As summer ends and the weather cools, a lot of us may notice our sun protection methods weren’t quite enough. The sun can be brutal on your skin, and the damage it causes can be unsightly. Thankfully, there are plenty of methods to help your skin heal post-sun exposure.
What Happens When Skin is Sun-Damaged
When you are outside, no matter the weather, your sun is exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). These UV rays attack the healthy cells in your skin, causing sun damage which can appear in a variety of ways. In mild cases, the damage may not be visible right away, but over time it builds up into hyperpigmentation or visible spotting. In more moderate to severe cases, untreated sun damage can lead to precancerous skin growth or skin cancer. Addressing sun damage before it reaches this stage is crucial to avoiding serious complications and risks.
How to Address Sun-Damaged Skin
There are a multitude of ways to remedy sun damage. We encourage everyone to utilize prevention methods via regular skincare to avoid sun damage and its negative effects. Depending on the severity, medical advice and measures may be needed. However, mild, everyday damage can be easily treated. Below, you’ll find the key secrets to healthy, glowing skin all year long:
Use Sunscreen, Topical Vitamin C, and Topical Vitamin A
Recently, there has been a lot of talk online about the necessity of sunscreen year-round, and we could not agree more. Ultra-violet rays can damage your skin all year even when your skin may not feel warm. The sun can damage your skin with only a few minutes of exposure, so applying sunscreen every day will greatly improve the quality of your skin and ward off premature skin aging. Dr. Coyne and Dr. Livingood recommend daily application of sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. Topical vitamin C also protects the skin against UV damage. It also serves to brighten skin dulled from chronic sun exposure. Finally, topical vitamin A or medical grade and prescription retinoids can combat the fine lines exacerbated from sun damage. You can check out the skincare products at Arlington Dermatology on our website.
Skin that has been damaged from sun exposure often develops hyperpigmentation and uneven tone that can become a source of insecurity. There are multiple ways in which hyperpigmentation can manifest, such as solar lentigos or melasma. Although these conditions are harmless, these spots can be a source of insecurity for many and indicate too much sun exposure that could lead to skin cancer if not addressed. There are a variety of treatment options for lightening hyperpigmentation, like IPL and Clear + Brilliant treatments.
Intense pulsed light therapy, otherwise known as IPL, is a great option to lighten pigmentation and solar lentigos. In IPLs, quick light energy is pulsed into the skin to diminish pigmentation. It’s a painless, non-invasive procedure that builds on top of itself every time you are treated, so a couple of sessions are usually recommended for the best results.
Clear + Brilliant Permea procedure is an effective and safe treatment for melasma in any skin color. This gentle treatment option can be used on all skin types and harnesses 1927 nm wavelength to lighten pigment.
Alongside pigmentation problems, excessive sun damage can dry out the skin, leading to a leathery, wrinkled look. Hyperpigmentation treatments are great at restoring the glow to your appearance, but they do little to combat the textures left behind by sun damage. Fortunately, Arlington Dermatology provides various skin resurfacing techniques to reverse fine lines.
Clear + Brilliant treatments are not only great for pigmentation but are gentle resurfacing treatments when set to the right wavelength. For resurfacing, 1440 nm handpiece nm creates tiny micro-injuries in the skin to trigger collagen production to replace old, damaged skin with even
Mild cases of fine lines from sun damage—no matter the skin tone or type—can see a huge improvement from Clear + Brilliant treatment.
Microneedling is another option for resurfacing sun-damaged skin. A hand-held tool will stamp tiny needles along your skin at a depth depending on your goals and area of treatment. As the skin heals, it will tighten wrinkly areas and boost collagen. A series of treatments will amplify and preserve results.
The Importance of Professional Opinions
Understanding your skin and its needs is often treated as a trial-and-error project. Your skin craves consistency, so attempting to remedy skin issues on your own with a melody of different methods can often end up worsening the problem. Instead, seeking the advice of a medical professional not only shortens the timeline to reaching your results but ensures your skin isn’t damaged further in the process.
As summer comes to an end, let us help you make your skincare game plan. At Arlington Dermatology, we are dedicated to giving our best care to each and every patient. Our expert team will be there for you every step along the way. If you are seeking solutions to sun-damaged skin, schedule a consultation at Arlington Dermatology for the results of your dreams.