With summer right around the corner, or for those looking to maintain a sun-kissed glow year-round, Dr. Roxana Barad highlights the risks associated with sunburn and tanning, as well as tanning bed risks. Recent research conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has revealed some alarming findings about Generation Z (Gen Z), aged 18-25. Many young adults are unaware of the dangers of overexposure to the sun and often believe in tanning myths. As an aesthetic physician dedicated to education on healthy skin, it is her mission to ensure that young individuals protect themselves and understand the importance of skin health.
The survey conducted by the AAD unveiled some concerning trends among Gen Z. Shockingly, a whopping 71% of young adults were unfamiliar with the risks associated with sunburn, and 40% were unaware of the dangers of tanning. Even more troubling, 59% of Gen Z adults still believe in tanning myths, such as the misconception that tanning is healthy or that a base tan can prevent sunburn. Dr. Barad emphasizes that tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer, and prioritizing short-term aesthetic gains over long-term health is dangerous.
Preventing Sun Damage
To address these issues, Dr. Barad provides some practical tips for Gen Z in Pittsburgh and beyond to protect themselves from sunburn and reduce their risk of skin cancer. Here are some key measures that can make a significant difference:
Seek Shade: When the sun’s rays are strongest, typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., find shade whenever possible. If your shadow appears shorter than you, it’s a clear sign that seeking shade is essential to shield yourself from harmful UV rays.
Wear Sun-Protective Clothing: Choose lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection. Look for clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) number, which indicates enhanced sun protection. You don’t have to compromise style for safety. UPF 50 is best!
Apply Sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant mineral-based (look for zinc, titanium and/or iron based) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on all exposed skin. (Don’t forget the ears if they are exposed!!) Make sure to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
Get Regular Skin Checkups: Regular visits to a trusted professional are crucial for the early detection of any potential skin issues. As skin care professionals, we can thoroughly examine your skin, identify suspicious moles or sunspots, and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.
Sun-Damaged Skin Treatment
Speaking of treatments, at Aesthetic Skin and Laser Center Pittsburgh, we offer a range of solutions for various skin conditions. If you notice any new or changing moles, it’s vital to consult a skin care professional promptly. We can perform a thorough examination and, if necessary, recommend mole removal to assess the mole’s nature and potential risks.
In cases of sunspots or uneven skin tone, we provide treatments such as laser resurfacing, IPL treatment, lasers, peels and skin care protocols to help restore a more even complexion, address hyperpigmentation, minimize the appearance of sun damage, and even repair sun-damaged skin.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays now will go a long way in maintaining healthy skin throughout your life. Gen Z can reverse the trends revealed in the survey noted above, and take charge of their skin health. By practicing safe sun habits, staying informed, and seeking professional guidance, you can ensure your skin remains healthy, vibrant, and free from the risks associated with sunburn and tanning.
Whether you’re concerned about sunburn, premature aging, or potential skin conditions, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation . We are here to guide you, provide personalized advice, and offer treatments that can help you achieve and maintain the healthy skin you deserve. Together, we can combat the misconceptions, protect your skin, and ensure a bright and healthy future for your skin’s well-being.