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Protect Your Skin This Spring!

At this time of year, the weather is perfect and residents tend to spend more time outside enjoying the gorgeous weather but unfortunately this also brings it problems for your skin.  Here’s some tips from a specialist on how to protect and take care of your, and especially your kids skin.

This near perfect weather makes you want to be at the pool and on the beach even more than usual. This spring, make sure you and your loved ones are protected from the harsh United Arab Emirates (UAE) sun. Dr. Radmila Lukian from the Dubai London Specialty hospital answers some important questions, things you’ll want know in order to protect yourself and your kids.

1. At what age should you start sun care and do my kids need sun care at school?
The UVA and UVB rays are damaging to all people, but children are more exposed to sun burns, as they have a more sensitive skin and a less developed defensive mechanism. Children with darker skin may be less at risk, but they still need protection. Children spend a lot of time outdoors playing, they get most of their lifetime sun exposure in their first 18 years. Sunscreen is necessary every time children are exposed to sun. The sun protection factor for children should be higher than in adults, even if their skin is darker. A baby’s skin is thinner than an adult’s skin. It is extremely sensitive and can burn easily, so sun protection is needed from the very beginning. It is recommended that you don’t expose babies under 12 months to direct sunlight. If outdoors, babies need to be kept in the shade. Even when in the shade, use a combination of sun protection (recommended SPF is 50) measures to minimise sun exposure.

2. Do sunscreens for the face and the body differ in formula and consistency and how do you choose the right one?
Face skin care products have a bigger range. The difference refers to the fact that formulae for the face are made in the form of creams, emulsions, lotions and that some of the brands have special creams for skin types and indication, for example, oil free for troubling skin, after chemical peelings and laser treatments. Also, body products are most often body milk and sprays which are particularly recommended for children.

3. What is the ideal sun care routine for the face and body and how often should it be applied?
Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out into the sun (it takes a short time to soak into the skin and to work). Re-apply frequently, at least every two hours, and always after swimming, towelling yourself dry or excessive sweating (even those that are labelled waterproof). Re-apply to children even more often.

4. How effective are light face moisturisers with SPF? Are they as effective as the specially-created sun care ranges?
Nowadays, all manufacturers of the creams include the sun protection factor 15-20 SPF in their daily creams but that is not enough for the region we live in. The use of the cream with the sun protection factor of 30-50 is strongly recommended over these creams, depending on the season (summer-winter).

5. I’d once heard about chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. What can you tell me about the two terms and how does one identify one from the other?
Sunscreens can be classified into two major types: chemical and physical.
Chemical sunscreens contain special ingredients that act as filters and reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration to the skin. These sunscreens often are colourless and maintain a thin visible film on the skin. These sunscreens usually contain UVB absorbing chemicals and more recently contain UVA absorbers as well.
Physical Sunscreens, most often referred to as sunblocks, are products containing ingredients such a titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which physically block ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Sunblocks provide broad protection against both UVB and UVA light. They can be cosmetically unacceptable to many people, because they are often messy, visible and do not easily wash off. However, some new zinc oxide products are available in brightly colored preparations which are popular with young children. The amount of sun protection these sunblocks provide, while potentially high, cannot be quantified in the same manner as sunscreen SPFs. Physical sunscreen is recommended for individuals who have unusual sensitivity to UVR. Most recently on the sun protection scene is sun-protective clothing designed to block UVA and UVB radiation. The effective SPF is greater that 30.

6. Any after sun tips you can share?
The rule would be the following: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize…. outside and inside. To replace body fluids lost, drink water and or juice. Outside, emollients creams with hyaluronic acid. And if you get a sunburn, the first thing you do is go to the pharmacist and find creams for epitalisation, for example, creams that are used after chemical peelings, laser treatments, microdermabrasion.

Article Written by Dr. Radmila Lukian (MD, MSc)
Dermatologist/Laser Specialist. Certified by American academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Member of European Academy of Dermatology.

Dubai London Specialty Hospital
PO Box 12119 Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4 344 6663

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