Kiss those tanning oil days goodbye, it’s time to protect your health!
Embracing a healthy lifestyle includes getting outside, enjoying fresh air and exercise. While the fresh air is good for us, the sun exposure can wreak havoc on our skin. Not only does sun exposure lead to a higher risk of skin cancer but it also increases the effects if aging. Sunshine and warm weather are something residents around Atlanta, Georgia, know all too well.
There are many steps you can take to prevent sun damage to your skin:
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure
- Remain indoors or in the shade during peak hours of sunlight
- Wear protective clothing
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater daily without fail
When these precautions are not taken consistently, sun damage can be the consequence. Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can accelerate the aging process and lead to the formation of sun spots and freckles. It can also increase your risk for skin cancer. Fortunately, there are cosmetic treatments today that can reverse much of the damage caused by the sun and restore your youthful complexion.
Although we may enjoy the “sun-kissed” look during summer months, the resulting damage to the skin can be irreversible and lead to a less than desirable look.
The body’s natural reaction to sun exposure is to increase its production of melanin, the dark brown pigment in the epidermis that gives skin its natural color. Extra melanin darkens the skin, giving it a sun-kissed look. If the increase in melanin is uneven, irregular discoloration may occur. Permanent sun spots can appear on the face and other parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun, even in individuals with normally dark skin tones. The more frequently a person is in the sun, the more sun spots may appear.
Sun spots may also be referred to as age spots or liver spots. They can be large or small and can affect individuals of all ages, particularly adults over the age of 40. They can occur anywhere on skin surfaces frequently exposed to the sun, including the lips. Most sun spots are harmless, but they should be examined by a dermatologist if they change in size, shape or color. Even sun spots that are not a health concern may be removed or lightened by our dermatologist for aesthetic reasons.
Other Types of Sun Damage
Frequent sun exposure also causes the breakdown of collagen. Collagen is extremely important to us for Aesthetic reasons, as it is a protein that exists under your skin which is associated with the fullness or the youthful appearance of your skin. Loss of collagen due to UV exposure can lead to sagging skin, wrinkles, and deep creases that make us look much older than we feel.
The sun can also cause dilation of small blood vessels, which can permanently leave red spots in the skin. Known as spider veins or telangiectasia, these vessels frequently appear on the cheeks or around the nose. While the visible veins are not a serious medical condition, they can cause significant cosmetic embarrassment.
The skin redness and pain caused sunburn may seem harmless, but can result in damage to healthy skin. Sun exposure that results in sunburn can lead to moisture loss, wrinkles, sun spots, actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous scaly/crusty patches of skin), and skin cancer. Severe sunburn accompanied by blisters, high fever or severe pain that does not begin to fade in a few days should be seen for medical attention.
Treatments for Sun Damaged Skin
There are various treatment options for sun damaged skin. Factors such as your health, medical history, and type and location of the sun damage are considered. Some of the most effective options include:
Chemical Peels – During this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the face that removes outer skin layers, revealing softer, more youthful skin underneath. Our Chemical peels come in different strengths, allowing us to tailor your treatment to the extent of your sun damage and your specific concerns. Unlike Chemical Peels in former years, our treatments do not leave you looking red or burned for days or even weeks afterward. You will be able to return to normal activity quickly depending on the strength of your peel and the course of care set forth by your provider during your initial complimentary consultation.
Microneedling – This technique involves the use of small hollow or solid needles which puncture your skin. The result is inflammation if the skin, which in turn sparks an increase in collagen production. We recommend microneedling procedures such as Rejuvapen to patients seeking to improve the appearance of sun damage, acne scarring, scarring as a result of injuries, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling treaments are a great alternative to Laser Therapy, which can be damaging to the skin, even causing Hypopigmentation or Hyperpigmentation of the skin. Your provider will lay out a specific course of treatment tailored to your desired results for your microneedling treatments. Consultations are complimentary.
Photodynamic Therapy – This treatment is particularly effective in reducing the appearance of sun spots, while refreshing the complexion and stimulated collagen production. Our providers have extensive experience using Photodynamic therapy to reduce the effects of sun damage and giving you the youthful look of years past. This popular procedure uses what is known as “blue light” therapy to treat the appearance of not only brown spots but also red pigmentation on the face, chest, neck, and arms. “BBL” or “IPL” procedures are done in office with little to no downtime after your treatment. It is advised that patients who wish to have this treatment avoid the sun completely for at least one week before treatment, and for several weeks afterwards. We advise patients to do this procedure in the Fall and Winter months. This procedure is a great alternative to out-of-date treatments like Laser Therapy, and is less invasive. Your provider will work out a complete course of treatment for your particular needs and desired look during your first, complimentary consultation.
Facials- Facial treatments such as the Hydrafacial or the newest addition to our practice the “Oxygen Facial” also known as the “Red Carpet Facial” help to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and red and brown spots by improving your skin’s overall health. Our providers will create a facial program for you based on your personal needs and beauty goals completely your own, completely customized for you. These treatments are recommended by our providers on a monthly basis for patients who wish to reduce the effects of sun damage and achieve a more youthful, healthy look. Not only are the treatments relaxing and therapeutic but you will leave looking refreshed, but your skin will look and feel younger and healthier. Consults for all facials are complimentary.
Product Regimens and Prescriptions – Gone are the days of old-fashioned Retinol that burns and leaves our skin looking red, inflamed and irritated. Our practice features a wide array of Doctor Recommended products to add to your beauty routine that will diminish the effects of sun damage. Our products are not only backed by proven science but each and every product on our shelves is personally reviewed and approved by our Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Combining top quality products with our treatments for sun damaged skin will give you the right arsenal you need to battle aging and look your best. Our providers will be happy to comprise a beauty regimen for you free of charge.
Injectable Treatments – Injectable treatments are a great way to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage. We offer a wide array of injectables and fillers to help you achieve a youthful, radiant look. Our practice features Dr. Marc Yune, MD, Triple Board Certified Facial Plastic – Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon, and Family Nurse Practitioner Tracey Gregory who are in the top 1% of injectors for the two largest companies that produce injectables and fillers such as Botox, Juvaderm, Voluma, Sculptra, Dysport, and Restalyne or Restalyne Silk. Not only are they highly qualified they are also trainers for others who wish to learn the Art of Injecting. Injectable Consultations are complimentary and treatment can be done the same day, saving you a return trip to our office. Trust your SKIN to the experts.
Sun damage happens, but you don’t have to live with the consequences of that damage forever. Contact our office to find out which treatment will fit your needs best to reverse your damage and enjoy a more youthful appearance. Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery & Dermatology can be reached at (770) 393-9000 in Roswell or (706) 467-6500 in Greensboro.
*The information about Sun Damaged Skin was reviewed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Marc E. Yune. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.