annual British Association of Dermatologist’s Sun Awareness Week – a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of the sun and skin cancer – we’ve taken a look at some of the new super sunscreens along with the best treatments for sun damage
Sun damage treatments
Sun exposure is one of the primary causes of premature ageing as UV rays accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres which causes skin to sag, wrinkle and become rough and leathery. Sun damaged skin also bruises and tears more easily. This sort of damage goes unnoticed at first, and then manifests itself years down the line. We always ask our patients to have a special skin analysis before undergoing any treatments. The simple test, called a Visia Analysis, takes only a few minutes and is just like having your photograph taken. The hi tech ‘camera’ uses multispectral imaging to reveal signs of sun damage and ageing beneath the surface of the skin that is not visible to the human eye. Using unique computer imaging, we can then evaluate the health of the skin based on six factors that can affect your skin – including UV spots from over exposure to the sun.
Depending on the type and extent of sun damage, there are a number of treatments available to remedy premature ageing but you can help prevent further damage by always wearing a minimum of SPF 30 on exposed areas like face (wear under make up)neck .hands , ears and legs.. A Vitamin D supplement will also help protect your skin from the inside out Remember, these treatments shouldn’t be seen as a continual solution to sun damaged skin and after treatment, particularly laser, avoid any sun exposure for several weeks and use an SPF50 .
For details on treatments or a Visia Analysis call 0207 436 4441
Pelleve ideal for the face and hands and tackles fine lines and sagging skin by using radiofrequency energy to tighten and firm. A gel is applied to the skin and a hand-held wand is used to heat the area treated, causing the skin to tighten and stimulate collagen production. Results can be seen immediately, with skin continuing to tighten over a 3-6 month period. A course of three treatments, two weeks apart, is recommended. There’s no downtime and any redness experienced usually fades within an hour. From £150 per treatment. http://harleystreetskinclinic.com/pelleve-for-loose-skin/
Deep wrinkles /Leathery skin texture
Laser resurfacing will deal with more severe, long-term issues seen on the face, hands and chest. This works by using points of light that penetrates deep into the dermis to remove old, damaged skin cells and stimulate new cells. It’s particularly good at evening out a patchy skin tone. It is designed to tailor the treatment to the scale of your damage, so recovery can depend on the level of treatment, but expect red, flaky, swollen skin for up to a week from £595. http://harleystreetskinclinic.com/sun-damage/
The skin on the décolletage is very delicate and particularly prone to photo ageing. Years of sun damage combined with the natural thinning of the fat layer under the skin, leads to thinner skin, and a crepey, texture. Sculptra will make a huge difference to cleavage wrinkles. A course of treatments will also combat hyperpigmentation issues and tightens the skin. Three to four treatments eight weeks apart. Results generally last two to three years, and the cost is around £250 per treatment. Call 0207436 4441http://harleystreetskinclinic.com/sculptra-the-liquid-facelift/
Uneven Pigmentation /Age spots
Photodynamic therapy (PDT), an established procedure for non-melanoma skin cancer, can also rejuvenate for larger age spots and areas of pigmentation. First, microdermabrasion will slough off dead skin cells and prepare the skin. Then a cream containing a light sensitizing chemical, is applied to the skin The treated area will then be covered for up to 3 hours to allow the cream to penetrate into the sun damaged skin cells. A strong light is then shone on to the treated area for up to 45 minutes. The light will target the damaged cells, but not the normal cells. The body then replaces the damaged cells with new healthy skin cells. After the treatment you may get a little redness for up to a week. You must keep the treated area covered and dry for 36 hours, but after that it is fine to bathe or shower if you treat the area gently. One treatment and the results are permanent Costs £1,500 02074364441
It’s estimated that 90 per cent of melanomas can be treated successfully if they are diagnosed early yet only 3 per cent of Brits have had their moles checked by a dermatologist while one in four admit they never check moles on their body. Everyone has moles – areas where the cells have made more skin pigment than usual – on their skin and while they are generally harmless, occasionally they can become cancerous. If a mole is growing larger, it’s a sign that it needs checking. Other signs to look out for are moles or patches of normal skin that change, shape or colour a mole or spot that won’t heal, hurts, bleeds, itches or scabs or a new mole. If you are worried about a mole do see your GP or there are also specialist clinics where you can have mole checks. FotoFinder Bodystudio ATBM is the latest advanced skin cancer screening system which analyses and photographs every mole on the body in a matter of minutes. The camera moves up and down the body automatically and immediately identifies moles which need further monitoring Cost from £250.
For Radio Frequency mole removal which leaves less scarring from £350 call 0207 436 4441
The New Super Skin Saviours
*Ladival (Boots, £19.99)
When it comes to sun protection we always think of UV exposure but a new study shows that we should also be protecting ourselves against Infrared- A rays which can penetrate deeper into the skin’s dermal layer causing accelerated ageing, Ladival is the first mainstream sun protection to protect against Infrared as well as UVA and UVB protecting against four times more of the sun’s rays.
*Actinica Lotion (Superdrug £19.99)
Developed especially for those who are at higher risk of developing skin cancer due to UV exposure (e.g. those who have a suppressed immune system, have undergone chemotherapy or have a history of non melanoma skin cancer). Protects against UVA/UVB
*Wilko Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 50 (£2, Wilcox stores)
Unbeatable value – protects against UVA/UVB rays is water resistant and offers the same ingredients as many of the more expensive brands.
*SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF30 (£26 effortlessskin.com<http://effortlessskin.com/>)
Formulated especially for the eye area with ultra gentle ingredients and safe to use from the brow to the cheekbone and on the eyelids. The tinted formula also helps even out the skin tone around the eye area – genius.
*Bioderma Photderm Mineral SPF50+UVA 26 (£13.50 www.escentual.com<http://www.escentual.com/>)
Especially for those with sensitive or allergic skin and free from chemical filers and fragrances .In a spray format, so easy to apply and leaves no chalky white or greasy marks.
*Kids SUN SMART Sensitive Moisture Protect SPF 50 (£10.50 markandspencer.com<http://markandspencer.com/>)
A visible green spray disappears once it is rubbed in. Even better, it is sand resistant meaning less sand sticks to the skin and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.