What NOT to do Before Heading Outdoors this Summer
Is a trip to the beach in your near future? Do you have the pool in mind for your next day off? Now that we are in full swing with summer, and the heat has picked up, more and more of us are getting out of the house and into nature as much as possible. Even if you are bringing along the sunscreen as your hiking, or poolside companion, it is possible that you are at a greater risk for UV damage. Unless you have an autoimmune condition like lupus, you may be unaware of the issue of photosensitivity. Awareness of this condition is vital if you want to protect your skin from unnecessary damage and discomfort.
There are different types of photosensitivity, and not every type can be avoided; the instance of autoimmune disease, for example. However, thousands upon thousands of people are affected by photosensitivity without knowing what is causing them to burn so easily after just a few hours in the sunshine. The cause could be the last thing you would expect!
- Food. One of the healthy treats that many people may consider taking along with them to the pool or on a hike is a few sticks of celery. Unbeknownst to them, they may be consuming a food that could react with UV light when it hits the skin. Typically, we envision chemically induced photosensitivity to be related to some type of topical product. Celery is one example that this is not the case; drugs are another.
- Medication. There are certain types of medication that come with a physicians or pharmacists warning that photosensitivity may occur; but one cannot count on this. If you have been prescribed medication for anxiety, depression, diabetes, or if you take oral contraceptives, you may want to speak with your doctor about the risk for photosensitivity. Non-prescription medications, as well, can increase this risk. Ibuprofen is one example.
- Topical products. Individuals with any degree of acne may feel concerned about how to best care for their easily-irritated skin. The last thing that is desired is more redness and discomfort. If products with benzoyl peroxide and are applied before sun exposure this may be exactly what you get. Likewise, the Retin-A prescription topical medication is also known for reacting with UV light due to the high concentration of retinoic acid.
Get the help you need for your medical dermatologic concerns at 610-594-6660.