Cosmetic corner – educating dental patients on the importance of sunscreen

sunscreenFor practices offering facial aesthetics treatments, Nafisa Mughal suggests dentists remind patients to use sunscreen.

The weather has been pretty great over the last couple of weeks. Dare I say a little too hot at times! I feel for everyone working in hot surgeries in full PPE.

If you are offering facial aesthetic treatments, it’s great for you to also advise your patients on skin care. In particular how to take care of it and keep it looking fresh and glowing.

Did you know that your skin needs sun protection even if the sun isn’t beating down on you?

Believe it or not, the damaging rays of the sun come through, even on cloudy days and even through your windows!

This is why we should recommend patients wear sunscreen all year round. Not just on hot days or sunny holidays.

1. Sunscreen protects against premature ageing

The main reason your aesthetic patients are seeing you, 99% of the time, is because they want to reduce the signs of ageing. Whether that is wrinkle reduction, saggy skin or pigmentation; chances are they want to reverse it.

The sun emits UVA and UVB rays, which penetrate the skin in different ways.

In short UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and causes long-term skin damage and photo-ageing. UVB is responsible for sunburn on the skin’s surface.

It is very important that you advise patients to select a broad spectrum sunscreen, which protects against UVA and UVB.

2. It helps prevent skin discolouration (pigmentation) as a result of sun damage

The UV rays from the sun actually cause the melanin producing cells in your skin (called melanocytes) to produce colour.

This doesn’t always happen evenly. So sun spots (also known as liver spots) and freckles are often the result.

When you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, the rays are deflected off your skin and the melanocytes are not triggered to overproduce.

3. It is proven to protect against skin cancer

When we use a good broad spectrum sunscreen, the chances of getting skin cancer are reduced significantly. Research shows that we lower the risk by as much as 40-50%.

We should make patients aware of this. When  patients don’t use sunscreen, the skin is at a much higher risk of disease. Tell your patients to be smart and protect against the sun.

You can find out more about skin cancer, how to detect it as well as warning signs here: www.skincancer.org.

4. It helps to maintain healthy skin texture

We know that not using proper sunscreen leads to premature skin ageing. This is linked with skin texture too.

The rays of the sun, are known as free radicles. Free radicles are particles that get into the skin and start damaging the DNA from the inside.

This can take a while to notice on the surface of the skin. But over time it can show up as dry, leathery skin. Let’s face it, nobody wants that!

5. They won’t need as much makeup to cover up imperfections

When the skin is healthy from the inside, it shows!

Sunscreen helps protect against the damaging rays so the skin has less imperfections overall. Healthy skin doesn’t need covering up as much with thick makeup; that in itself can sometimes cause other problems like spots and blemishes. Not to mention it’s a pain to wear heavy makeup/foundation on really hot days.


If you’d like to discuss offering skin care, please contact Nafisa on [email protected].

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