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  • Writer's picturerymerws

Skin damage and ageing

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

A cold November day might seem a strange time to bring this up, but this kind of damage is due to prolonged exposure all year round, overcast, cold days count as well, read on. Here at Expressions Dental & Cosmetic Clinic Dr. Sarah Rymer does a lot of work reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and eliminating various deep folds or lines on the face. She achieves this with a combination of anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers. As with dentistry though, this work can be avoided with careful prevention and improved skin care.

When we are exposed to sunlight, we are exposed to two types of radiation. Ultraviolet light is subdivided into UVA and UVB rays. The UVB rays are the ones we worry about on a hot summers day, they scorch the top layer of the skin, causing painful blistering and causing that classic summer look.

The other rays, the UVA ray the radiation that penetrates deeper into the tissue causing long-term skin damage and ageing such as wrinkles. They can also affect the DNA (genetic information) in the cells and can lead to an increase risk of developing various types of skin cancer. People who use tanning booths are at a much increase risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (two types of common skin cancers). If you use a tanning booth for the first time in your youth, it can increase your risk of melanoma by 75%.

The exposure of your skin to damaging ultraviolet rays also increase the presence of elastolytic materials in the deep tissue of the skin and thickens the epidermis layer. That is 'science' for hardened, leathery wrinkled skin.

The best example of this effect was seen in a 2012 article in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this article Dr. Gordon and Dr. Breiva highlighted a case of a 69 year old man who had a progressive deterioration in his skin over 25 years. The man was a delivery truck driver for 28 years in the USA. because of the left hand drive trucks he was always exposing his face on the left to the sun through the window of his truck. They analysed his skin and found it was extensively damaged, the visual difference between the left and right sides of his face are striking. The article was found in the NEJM (

One-sided skin damage after 28 years of sun exposure

At Expressions we advocate prevention in all areas, which is why we would promote, oral hygiene, fluoride use, fissure sealants and vaccination. So when it comes to skin care and skin health we would advocate very strongly the idea of covering up delicate skin, and the use of sunblocks with high spf ratings. It is not enough to put a small spray on when it is hitting 30 degrees the odd time, we are advocating the use of sun creams and lotions all year round. Premature ageing can be happening on a cloudy day in March as much as a hot July afternoon down at Ballybunion.

Sarah has undertaken extensive training on skincare as part of her Harley street training on cosmetics and facial aesthetics and would be happy to talk to anyone regarding their skin health. Just contact the clinic and we can discuss this and recommend products that can help to reduce the problems you can see above.

Expressions are stockists of ZO Skin health sunscreen, a non-greasy, quick drying sunscreen with a sheer matte finish offering broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB rays. A universal tint and a silky matte finish help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. It can be used alone or worn under makeup for a more even, long-lasting application.

ZO Skin Health Sunscreen

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