Oily, Sensitive, Non-Pigmented and Wrinkled: OSNW
When the late English playwright Coward wrote his famed and devastatingly witty song “Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Go Out in the Midday Sun)”, he undoubtedly had OSNWs I mind. The intrepid English with their insistence on sunning at noon, are indeed a nation of OSNWs, as are many people from Scottish, Irish, German, and Scandinavian backgrounds. Fair skinned, with little pigment to handle sun exposure, what they lack in melanin, they make up for in dogged determination – they will produce a suntan where none is possible. The Skin Type also suffers from flushing and rosacea, but wrinkling most commonly results form sun damage.
Don’t Tan, Don’t Burn
Hen they wrote the Coppertone ad jingle “Tan, Don’t Burn”, they weren’t talking about your type. You always burn in response to moderate to maximum sun exposure. The many OSNWs are with wrinkles, redness, and rosacea resulting from a bad mix of generic predisposition and harmful behavior. For you, sun avoidance is an absolute must.
Why? As Coward mentions in the lyrics of his song, centuries of genetic adaptation did not prepare even pigmented types (like the Asians, Indians, and Hispanics to whom Coward refers in his lyrics) for the tropical sun. That’s why they wisely stay indoors during the heat of the day. Meanwhile, the foolhardy Brits (and other melanin-deprived OSNWs) are determined to brace it, to their detriment.
With less pigmentation to protect you, the results are disastrous. Although we don’t recommend tanning for anyone, when pigmented types an, at least they have a chance to work with the sun, by starting with short sun exposure at times of the day when the rays are less harmful (such as before ten AM and after four PM). Then, as their pigment is activated, it provides some protection as they gradually increase exposure.
But most OSNWs lack both the genes to tan and the common sense as to how to go about it. After spending a year at a deskbound job, OSNWs will rush out to the beach, like lemmings to the sea, thinking to make up for the time spent indoors in one big blast. Instead, the pale, unprotected, unpigmented skin of the OSNW burns to a bright red. One or more burns over a lifetime will predispose skin to both non-melanoma skin cancers and the wrinkles that plague this type.
Some tan believing that sun is “good for the skin” or improves acne. Not true. UV radiation was shown to cause changes in the skin’s natural oils that led to an increased number of blackheads. And studies also report a higher incidence of acne in the summer months.
The R-Word, Rosacea
Another prime reason to make sunscreen use a daily habit is that sun exposure causes breakage in blood vessels that can result in rosacea symptoms, such as flushing and facial redness. This occurs because sun exposure accelerates collagen loss, weakening the supportive structures around the blood vessels. In fact, a growing body of medical evidence indicates that in many instances rosacea is caused by sun damage.
OSNW skin is one of the types most prone to rosacea. If you’ve consulted a dermatologist, you may have received that diagnosis. Research shows that although fourteen million Americans suffer from rosacea, 78 percent of Americans are not aware of the disease – and many who have it do not realize that they do.
What is Rosacea?
The four common symptoms of rosacea are:
1. Facial redness and flushing
2. Acne with pimples and papules
3. Visible facial blood vessels
4. Enlarged oil glands that cause the nose to redden and thicken
You can have one or more of these symptoms simultaneously, and each symptom requires a different treatment. But having one symptom does not necessarily mean that you will develop the others. If you experience any of these rosacea symptoms, seek help sooner rather than later because receiving treatment can prevent rosacea from developing to its later stages.
The later stages of the disease can and should be avoided. One of the most well-known rosacea sufferers was the comedian W.C. Fields. The bulbous nose that contributed to his comic appearance is actually a telltale rosacea symptom, one that can be treated, if necessary, but is best prevented.
A close-up look at your skin
It’s stressful to have rosacea. Studies indicate that rosacea sufferers commonly experience low self-esteem. When rosacea acts up, people want to hide. But if you have it, it’s better to face facts and get treatment.
If you have OSNW skin and rosacea, you may experience any of the following:
Facial redness and flushing
Difficulty tanning, frequent sunburns
Facial rashes or pink scaling patches, especially around your nose
Visible red to blue facial blood vessels
Acne, burning, redness, or stinging in response to many skin care products
Yellow or skin-colored bumps with a dent in the middle (These enlarged oil glands are called sebaceous hyperplasia)
Wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s – feet
Increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma)
Most OSNWs experience redness and flushing. “Most OSNWs experience redness and flushing. “My face looks red in photos” is a common complaint. You may also notice yellowish bumps on your face with central indentations. These are enlarged oil-producing glands that over time may cause your nose to appear enlarged. Sun exposure worsens rosacea and all the symptoms on the rosacea spectrum.