Did you know that when the sun hits your skin, your brain is triggered to release serotonin? Serotonin is a hormone associated with boosting mood and feeling calm and focused. With the proven benefits, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular pastime. But just like anything else, too much sun can result in negative effects such as sun-damaged skin and other health complications.
It’s no secret too much sun can cause damage to your skin. And it’s easy to forget about the dangers of getting too much sun when you’re enjoying the perks of feeling it on your skin. But after several years, you might notice that your skin isn’t looking as great as it once did. Blue Ridge Dermatology is here to help reverse sun-damaged skin with treatment methods that fit your lifestyle and needs.
What Is Sun-Damaged Skin?
Sun-damaged skin happens over time as your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. This exposure causes DNA changes at a cellular level, resulting in photodamage in the dermis, the deepest layer of the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests that without sun protection, this damage builds up over time, and damage such as freckles, age spots, and wrinkles begin to become more visible. Those who have lighter skin tones and neglect to wear sunscreen or protect themselves from the sun’s rays are more likely to develop pre-cancerous skin growths or skin cancer.
What Are The Signs Of Sun-Damaged Skin?
Sun-damaged skin, also known as photoaging, occurs when the sun prematurely changes the appearance of your skin. Signs of photodamage may include
- Pigmentation changes
- Moles or brown spots
- Actinic keratosis (a small, colored path of bumps that feels like sandpaper)
- Loss of skin tone or decreased elasticity
- Broken capillaries (spider veins)
- Redness and blotchiness
- Rough, uneven skin texture
Because some of the signs and symptoms of sun-damaged skin can be dangerous and lead to health complications, it is important to avoid sunburn and prolonged sun exposure by wearing sun protection such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, and long-covered clothing when possible.
What Are The Treatments For Sun-Damaged Skin?
Treatment for sun-damaged skin does not reverse the effects of years of damage. However, treatment can help to smooth your wrinkles, even out your skin tone, or remove pre-cancerous or cancerous growths. Treatment options vary on a case-to-case basis but can include:
Laser treatment for sun-damaged skin is a non-invasive therapy that uses light energy like IPL (Intense Pulse Light) to repair and regenerate skin cells. The benefits of this procedure include but are not limited to
- Increased energy for cells
- Improved immune and healing response
- Promotes collagen for new skin production
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced inflammation
This treatment is non-invasive, and typically, only a few treatments are needed. However, treatments are based on the individual’s condition. Contact your dermatologist today to discuss treatment options to achieve your desired results.
Another treatment for sun-damaged skin is the removal of cancerous or precancerous moles. These moles may appear asymmetrical, have a border that is irregular, a color that is uneven, and change in size. Remember, early detection makes a difference! There is a 99% 5-year survival rate for patients in the U.S. whose melanoma is detected early.
Topical Creams Or Ointments
Topical creams or ointments can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots. Some creams and ointments include retinoids, vitamin C and other antioxidants, exfoliants, lightening agents, or chemical peels.
Too much sun exposure can cause sunburns and age spots, but luckily, there are steps you can take to reverse sun-damaged skin. Blue Ridge Dermatology is here to help provide you with a consultation and resources that best suit your situation. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 781-1050 for more information.