Sun damage typically happens from a lifetime of unprotected sun exposure, which can create dark spots on your skin, wrinkles, and premature skin laxity. Unfortunately, over-the-counter products usually aren’t strong enough to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. The good news is that there are several treatment options for sun damage at Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL.
Learn everything you need to know about sun-damaged skin today – from treatments you should consider using to the best ways to prevent sun damage in the future – before you schedule your first appointment.
How Can You Repair Sun Damaged Skin?
Various aesthetic treatments can be used to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Many of these aesthetic treatments focus on resurfacing or exfoliating the skin, which has the effect of clearing away darkened skin cells. By removing damaged skin cells from the surface of the skin, superficial concerns like dark spots and other signs of visible damage will be reduced. The most common treatments you used to repair sun-damaged skin include:
Photo rejuvenation utilizes light energy to restore the even tone of the skin. If you are struggling with concerns like dark spots, redness, blemishes, and other superficial concerns, photo rejuvenation treatments can be a good option. As an energy-based treatment, this particular system can be used for most skin types and skin tones, but you will likely have to follow strict aftercare and preparation instructions to get the best results from the treatment.
A HydraFacial is a non-invasive facial treatment that can exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin at the same time. This facial comes in a few customized versions that can focus primarily on reducing the appearance of sun damage through exfoliation, while also promoting better skin health by infusing skin with hydrating agents and active skin serums to address other issues.
Skin peels or chemical peels are also good options if you want to reduce the appearance of sun damage. Skin peel treatments exfoliate the first few layers of the skin to eliminate the appearance of dark spots and other signs of visible damage. This treatment can also be customized to your skin type and skin tone, meaning it may be an ideal treatment for those who cannot use energy-based treatments or who want to address other skin concerns at the same time.
Which Treatment Right for You?
Choosing the right treatment to repair your sun damage will depend on the severity of your skin damage, your skin type, and your treatment preferences. Some people may prefer to have gentler treatments, which means a hydrafacial or skin peel may be an ideal option. For those who have advanced sun damage concerns or who want to use more powerful treatments, photo rejuvenation and other laser treatments may be a better choice.
How Fast Are Your Results?
The results of your treatment to address sun damage can generally be seen in a few weeks or months. For example, if you were using photo rejuvenation treatments, you may begin to see initial results about four to six weeks after your first appointment. For facial treatments like chemical peels or hydrafacial, you may not notice any significant results until at least four to eight weeks after your first appointment.
The speed at which your results will develop will be determined by your rate of cellular turnover, how well each treatment exfoliates your skin, and how well you follow your aftercare instructions. Because these treatments will expose new skin cells to potentially harmful UV rays, it’s essential to follow your aftercare instructions closely so that you can avoid hyperpigmentation and new sun damage.
How Long Will Results Last?
In general, treatments to reduce the appearance of sun damage can last for several months or years depending on how well you can take care of your skin. This is because damaged skin cells that are exfoliated from the skin surface will not return after they have been removed. Instead, new skin cells will replace damaged skin cells, which means that your complexion should remain even-toned for as long as you can avoid new sun damage.
How Can You Maintain Your Results?
The best way to maintain your results is to prevent sunburns and other exposure to the sun that can potentially trigger premature skin aging. For the most part, the easiest way to do this is by using SPF every day to block UV rays from your skin. You can use sunscreen under makeup or as part of your cosmetic products. You may need to also consider using wide-brimmed hats or other means of sun protection, particularly during the hottest parts of the year.
Sun Damage 101
Sun damage is a big challenge for many people, particularly when it comes to prevention. Sun damage occurs when your skin is exposed to specific UV rays that trigger the creation of free radicals in the skin cells, which causes premature aging, melanin production, and other pigmentation concerns. Let’s unpack a few important things that you need to know about sun damage.
Can You Get Sun Damage Through Clouds?
Most people assume that they are not exposed to damaging UV rays when it’s cloudy outside. But the truth is that UV rays are capable of traveling through cloud cover. For this reason, you will need to wear SPF if you are outside on a cloudy day. You should always be sure to check weather reports to understand UV risks as well, especially during the summer.
Do Windows Have Sun Protection?
Yes and no. Some people are surprised to learn that windows do have some measure of UV protection. However, most windows only protect from UVB rays, which are the sun rays that can cause skin damage such as sunburns. UVA rays, on the other hand, are the sun rays that are responsible for causing visible sun aging and the creation of free radicals and skin cells.
This is a big reason why most sunscreens are formulated for broad-spectrum protection. If you sit near a window every day, then you should be wearing sunscreen even if you’re inside. You may want to consider applying special window treatments to your car or office windows to provide additional protection from both UVB and UVA rays if this would be a more convenient way to protect your skin from sunlight.
Is SPF 30 Good for Everyone?
Most dermatologists recommend wearing at least SPF 30 when you plan to be outside during the daytime, but is SPF 30 adequate for everyone? Most people will benefit from using SPF 30, even those who have sensitive skin or skin that easily tans. This is because SPF 30 offers a significant amount of sun protection.
However, people who want to protect against specific forms of sun damage and those who are at higher risk of developing skin cancer may want to use SPF 40 to 50 each day to prevent sun damage and protect the skin. Stronger SPF protection may also last longer on your skin.
Should You Use Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen?
There are a few differences between the types of sunscreens that you can purchase. Most commercial sunscreens are formulated with minerals, which form a barrier on the skin that physically blocks UVB and UVA rays. But your skincare products may also be formulated with chemical sunscreens, which penetrate the dermal layers to protect the skin from the sun.
Both types of sunscreen have advantages and disadvantages. Mineral sunscreens are generally hypoallergenic, but they can create a white cast on the skin that may not be appropriate for people who have medium to dark skin tones. Some of these sunscreens may also be greasy, which may not be ideal for those who have oily skin. As for chemical sunscreens, those who are sensitive may have pimple-like reactions to the chemicals in these products.
What Age Should You Start Wearing Sunscreen?
It’s recommended that you should start wearing sunscreen as early as possible so that you can prevent future sun damage. Unfortunately, most people don’t start thinking about daily sunscreen until they are in their 30s or 40s. Ideally, if you can begin wearing sunscreen in your 20s every day, your skin will benefit in the future by not developing visible sun damage by the time you’re middle-aged.
Improve Sun Damaged Skin Today
Sun damage may be distressing, but there are several treatment options for you to consider to reduce the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Treatments such as photo rejuvenation, HydraFacials, and skin peels are all good options for those who want to correct dark spots. Please contact Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL to schedule your consultation today.