How Can I Treat My Sun Damage?

Skin damage from overexposure to the sun is a legitimate concern for all of us. Medical research shows that ultraviolet or UV rays from the sun are behind 80% of our skin aging. There are ways you can help reverse sun damage in your skin to keep skin refreshed and avoid prematurely aging.

Healing Sunburn Damage

Harmful UV sun rays can damage the skin by penetrating the outer skin layers and passing into the deeper layers. These harmful rays sunburn your skin, damage skin cells, and cause mutations in DNA.  Over time, damages in skin cells lead to wrinkles, age spots, blotchy or ruddy complexion, and skin cancer. If you are suffering from a sunburn, promptly apply aloe to the burn. Aloe cools the skin, reduces inflammation, accelerates burn healing, and can slow or reduce the peeling process.  In the future, apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunblock before going outside, to protect and prevent future UV damage to your skin.

Hydrating Dry Skin after Sun Exposure

Overexposure to the sun can lead to skin dryness. To ease dryness, use chemical or mechanical exfoliation.  An example of a chemical exfoliant is glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is hydrating, boosts collagen production, and helps fight premature signs of aging due to the sun.  Enzyme exfoliation is more gentle than glycolic acid and helps break down the “glue” that holds dry, dull skin cells together. Manual exfoliation includes use of a loofah or body scrub.  When using manual exfoliation, be mindful of using light pressure, and follow up with an unscented moisturizing cream applied to the area. Drinking plenty of water will also keep your skin hydrated.

Treating Wrinkles and Alleviating Age Spots after Sun Damage

“Sun damage can lead to wrinkles and age spots,” explains Jenna Balke, certified medical aesthetician and licensed medical aesthetician at Sanova Dermatology. UV rays cause a breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, and over time, the damage becomes more noticeable. There are several ways to combat these skin issues.

Wrinkles from sun damage are treatable with skin care that contains beta carotene and retinoids. Beta carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruit that quickly converts to Vitamin A inside the body.  It is an antioxidant that helps to boost hydration, flexibility, firmness, and elastin of the skin. You can get beta carotene from a health supplement, in carrots, and other colorful fruits and vegetables. Retinoids assist with boosting the collagen production within your skin, reducing wrinkles and preventing fine lines. Retinoids also help even out discoloration and brighten skin tone.

Retinoids are considered the “gold standard” for anti-aging skin care can be prescribed by a dermatologist. “Other options for treating wrinkles from sun damage are chemical peels, microneedling, and laser therapy,” shares Balke. A dermatologist can guide you in finding the correct treatment.

Age spots may be treatable with skin lightening creams or retinoids, prescribed by a dermatologist, to help remove the spots. Other options for lightening age spots include cryotherapy, chemical peels, and laser therapy.  “If you see any new or changing spots from sun damage, immediately visit a dermatologist,” urges Balke. These spots or marks may be a sign of skin cancer.

Contact Us

Sanova Dermatology can help you treat your sun damage issues with a skin assessment performed by one of our dermatologists and the application of our skin saving services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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