Some damage from the sun is unavoidable, but it can be frustrating when enjoying the outdoors leaves you looking older than you feel.
Thankfully, most sun damage can be smoothed out with minor cosmetic treatments like fillers and IPL photofacials.
But what qualifies as sun damage?
Recognizing Different Types of Damage
Age or Liver SpotsLike freckles, these small, dark spots form on the skin as a result of sun exposure. But unlike freckles, they appear later in life and do not fade with time.
Long-term exposure to the sun often dries out your skin and can leave uncomfortable rough patches.
Because UV rays from the sun can break down collagen and elastin in the skin, sun exposure often leads to wrinkles.
Am I at risk of sun damage?
Sun Damage Is a Problem for Everyone
Is sun damage really that common?
How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
Apply Sunscreen Regularly
If you plan to be out in the sun, take care to reapply your sunscreen at least every 80 to 90 minutes. While it can be easy to forget when you’re having a good time, diligent application is essential to protecting your skin.
Cover Your Skin
Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses also serve as important shields for your skin.
Stay in the Shade
While avoiding the sun completely is impossible and inadvisable, remembering to stay in the shade as much as possible can keep your skin healthy.
Do I need to talk to a dermatologist?
A Specialist Can Recommend Treatment That’s Right for You
Scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist can never hurt. Even if the damage is minor, your doctor will often be able to recommend the best treatment. If there are signs of skin cancer, your doctor can determine the most appropriate course of action as soon as possible.
While dermatologists can often diagnose your condition with a visual exam, they may take a biopsy to check for cancer. In this case, they will apply a topical anesthetic to reduce discomfort before removing a small sample of skin cells for laboratory analysis.
Is there any way to repair sun damage?
A Wide Range of Treatment Options
This non-ablative form of laser therapy gently removes damaged skin and smooths out minor blemishes.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
A more intensive form of laser therapy, laser skin resurfacing can target more severe sun damage.
Botox® Cosmetic and dermal fillers can respectively immobilize the muscles that contribute to wrinkles or replace lost collagen to rejuvenate your skin.
Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion
These treatments minimize skin blemishes and irregularities by removing the top layer of skin with either a weak acid or abrasive material.
I've noticed signs of sun damage. What do I do now?