How to Treat Sun Damage
During the warm summer months, many of us enjoying sitting outside at the beach or by the pool, soaking up the sun’s rays. But too much of anything can be disastrous to your health. The link between the sun’s rays and skin damage is crystal clear: constant exposure to both UVA and UVB rays can result in many forms of skin damage. Some of the types of skin damage can include:
- Aging of the skin
- Pigmentation problems
- Dry and thickened skin
- Skin cancer
Sure, everyone knows it’s important to protect their skin, especially during the summer months. But what happens if you neglected your skin? Is it too late to reserve the damage?
Sun damage can be difficult to treat no matter how old or new the damage may be. Some experts believe that while you cannot undo all the damage caused by UV radiation, you still have many options available. With proper treatment, you can reduce the appearance of sunspots, wrinkles and other sun damage.
How Sun Damage Occurs
Unfortunately, sun damage isn’t a problem exclusive to sun worshipers because even exposing your unprotected skin for a few minutes can potentially cause problems. When you expose your skin to the sun, you allow the sun’s UV rays to penetrate your skin. When UV rays penetrate skin, a type of radiation is able to interact with melanin, a substance that your skin naturally produces.
Melanin acts as a shield to protect your DNA from UV ray damage. This results in tanning, which is our body’s natural response to melanin protecting your skin from UV radiation. When you have too much UV radiation exposure, your body may have difficulty producing enough melanin for protection. This results in sunburn.
But if you continue to expose your skin to the sun’s rays, you allow too much radiation to penetrate your skin, which can damage and even kill your skin cells. This is what dermatologists refer to as sun damage.
Skin Treatments for Sun Damage
If you are a victim of sun damage, don’t worry. While you can’t completely reserve all of the damage, there are great treatments that are easily available.
Topical Antioxidants: Topical creams and lotions with vitamin C, E and resveratrol are great choices to combat sun damage. Antioxidants have the ability to penetrate, repair skin and limit the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. Antioxidants can also help reduce the signs of aging by keeping your skin looking fresh and healthy.
Skin Lightening Products: There are many topical skin-lightening products available on the market. These products can help pigmentation issues that occur from too much sun exposure.
Exfoliation: Exfoliating and microdermabrasion helps remove dead skin cells to make room for new, healthy skin. This also helps skin to grow new healthy cells, which can lead to long-term improvements in tone and texture. As a result, the new skin will look and feel more vibrant. Be sure to consult your dermatologist about which product is right for your skin type and how often you should exfoliate.
Chemical Peels: If you’re looking for rapid results, chemical peels are a great way to help reverse sun damage. Chemical peels are somewhat similar to exfoliating. A topical applied formula helps revitalize the skin surface by helping you shed skin cells. Chemicals not only help pigmentation problems, but they also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, this treatment can help improve tone and texture, which will give your skin a more youthful appearance.
Prevention is Key
A great step into reversing sun damage is to prevent any further damage. Preventive measures like wearing sunscreen, covering up damaged skin or simply avoiding the sun during peak hours can help you avoid any sun damage during your summer vacation.