#Skin doctor reveals the 5 deadly mistakes you’re making every spring

“Skin doctor reveals the 5 deadly mistakes you’re making every spring”

Spring has sprung and with it comes gorgeous rays of sunshine.

That usually means more time outdoors and extra sun exposure which can be harmful to your skin.

With that in mind, a skin doctor has revealed the mistakes you’re making that could end up proving deadly.

Dr. Ross Perry of skin clinics chain Cosmedics said the problem with heat waves in the spring, is that most people don’t prepare their skin like they do in the summer.

He told The Sun: “The sun in April is as strong as it is in August, so you must treat it as such.” 

“People can often be fooled by the cooler breeze but the UV rays are just as strong and just as likely to cause sunburn and sun damage.”

The sun’s rays are more often than not the direct cause of skin cancer, which generally fall under non-melanoma and melanoma. 

Exposure to ultraviolet light, whether that be from the sun or sunbeds, can lead to skin cancer.

The safer you are in the sun, the lower your risk of the deadly disease.

Here, Dr. Ross warns of the mistakes you could be making when enjoying spring heatwaves:

1. Not wearing suncream

Dr. Ross said: “There are often a lot of questions as to whether people should wear sunblock on their faces all year round, the simple answer is yes! 

“An SPF should definitely be used during spring months and indeed all the year round. 

“Many people don’t believe you can get sunburnt in early spring months like March, however this is simply not the case and puts you in dangerous territory.”

Even if you don’t suffer sunburn in the spring months, the sun’s rays constantly contribute to the ageing of your skin, which you cannot immediately see.

But over the years, failing to wear suncream speeds up wrinkling, sagging and age spots.

Dr. Ross said: “Our faces are the area most prone to ageing, as well as sun damage due to the fact they are constantly exposed to UV sunlight.”

He advised a factor 30 suncream during the winter, when 90 per cent of UV rays still penetrate the clouds. 

But during the spring and summer months a factor 50 would be more advisable “particularly if you are fair skinned”.

Apply sunblock 15 minutes before going out into high intensity sunlight. 

“If you are regularly applying sunscreen every 2-3 hours then hopefully that will allow you to expose your skin to the all day sun,” Dr. Ross said.

“However, it would be advisable that between the hours of 11am and 2pm to be under an umbrella as this intensity of sunlight is almost certainly able to penetrate the sunscreen.”

2. Failing to protect burnt skin

If you do notice your skin has burned, act straight away to treat it.

Dr. Ross said: “The most important thing is once you realise you are burnt or getting burnt, take it out of the sun immediately. 

“And then the best thing to do is apply moisturising lotions such as Aloe Vera or other soothing aftersun lotions and to apply this every 2 hours. 

“It is also important to treat the sunburn with a cold flannel after the initial few hours after the burn.

“Once it has got past 4- 6 hours then carry on applying regular moisturising creams. You could also take anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen if it stings. 

“But prevention is always better than cure.”

Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of melanoma, says Cancer Research UK.

Dr. Ross said: “Darker skin types have less of a reaction to stronger sun light or sunlight in general, however contrary to popular belief, darker skin types can still get sunburnt.”

3. Not drinking enough water

Dr. Ross said a heatwave in March or April “can be a shock to the system and skin”.

He said: “People may underestimate the amount of water they should be drinking, as it is unlike a sweltering hot summer’s day.

“Many people will suddenly move outside to do their exercising following months of being indoors, without thinking they might need sun protection or more water on hand.”

Drinking plenty of water in hot temperatures is essential to avoid heat stroke, which can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly, children and people with health conditions.

4. Not taking moles seriously 

Skin cancers can be detected early thanks to changes in moles, or new ones.

But sadly thousands still die every year in the UK. The earlier you act, the earlier you can get treatment.

Dr. Ross said there are some key factors to look out for when it comes to moles.

“If you have a mole that is bleeding then it is almost certainly not normal unless you have merely caught it or it has been rubbing (such as on a bra strap),” he said.

“Most moles do not spontaneously bleed so it is important to get this checked out by visiting your doctor. 

“Other things such as changes in size and shape and color are important signs of potential skin cancer. 

“And if you have a mole that is changing more than other moles then this would be important to get checked out.”

5. Seeking vitamin D

Dr. Ross said people may refuse suncream in search of some vitamin D – which comes from the sunlight and is strongest between March and September. 

Doctors hammers home the importance of getting enough of the stuff for bone, teeth and muscle health. It also keeps the skin healthy and the immune system primed.

Once we emerge from the dark winter months, vitamin D is in abundance.

With some exceptions, you likely don’t need to go out of your way to seek it.

The NHS says: “From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.

“Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.”

Adults and children over four should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are not outdoors often, for example are in a care home, and usually wear clothes that cover their skin.

People with darker skin may also want to consider a 10 microgram supplement because their skin is less likely to make enough vitamin D from sunlight. 

Dr. Ross said: “Regular exposure of your arms and legs during regular exercise two to three times a week will be more than sufficient to accumulate enough vitamin D.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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