“The skin is a living organ, with multiple functions necessary for life.” This statement by the dermatologist of the Sant Joan de Reus University Hospital, Joan Àngel, reminds us of the importance of the skin from birth. And it is that in addition to an endocrine and immunological function, the skin acts as a shield “against external aggressions and physical attacks, such as blows, and also protects us from agents that, with the naked eye, we do not see, such as the ultraviolet radiation produced by the sun and other physical or chemical sources that can be harmful”, adds the specialist.
Is summer the time when skin is most sensitive? “Regarding the sensitivity to solar radiation, it is more important because there is a higher rate of ultraviolet radiation and greater exposure because it is the time of year that we are”, answers the dermatologist, who adds that “from the point of view of health, in summer it is when we can present more problems due to ultraviolet radiation, since we are more exposed to the sun”, answers the dermatologist.
For all these reasons, skin care should be a habit. “Similar to diet and exercise, the normal thing in skincare is to have good habits all year round,” explains Joan Àngel.
The reason, he argues, “is that in the Mediterranean region and the province of Tarragona, the sun is present for more than 300 days, so photoprotection must be constant, whether it is winter or daytime. cloudy”.
On the inside
Internally, we can protect the skin through hydration. “If we nourish it externally with the application of moisturizing creams, the dermis, the deepest layer, is nourished with hydration. Therefore, drinking two liters of water a day is the best way to hydrate the skin from the inside,” says Joan Àngel.
Food also has a positive influence, since, according to the dermatologist, “diets in which fruits, vegetables and legumes predominate favor skin care, in the same way that it is necessary to limit toxic substances such as tobacco or the alcohol”.
Similarly, skin health is also dependent on vitamin D levels, while “among the major functions of this hormone is the proper calcification and mineralization of bones from childhood through old age.” Although 80% of vitamin D levels are obtained through sun exposure, diet also influences the percentage.
“The skin has a memory, since the ultraviolet radiation accumulated over decades is harmful and leads to serious health problems – such as skin cancer – which is why good sun protection is important throughout life”, reminds the dermatologist.
Thus, the first thing to do is to avoid exposure to ultraviolet radiation “especially when it is very intense, that is to say between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.”. “Outside this period, we must wear clothes that also protect us, such as cotton fabrics, in addition to wearing a cap and sunglasses that also act as a barrier against ultraviolet rays,” adds Joan Àngel.
That sunscreen prevents tanning is a myth. “What we get is a gradual tan, which is the natural way to tan, since skin burns are one of the main factors in the development of melanoma”, explains the dermatologist, who recognizes that “so many people apply it, few do it well”.
“The sunscreen is not indefinite, its durability is about two hours, so after this time it must be reapplied”, explains the specialist. A frequency that must be higher if we sweat or swim. Also, when applying sunscreen, the ears and lips are the big ones forgotten. It is equally important to wear approved sunglasses to protect your eyes.
If despite these tips we still have doubts, the application of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology UV Derma, helps to take the necessary precautions depending on the ultraviolet radiation in our area, how long it would take to synthesize vitamin D without cream sunscreen or how long it would take to burn without photoprotection according to our skin phototype”. This shows that any precaution is of little when it comes to protecting the skin.
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