All summer you’ve seen the warning signs about protecting yourself from the sun. As the season begins to wind down you realize you didn’t do as much protecting as you should have. Soon enough the effects from your unprotected fun-in-the-sun will begin to surface.
So what exactly happens to your skin after being out in the sun all summer?
One word: AGING. Yes, aging is an inevitable thing we all go through, but prolonged sun exposure and damage can speed this process up. This is called photo-aging.
Both UVA and UVB rays are given off by the sun. While UVB rays burn at the “superficial” surface layer of the skin, UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing collagen to break down which creates the number one sign of aging – wrinkles.
Before you start panicking, we should tell you that we offer multiple minimally invasive treatment options for you to reverse some of the effects of sun damage.
Lasers – One of our most popular and most frequently used lasers is Fraxel, a great option for treating mild to moderate skin damage. This treatment is proven to be effective for:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Surface scarring
- Pigmentation (Caused by sun spots, also referred to as age spots)
- Sun Damage – helps injured skin heal itself
Like microneedling and chemical peels, Fraxel can be adjusted to treat different levels of damage from surface level to deep under the skin. Improvements in your skin can be seen as soon as the next day!
Microneedling – One of the newest treatments to our practice is great for resurfacing the skin. Microneedling creates a controlled injury to both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. This promotes the production of collagen and elastin, two important proteins that maintain the skin’s structure. Microneedling also treats sun spots and hyperpigmentation. The great part about the microneedling is that it can be used on almost all parts of the body, not just the face. If you have sun damage on any of the following areas it can be treated: face, arms, neck, legs, chest, abdomen, hands and back!
Chemical Peels – These peels are a good way to target specifically the type of skin damage you have. A chemical peel can be superficial (surface layer), medium (slightly deeper than the surface), or deep peel that really clears the skin to treat wrinkles and other signs of aging. A very individualized treatment yielding great results.
While summer is coming to an end that doesn’t mean your skin protection efforts should as well. Here are some quick tips to protect your skin from sun damage all year round:
- Wear sunscreen daily especially in areas exposed to the sun.
- Stay out of the sun when it is at its strongest, usually between the hours of 10am and 4pm. This rule applies even in the winter when the sun isn’t as visible as it is in the summer. It is reported that 80% of UV rays get through clouds and fog.
- Always remember, the first sign of a tan or sunburn means your skin has already experienced some degree of damage.
REMEMBER: Preventing sun damage not only benefits the overall appearance of your skin but more importantly reduces your risk of getting skin cancer!