Spending time in the sun is beneficial for everyone. Among other things, it can help boost your vitamin D levels for a healthier body and mind. However, being exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for long periods of time can cause significant damage to your skin. It’s important to know that sun damage is not irreversible, and you can take steps to prevent it. Here’s what to know about it and how our team can help.
Types of Sun Damage
Sun damage comes in different forms, with some being minor and others being severe enough to require medical intervention. Things like freckles and benign moles are on the least concerning end of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become concerning with continued exposure. Too much time spent outside or using a tanning bed leads to skin cancer.
Other types of sun damage include:
- Actinic keratosis
- Actinic cheilitis
- Bowen disease
If you have something like actinic keratosis or other types of suspicious lesions, you should see a medical professional immediately. Everyone’s skin processes UV rays differently, and factors such as your age and melanin levels will influence how quickly and to what extent sun damage affects you.
How to Reverse Sun Damage
Reversing sun damage can require aggressive treatment if it’s severe or long-standing. Our team can create the ideal treatment package for you using some of our best products and skincare treatments.
Exfoliating simply means removing dead skin cells and debris so healthy skin can take its place. Normal cell turnover is about one month, but you can exfoliate regularly to help boost the process. You can use physical exfoliation, meaning you use a tool or scrubbing product to gently remove debris and dead cells from the surface of the skin. A more uniform and gentler way to exfoliate is through chemical exfoliation, which uses active ingredients in products to loosen and remove dead cells.
Increase Your Intake of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a nutrient that gives the health and quality of your skin a major boost. It can also help hydrate your skin and benefit your immune system. A great source of vitamin A is retinol, which is also something that boosts and stimulates collagen production. In addition to using sunscreen, look for retinol products that are suitable for both day and night application. This is because retinol products can make your skin photosensitive, increasing your exposure to UV rays.
Laser therapy is a more aggressive treatment option that can reverse signs of sun damage and boost collagen production in the skin. There are a huge variety of laser treatment options available, so your plastic surgeon can recommend the right one for you. Although you might require downtime after each treatment, lasers can produce transformative results with the right approach.
Schedule a Consultation
Sun damage can put your skin at risk of skin cancer as well as get in the way of your cosmetic goals. To discuss your options and how to protect your skin in the future, we invite you to meet with Dr. Nakamura at our Arlington office by calling or filling out our online form.