5 Effective Ways to Treat Sun Damage After the Summer

woman applying cream on her skin face.Each year, cooler nights and school-supply-filled stores signal that the end of summer is here and fall is approaching. “Many people tell me they notice their skin begins to look dull and uneven at this time of year,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, dermatologist and cosmetic specialist in Austin, Texas. Outdoor summer fun often results in sun damage, even in those people who are careful about sun block, and the damage becomes more noticeable as summer color fades.

If you are noticing a few more fine lines and dark spots as a byproduct of your fun in the sun, fall is the perfect time to start to improve your sun-damaged skin. Here are five of the best ways to treat sun damage after the summer:

Chemical Exfoliation

“Creams or gels with alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid, applied to the face daily, gently remove dead skin cells,” explains Dr. Kellie Reed, dermatologist and skin care expert at Sanova Dermatology. These acids are known to offer an accelerated rated of skin cell turnover, which helps rid you of the damaged skin and leaves behind a fresh layer of healthier skin.


Retinoids, or Retin-A, can help reduce pore size, lighten dark spots, and increase turnover of new skin cells. These vitamin A derivatives can increase sensitivity to the sun, so you must wear sunscreen to avoid further sun damage.


Sun damages skin cells and breaks down collagen, an important protein that gives the skin elasticity. “Antioxidants help protect the skin cells from further damage and reduces the breakdown of collagen,” shares Dr. Reed.

Skin Lightening Agents

Skin lightening creams often contain hydroquinone and other agents, which have been shown to be clinically effective for lightening dark spots.

Chemical Peels

As with chemical exfoliation and retinoids, chemical peels can be applied to the skin to offer rapid skin cell turnover. Healing time varies, depending on the depth of the peel. The new skin has a brighter and more even appearance.

It’s important to note that any treatment needs to be combined with continual sun block application to prevent further sun damage.

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For a thorough skin evaluation to determine the best treatment for your skin, please contact us. There are many effective options to consider to improve your appearance and skin health.

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