6 Sun Protection Myths that Skin Care Experts Hate

Think you need to skip using sunscreen in order to boost vitamin D levels? That it’s safe to tan as long as you wear sunscreen? That skin cancer isn’t really a big deal? Here are 6 myths about sun protection that make leading skin doctors cringe plus the facts you must know to safeguard your skin, your good looks and your health.

sun protection

Myth: A ‘base tan’ will protect me

Dermatologists agree that there’s no such thing as a safe tan. When your cells are exposed to UV light, they produce more melanin, the pigment that colors your skin, which is why you tan. But this is a sign that damage has already been done, not protection against future sun exposure. In fact, a base tan provides the SPF equivalent of about a 4. By comparison, a white T-shirt gives you more coverage-about an SPF 7.

Myth: 80% of harmful sun exposure happened before I turned 18, so the damage is already done

The latest thinking shows that you get closer to just 25% of total sun exposure by age 18. Further, experts say revamping your sun habits at any age is a smart move. It’s the same as smoking cigarettes-no matter how much damage you’ve done, it’s always good to stop. While it’s true that melanoma is associated with childhood sunburns, the sun exposure that accumulates over a lifetime is associated with other skin cancers – not to mention wrinkles, thinning skin, dark spots, and broken capillary veins on the skin.

Myth: I have dark skin, so I won’t burn

Absolutely false, say skin care experts. Many people with more pigment in their skin will have a lower skin cancer risk, but they’re not immune to sunburn or sun damage. One study found that up to 30% of darker-skinned ethnic groups reported at least one sunburn in the previous year. Skin cancer is frequently diagnosed later in people of color, perhaps because of the misconception that they are not at risk. Singer Bob Marley, for example, died of melanoma on his toe that was misdiagnosed as a soccer injury.

Myth: Anything above SPF 15 is a waste

The FDA is still debating the merits of super-high SPFs, but many dermatologists agree that there are meaningful differences between SPF 15, 30, and 50, especially because we’re just so bad at applying sunscreen properly. That includes both applying too little in the first place and not reapplying often enough. Dermatologists recommend you reapply every 2 hours when you’re at the beach or pool, and most recommend a minimum SPF 30 for everyday and SPF 50 for long periods outdoors.

Myth: I need sun to get enough vitamin D

This is a common misconception. You need much less time in the sun than you might think in order to make adequate levels of vitamin D. After 15 minutes or so, the system that produces vitamin D from sunlight overloads and production stops, one expert explains. If this didn’t happen, your vitamin D levels would quickly become toxic! And being tan isn’t a good indicator of healthy vitamin D levels. One classic study of Hawaiian surfers found that although all participants were tanned, many were still vitamin-D deficient. Getting vitamin D from a balance of foods, supplements and sun exposure is the best method.

Myth: Skin cancer isn’t that big a deal

Thankfully, many skin cancers – when caught early and removed promptly – aren’t life-threatening. But assuming you can just get rid of a cancerous mole and move on is dangerous. While non-melanoma skin cancer typically doesn’t travel throughout the body, it’s still cancer, and it will continue to destroy your skin and invade the tissues if it’s not removed. Careful prevention is the only way to enjoy the sun safely without harming skin or risking the development of cancer.

Dr. Farole cares about your skin and your good health

As an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon caring for thousands of patients in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Anthony Farole provides a range of services from cosmetic facial surgery to Botox to dermabrasion and more. Dr. Farole encourages you to remember that beauty is much more than skin deep. Beautifying your skin truly begins with caring for it each and every day, which means knowing the facts about sunscreen, sun protection and lifelong health.

Questions about cosmetic facial surgery, wrinkle removal and related procedures? Call Dr. Farole’s office in Bala Cynwyd today for a personalized consultation.


Reader’s Digest

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Can Chlorine in Pool Water Cause Hair Loss?

With summer in full swing, most of us are headed for the pool or the beach for cool relief. However, it’s important to know that spending too much time in chlorinated water can be bad for your skin and hair. Dr. Anthony Farole, an experienced hair restoration expert who has worked with thousands of patients in the Philadelphia area, answers questions about chlorine exposure and hair health.

pool damage chlorine

Chlorine, hair damage and your health

Though common in most public and private swimming pools, chlorine is a corrosive chemical that many health experts say is bad for human health, particularly the skin and eyes.

Chlorine has an oxidizing effect that can cause dryness and irritation after prolonged exposure. In some cases, exposure to chlorine may lead to the formation of hypochlorous acid, a substance known to penetrate cells and destroy them from the inside.

However, low concentrations of chlorine are highly effective in keeping swimming pools clean and healthy. Though low in concentration, chlorine in pool water still has the potential to cause serious harm to the hair, skin, and eyes.

Stay healthy this summerby taking a moment to review these frequently asked questions about chlorine, hair damage and loss and your health.

Does chlorine cause hair loss?

