Today, there is a lot of information about the importance of sun protection, but many of us have experienced sun damage in one form or another over the years. When summer comes around, we all want to enjoy ourselves in the sunshine, but unfortunately, this does come with risks!
It is particularly important to be aware of the dangers of skin cancer, but the sun can also affect the appearance of our skin which can impact our self-confidence in everyday life. In this blog, we look at how to treat sun-damaged skin.
What is sun-damaged skin?
Sun damage is a catch-all term that can refer to multiple skin conditions that appear as a result of sun exposure, including sunburn, age spots, wrinkles, thread veins and broken capillaries, hyperpigmentation (uneven colouring) and actinic keratoses (scaly patches of skin).
It can also be used when discussing melanoma (skin cancer) as this is commonly caused by too much sun exposure, but we are focusing on the visual effects the skin can have on the skin.
Those with one of these skin conditions may experience discomfort, as well as feeling low self-confidence as a result of their skin. However, it is possible to treat sun-damaged skin as we will explore later.
What causes sun damage?
As the phrase suggests, sun damage is a result of leaving unprotected skin exposed to the sun for long periods of time. While exposure to sunlight can help to improve our mood and acts as a source of Vitamin D, this needs to be weighed against the potentially damaging effects. The ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the skin’s cellular DNA and can lead to the skin conditions listed above.
How to prevent sun damage
Prevention is better than treatment – even if your skin has some symptoms of sun damage, it is even more important to continue to protect yourself.
It is advised that you wear sunscreen with at least SPF30 on your face every day, even in the winter. This will help to protect your skin year-round. During the hot weather, you should cover your skin as much as possible in direct sunlight and apply sunscreen all over regularly and liberally.
A hat can help provide additional protection, and you should also consider seeking shade when the UV rays are highest (typically between 11 am and 3 pm).
How to treat sun-damaged skin
If you are looking to treat the signs of sun damage, there are several treatment options available that you might find useful.
Chemical skin peels provide deep exfoliation and can help reveal a clearer and brighter complexion for those affected by fine lines, age spots, hyperpigmentation and other signs of skin colouration. There are different options available depending on your specific skin concerns.
Hyperpigmentation laser treatments
Hyperpigmentation laser treatments can be effective for age spots, pigmentation and melasma by targeting dark patches and redness to disperse the melatonin or haemoglobin beneath the surface of the skin to reveal an even complexion.
If you are concerned about wrinkles and fine lines as a result of sun exposure, anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers may be an option for you. There are a number of effective anti-wrinkle treatments to support a natural-looking rejuvenation of the skin.
Microneedling is a revitalising and minimally invasive skin treatment that can achieve transformative results for skin appearance, including wrinkles and fine lines, texture and pigmentation.
Exfoliation is beneficial for sun-damaged skin in terms of improving tone and texture, so you can also consider topical treatments. There are a number of products specifically targeting sun damage, including retinol and other exfoliants. And remember to invest in good sunscreen!
If you are looking to treat sun-damaged skin, you should first book an appointment with an experienced clinician, who will be able to advise on the best option for your skin.
We hope this guide on how to treat sun-damaged skin has been useful. At Cosmetica London, we have a range of treatments that can help with sun-damaged skin – arrange a consultation with one of our clinicians to discover the best options for you.