We know how good the sun feels on your skin. But those sensations of warmth and vitality can be a little misleading. Soaking up the rays might lead to a tan today, but down the road, premature aging is waiting. Fortunately, you’re not helpless against the evil powers of UV light – with a little planning, and some post-sun treatments, your skin will look fresh and youthful.
Below, we delve into the ways sun exposure ages your skin so that you understand how to prevent these issues. And for those with existing sun damage, we detail treatments that will help you get back the skin you love.
Why Sunlight Leads to Skin Damage
Aging skin is due to both internal and environmental factors. UV radiation plays a big role in the latter. Skin damage due to sunlight is known as photo-aging. Repeat sun exposure breaks down internal structures in the skin, bringing on spots, wrinkles, and sagging.
As sun exposure occurs over time, it intensifies the natural aging process. Avoiding sunlight isn’t going to keep your skin looking like a teenager’s forever (although that will definitely help). The skin loses volume and hydrating substances as the years go by, and our genes determine how quickly and when this happens. This is called intrinsic aging. No matter who you are, keeping your sun exposure minimal will help hold off intrinsic aging as long as possible.
Do I Have Sun-Damaged Skin?
When evaluating your skin, look for the following signs of excessive UV exposure:
- Uneven pigmentation – Sunlight causes additional production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. This commonly leads to isolated patches of light or dark brown skin, on the face, arms, hands, and chest (as well as other high-exposure areas). When combined with other factors, UV radiation can also trigger melasma. You may also notice reddish-brown patches on the neck and chest, known as poikiloderma.
- Brown spots in areas with frequent sun exposure – This discoloration can form in many different ways. Lentigines are flat, dark spots that tend to appear on the face and other spots often in sunlight. Freckles are another form of sun damage – and while they may be cute in youth, they can gather as you age. You may also notice dark spots forming on your lips.
- Loose skin – UV radiation breaks down connective tissues within the skin, which support your facial features. Known as solar elastosis, loose skin caused by sun exposure tends to display as vertical lines, deep wrinkles on the lower face, and sagging skin at the neck and chin.
Clearing Skin and Minimizing Aging – At Home & In the Office
When you visit Laser Aesthetic Center for the first time, we’ll evaluate your skin and help you discover treatment options that are perfect for your needs. We may recommend any of the following:
- Targeted home care – It’s crucial to exfoliate, moisturize, and improve your sun protection. Wear sunscreen, cover up, and avoid spending extended periods outside midday.
- IPL treatments – Intense pulsed light treatments break up discoloration and help brown spots flake gently off your skin.*
- Laser skin resurfacing – We offer a gentle alternative to ablative laser resurfacing with the PicoSure Focus. Patients see improvements in skin tone, texture, and tightness.*
- Cosmetic injections – Botox or dermal fillers might be helpful for facial lines caused by sun-exaggerated aging.*
- Laser skin tightening – Titan skin tightening stimulates collagen healing and internal, natural improvements in elasticity – with surgery or any kind of invasive treatment.*
If the sun-damaged traits above sounded familiar, schedule your free consultation today. Take control of the aging process!
*Disclaimer: Please note that there is no guarantee of specific results. Results may vary.