Sun Damage Treatments and Prevention

Sun exposure over the course of your life can damage your skin in many ways, harm your physical appearance and potentially your health. However, there’s no need to worry. Although sun damage can cause several kinds of blemishes, these blemishes can still be undone. Reducing the effects of sun damage is not a difficult process, but improving the long-term health of your skin requires consistent care.

What are the symptoms of sun damage?

Sun damage can appear in various forms on your face and other body parts that are exposed to the sun. The harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun are known to accelerate aging and cause increased wrinkling. Additionally, brown spots and broken blood vessels are signs that your skin has experienced sun damage. More severe sun damage can appear in the form of scaly pink areas. These pink areas are known as actinic keratosis, and are at risk to become cancerous.

What are the treatments for these blemishes?

The good news is that all forms of sun damage can be treated, even the potentially dangerous pre-cancerous lesions. The most common method to deal with sun damage is the use of topical ointments. Depending on the nature of your sun damage, these creams can include Vitamin A, retinol, retinoids or growth factors. To reduce wrinkling, Vitamin A stimulates collagen production and works to give you smoother skin. Retinol and retinoids minimize the appearance of uneven skin tone by fading the brown spots on your skin. Similarly, skin brighteners are another commonly-used way to make brown spots unnoticeable.

Prescription creams are another method of dealing with sun damage. If you have precancerous lesions on your skin, your dermatologist may recommend that you apply these prescription creams to get rid of the lesions. Not only will this quickly improve your physical appearance, but it will also bolster your long-term health.

In some cases, your dermatologist may recommend laser treatment for your sun damage. The type of laser treatment can be altered to address any one specific type of damage. Different wavelengths of light can treat broken blood vessels and brown spots efficiently. The most effective laser treatment, though, is called laser resurfacing. Ninety percent of skin is water, and laser resurfacing takes advantage of that. By targeting the water in your skin, laser resurfacing can effectively treat your entire skin.

How can I prevent future sun damage?

Preventing sun damage is simple, but requires a commitment to taking care of your skin consistently. When you go outside, even if it is not particularly sunny or hot, make sure to wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or above. Reapplying the sunscreen every 90 minutes ensures that it works as well as possible. Wear protective clothing whenever possible. Masking the effects of sun damage should not be a first option, and you should always be careful with long periods of sun exposure.

If you are showing signs of sun damage, schedule a same day or next day appointment with one of our dermatologists on our website, or by calling 651-209-1600.

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