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Sun Exposure: Effects and Protection

Save Our Skin

La Roche Posay — Save our Skin Campaign
By now everyone should be aware of the negative effects of sun exposure and how it is more important than ever to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. However, it is also important to understand the short-term effects beyond sunburn such as sun allergy and photosensitivity reactions. Photosensitization is an irritated or inflamed reaction to sunlight, usually caused by a substance taken orally or topically applied.

There are two types of sensitizing agents: external, including perfume, coloring agents or topical medications and internal, generally some type of medication. Antibiotics and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are two classes of common drugs known to induce phototoxic or photo-allergic reactions. Retinoids and diuretics can as well. Reactions range from sensitivity: redness that looks like sunburn in exposed skin, to photo allergic reactions: eczema or rash-like patches on several areas of the skin. It’s best to avoid sun exposure when using such drugs, but if it can’t be completely avoided, use sunscreen and protective clothing.

The long-term effects of sun exposure are more pronounced than ever. With incidences rapidly rising, it is now estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. Current statistics show that while the risk of developing an invasive malignant melanoma in 1980 was 1 in 250, today it is 1 in 55. Yet, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 65% of us still believe there are “safe” types of UV rays and the American Cancer Society reports that 1 out of 4 people under the age of 25 have used tanning beds in the past year.

Those statistics are certainly grim, but the good news is that with early detection, 99% of skin cancer patients will survive. La Roche-Posay, makers of Anthelios sunscreen products, has launched the Save Our Skin campaign, a partnership with the dermatologist community to raise public awareness of the need to properly protect our skin from cancer and ignite real behavior change. The Anthelios line includes formulations and SPF levels for every need and skin type, and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Products from the Anthelios line include:

La Roche Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
La Roche Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen
La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid


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