Could you Be Inadvertently Putting your Skin at Risk?

skincare for summerYou may do everything "right" with your skin. You wash morning and night with quality products. You remove makeup before bed and drink plenty of water. You even apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. This should be sufficient to avoid unwanted changes like fine lines and wrinkles and sun damage, right? It's certainly a healthy start! There are potential pitfalls to the average skin care routine, especially as it relates to sun exposure. Here, we're going to touch on the subject of photosensitivity. Being that summer is now in full swing, it seems like the perfect time to look at ways we may be inadvertently inviting damage.

Why so Sensitive?

If you do not have red hair or would not describe yourself as a "toe-head," chances are you do not give the idea of photosensitivity much thought; any thought, really. Why would you? If you have your sunscreen nearby, you should be well-protected, right? Maybe. The level of protection you need may just increase if you have done something before your day at the pool, beach, or other outdoor venue that has caused your skin to become extra responsive to UV rays. Photosensitivity can occur from chemical compounds in foods, medicine, and other sources.

  • Photosensitive food. Fortunately, the foods that can cause your skin to react strongly to sunlight are not ones that most people consume on a regular basis. If you love celery, though, beware of taking this healthy treat along with you on a day outdoors! Other triggers include parsley and fennel.
  • Medicine. There is a fairly long list of medications that may lead to photosensitivity. It is important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about this likelihood. Some of the medications to watch for include sulfa drugs like Septra and other antibiotics, such as Cipro. Some heart medications, as well, may create sensitivity. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also make it easier to burn.
  • Natural solutions. Natural remedies may be advantageous on many fronts, but that does not mean there aren't things to watch for, like photosensitivity! Examples of triggers include citrus essential oils like lemon and bergamot, and St. John's wort.

Your skin is resilient, but this can be affected by certain habits and factors. For personal dermatologic care, call us in Renton or Seattle.

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