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Medications and Sun Sensitivity

September 28, 2011

There is an inherent trust in our doctors to do what is best for our whole body, but what happens when we have a priority that may overshadow other parts of our health?  Our skin is one of our most important features because it is the part that everyone gets to see.  Our most important skin is that on our face because this is the part people first look at.  Considering this, most of us go to dermatologists asking what we can do improve our skin whether its acne, wrinkles, spots, there is a treatment.  What some of us don’t always consider is how this affects our skin outside of the office, how does the sun affect some of these medications?

When I was growing up I had okay skin, my T-zones would get oily and pimply from time to time and I was uncomfortable with this.  My mother took me to see the dermatologist and she gave me two pimple creams – one for the morning, and one for at night.  She told me that the one at night was stronger and would cause some sensitivity.  Well, it turns out my skin is extremely sensitive and this night cream ended me up with red blotches and I notices that sunburned much more easily.  Through out the years I changed creams and started using over the counter products, but only once did a doctor tell me that the medication could not be worn in the sun.  I was shocked when I hear this, how could a cream I was putting on myself, not go in the sun?  I was very careful with this cream, I made sure to wash it off and put on sunscreen every morning.  Today, my skin is much better but it took years to figure it out.

The point of this story is that many of our medications may affect us past their purpose.  Many medications have adverse effects from the sun, that doctors may not tell you because the expect you not to be in the sun for extended periods of time or they assume you know the affects of the medication.  When receiving any medication, whether or oral or not ask your doctor how the sun will affect the medication.

No matter if you are on medication or not, it is still important to protect your skin.  Wearing sunscreen at all times is the first step, but wearing a hat and sunglasses is the next step.  Our face is the first the thing the world sees; I think we all want it to be as beautiful and healthy as possible!

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