The need for sun protection is something that most of us are well aware of. As we find ourselves in the thick of summer, we can think of no better topic to discuss than protecting the skin from UV damage. As you prepare to spend the day poolside, or at the beach, you may load up on a high-SPF sunscreen.
In this post, what we want to discuss is the potential for photosensitivity. This is a subject about which most people are minimally aware, if at all. Photosensitivity amplifies the effects of UV rays. This means that you are at a greater risk for sunburn, premature aging, and other unappealing dermatologic conditions. It may be far easier to become sensitive to UV light then you may have ever imagined. Here are just a few of the common culprits to photosensitivity.
Medication. Many people take medication such as ibuprofen fairly frequently. This drug and several other anti-inflammatories, as well as oral contraceptives, certain antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, and even the herbal remedies St. John’s Wort can all increase the effects of UV light on the skin.
Food. Certain foods, such as wild carrots, parsley, lime, and figs can lead to greater sensitivity to UV light.
Scents and essential oils. There’s a growing trend among people in our country, the use of essential oils. It is important to know how some oils may affect the skin. Photosensitivity may occur after using certain types of citrus oils, such as orange, lemon, lavender, and bergamot. According to research, the musk scent can also create photosensitivity.
Skin care products. When you apply a skin care product, you expect it to have a beneficial effect on your skin, not an adverse effect! Certain ingredients and skin care products are a no-no before sun exposure. These include benzoyl peroxide, retinoic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acid. A safe bet before a day in the sun is to avoid applying any type of skin care product with acid ingredients to your skin.
It is important to us to help our patients enjoy their healthiest skin regardless of their active lifestyle, age, and other factors. If you have questions about skincare products or other factors related to photosensitivity, call 201-836-9696.