Stay safe in the sun if you have acne or rosacea

Tips on how to take care of your skin and avoid flare-ups

We recommend sun protection to protect your skin all year round, particularly in the summer. The suns rays can cause:

  • Excess sebum production - Heating of the skin can cause it to lose moisture and become dry and overstimulate the sebaceous glands making your hair follicles clog more easily.
  • Dry skin which keratinizes - Another result of dry skin is for the skin to harden, to become difficult to shed and to easily clog pores.
  • Sweat production helping bacteria thrive - The bacterium P.acnes which is involved in acne is able to multiply on the skin adding to inflammation and break-outs.
  • Hyperpigmentation - This is particularly with acne scars.

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In addition, more generally sun exposure causes healthy skin to age prematurely and adds to skin cancer risk. It is also important to be aware that some treatments can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Treatment which heightens sensitivity to UVA and UVB sun rays include:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Tretinoin
  • Retinoids
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Antibiotics
  • Laser treatments

Tips to stay safe in the sun

  1. Use the correct sunscreen - Aim for a sunscreen that will protect you against all types of UV rays. Non-chemical sunscreens with zinc or titanium dioxide with an SPF15 or higher are recommended. Ensure your sunscreen is a non-comedogenic product meaning that it won’t clog pores. If you have very sensitive skin, to combat irritation consider a pediatric sunscreen or one with a moisturizer/ skin protectant such as dimethicone. 
  2. Use your sunscreen early and often - Apply your sunscreen generously with about a shot glass’ worth for each application. Do this at least 30 minutes before going outdoors regardless of what time of year it is. Reapply routinely throughout the day. 
  3. Wear protective clothing or seek shade - You may choose a long-sleeved shirt, a broad-brimmed hat to protect yourself. If you are staying outside for a prolonged period a sun umbrella may be useful. 
  4. Avoid peak exposure times - Avoid being outside during the midday sun from 10 am to 4 pm. Plan activities around times when the sun is not as intense. 
  5. Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. This will help to prevent break-outs or facial flushes. 
  6. Take your medicines - Remember to take your medicines on time and regularly. If you are first starting out bear in mind that some treatments may take some weeks to show an effect. 

Summary 

Protect your skin all year round to prevent eruptions and other symptoms. Your acne and rosacea may be troublesome but there are plenty of practical tips to stay safe in the sun. Limit time in the sun and when you are outside you should protect your skin with sunscreen as appropriate. Related to avoiding sun exposure, tanning beds should also be avoided. 
 

Sources

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea/
  3. https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/acne
  4. https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/rosacea
  5. https://www.verywellhealth.com/which-acne-medications-cause-sun-sensitivity-15652
  6. https://www.rosacea.org/rosacea-review/2005/summer/smart-sun-protection-keeps-flare-ups-away
  7. https://www.rosacea.org/rosacea-review/2013/spring/tips-for-protecting-skin-from-the-sun
  8. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rosacea/triggers/prevent

 

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