11 Oct Reversing Sun Damage
Sun damage is the number one cause of skin showing early aging, and it’s one of the top complaints of clients at Spectrum Dermatology. However, sun damage in adults makes sense. Most people grew up in an era when sunscreen wasn’t touted as a must for daily regimens (as it should be). The majority of people sustain the worst sun damage before they’re an adult, but there’s good news. Many signs of sun damage are reversible.
How Does The Sun Damage Skin?
The sun shines down ultraviolet (UV) light that causes sunburns and damages the skin. In time, this damage is revealed as dark spots and wrinkles. UV exposure is responsible for 80 percent of your skin’s aging, though it can take years for the full premature aging to show. A sunburn means the damage is already done and is a sign that the skin cell DNA has been compromised. A single sunburn likely won’t cause premature aging, but sunburns do add up over time.
Effects of Sun Damage
The most dreaded type of sun damage is wrinkles. They’re caused by UV rays destroying collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep skin looking young and smooth. However, there are numerous treatments available to restore collagen in the skin. Retinoids, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and laser skin resurfacing all offer proven results. Adding beta-carotene to your diet if it’s lacking can also help. It’s found in many fruits and vegetables and can be taken as a supplement.
Age spots, or sun spots, are the second most troubling signs of sun damage. They are the skin’s defense against UV rays. However, an excess amount of sun can cause melanin to form in clumps. Laser therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and microneedling are all effective ways of breaking up this melanin and reversing sunspots.
Regular exposure to the sun can also dry it out and make it feel rough. This is an easy fix, although some clients benefit from medical-grade lotions. However, nothing compares to starting a preventative sun damage regimen now. Sunscreen should be reapplied liberally every 80 minutes, and it’s a good idea to seek out shade when you can.