This post was inspired by a request- which I love! Please comment or send a message if you have a topic request.
Everyday a patient asks me why their neck and chest are so red (or brown). Usually the answer is long term sun damage. Take a look in the mirror- is your neck or chest red or brown in color? This discoloration is most likely due to chronic sun exposure. Many are surprised by this answer because they wear sunscreen and or clothing. So why the sun damage?
We have covered the sunscreen issue- we don’t wear enough or reapply frequently enough to provide significant protection. You need to apply about two teaspoons every two hours to get adequate protection- I don’t even apply that much! What about clothing? Light colored clothing doesn’t provide much protection. A white shirt has an SPF of about 4. Clothing with low necklines provide no protection (of course). Dark clothing and clothing with SPF is much better. You could be a fashionista like me and wear a high neck rash guard, J crew and Athleta have great ones! (I am not sponsored to say this).
So this summer, remember to apply sunscreen to your neck and chest and consider clothing that covers this area or a wide brimmed hat.
Additionally, remember to include your neck and chest in your anti-aging routine. I apply my retinol cream to my neck, chest and tops of the hands. Bleaching creams can also be used in these locations. If creams aren’t getting you optimal results, try lasers (such as intense pulsed light and others). As usual, if you notice concerning changes on your skin ask your doctor!