Normal exposure to chlorine will NOT make you lose your hair. This myth was debunked after a study was published in theJournal of Dermatology. In the study, researchers compared the hair of 67 professional swimmers to that of 54 individuals who spent little to no time in the pool. Although swimmers’ hair exhibited signs of chlorine-induced damage such as dryness and coarseness, swimmers were not significantly more likely to experience hair loss.

However, there is evidence that suggests abnormally high exposure to chlorine might cause the scalp to become irritated, dry, and flaky. Thinning or shedding of hair might result, but it’s important to understand that the chlorine exposure needed to bring about such side effects far exceeds that of a normal swimming pool.

Will chlorine change the color of my hair?

Chlorine does not change the color of one’s hair. Although prolonged pool time might give hair a greenish tint, the discoloration is actually due to the oxidized metals in the water, such as copper. However, color treatments exposed to chlorine might make it easier for hair to turn green.

As mentioned above, one of the primary side effects of chlorine exposure is that it causes dryness and irritation. When paired with hair treatments and dyes, hair can become extremely dry, porous, and brittle. Once porous, hair is primed to absorb more copper and other chemicals that cause discoloration.

Can I reduce the damage chlorine does to my hair?

Yes.Many people are surprised to know that chlorine damage can be significantly reduced simply by wetting hair with fresh water prior to getting in the pool. Strands of hair have the amazing ability to absorb moisture, much like a sponge. By thoroughly rinsing hair with fresh water prior to entering the pool, you create a barrier that makes it more difficult for hair to absorb chlorinated water while swimming.

If I experience hair loss or damage from chlorine, is it reversible?

The most common way that chlorine damages hair is by making it dry and porous, which may lead to discoloration. To reverse the damage, be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse hair after each swim session. Use ample amounts of shampoo to remove all chemical traces, and finish your post-swim wash with a protein-enriched conditioner that will replenish the hair’s natural moisture. For those who have color-treated hair, special shampoos and conditioners are available to minimize discoloration.

Thinking about hair restoration? Dr. Farole is ready to help.

Dr. Farole has created specialized treatment plans for men and women who face the frustration and heartbreak of hair loss. Our Bala Cynwyd office is a comfortable, convenient spot to meet and discuss your options. Dr. Farole will do a careful exam and recommend the best treatment for your unique needs. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.



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Time to pull that painful tooth? Here’s what to expect

Sometimes, no matter how diligently we look after our teeth as adults, we need to have one pulled.

Dr. Anthony Farole, an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon who cares for patients near Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd, offers helpful perspectives on the reasons for an extraction, what to expect and how to plan for replacement of the missing tooth with a dental implant.

painful tooth

Why tooth extraction is sometimes needed

Though permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are many valid reasons that teeth may need to be pulled in adulthood.

The most common, of course, involves atooththat is too decayed or badly damaged to be repaired. Other reasons include:

A Crowded Mouth: This is common in teens and young adults, but can pose a problem at any age. Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare patients for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia (or braces) is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for yourmouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum because there is not room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.

Infection:Iftooth decayor damage extends to the pulp – the center of the tooth containing nerves andbloodvessels then bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected withroot canaltherapy, but if the infection is so severe thata root canal or antibiotics cannot cure it, extraction may be needed to keep infection from spreading.

Risk of Infection:If your immune system is compromised – for example, if you are receivingchemotherapyor are having anorgan transplant the slightest risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason for extraction.

Gum Disease:Ifa periodontal disease– an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth – have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to the pull any affected teeth.

What can I expect during tooth extraction?

Before pulling the tooth, Dr. Farole will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed.

If you are having more than one tooth pulled, or if a tooth is impacted meaning it’s tightly pressed between gums, bones or other teeth you may receive a general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and allow you to sleepthrough the procedure.

If the tooth is impacted, Dr. Farole will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.

What happens after my tooth is pulled?

Recovery from a dental extraction typically takes a few days. The following steps will help to minimize discomfort, prevent infection and promote healing.

– Take pain relievers as prescribed.

– Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad that Dr. Farole has put in place to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket.

– Change gauze pads at home according to the doctor’s directions.

– Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down swelling.

– Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Limit activity for the next day or two.

– Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.

– After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water.

– Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.

– Do not smoke, which can inhibit healing.

– Eat soft foods, such assoup, pudding, yogurt, or applesauce the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.

– Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but be sure to avoid the extraction site. Doing so will help prevent infection.

The next step: Planning for Dental Implants

Dental implants have become the preferred method for replacing teeth that have been surgically removed. Dr. Farole has helped thousands of patients in the Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd area to restore their smiles with implants.

After you’ve recovered from your extraction, Dr. Farole will work closely with you to plan for a successful dental implant procedure. Just as he does with the extraction process, he will guide you through the steps and make sure your questions are answered.

If you’re worried about a painful tooth that needs extraction, don’t wait call Dr. Farole’s office in Bala Cynwyd today. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you right away.



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