Sunscreen depending on the skin type

Anyone who used sun protection factor five 20 years ago was already considered exotic: "You'll never be tanned." Normal was then factor two or three. Today we know more, because even with high sun protection factors the skin tans. The sunscreens of yesteryear were only able to filter UV-B rays. Although they have suppressed the development of sunburn, but the absence of UV-A filter substances, the way was paved for chronic skin damage.

Brown complexion despite sunscreen

Today, many sunscreen broadband filter systems. The lower limit of the factors or Sun Protection Factors (SPF) meanwhile takes account of the increased radiation intensity and has advanced to the number 12. These products are only intended for pre-tanned, sun-resistant skin. Red-haired and / or fair-skinned people need ultra-high protection, and that's around SPF 50+.

Ultraviolet rays are energetic and aggressive

Sunshine contains, in addition to the visible optical rays, an "invisible" portion, called ultraviolet light, or UV light for short. This is electromagnetic radiation with a particularly short wavelength. The range of 280 to 320 nanometers (nm) is referred to as UV-B light, which is from 320 to 380 nm as UV-A light.

Anyone who sparsely dressed and unprotected in the midday sun take a nap, causing severe damage in his skin. The high energy of the ultraviolet rays changes the structure of proteins and nucleic acids in the skin cells.

Particularly aggressive is the UV-B light. If too many UV-B rays hit the skin, they cause inflammation: the sunburn.

The effect of UV-A radiation is not so direct, but much more sustainable. The radiation penetrates deep into the dermis and destroys the elastic molecules there. The skin becomes wrinkled and flabby, it comes to premature aging of the skin. UVA light also has a negative effect on the connective and cornea of ​​the eye. In addition, the release of inflammatory mediators causes skin reactions such as "Mallorca acne" and "sun allergy".

Which factor for which skin?

Each skin and pigment type requires a different product. Whether gel, cream, pencil or milk is not only a matter of personal preference, but also the skin type and the filter substances used in the sunscreen. Some filters are fat-soluble, some only soluble in water, some do not dissolve at all, but are in a "suspension", a liquid with a finely divided solid.

Therefore: Choose the right galenics or consistency for skin and photo type. Detailed advice is available in pharmacies.

Protection Factor (SPF) Ultra high about 50 + Very high ca.40 High about 20 Middle ca.12
faceCream (dry skin)xxx
faceGel cream (normal skin)xx
Particularly sensitive areasSunblockerstiftx

Sun & medications are not always compatible

Due to the trend towards extensive sunbathing, doctors in medical practices are increasingly seeing patients with peculiar skin changes. The spectrum of symptoms ranges from skin reddening over brown spots to itching blisters and wheals. What sun worshipers usually do not know: There is a possible connection to ingested or applied to the skin medications.

  • An example of this is broad-spectrum antibiotics containing tetracyclines. Anyone taking such an antibiotic must expect to suffer a strong sunburn even with short sunbathing.
  • Other drug groups that can cause unwanted skin reactions under sunlight are drugs for the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consequences are not only increased tendency to sunburn but also skin rashes.
  • Women who take the pill or are pregnant sometimes develop unsightly brown spots on the face, especially around the eyes or upper lip.
  • In more rare cases, ingestion or external use of drugs may result in photoallergic reactions. They express themselves in extensive rashes. Ironically, antihistamines, so drugs that treat allergies, can cause these skin reactions. The same applies to sulphonamides, which are included in some diuretic medications and in antidiabetics.
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