Acupuncture and Herbs: Save Your Summertime Skin

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Now is the time of year when we want to start to soak in the sun. Although tempting to bathe in the warmth of our giant star, there are a few precautions we should and usually do take.

Remember, the skin is the largest organ of the body. It reflects our health and age. Today, there’s much concern about sun bathing leading to an increase in skin damage and skin cancer. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays can increase the production of free radicals that can adversely affect the integrity of collagen in the skin. Over time, our skin becomes wrinkled, cracked, aged, and brittle. For people who smoke, the effects are multiplied. Research suggests that skin cancer is cumulative over a lifetime. It begins with overexposure and serious sunburns during childhood.

Now, we can’t live without the sun. Our bodies require sunlight in order to manufacture Vitamin D needed for calcium absorption, amongst other things. So, we shouldn’t hide from our shining star but here are a few helpful tips and precautions to take when you’re soaking in the summertime sun:

Use sunscreen – Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF number that protects against UVA and UVB rays, for greater protection. Apply it onto your skin fifteen minutes before you go outside. Don’t forget your nose, ears, and neck. We have an all natural product at the Center that is free of all the known cancer causing agents and chemicals but works fabulously for children and adults alike!

Time is key – Avoid sun exposure when the sun is at its highest peak in the sky, typically from about 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Gear up – Wear a hat with a wide brim, t-shirt, and sunglasses that filter ultraviolet rays.

Drink it up – By keeping your body hydrated, you can avoid dehydration and provide moisture for the skin to prevent dryness, cracking, and aging.

Keep healthy – Some medications we take may have adverse reactions and side effects when we’re exposed to sunlight. Please talk to your prescribing provider about these possibilities. Remember, acupuncture may be able to provide an alternative to these medications while keeping you healthy, safely and naturally.

If you want to have fun now and not worry later, practice good sun sense and see an acupuncturist. You and your skin deserve it!