I am guilty of spending time on the roof of a community hospital in New Jersey during my general surgery training longer ago than I care to remember. It was a quiet hospital but nonetheless I was rotated there because they had to have a surgical resident in house for the occasional trauma. Stuck there on summer weekends I spent most of my downtime reading surgery and cosmetic surgery journals on the roof of the building and while there I acquired an awesome tan.
I wish I knew then what I know now. The sun, the tan, while desperately appealing, is a really bad idea. In my plastic surgery practice I see daily, what damage was done by sun worshipper’s decades earlier. I’m not just talking about skin cancers. I see facelifts that could have been avoided, blotchy loose skin that need not be there and wrinkles that could be so much less.
The Sun’s rays weaken the fibers in our skin that keep our skin tight and smooth. The picture below is of a man who drove a truck for 25 years. The left side of his face by the window unprotected and exposed to the sun. The difference speaks for itself.
So for my Sun worshiping patients I don’t mean to discourage you but I hope you can avoid your facelift or laser resurfacing in 10 or 15 years. Use a sun block of at least 15 and get a spray tan for now – you won’t regret it later! If you have experienced sun damage and are interested in learning more about procedure or treatments to help reduce the signs of aging, contact my practice for a consultation.