Skincare Awareness Week 2016 Hammers Home the Importance of Looking after Skin

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With Skincare Awareness Week 2016 starting today, Medical Specialists® Pharmacy discuss the importance of good skincare and offer helpful advice to patients.

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Being in the sun for too long and abusing sunbeds will inevitably badly damage the skin and cause premature aging, skin wrinkles and increased pigmentation...

Let’s be honest, there isn’t a man or woman alive who, given the chance to have healthy-looking skin and free of wrinkles, would turn that chance down.

People enter the world with healthy, radiant, skin, but environmental and lifestyle factors through the course of day-to-day lives, means some people’s skin can age at a much quicker speed than others.

Everybody is susceptible to harmful ultraviolet (UV) damage, which isn’t always visible to the naked eye. There are those that may have already caused some degree of damage or premature ageing to skin and be totally unware. The most serious and potentially deadly type of such damage is skin cancer. This is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with rates continuing to rise. There are around 100,000 new cases diagnosed each year, and the disease kills more than 2,500 people in the UK every year – equivalent to seven people each day.

Therefore, with Skincare Awareness Week about to start on the 16th May, perhaps it is time the nation began to think about how well they look after their own skin, particularly with summer beginning in June. This is the ideal time for everyone to consider skin health, and in particularly, protecting the skin from damage – mainly emanating from the UV rays emitted by sun and tanning beds, prematurely ageing or increasing the risk of skin cancer from excessive exposure.

With all this in mind, DestinationSkin launched the first ever #skincareaware Skincare Awareness Week on 11 May last year, which aimed to boost awareness of how important it is – for both sexes – to properly take care of the skin.

According to DestinationSkin, their new study of the UK public found that 74% of people claimed to be #Skincareaware, however only 39% claim they wear a sun protection factor (SPF) product and less than 20% wear an SPF daily. Those worried about potential damage already caused can choose to have free skin scanning throughout the campaign from DestinationSkin. A skin scan is a quick and easy way to take a deeper look at the health of your skin under a UV lamp to identify areas of sun damage (pigmentation), dehydration and oiliness.

As a fully-registered online pharmacy with a massive range of skincare products such as acne treatments, anti-ageing treatments, and T/Gel shampoo for scalp psoriasis, Medical Specialists® Pharmacy fully support Skincare Awareness Week. The pharmacy have thousands of patients and this includes many women seeking the contraceptive pill Dianette for acne and other androgen related skin disorders.

Psoriasis doesn’t always make the headlines compared to other health problems, but around 3% of the population suffer with it (up to 1.8 million people). The condition occurs when the immune system generates skin cells too rapidly, causing ‘plaques’ on the skin – a build-up of scaly pink-coloured patches that can appear anywhere on the body, but are more frequently seen on the elbows, knees and hands.

Eczema is another chronic skin disease that is often confused for psoriasis and their lesions may be similar if they are chronic, but these can also seem to be moist and oozing liquid - if the affected skin is infected.

Psoriasis treatment is one of many areas which Medical Specialists® are exploring, with a view to expanding the product base to cover this. This comes after huge demand in requests for medication to ease the symptoms associated with the condition.

Psoriasis and eczema are often thought to run in families, though the causes of them have not been completely determined. Though with the awareness campaign starting in just days, it will help increase awareness of possible ways to avoid the non-familial skin problems.

Worryingly, many people are still under the impression that skin is only afflicted with damage on sunny days. In reality however, although ultraviolet B (UVB) rays – most intense during the summer months particularly - are the primary cause of sunburn, ultraviolet A (UVA) rays are present all year long.

UVA rays make up around 95% of the UV radiation that connects with the Earth’s surface. Moreover, UVA rays can travel through glass, so both it is important to protect the skin whilst indoors and outside.

A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be used in conjunction with one or more of the following UVA-protective ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. Moreover, people can reduce the chance of getting skin damage by applying window film to the windows at home, work and even in the car, blocking nearly 100% of UVA and UVB radiation.

Medical Specialists® realise not everybody will actually use sun cream and putting window film on every surrounding window during the day is not always feasible. Thus, a fair number of the population will get sunburnt in the next few months, especially if the temperatures are going past 20°C. Many that do get sunburnt could benefit from the over-the-counter product Oilatum Gel, which will help to soothe the painful symptoms.

Oilatum Gel is used to treat Eczema in addition to other dry skin conditions. The gel stops excessive loss of moisture and boosts skin hydration, reducing roughness, scaling and relieves itching and discomfort. In addition, it is also claimed that inexpensive over-the-counter antihistamine tablets can be taken to help alleviate itching associated with sunburn.

Being in the sun for too long and abusing sunbeds will inevitably badly damage the skin and cause premature aging, skin wrinkles and increased pigmentation - although other factors can be linked to wrinkles such as genetics, facial muscle contractions, environmental exposure to heat, wind and dust, and smoking.

Medical Specialists® are fully committed to providing the most effective and clinically proven treatments for skincare, such as acne, anti-ageing and wrinkles. Patients can obtain prescription-only medication to treat these conditions after completing an online consultation, reviewed by one of Medical Specialists®’ GMC registered doctors, or by posting a private prescription to Medical Specialists®, written by the patient’s own GP.

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David Bailey

Mark Riley
Medical Specialists Pharmacy
since: 10/2012
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