The sun is your skin’s greatest enemy. We all know that UV
rays from the sun cause long term damage to the layers of the skin. Collagen
breakdown is increased, resulting in sagging, enlarged pores and rough skin;
with repeated DNA damage, the risk of skin cancer increases as well. In Asians
especially, pigmentary conditions, such as age spots and melasma, arise.
The worst part about sun damage is that is does show up
immediately. A sun burn today can cause problems decades later. Studies have
shown an increased risk of skin cancer with just ONE incidence of sunburn.
Pigmentation problems in the skin take some time to surface:
and these are often not immediately visible to the naked eye. To prove this, we
under went the OMNIA Skin analysis,
available at The Sloane Clinic, which has a special UV filter to reveal the
hidden pigmentation under the skin. We deliberately selected Clara, one of our
writers who has fair skin with very little pigmentation. You can see the
results in the picture above.
Needless to say everyone was really surprised that under the
UV lamp, Clara’s skin looked absolutely ghastly. Dr Tan Wang Theng explained
that even though Clara’s skin is relatively clear, there is a lot of hidden sun
damage lurking underneath. Because she is only 32 this year, they may not show
up until up to a decade later. Dr Tan pointed out that the UV filter revealed
that Clara not only has age spots on her upper cheeks and nose, but also
melasma on her forehead and lower cheeks.
The worst part is that the skin damage has been accumulated
over the years, and the damage is already done. It is a matter of time before
they will surface. Dr Tan offered some solutions for Clara:
Sun protection: regular use of sunblock will prevent further UV damage from
occurring. It will also slow down the progress of the pigmentation, so that
they will not appear to fast. The key is to use
the sunblock correctly.
Lotions: Many skin care creams contain skin whitening active ingredients
which will help to inhibit the formation of melanin in the skin. Active
ingredients to look out for include Vitamin
Tomato: To protect the skin from within, Dr Tan suggested an oral
Tomato is a natural supplement made up of specially bred white tomatoes which are rich in colourless carotenoids: phytoene(PE) and phytofluene (PF),
super anti-oxidants which will give your skin extra sun protection.
Treatment: Lasers help to disperse the pigmentation in the epidermis and
dermis to give you crystal clear skin. While there are many lasers in the
market, Dr Tan’s favourite is The Sloane
Clinic’s signature Brilliant Skin Program, which has won multiple awards
for its whitening and rejuvenating powers, with very little downtime. The
program uses Fraxel Light, a resurfacing laser, in very low energy
quantums, to produce just enough heat to induce collagen formation in the skin
and shatter existing pigmentation. Visible, long lasting results will be seen
after a few sessions.