Sun damaged skin refers to the repeated exposure to the damaging effects of the ultraviolet radiation from that is emitted from the sun. More than 80% of the signs of skin aging in adults are the result of the tans they had as teens before the age of 18.
Even though you may enjoy the look of tanned skin, that nice color you are seeing is the result of damage to the layers of the skin. Accumulated years of sun exposure put us at higher risk of cellular damage in the skin. This destroys the elasticity of the skin leading to early wrinkles and a leathery texture. In addition, permanent changes occur in the small blood vessels giving your skin a reddish appearance. Lastly, irregular pigmented spots and freckles can develop leaving an uneven skin tone.
The best way to prevent sunburn, premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other damaging effects from the sun is to stay out of it, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you can’t, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, wear a hat and sunglasses and cover up with clothing when outdoors.
Although topicals have been used to treat sun damage, including a plethora of over-the-counter meds along with some prescription creams, results are typically short lived and can be quite expensive as a maintenance treatment.
Thankfully, newer more permanent modalities have come along allowing us to get better results quicker and more durable. Photofacials are a simple and effective treatment that addresses sun damage in the more superficial levels. Photofacial brings a new approach to phototherapy. After treatment the effects of sun damage including fine lines, pore size, sunspots and even pigmentation will fade.
More intense sun damage can be treated with deeper laser such as the Laser Skin Resurfacing and Fractional Skin Resurfacing. These modalities treat more severe sun damage, targeting all layers of skin. Depending on a patient’s expectations, availability of downtime, and budget, one or a combination of these treatments are extremely effective in permanently reversing several of the cosmetic and medical symptoms of sun damage.