Basking in the glow of the bright and warm sun feels delightful, but without proper protection, sun damage to your skin is inevitable. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) light. When this light comes in contact with your skin for prolonged periods, it stimulates your body’s immune response. Freckles and a glowing tan may look cosmetically pleasing, but they are actually evidence of your body’s immune reaction to UV light. Unfortunately, sunburns, freckles, and tan lines are all indicators of sun damage to your skin. But these are not the only signs.
What Does Skin Sun Damage Look Like?
Sun damage to your skin can manifest in the form of wrinkles, darkened age spots, leathery patches of skin, loose, or blotchy skin, and even spider veins. As part of your body’s immune response to UV rays, your body produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastic fibers. Collagen and elastic fibers are two components that give your skin a smooth, firm, and youthful appearance. As the collagen breaks down, the skin becomes thinner, looser, and prone to wrinkles.
In addition to these enzymes, your immune response to UV rays may also increase the growth of blood vessels in your body to combat sun damage to the skin. If you spend an hour or two lying in the sun trying to create a tan, you encourage blood vessels to grow. This makes the appearance of spider veins more prominent.
But that’s not all. If you continue to subject your skin to the sun’s harmful UV light, sun damage will increase, and you may see deep lines or dry, crusty patches on your skin. This is called actinic keratoses (AK), and it is considered a pre-cancerous skin growth.
If left untreated or unprotected, sun damage to the skin can cause cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. It is said that skin has memory, and even a violent sunburn during your childhood can put you at risk for skin cancers later in life.
How to Repair Sun Damaged Skin
If you are concerned about existing sun damage to your skin, you do not have to worry. There are numerous sun-damaged skin treatment options available to repair and even reverse this damage.
The first step is to determine just how much damage your skin has already endured. At First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic, we offer the Smart Mirror Skin-Scanner, a state-of-the-art advanced skin issue detection system. This technology uses artificial intelligence and image analysis to achieve an efficient skin evaluation, analyzing deep layers of the skin where the naked eye can’t see. After the analysis, you will be able to pinpoint areas of damage on our comprehensive skin condition imaging report. From pore size to moisture content to UV damage and more, the Smart Mirror Skin-Scanner can detect a broad range of skin issues and recommend a customized skin treatment management program.
When exploring topical sun-damaged skin treatment options, there are certain ingredients you want to make sure your products contain. For example, niacinamide can minimize dark spots and reduce redness and blotchiness of the skin. It can block pigment from reaching the outermost layer of your skin.
Another treatment option you may want to consider is topical retinol and retinoids with vitamin A. These can fade hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage. In addition to Vitamin A, Vitamin C is also a helpful agent when combating sun-damaged skin.
Skin treatments are a highly beneficial option if you want to try a holistic approach to combat sun damage to the skin. At First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic, we offer skin treatments based on an in-depth skin analysis to determine your skin type, conditions, and overall skincare goals. Our treatments consist of cleansing, deep exfoliation, massage, and customized masks and serums to best treat your predetermined conditions.
We offer microdermabrasion, which is a minimally invasive exfoliating procedure that renews overall skin tone and texture. Microdermabrasion is a highly effective option that improves the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and other skin-related conditions. When combined with our customized skin masks and serums, you will walk out of our clinic feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and renewed.
If you need a comprehensive sun damage skin treatment option, you may want to consider a dermal infusion skin treatment. This is a non-invasive, 3-in-1 skin treatment that simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses the skin with condition-specific serums for an all-inclusive treatment in a single step. Considered the next generation of microdermabrasion, dermal infusion goes a step further with a customized approach immediately after exfoliation for deeper product penetration.
Beyond Microdermabrasion and Serums
As technology continues to advance and dermatologists uncover new and innovative ways to treat sun-damaged skin, we are proud to offer treatment options beyond microdermabrasion and customized serums and masks. Considered an anti-aging treatment, Forever Young™ BBL is an innovative technology that uniquely delivers light therapy targeting signs of aging and sun damage. Forever Young™ BBL removes age spots, freckles, redness, small vessels, and more for skin rejuvenation. A series of treatments are recommended for maximum results.
To treat wrinkles, discoloration, enlarged pores, visible signs of aging, and poor skin appearance, we also offer The HALO™ Laser. This is a revolutionary hybrid fractional laser that combines deep dermal revitalization with epidermal renewal to target the correct depth for quick, efficient, and effective results that last.
The HALO™ treatment consists of rolling a handpiece in a crisscross pattern over different sections of the face. You will feel minimal to no discomfort during the treatment, but a topical numbing cream is applied to your face before treatment begins. Swelling, redness, and skin that is warm to the touch can last up to 24-hours post-treatment. After treatment, your skin will peel. This is perfectly normal. The peeling will last about 5-7 days, depending on the depth of your treatment.
You can expect to see initial results between 2 and 5 days after your treatment. Your skin will continue to improve over time, reaching peak improvement around 2 to 3 weeks after treatment. Results can last for years with proper skin care maintenance and sun protection.
When it comes to sun damage skin treatment options, one size does not fit all. It is essential to talk with your First Impressions practitioner to discuss the best treatment option for your personal skincare goals. With so many options available, you are bound to find the right treatment option to repair your sun-damaged skin.
5 Ways to Prevent Sun Damaged Skin
The best way to avoid sun damage to your skin is to practice proper prevention measures and always be mindful of the sun’s harmful effects on your skin. You can take many precautionary steps to ensure your skin remains vibrant, youthful, and damage-free while still enjoying a beautiful, sunny day.
- Minimize sun exposure during the hours when the sun is the strongest. This is typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you can, plan your outdoor recreation for the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s UV is not at its peak performance. If you spend time outdoors during this peak UV timeframe, wear a hat, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when out in the sun.
- When out at the beach or on a boat during the summer months, wearing long sleeves and long pants may be uncomfortable. Don’t forgo the hat, and be sure to spend plenty of time under the shade of an umbrella or canopy, especially if your skin is exposed.
- Sunscreen is your friend. Make sure you apply a generous layer of sunscreen to exposed skin before every exposure to the sun. Reapply at least every two hours, after swimming and after heavy perspiration. Use sunscreen on cloudy or hazy days as well, for the sun’s UV can still damage your skin.
- Avoid tanning beds at all costs. Even though tans are cosmetically appealing, natural tans from the sun’s UV light as well as artificial light from tanning beds are both equally dangerous and damaging. If you want tanned skin, consider a safer alternative such as a tinted moisturizing lotion or professional spray tan.
- Moisturize after sun exposure. The sun can suck the moisture right out of your skin, even if you wear sunscreen and practice protective measures. After any sun exposure, be sure to moisturize your skin with a high-quality lotion to keep your skin hydrated and happy.
The Bottom Line
We know it is no secret that the sun can wreak havoc on your skin. If your skin has already suffered some sun damage, don’t fret. There are a variety of treatment options available. Book a consultation at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic today, and we’ll be sure to help you feel your best in the wonderful skin you are in. We have sun damage treatment options for all skin types and damage levels.
Remember, the best defense against sun-damaged skin is prevention. Enjoy the sun responsibly!