As we head into summer, sun-care should be top-of-mind for all of us. Sun damage plays a significant role in speeding up the aging process and other skin conditions. As you plan your pool-side vacations and warm weather explorations, it’s important to make sure you keep in mind the damage that too much sun can do to your skin.
Why does the Sun Damage Our Skin?
UV radiation can be split into three categories based on wavelength:
UVC (100-290 nanometers)
UVB (290-320 nanometers)
UVA (320-400 nanometers)
The longer the wavelength is, the more damage that type of UV radiation can have on the skin.
UVC radiation, which has the shortest wavelength, has a relatively small effect on the skin compared to UVA and UVB radiation.
Because of their longer wavelengths and ability to penetrate the skin, exposure to both UVA and UVB radiation can contribute to the breakdown of collagen in the skin.
Excess sun damage also can contribute to and cause damage to DNA on a molecular level through the development of free radicals. Free radicals further impede the skin’s ability to heal and bounce back after trauma. They also play a role in the development of cancer.
We know from previous blogs that collagen, the primary protein that keeps skin tight and supple, is what keeps us looking young. Excess sun exposure that leads to collagen breakdown can in turn lead to premature aging and the development of hyper and hypo pigmentation, wrinkles, and lowered immune function.
Top Treatments for Sun damage
While it’s not possible to completely reverse the signs of aging and sun damage, there are ways to resurface and restore the skin in a way that helps promote new skin growth and collagen production.
There are several treatments available to help lessen damage caused by sun exposure.
Intense Pulse Light Therapy (IPL)
IPL is a form of laser therapy that utilizes light waves to fade dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and other forms of skin damage. IPL can be utilized on the face, neck, and chest (décolletage). Not only does IPL help to improve the look of skin, it goes a step further to improve the look and feel of the skin. This treatment helps to smooth the skin and even promotes collagen production.
IPL is typically performed in a series of three to five sessions over a period of a few months. Treatment takes typically under an hour. IPL has no downtime and very little risk of scarring or complications in the skin.
Learn more about IPL
Microdermabrasion is another great treatment for addressing sun damage. Instead of a laser, microdermabrasion utilizes a wand tool to resurface the skin. The microdamage this treatment creates helps to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and collagen production, so it helps promote renewed and refreshed skin growth as it exfoliates the old skin.
Microdermabrasion is a great treatment to help address sun-spots and wrinkles, as well as acne.
Chemical peels are also a great option for helping to resurface the skin and address signs of aging related to the sun. Chemical peels come in a variety of intensities that can be tailored to your specific concerns to give you the skin of your dreams. After a peel your skin will be flaky as the old skin peels away, so it’s best to have this treatment done when you have several days in a row where you can rest and keep your skin away from sun-exposure.
Preventing Sun Damage
Daily SPF and covering up is the best way to prevent sun damage to the skin. Anything above SPF 40 will do the trick. Wearing hats, longer pants, and covering arms and legs when possible is also a great way to reduce sun exposure to the skin.
If you have any questions about sun damage treatments, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable team at Allure Medispa & Laser clinic today.