Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Sunshine & Acne

Sunshine & Acne Sunshine & Acne

Overview

Exposure to ultraviolet rays might make your acne worse because UV rays can cause skin irritation. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight by seeking shelter during peak sun hours or by using a sunblock. Choose a sunblock that has the words "noncomedogenic" or "oil free" on the label so it won't clog your pores.

Effects

Sunshine can make acne worse because it causes skin irritation especially if you get a sunburn. If you take certain acne medications like retinoids or antibiotics you are at an increased risk of sunburn. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that skipping acne medication for a few days does not decrease sun sensitivity but it can reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

Prevention

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use a sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 30 or more. Apply it to all exposed skin areas even on days that are overcast. Reapply the sunscreen at least every two hours and immediately after swimming or heavy sweating. Apply sunscreen liberally. People tend to use 50 percent less than the amount used by manufacturers when they test for SPF value, according to Princeton University Health Services.

Solution

Avoid the sun as much as possible if you have acne. Do this by seeking shade when you are outside and wearing protective clothing like a shirt and wide brimmed hat. Try to avoid being in the sun when it is the strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The American Academy of Dermatology advises you to seek shade if your shadow appears shorter than you.

Warning

The same precautions for sunlight apply to tanning beds as well. The ultraviolet light emitted by the beds can burn your skin and cause irritation that makes acne worse. Also keep in mind you can get a sunburn even in the winter months. Being around snow, sand or water increases your risk of sunburn because they reflect the sunlight and increase your exposure.

Expert Insight

If you desire a tanned look, rather than seeking it from the sun or a tanning bed, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use a sunless tanning product instead. Continue to use sunscreen with the sunless tanner. The Academy also recommends you do not seek sun exposure for vitamin D but instead, rely upon supplements or dietary sources of the vitamin.

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