Skintegra Solar I krema s visokim zaštitnim faktorom

Interview with a dermatologist / Sun and skin

It is necessary to think about protection from the sun and its harmful effects throughout the year, but in the summer we like to put extra emphasis on this topic because the UV index is much higher and we are more often (knowingly or unknowingly) exposed to UV radiation. Certain information about the harmfulness of UV radiation is important to adopt in time so that you can behave responsibly in the sun and enjoy your vacation carefree, without unwanted consequences that affect the beauty, but also the health of the skin.

What skin changes can occur due to sun exposure? How to help yourself if your skin burns? What should you pay attention to when sunbathing? These and many other questions are answered by an expert: dermatologist Sanda Gojčeta Burnić, specialist dermatovenerologist from Varaždin General Hospital and Adarta Polyclinic in Varaždin.

Sanda Gojčeta Burnić, dermatologist

What skin changes does the sun cause and how can they be prevented?

Most of the spectrum of ultraviolet radiation to which a person is exposed consists of UVA rays, which can lead to accelerated aging of the skin, the appearance of brown pigmentation on the skin, and skin cancer. This happens due to oxidative damage to the DNA in the skin. A smaller part of the spectrum of UV rays that humans are exposed to on earth are UVB rays that cause acute skin damage in the form of burns and chronic damage that can also lead to skin cancer. As with most diseases, the most important thing is prevention, which can be very successful if we follow certain rules, namely not to expose ourselves to the sun during a high UV index and to protect ourselves with the proper use of sun protection products. I advise my patients to use mechanical photoprotection such as hats, sunglasses or clothing with a protective factor, the so-called UPF, which I especially recommend for children. As for SPF products, regular and proper use of products with broad-spectrum protection is required. The main goal of protecting the skin from UV radiation is the prevention of malignant skin tumors, which have been proven to be caused by UV radiation in more than 80% of cases.

From your experience, do your patients use a product with a protective factor throughout the year?

Lately, I have noticed an increase in awareness of the need for photo protection, primarily thanks to the Internet and the availability of information. However, most people still do not use sun protection creams all year round, and those who do do so mainly for beauty reasons, not health. I recommend to my patients that they find a product that suits them in terms of quality, price and texture, and that they use it regularly, as part of their morning routine, such as washing their face or brushing their teeth, because photodamage to the skin often occurs when we are not even aware of it: for example, when driving a car or when staying in the snow.

Do you notice certain mistakes that patients make when using SPF?

In talking to my patients and observing people on the beach, I notice that very often they apply sunscreen incorrectly in the sense that they forget certain areas such as the ears, the neck, the edge of the scalp and the hands. Also, they apply too little SPF products or renew them irregularly during prolonged exposure to the sun or when it is necessary, for example, when swimming in the sea or sweating profusely.

What are the most common reasons for consciously avoiding using SPF?

As much as the Internet is useful because of the availability of information, it is often harmful because of the many wrong information that reaches people. There are still people who believe that SPF creams are harmful to health, that they even lead to the appearance of skin cancer. Such information, of course, is not scientifically proven, but the effectiveness in protecting against skin cancer is. The male population is also a challenge, given that men generally use cosmetics less often, as well as adolescents who generally do not protect themselves, even though they spend most of their time in the sun. Women are generally more responsible, but sometimes a multi-layered routine and too many products can be a problem. I believe that today there is no justification for the irregular use of SPF products because there is really a large selection of products on the market that are adapted to all requirements and skin types , so there are light textures that are easy to apply and better tolerated on the skin, tinted formulations and creams for skin prone to allergies such as products with mineral filters. 

How to help yourself if your skin burns in the sun?

Unfortunately, sunburns are still very common, especially at the age of 18, when they are the most dangerous. They appear about eight hours after exposure to UVB rays, which lead to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cell apoptosis in the skin. They are manifested by redness and later peeling of the skin, often accompanied by pain. The most common localizations where they occur are the neck and shoulders (66%), head and face (53%) and hands and hands (40%). In case of sunburn, the most important thing is to get out of the sun as soon as possible. Covers of water cooled to room temperature and skin epithelization creams, such as creams with panthenol, can be applied to the skin affected by burns. If necessary, in case of pain, anti-inflammatory peroral drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen can be prescribed for a short period of time, and mild corticosteroid preparations prescribed by the doctor can be applied to the skin for several days.

How to recognize sun allergy?

Allergies are mainly late hypersensitivity reactions on the skin that occur after exposure to ultraviolet rays, often in combination with other environmental factors such as contact with certain plants, taking medications or using certain cosmetic products. In the clinical picture, there is redness with scaling of the skin, or eczema with frequent itching on skin areas that are exposed to direct UV radiation. The appearance of solar urticaria is also possible, which, fortunately, is rare.

How often should moles be examined?

Regular examinations of moles in adults without risk factors are recommended once a year, in children it can be less often. For people with risk factors such as a large total number of moles, dysplastic moles, a positive family or personal history of melanoma or skin cancer, and skin phototype I or II, examination is recommended even more often.

Dr. Gojčeta Burnić's favorite Skintegra product is:

Along with Solar I fluid SPF 30 , Atomic cleansing oil and Amphibian gel are part of my daily skin care routine.

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