Summer in Australia means getting outside, being active and enjoying lots of daylight saving sunshine. Fabulous for our fitness, eight and Vitamin D, but lousy for our skin!
A tan is, sadly, a sign of damaged skin trying to protect itself. UV light burns our skin and damages our cell DNA, which can result in lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, blotchy pigmentation, freckles, broken capillaries, redness or worse, skin cancer.
The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world and accounts for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers. This being the case, prevention is essential. The Cancer Council recommends;
Slip on some sun-protective clothing – that covers as much skin as possible.
Slop on a broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ or higher sunscreen. Apply 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
Slap on a hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.
Be extra cautious in the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense.
It’s also important to check your skin for any new or changed spots, freckles or moles and have regular skin checks by a medical professional.
Dr. Kathryn Holmes from The Mayah Clinic has qualifications in Primary Skin Cancer Medicine and Skin Cancer Therapeutics from the University of Queensland. As part of her services at The Mayah Clinic, Dr. Holmes offers comprehensive half-hour top to toe skin cancer checks.
Dr Holmes said that the earlier a melanoma can be diagnosed the better the chance of a cure. “It’s also important to remember that, although your overall dose of sun and sun damage increases your risk of melanomas, they can appear anywhere - even places that don't see the sun, like the sole of your foot or even in your mouth,” she said.
While skin cancer is most certainly the worst side effect of sun exposure, the sun also contributes to other skin damage and premature aging issues for men and women alike.
The Mayah Clinic offers a range of non-surgical cosmetic services to treat and minimise the effects of this sun damage and other skin conditions. The Mayah Clinic was the first in Australia to use the Halo Fractional Laser, which has achieved excellent results for patients in reaching deeper pigmentation, reducing redness and improving lines and wrinkles. Dr Holmes said the hybrid fractional laser allows her to better customise treatment to each patient’s needs. “The Halo Laser is also used for treating acne scars and sun damage and has unexpectedly been found to improve broken capillaries as well,” she said.
Broad Band Light Therapy is effective for treating brown and red sun damaged areas as well as boosting collagen. In fact, studies have shown that if regularly used a few times a year, BBL actually results in DNA performing better and creating younger looking skin.
The Australian made Photonsmart LED, is the world’s most powerful and versatile LED light system, ideal for concerns such as acne, rosacea, fine lines and saggy skin. LED light treatments are safe and painless and require no recovery time.
To treat sun damage at home, Dr. Holmes recommends DNA Intensive Renewal Cream, developed by American Dermatologist Dr. Ronald Moy, which has been shown in studies to achieve an effective reduction in crusty precancerous spots by directly repairing UV damage to DNA in cells. This also produces anti-aging changes, with improvement in skin quality and lines.
As always, though, prevention is better than cure, and it’s essential in the Australian climate that sunscreen becomes part of the daily skin regime. The Mayah Clinic carries Rationale Skin Care, which includes in their range Photodynamic Day Cream, and a new generation superfluid sunscreen, B3, that gives 50+ cover with only a few drops.
It’s perfect as a primer under makeup such as SPF Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup. Dr Holmes has 25 years’ experience in medicine and says, “I have always felt strongly about educating patients so they are able to be a part of planning individual treatment programs. I believe it is imperative that cosmetic medicine and skin health clinics have a qualified and xperienced doctor always on site to carry out dermatology, cosmetic and laser treatments.”
The Mayah Clinic is located at Lakelands, and further information regarding their services is available at www.themayahclinic.com.au