Healthy Summer Skin Enjoy a lifetime of benefit by protecting
your skin from sun damage.
There is no such thing as a healthy tan,” says Virginia Mason dermatologist,
Ochs, M.D., “Sun exposure causes the most damage to our skin and is the
single biggest culprit in aging skin.”
Many studies prove that the
chances of developing skin cancer increase in direct proportion to sun exposure.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), malignant melanoma has
increased 1,800 percent since 1930. The EPA also warns that sun exposure not
only causes sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging, but it can also cause eye
damage and suppress your immune system.
Both tanning and burning cause
premature aging because sun exposure degrades collagen and elastin, the primary
components of youthful looking skin. Sunburn can occur in as little as 15
minutes of unprotected exposure. Although most doctors advise avoiding the sun
between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., most sun-starved Northwesterners have a
tough time complying. Rather than playing tennis and golf at night, there are
other ways to limit harmful exposure.
Cloudy or sunny, you still need
Clouds and haze do not hinder ultraviolet (UV) rays, which
are reflected and sometimes intensified by surfaces such as water, cement and
sand. Follow these tips to reduce your sun exposure whether it’s cloudy or
- Seek out the shady side of the street.
- Wear a hat, preferably one with a brim that’s four inches wide.
- Wear tightly-woven, lightweight, protective clothing or the new clothing
with UV protection in the fabric. You can also wash your clothes with a
sun-protecting laundry detergent, which makes it difficult for UV rays to
penetrate the material.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protective coating.
- Remember that an increase in altitude means more intense exposure to
- Wear protective lip screen with a minimum 15 Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
- Use sunscreens or sunblocks with a 30 to 45 SPF. Apply sunscreens 15 to 30
minutes before going outside so they have time to become fully effective.
Sunblocks are effective right after they are applied.
- Apply sunscreen or sunblock frequently, every two to three hours, and
especially after swimming as no lotion is totally
Sunscreen or sunblock — what’s the
Sunscreens protect the skin with chemicals that absorb
the harmful ultraviolet light rays. Sunblocks provide physical barriers to light
with tiny particles suspended in the lotion or gel. Sunblocks contain either
titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in micronized forms that make lotions sheer and
more absorbent. Dr. Ochs recommends sunblocks because they block all wavelengths
and are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Another plus for sunblocks is
that they don’t sting if they get into your eyes.
Dr. Ochs cautions
parents that babies are particularly vulnerable to the sun and can even become
sunburned while riding in the car unless the windows are tinted to block UV
light. She advises against applying sunblock or sunscreen to children younger
than six months of age. Instead, cover up infants as much as possible and keep
them in the shade.
Sun protection for kids
Often, kids are
just too excited about jumping into the pool to stand still for lotion
application. Some kids don’t like the odor or consistency of sunscreens. What to
- Apply sunscreens and sunblocks before going outdoors. Parents should
choose SPF 40 to 50 for their children. A lotion formulated for kids may sting
less if it gets in their eyes.
- Make a game of it. Have the children write their name in lotion on their
legs before they rub it in.
- Try the new colored lotions. Kids can have fun making sure they didn’t
miss a spot.
Hydrate your whole body
Your skin and
body suffer when you don’t drink enough fluids. Dehydration often occurs in
summer months so be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If
you’re thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated. Remember beverages that
contain alcohol or caffeine are diuretics and contribute to dehydration. Most
soft drinks contain added sugar and sodium, which can make you thirstier and
offer no nutritional value. Stick to water, natural juices and sports
Whether you’re playing golf in the morning, at noon or during the
night, remember to use caution when enjoying yourself in the sun and to drink
plenty of water.
Visit http://www.virginiamason.org/skincare to purchase professional
skin care products. The Cosmetic Services
Group at Virginia Mason also offers dermatological and aesthetician
Please call 1/877/341-0600 for more information, or visit
Virginia Mason’s Cosmetic Services Group on the Web at http://www.virginiamason.org/cosmetic/.
often leaves skin feeling dry and dull,” says Angela
O'Neill, L.C.A., lead aesthetician at the Skin Care &
Massage Center. “As seasons change, sometimes simply changing your regimen
can make a huge impact on the skin.” The center offers an integrated approach to
healthy skin. Dermatologists and aestheticians (skin care therapists) partner to
offer a full range of in-office treatments.
The Skincare & Massage
Center offers a variety of services including facial treatments, waxing, make-up
application, refinement treatments and full-body/seated massage. The center
recently introduced three new treatments, which are administered by licensed
- Stress Reduction Back Pac – a tropical blend of sea mud that soothes and
refines your skin.
- Hydrotherapy Pac – an intense hydrating aloe masque (excellent after sun
- Spa Hand and Foot Scrub – an invigorating scrub to soften skin and get
your feet in shape for sandal season.
Did you worship the sun and now find you are unhappy
with the sun damage left behind? Try a complimentary skin care consultation with
an aesthetician at Skin Care &
Massage Center. “We’re result-oriented here,” says Angela O’Neill. “As a
medical facility, we’re able to use pharmaceutical grade products that contain
higher levels of active ingredients.”
The aestheticians offer a variety
of services and products to promote healthy skin. Treatments at the center can
also complement doctors’ care. Most refining treatments are quick and painless
and can be done on a lunch hour with little to no recovery time. Refining
treatments offered by the center include:
- Epidermal peels: Glycolic, Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) and Salicylic (Beta
Hydroxy, BHA) acids reduce fine lines and pigmentation while improving the
overall texture of the skin.
- Microdermabrasion: These skin rejuvenating treatments use micronized
crystals to exfoliate and improve the look and texture of your
Rejuvenation enhances appearance
Mason’s Cosmetic Services Group, made up of physicians from different medical
and surgical departments including dermatology, plastic and reconstructive
surgery, otolaryngology/facial plastic surgery and ophthalmology, work together
as a dedicated team to enhance the physical appearance of patients. Rejuvenation
- Botox injections to relax facial muscles surrounding expression lines,
especially frown lines and lines around the eyes, so they don’t contract and
cause wrinkles. The method is unobtrusive and its effects can last from three
to six months.
- Collagen injections can smooth shallow lines around the lips and eyes that
are often caused by sun damage. The non-surgical procedure replaces lost
collagen with natural protein derived from purified collagen.
- Laser treatments to remove brown spots and facial veins. Laser treatments
can also help minimize fine lines, pore size and old acne scars.
I. Ochs, M.D.
The Cosmetic Services
Group at Virginia Mason
Skin Care &