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Protecting Skin from the Sun

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scars, sun damage, wound healing

Protecting Skin from the Sun

April 23, 2009

By: Alexander Golonka for Scars1

Since it is less durable than your normal skin, scar tissue requires extra attention when considering the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. For scars still going through the healing process, this is even more important. The better a scar is cared for; the less visible it will be when it is done healing.

Take Action

Protecting Yourself From the Sun:

  • Apply sunscreen at regular intervals to all scars – sun damage can affect how a scar heals.
     
  • Scars are more sensitive than normal skin and will succumb to sunburns easier so be sure to cover up and wear sun block.
     
  • Wear the right clothing – certain types of clothing have built in SPF to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
     
  • Avoid spending extended periods of time outside when the sun is strongest. (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
     
  • Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day – you can still get a sunburn so slather on some sunscreen.
     
  • Scar patients must take special precautions before spending time in the summer sun. Make sure sunscreen is applied to the affected areas, covering the scar and the area around it. Sunburns can develop on scar tissue much faster than on normal skin.

    The kind of clothing you wear has a significant impact on blocking UV rays too. When selecting the type of clothing being worn into the sun, consider that darker, heavier, loose-fitting, tightly-woven clothing is better in terms of blocking out harmful rays. The type of fabric is important too, polyester being the best. Considering this, the best kind of clothing to wear is unfortunately the kind which will make you sweat the most. When clothing becomes wet, it loses some of its sun protection factor (SPF). Also keep in mind that just because a scar is protected by an item of clothing does not mean it is safe. Areas covered by clothing need to be treated with sunscreen too.

    Protecting normal skin from the sun is also important when considering the harmful effects of UV rays. Extended exposure to the sun may lead to developing wrinkles, which can be treated in much the same way scars can and it can also lead to skin cancer, which is harder to deal with than any scar.

    While having to protect yourself from the sun may be time consuming and sometimes frustrating, it should not hold you back from enjoying yourself outdoors. Taking steps to protect your skin from the sun now also means you won’t have to deal with more potentially serious complications in the future.

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