Are You Looking After Your Skin Health This Winter?
AUSTRALIA SEES MORE SKIN CANCER CASES THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY.
With one melanoma diagnosed every 30 minutes and skin ageing concerns on the rise, it is important that we take precautions to protect our skin even during these cooler months.
But you don’t need a day the beach or lounging poolside to get sunburnt; half of weekend sunburns occur while Australians are going about day-to-day activities.
“Sunburn can cause irreversible damage to our skin cells, leading to early signs of ageing, pigmentation, and skin cancer,” says Dr Zarli Kyaw at Sun Patrol Centres in Berwick and Officer.
Tanning and sunburn are very dangerous to our long-term skin health. Just five sunburns can increase your risk of deadly skin cancers by 80 per cent and dramatically speed up the appearance of ageing.
The cooler season doesn’t negate the risk. People often become lenient with sun protection in winter under the false assumption that the sun’s UV rays are not as harmful – but UV causes sunburn and cell damage even on cool or cloudy days.
Protecting your skin year-round can be as easy as applying SPF50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to exposed skin, avoiding the outdoors during peak UV times, and using extra sun protection when UV levels reach 3 or above.
Experts also recommend a regular head-to-toe skin cancer examination to check your skin for damage. Picking up small changes early can significantly improve chances of successful treatment; in fact, 99 per cent of skin cancers are curable if detected and treated early.
In some cases, total body photography is used to create a baseline record of the skin for future comparisons. It is highly recommended for high-risk people to ensure earliest skin cancer detection.
“Early detection through regular full-body skin cancer checks is the best defence. Our mission is to detect skin cancers in the early stages to minimise complex, invasive, and expensive treatments, and ultimately save lives,” says Dr Kyaw.
But skin cancer isn’t the only concern. Studies show that up to 80-90 per cent of how youthful you look is due to how much sun exposure you’ve sustained. Sun exposure leads to major ageing concerns such as pigmentation, wrinkles, and a dull complexion.
“It isn’t too late to treat cosmetic skin concerns caused by sun exposure,” says Skin Therapist Jessica.
“Dermal therapies such as LED light, Cosmelan depigmentation therapy, and skin needling can help, as well as a chat with your Skin Therapist to address your concerns and achieve healthy and beautiful skin.