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Skin and your wellbeing

Local healthcare initiatives and resources in Wolverhampton

Head 4 Health (March 2019) was developed by the Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation and the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Health team with funding from the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund, Wolverhampton CCG and the council. It is a three year project which runs six week programmes to improve the mental and physical health of local men. To find out more, visit www.wolves.co.uk/foundation/programmes-projects/health/head-4-health.

Fit for a Fiver is an exercise programme where participants pay £5 for 3 months’ worth of exercise if they meet the eligibility criteria. If accepted onto the programme, participants can be entitled to 12 community gym sessions or 3 months access to public swimming pools. To find out more about the criteria or how to self-refer, follow https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/health-and-wellbeing/fit-fiver.

Wolverhampton Information Network is a localised search directory where you can find information about local services.

Visit http://win.wolverhampton.gov.uk.

Sun care

It is very important to protect yourself from harmful effects of the sun. They can occur not only on a beach holiday in a hot climate but daily, on a cloudy day in the UK. Moderate sun exposure can be good as it is an important source of Vitamin D and can make us feel happy. But increased amounts over a long period of time can have a number of harmful effects on your skin- both visible and internal.

Your skin can be damaged by sunburn caused by UBV rays where it can become red and feel very sore and blister. Lack of sun protection can also cause hyperpigmentation, where dark spots appear in clusters predominantly on the face, commonly in women. It can be very difficult to treat and completely clear once developed, so it is strongly urged to avoid their development in the first place by observing sun protection.

Internal consequences of improper sun care can result in deep, DNA damage at a cellular level. In extreme cases, this can lead to skin diseases such as actinic keratosis and skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is naturally emitted by the sun and is artificial in sunbeds. Two types of UV can cause skin cancer: UVB (which causes most sunburns) and UVA (which penetrates into the skin). Extensive amounts of UV radiation can damage the DNA in skin cells, which overtime can lead to skin cancer.

Everyone should observe sun protection but some are more vulnerable to the effects. You should take extra care if you have fair, light to light brown skin, have freckles, moles or a family history of skin cancer.

How to protect yourself in the sun
  • Avoid being in the sun during peak times 11am – 3pm. Try to stay in the shade during these hours
  • Wear protective clothing, such as loose covering tops and trousers, sun hat and sun glasses
  • Keep hydrated
  • Cover any moles you have
  • Wear sunscreen with a SPF 30 or more whilst it’s within its expiry date. Apply this at least 30 minutes before going out and regularly thereafter, approximately every 2 hours and especially after coming into contact with water
  • Look for sunscreen containing UVA and UVB protection. A UVA star rating is usually indicated on the product label. UK sunscreens star ratings are up to 5- the higher the rating the better. As for UVB protection, an SPF of 50+ offers the strongest form of UVB protection.
The impact of skin conditions on mental health

Many people can struggle to deal with the appearance of their skin condition. It can affect their confidence, social and personal relationships and cause them to feel embarrassed or anxious, especially in social and public interactions.

As some skin conditions last a long period of time or a lifetime, enduring the mental struggle can be very draining and exhausting. It can lead to feelings of social isolation, victimisation and depression. Conditions such as Eczema can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. A lack of quality rest can exacerbate mental health and mood.

In some cases, emotional distress can impact the skin condition, particularly stress and anxiety, making it worse.

It is important to seek appropriate help if you/someone you know is struggling with their mental health. Unless it is urgent help you require in which case you should seek emergency help, you can speak to your GP or dermatologist who can refer you to the right place, including psychological support.

You can also consider the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT) which aims to provide treatments for those struggling with anxiety or depression. Speak to your GP for more information on local services and referring you to the right place.

You can also visit Wolverhampton Healthy Minds at www.wolverhamptonhealthyminds.nhs.uk/ for more information about mental health. Speak to your GP who can refer you to this service for psychological therapy.

Mind, the mental health charity is a well- known source of support for mental health. Follow the link to their site for information around the different types of mental health issues and guides to support services https://www.mind.org.uk/.

Observe sensible sun care

It is very important to protect yourself from harmful effects of the sun. They can occur not only on a beach holiday in a hot climate but daily, on a cloudy day in the UK. Moderate sun exposure can be good as it is an important source of Vitamin D and can make us feel happy. But increased amounts over a long period of time can have a number of harmful effects on your skin- both visible and internal.

Your skin can be damaged by sunburn caused by UBV rays where it can become red and feel very sore and blister. Lack of sun protection can also cause hyperpigmentation, where dark spots appear in clusters predominantly on the face, commonly in women. It can be very difficult to treat and completely clear once developed, so it is strongly urged to avoid their development in the first place by observing sun protection.

Internal consequences of improper sun care can result in deep, DNA damage at a cellular level. In extreme cases, this can lead to skin diseases such as actinic keratosis and skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is naturally emitted by the sun and is artificial in sunbeds. Two types of UV can cause skin cancer: UVB (which causes most sunburns) and UVA (which penetrates into the skin). Extensive amounts of UV radiation can damage the DNA in skin cells, which overtime can lead to skin cancer.

Everyone should observe sun protection but some are more vulnerable to the effects. You should take extra care if you have fair, light to light brown skin, have freckles, moles or a family history of skin cancer.

The impact of skin conditions on mental health

Many people can struggle to deal with the appearance of their skin condition. It can affect their confidence, social and personal relationships and cause them to feel embarrassed or anxious, especially in social and public interactions.

As some skin conditions last a long period of time or a lifetime, enduring the mental struggle can be very draining and exhausting. It can lead to feelings of social isolation, victimisation and depression. Conditions such as Eczema can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. A lack of quality rest can exacerbate mental health and mood.

In some cases, emotional distress can impact the skin condition, particularly stress and anxiety, making it worse.

It is important to seek appropriate help if you/someone you know is struggling with their mental health. Unless it is urgent help you require in which case you should seek emergency help, you can speak to your GP or dermatologist who can refer you to the right place, including psychological support.

You can also consider the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT) which aims to provide treatments for those struggling with anxiety or depression. Speak to your GP for more information on local services available to you.

Mind, the mental health charity is a well- known source of support for mental health. Follow the link to their site for information around the different types of mental health issues and guides to support services https://www.mind.org.uk/.