What happens to your Pimples (Acne) under direct Sunlight?

What happens to your Pimples (Acne) under direct Sunlight?
Dr. Thajudheen MD
Jun 15, 2016 | Skin care

UV rays in the sunlight have beneficial and harmful effects on our skin.

It is true that 20-30 minutes a day in sunlight would give you adequate daily dose of vitamin D, however sun’s harmful UV rays can worsen certain skin conditions including Pimples (Acne), at times. Although it varies depending on skin type, you can experience sunburn in a matter of minutes if the UV Index scale in your area is too high.

Hence, it is advisable to use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing to safeguard your skin from the UV rays.

What happens to your skin during summer?

Sun’s harmful UV rays damage the skin, they weaken the natural barrier and causes your skin to lose moisture. While at it, your skin tries to produce more and more of its oils by sebaceous glands (oil producing glands). As a result, it can make blackheads more likely to occur, which is when oil and dead skin gets trapped in pores.

Since the sebaceous glands will be more active during summer, you skin may become very oily. Moreover, the medication used to treat acne may make the skin sensitive to sunlight (photosensitivity). So it’s paramount to use a sunscreen throughout your acne treatment as per your dermatologist’s recommendation. The right sunscreen helps to enhance the treatment and therefore prevents relapse.

How to select the right sunscreen for Acne?

The right sunscreen for acne patients should have the following essential qualities:

It should be oil free. The commonly available sunscreens are in cream or lotion formulations with an oil base. These can clog the pores and worsen acne. So it is ideal to use a water based sunscreen ( gel type) which are non-comedogenic.
It should protect from both UVA & UVB rays, which we call it as broad spectrum sunscreen.
It should have minimum 15 SPF.

Get the facts about sunscreen to use it judiciously. Don’t be mislead by the advertisements and damage your skin.


Dr. Thajudheen MD

Dr Thajudheen is a dermatologist and cosmetic laser surgeon. He founded Dr Thaj Laser Skin & Hair Clinics in cities across southern India, where he pioneered the use of advanced lasers and cosmetology techniques.


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