Skin cancer and sun damage concerns are the two greatest areas of interest from our patients and community members. Our Nurse Practitioner, Natalie Theriault, FNP-BC provides insight on how to best protect and prevent. If you are concerned about your skin’s condition, please contact us to schedule your skin exam or cosmetic consultation.

There is much more to sun protection than avoiding a sunburn. Sun tanned skin is damaged skin. As a response to UV radiation, the skin produces a dark-colored pigment called melanin. Melanin serves as a shield against further UV damage and radiation. Therefore, if the skin is darkening, it is a sign one is receiving too much UV exposure and radiation. Sunburned or not, UV radiation increases one’s risk for skin cancer and results in accelerated skin aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and skin discoloration. 

For optimal protection against the negative effects of UV radiation and other damaging environmental exposures, it is important to protect against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules generated by UV rays, pollution, and lifestyle factors like alcohol and cigarette smoke. Protection against free radicals is an important factor inadequate sun protection habits.

Sunscreen is the first line of defence and protection against UV radiation and free radical damage, but more can be done! Incorporating topical antioxidants is a simple way to optimise protection and prevention. Topical antioxidants work by different mechanisms to stop or neutralise free radicals and protect against UV damage. Incorporating a topical antioxidant into one’s daily routine can amplify the defences against UV radiation and environmental damage. When used daily with a zinc oxide based sunscreen, one can be confident in his or her defence against the sun and environmental damage.

If you need to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please request an appointment or call 773-276-7227 for our soonest availability.