Skin Trauma: Photosensitivity / Phototoxicity
There are myriad ways that UV exposure from sunlight can negatively impact your skin and health. Several have already been mentioned in previous blog posts, and today I want to talk about one we haven’t discussed yet: photosensitivity and skin trauma.
Photosensitivity is an allergic reaction to sunlight which, as its name might suggest, renders the afflicted hyper-sensitive toward the sun’s UV rays. It has numerous causes. For instance it can be brought on through interaction with the very foods, household products, cosmetics, sunscreens and medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) that you use every day. Or it might be due to a disease or skin condition that you already have. There are other photosensitivity triggers as well, but I think you’ve got the point. The result of this disorder is an easily acquired rash or sunburn that can be much more painful than typical. These rashes can also be accompanied by blistering, or even worse.
Many of the Common Products We Use Daily Cause Irreversible Harm to the Skin
While your doctor could (and should) diagnose and treat your photosensitivity, there are still some things you can do to try and prevent it; or at least minimize its effects on you. Whenever you go outside, or even spend extended time near uncovered windows, always wear sunscreen. Wear a hat and a comfortable long sleeve shirt. When possible, opt for pants or jeans over shorts. And really, these suggestions aren’t much more than what you should be doing anyway, photosensitivity or not. Sun and ultraviolet skin damage can affect anyone, of any ethnicity, at any time, at any age.
As always, I urge you to take these simple precautions to protect yourself. If I occasionally sound repetitive in this regard, it’s only because I know-from very personal experience-what not doing so can do to you. And all I care about is stopping it from happening to as many of you as I can.
Now, on to some news of a more pleasant variety. Autumn’s not the only cool thing September brings with it, as once again Mercedes Fashion Week is nearly upon us. Here at Pretty Pale it’s our best, not to mention our busiest, time of the year. We’ll be getting your favorite designers ready for the catwalk in New York City this September 10th-17th, as well as collecting great stories from this fabulous annual event to relate to you in future blog posts. So as we head further into fall, and you start (or finish) your day with your favorite pumpkin-flavored beverage, make sure to pull up your favorite blog to enjoy it with. Burn Notice will be here for you with plenty of fresh content in the months to come! (Source for some info: dermnetnz.org & healthline.com)
Here is a list of common ingredients we use everyday that cause photosensitivity/phototoxicity:
COMMON OVER-THE COUNTER / PHARMACEUTICAL INGREDIENTS:
Ibuprofren, Naproxen, Ketoprofren – Headache, pain, anti inflammatory
Benzoyl Peroxide – used for Acne Treatments, a very good anti-bacterial agent
Hydroquinone / Kojic Acid– whitening agent used to treat hyper-pigmentation (age spots, freckles)
Para-aminobenzoic acid, Benzophones, Camphors, Cinnamates (IMC), Octocrylene, OMC PABAs, Salicylates – used in some tinted moisturizers with sunscreen
AHAs – these Alpha Hydroxy Acids (e.g. Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Licorice Extract) are great exfoliators but may increase the skin’s sensitivity and the sun damage on the skin cells
BHAs – Salicylic Acid/Beta Hydroxy Acids are known to be milder exfoliators but can still increase sensitivity for some types of skin
Retinol – a form of vitamin A used in anti-aging and regenerating skin products , this can increase sun sensitivity
Alcohols – these dry out the skin and may irritate it
Artificial colors –makeup products could incorporate lots of artificial colors and skin gets damaged under direct sunlight
Prescription Medicine: accutane, minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline, Fluoroquinolones
ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, norfloxacin, psoralen, amdarone, diltizem, chlorpropmazine, quinidine, coal tar, 5-flourouracil, 5-aminolevulinic acid, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide
L-Absorbic Acid – Also known as True Vitamin C
Tretinoin – Acid form of Vitamin A
COMMON ORGANIC INGREDIENTS:
Bergamot, Bitter orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime oils, Citrus Oils, Balm Mint Oils, Peppermint Oils, Lavender Sage, Thyme, Witch Hazel and Basil Extracts, Licorice Extract, Almond Extract, Allspice, Angelica, Arnica, Balsam, Basil, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Clover Blossom, Cornstarch, Coriander Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Fennel, Fir Needle, Geranium Oil, Grapefruit, Horsetail, Lavender Oil, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Oak bark, Papaya, Peppermint, Rose, Sage, Thyme, Witch Hazel and Wintergreen
Be careful everyday. Your skin health relies on it.
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