26 Jun 2024

Summer Sun and How to Protect Yourself

UV radiation emitted by the sun is divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While UVC is mostly absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach the surface and generally UVA and UVB rays can pose significant health risks including:

  1. Skin Damage: UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburn (think B and Burn), while UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles. Both types of rays contribute to the development of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
  2. Eye Damage: Prolonged exposure to UV rays can harm the eyes, accelerating the formation of cataracts, and potentially causing issues along the back of the eye called the retina.

Protective Measures

To minimize the risks associated with UV radiation, it is essential to adopt comprehensive sun safety practices:

  1. Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Remember the two-finger rule for the face.  Do not forget the hairline, ears, lips and scalp.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats. Clothing with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is particularly effective.
  3. Seek Shade: Limit direct sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest. Utilize umbrellas, trees, or other forms of shade.
  4. Wear Sunglasses: Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes from damage and protect the delicate skin around the eyes as well from developing pigmentation.
  5. Tanning Beds are a no-no: Tanning beds emit UV radiation similar to the sun, increasing the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

For this put MZ Skin SPF and the two-finger rule


Ultraviolet rays can cause long-term skin damage and potentially cause issues with hyperpigmentation including melasma.   Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin within the skin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. A number of factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, but the main ones are sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries or inflammation.

Hyperpigmentation may present as sun damage including freckles, melasma, age spots (solar listings), actinic keratosis, or skin cancers. With summer here after a long winter, UV protection is critical to help prevent pigmentation concerns. One particular skin condition called Melasma is also triggered by UV light.  Genetics, pregnancy, hormonal therapies, cosmetics, phototoxic drugs, and antiseizure medications can also influence it. Melasma is more common in females than in males and often presents as brey-brown-blue patches on the malar area of the face, forehead, white lip and sometimes on the neck, chest or body.

Some of my favourite treatments for Melasma include topical skincare in conjunction with a combination treatment that may include laser and light stacking with Broad Band Light, Moxi laser treatment and HALO laser treatment.  Together they focus on different layers of the skin to target pigment within the skin while boosting collagen and elastin production.  The Renewal Peel or Dermamelan Depigmentation peel can also be used to help target pigmentation.  All pigmentation treatments have some degree of downtime and may require more than one treatment.  Results must be maintained with a strong skincare regimen including pigment suppressors, skin brighteners and SPF.

Treatments to Consider:

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As a leading Oculoplastic Surgeon with special interest in Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Maryam Zamani has garnered a global reputation - both in the US and UK - for her meticulous attention to detail and sought-after techniques for eyes and facial aesthetics.

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