This year, Sun Awareness Week runs from the 2nd to the 8th of May. The British Association of Dermatologists leads this campaign to highlight the dangers of exposure to the sun, predominately the risk of skin cancer.
At Bianco Academy in Milton Keynes, our ethos, which we embed in our students, is to make the most of clients’ natural attributes, ensuring they’re happy in their beautiful skin. We take skin protection seriously, and our training includes information that helps you guide your own clients on skincare before, during and after a cosmetic or laser-based procedure.
Skin Protection in the UK
Though we all know that we need to pack the sun cream when heading abroad, many of us tend to forgo protecting ourselves when we’re on our home soil unless the sun is burning brightly.
According to NHS advice, we should always be taking care in the UK because we’re generally only exposed to intense sunshine when we’re abroad. Our skin isn’t used to prolonged periods of sun.
Here, the sun is at its strongest between March and October. Although we don’t tend to unleash our summer wardrobe in spring, it’s still beneficial to protect the exposed areas, such as the face, and advising your clients to regularly use an SPF moisturiser is recommended.
Skin Types at Higher Risk
During your training with Bianco Academy, you’ll learn about skin types and be able to identify which are at higher risk of sun damage or will be more sensitive to laser-based procedures. This is also why it’s crucial to discuss any medication your clients may be taking.
The Signs of Skin Cancer
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and that’s why you need to be vigilant, making yourself familiar with your client’s skin and advising them to seek medical attention if you notice any changes or have concerns.
Skin cancer presents itself in several ways. Some we expect, others are less common. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and here are some of the signs:
- A brownish spot, often large and with darker speckles
- The change in colour, size, or texture of a mole
- A small cut with an edge that appears jagged and appears to be red, pink, white, blue or black
- A cut that continues to itch or burn
The Mayo Clinic has a complete list of the signs of common and rarer cancers, and you can familiarise yourself with it here.
According to Cancer Research UK, there are 16,744 new cases of melanoma skin cancer each year in the UK (an average taken from 2016 to 2018). Although between 2013 and 2017, the survival rate was 87%, in 2015, it was found that 86% of cases of melanoma skin cancer could have been prevented.
Treating Damaged Skin
Did you know that pigmentation spots react to lasers the same way as tattoos?
Pigmentation spots on the skin can be caused by several things, including sunlight and UV rays. Always ensure that your client has spoken to their doctor about their skin pigmentation before commencing treatment.
Areas of pigmentation can cause anxiety and affect confidence, especially when on the face. Skin conditions that impact how people feel about their appearance should never be trivialised since they can lead to body dysmorphia and depression.
Skin Pigmentation removal is a popular and in-demand skill, offering a permanent solution using the Laser Carbon Peel technique. In fact, the treatment doesn’t just correct the discolouration; it repairs the damaged skin.
Sun Protection Before, During and After Procedures
During your training with Bianco Academy in Milton Keynes, you’ll learn how to help your clients protect their skin, which is essential if they’ve undergone a semi-permanent makeup procedure or laser hair removal.
Before any laser-based treatment is started, you’ll need to perform a consultation, at which point you’ll advise against tanning. Lasers are set based on skin tone, and tanning will impact that. Also, skin is more sensitive in the areas that have been treated, so you’ll need to equip your client with the knowledge they need to protect themselves.
This also applies to semi-permanent makeup because the skin will need to heal where the pigment has been applied. In this case, creams may not be appropriate, and you’ll need to ensure your clients keep the areas shaded using sunglasses and brimmed hats.
UV and Pigmentation
For your semi-permanent makeup creation to continue to look fresh, it must be well protected. UVA rays can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, causing the skin structure to change. This can impact the colour of the pigment.
One of the main reasons semi-permanent makeup (cosmetic tattoos) and standard tattoos fade is the skin’s natural cycle of shedding and regrowth. Sunburn leads to the skin peeling, and being remarkable, that skin will grow back right over the top of the implanted pigment.
Use this Sun Awareness Week to educate yourself and your clients on the best ways to protect their skin.