Does the Sun Really Cure Acne?

by Catelyn Cox

As soon as summer begins, many acne sufferers wonder whether the sun rays will improve their skin. In the summer, we spend more time outdoors so we notice the skin looks much better. Does the sun cure acne though? Not at all!

How does sunbathing affect the skin?

Sun-kissed skin is the desired look for many people. Many think that suntan makes us look healthy so it adds to attractiveness for sure. Some may be surprised that tanning is not merely the change of the skin shade but is the body’s defensive reaction against UV rays. Darker skin is the consequence of the production of the pigment (melanin) by the cells which absorb the sun rays. Overexposure to the sun causes damage to the skin cells DNA. Human body naturally fights the damaging UV and looks for ways to repair damaged areas.

At first sight, the skin after tanning seems smooth, radiant, and all imperfections are gone. Sadly, appearances can be deceptive. Overexposure to the UV radiation, and lack of proper protection and care cause many unpleasant consequences: discolored skin, skin peeling, blisters, serious skin lesions (also cancerous), viral infections, cold sore. The sun is the major factor causing premature skin aging and unhealthy skin looks.

Does the sun cure acne?

Saying that the sunrays aid acne treatment is a MYTH! Sunbathing doesn’t cure acne, it makes it worse. First of all, acne patients have to pay great attention to proper protection and skin care. An SPF 50 face moisturizer is a must for problematic skin. The sun causes the skin to overproduce oil, which leads to comedones and acne breakouts. Patients experience the unwanted consequences of sun exposure in August and September when the sunlight is no longer as intense.

What’s more, many acne medications and treatments may lead to photo-allergic reactions from sun exposure, causing symptoms that are similar to AD. The most common photoallergic agents include retinoids, antibiotics and statins – taken orally or in the form of ointments. Hormonal treatments, e.g. contraceptives, are also contraindication to sunbathing.

Sunbathing offers some benefits too!

You don’t need to be afraid of sunbathing provided that you do it safely and reasonably. You shouldn’t give up on the sun completely because it brings many health benefits.

  • It stimulates production of vitamin D.
  • It reduces the risk of hypertension.
  • It relieves sore muscles and joints.
  • It improves general well-being, promoting production of “happiness hormones” (endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin).
  • It reduces secretion of the stress hormone (cortisol).

We definitely feel happier and more lively on a sunny day yet we should always remember about sun protection creams, headwear, sunglasses and drinking lots of water when staying in the sun.

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