The intense rays of the sun can take a toll on your skin. And while in the short-term, that can mean contending with a scorching sunburn, there can also be long-term consequences lurking within the skin.
When the sun prematurely ages the skin, it is called photoaging, which can lead to skin cancer. The sun's damage to the skin happens when ultraviolet (UV) light hits the skin unprotected by sunscreen, causing changes in DNA at the cellular level. Because photodamage occurs in the deepest layers of the skin, it can take years before the damage becomes visible.
Sun Damage Signs
The signs of sun damage can set-in in the early twenties and may include symptoms such as loss of skin tone, pigmentation changes such as age spots, freckles, wrinkling, rough or uneven skin texture, redness and blotchiness, etc. Nevertheless, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with a good sun protection factor and a 3+rating remains the gold standard in preventing photodamage and in maintenance treatment. In susceptible individuals, even oral sunscreens are recommended. While sun damage cannot be obliterated, following treatments can often help minimize it and bring back the glow to your skin.
Exfoliation works wonders to repair sun damage. Removing those dead skin cells stimulates the growth of newer and healthier cells, encourages collagen production and renewal, and lightens or eliminates the effects of sun damage. Plus, it reduces hyperpigmentation and makes your skin look brighter, smoother and more even. Dr Swapna Athawale and Dr Jyotsana Joshi (Jupiter Hospital, Pune) share different exfoliating facials based on each specific skin care need.
Lasers are used to minimize the appearance of brown spots and fine lines, rejuvenate skin, and improve the texture and appearance of enlarged pores. Some other lasers, like pulsed dye, can remove redness and broken blood vessels caused by too much sun exposure. However, laser surgery's true beauty is that it helps make your skin healthier and helps treat precancerous changes.
Hydrafacial is an excellent solution for several skin problems, including sun damage. When paired with a retinol booster, it targets sun-compromised skin giving excellent results. This magical treatment uses hydra-dermabrasion technology to cleanse and hydrate your skin in 60 minutes. Moreover, it is effective for all skin types providing long-lasting results with zero downtime.
Chemical Peels are another affordable treatment that helps remove the effects of sun damage, giving you a more transparent and youthful appearance. A certified medical practitioner uses an acid solution like phenol, Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) or Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA).
Photodynamic therapy treatment helps remove precancerous spots resulting from sun exposure. It uses topical medication applied on the skin followed by blue or red fluorescent light to activate the medicine, destroying precancerous cells but preserving normal cells.
Micro-Dermabrasion gently removes the outer layer of the skin to erase the damage caused by the sun and restore a youthful appearance.
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze age spots or actinic keratoses; the spots become dark and shed off after a few days.