The reason why skin care is vital in modern days

Our ozone is eroding and taking with it protection from the sun. Lack of sun protection is the primary cause of skin cancer today. Now more than ever, it is vital to protect against harmful UV rays to ensure the health and vitality of everyone on the planet.

This article will discuss the arsenal of skin protectants you need to combat today’s environment. We will also discuss how regularly you should consider visiting a dermatologist and the signs to watch for when it comes to skin health.

What do we mean by “skin health”?

When we say “skin,” we think of the outer layer of skin covering our body that can be both seen and felt; However, to understand skin health, we need to learn more about the layers of the skin.

The skin has three layers:

● Epidermis

● Dermis

● Hypodermis


If you had an older sibling learn about the layers of skin before you did, they might have tried the old joke “your epidermis is showing,” which caused immediate panic. They weren’t wrong. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin that you can both see and touch.

The dermis is a thick middle layer with many functions, including nerve endings, sweat glands, and also acts as a supporting structure for the epidermis.

The hypodermis is a subcutaneous fatty layer that connects the muscle and bones to the dermis. This layer stores energy through fat, insulates the body, and protects everything inside.

The takeaway: skincare and preventative measures must go dermis-deep to fully combat the environment.

The Sun is Dangerous

The sun is the number one contributor to skin cancer. Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is vital to your health. You might be asking, “isn’t that what the ozone layer is for?” and while the ozone does protect us from many dangers like UVC rays radiating from the sun, it doesn’t fully filter out UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays cause the skin to age, wrinkle, and lose elasticity. UVB rays are responsible for causing more adverse health effects like cancer. When the skin has been damaged and broken down by UVA rays, it is more susceptible to UVB rays.

How can you avoid harmful UVA and UVB rays?

Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen every day, rain or shine, is critical to preventing skin cancer and other adverse effects from sun exposure. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.

Stop tanning

According to Johns Hopkins, high amounts of melanin do not protect against skin cancer. This means that “base tans” are not healthy or preventative measures to protect against sun exposure. It also means that those with high amounts of melanin still need to use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer.

Wear protective clothing

When planning to be outside for extended periods of time, consider UV protectant clothing often sold at hiking retailers. The lightweight material is both comfortable and safe for long-time sun exposure but still does not replace the need for sunscreen.

When Should You See A Dermatologist?

It is recommended that you see your dermatologist for a full exam once a year; However, if you are at higher risk for skin cancer, you should go more often. Between visits, conducting your own thorough exams is beneficial, noting any changes in spots or new growths. Take photos and document what you see; if anything seems unusual or concerning, notify your doctor immediately.

What should you look for when conducting your own exam?

The Skin Cancer Foundation emphasizes three words: new, changing, and unusual. These include:

● Growths

● Moles

● Spots

● Open sores

When in doubt, it’s best to contact your dermatologist and have them take a look. Early detection is key to treating skin cancer. Remember, self-exams do not replace the need for yearly exams conducted by your dermatologist. Self-exams come with blind spots and a lot of guesswork, so see your doctor regularly, especially if you are at high risk for skin cancer.