Sun protection: 3 care mistakes that our skin does not forgive us

Pale complexion:
This is how you protect your skin from the sun

© Verona Studio / Shutterstock

Finally soak up the sun again – yes, we want that now. But how do you protect yourself properly? We asked an expert what care mistakes we should be on our guard against.

Wonderful how it glows … isn’t it? Care mistake # 1: underestimating the sun!

As soon as the first rays pop, we take off: Schnucki, get the Badebuxe! We understand the urge. Especially this year the winter seemed to be endless. Even so, it is important to take care of ourselves and protect our skin from the sun. But why actually? With Prof. Dr. med. Christoffer Gebhardt, Deputy Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Head of the Skin Tumor Center at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. He says: “Many people are too careless about the sun. In addition to increased life expectancy, this behavior is the main cause of the rising number of skin cancer that we are experiencing in Germany. “And the first care mistake we can avoid. Always remember: every sunbath does something to our skin. Far too many ignore that “Since the 1970s, the number of new skin cancer cases has risen rapidly by up to ten percent per year – doubling every six to ten years.” He’s now explaining to us how we can counter the trend!

Care mistake: ignoring skin spots

Have you discovered spots on your skin that weren’t there before? Don’t panic now. “Most of the spots on our skin are harmless and often signs of aging. These include age spots as well as liver spots and freckles,” explains Prof. Gebhardt. Pigment spots are understood as the insufficient ability of the skin to adapt to sun damage. As a result, newborns often don’t have any, and older people, especially those with fair skin, are riddled with them. “In principle, every new skin change that occurs and the entire body itself should be examined every few months.” Skin cancer screening by a dermatologist is recommended every two years. “Even if you discover skin changes with a diameter of over 0.5 centimeters, they should be shown to a dermatologist. The examiner then differentiates between malignant and benign skin changes,” says the expert who scientifically supports the initiative against skin cancer of the Hamburg cosmetics manufacturer Beiersdorf and advises.

Care mistake: low sun protection

You will find the resting place for sun-hungry skin in the bottle. “A sun protection product with the highest possible sun protection factor not only lowers the risk of skin cancer, but is also the best and cheapest anti-aging agent “, explains Prof. Gebhardt. Because the sun is one of the main factors for the visible signs of aging in our skin. “You should avoid the blazing midday sun in summer entirely. Wearing protective long-sleeved clothing and a headgear are also recommended. Consistent sun protection greatly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer.” Particularly those who had sunburns in childhood and adolescence, who work outdoors, such as roofers, or who do a lot of outdoor sports should pay attention to meticulous protection. But to be honest: everyone else too. What is the best (every two hours) to put on and re-apply? Swip it through!

The care caravan

Welcome to the Mecca of sun care. Lotions, sprays and protective hair treatments for all regions. Pack up and move on.

This article originally appeared in Guido issue 06/2021.