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Sensitive Skin: Protect from UV Exposure (SPF)

How to Treat

Everyone should be using an SPF of 30 or greater everyday on any exposed skin. Studies suggest that the inflammation associated with chronic photodamage significantly contributes to rosacea pathology. Even walking to and from your car, and fluorescent light bulbs can increase the production of nitric oxide and other free radicals within the skin cells. An increased production of these offenders can lead to vasodilation and broken capillaries.

Sunscreen agents are classified as physical or chemical. A physical sunscreen is an inorganic ingredient that sits on the surface of the skin and reflects or scatters UV radiation before it can cause cellular damage. In contrast, a chemical sunscreen is an organic substance that penetrates the corneocytes and absorbs UV rays before they affect the skin. A combination of organic and inorganic sunscreen ingredient offers the best overall protection and cosmetical elegance.

Many avoid chemical sunscreens out of concern for sensitivities. In actuality, reactions are typically in response to a product’s base rather than its active ingredients; therefore, even patients with sensitive skin can find an effective sunscreen.

Remember that the SPF rating of a product only relates to its ability to protect the skin from UVB rays. You should always use a product that also offers protection from long and short wave UVA rays. Also consider recommending that your patients wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats, and avoid prolonged UV exposure during the midday hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.