Top 10 Treatments for Sun-Damaged Skin

[fusion_dropcap class="fusion-content-tb-dropcap"]T[/fusion_dropcap]here’s is nothing like being outside and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. Being at the beach and enjoying a day of outside activities are some of the best things about sunny days.

The sun that provides so much joy can also be very damaging to your skin.

1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Sun exposure can cause damage to your skin and cells. Long term it can lead to serious issues with your skin.

You may start to see lines or dark spots and want ways to slow the sun-damaged skin. Good news! There are treatments for sun-damaged skin.

In this article, we’ll go over the top 10 Treatments for Sun-damaged skin.

What Is Sun-Damaged Skin?

When you spend a lot of time in the sun your skin can suffer from too much exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can turn the melanin into moles and sunspots.

Most people, if they even apply broad-spectrum sunblock, don’t apply the right SPF, which needs to be a 30 or higher. Once you do apply the sunblock, it needs to be reapplied every few hours.

Even once you leave the sun, sunlight can continue to affect the skin. UV rays can cause damage hours after exposure.

Sun-damaged skin can start as early as childhood if you’ve had sunburns. Sun damage can cause premature aging and skin cancer. It causes damage on the cellular level.

It’s not just about being outside in the sun for hours. You can also experience damage from UV rays walking to the car or sitting in a window.

There are some signs you may have suffered sun damage:

  • Sunburns – Sunburns are the most instantaneous form of sun damage.
  • Dryness – Your skin can get dried out from the sun, especially if it’s already in need of hydration.
  • Moles and freckles – They can turn darker after sun exposure.
  • Sunspots – These are common dark-colored spots that happened with increasing age.
  • Crow’s feet and wrinkles – These are the lines that form around the corner of the eyes and elsewhere on your face.
  • Hyperpigmentation – These come from long-time sun damage and cause thick, dark patches on the skin.

Even after applying the correct amount of sunscreen, most people will fall victim to some type of sun-damaged skin in their lifetime.

Sun-damaged skin can’t be reversed, but there are options to heal it and make the skin look healthier.

Treatments for Sun-Damaged Skin

There are many skin treatments for sun-damaged skin. The treatments range from basic skincare to in-office procedures.

Below, we will go over the top treatments for sun-damaged skin.

1. Basic Skin Care

A good skincare routine can help with minor sun-damaged skin issues.

You want to cleanse the skin in an upward circular motion. This will help prevent any more wrinkling. Toning the skin will help clean up any cleanser that’s left on the skin. It can also help renew pH balance.

Moisturizing will help lock in moisture and keep your face hydrated. Even if you have oily skin, you still need to apply a moisturizer.

It’s important to exfoliate your face about 3 times a week. This will help get rid of all the dead skin cells and help the skin appear younger.

You can apply retinol to the skin. This topical serum can help with wrinkles and dark spots. Only use this about one to two times a week.

Hydroquinone is a good topical product that can help stop the production of melanin. Don’t use it for more than four months, as it can be an irritant.

Taking vitamin C supplements and using a topical form help brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

2. Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are used by a professional to treat skin issues. The blend of acids chemically exfoliates the skin. It dissolves damaged skin cells to enrich skin tone. This helps with discoloration, spots, and issues caused by sun damage.

The peels range from mild to moderate to deep. You may have a tingling or burning sensation during the treatment.

A chemical peel will leave you with a radiant and smoother complexion.

3. Microneedling

Microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is also known as the “Vampire facelift”.

A practitioner will roll a derma roller, which is a handheld device covered in needles, over the surface of the skin. When rolled over the skin, it creates micro punctures. This alone stimulates collagen production.

Blood is drawn from the patient and put onto a centrifuge. This will seclude the platelets that will be used in the PRP solution. Then it’s blended into the skin to enter the micro-wounds caused by the derma roller.

Treatment lasts for about thirty minutes, and redness and swelling may last for a few days.

4. Intense Pulsed Lights (IPL)

IPL treatment uses light energy to target certain colors in the skin. The skin heats up from the treatment, removing unwanted cells.

It improves color and texture and helps lighten brown spots. It can undo visible signs of sun damage. It can also help stimulate collagen and reduce redness.

Your skin may look younger due to a more even skin tone.

5. Fraxel Laser

The Fraxel laser is a non-invasive procedure that uses energy to make a microscopic beam of energy where only a fraction of the skin is targeted at a time.

The laser will penetrate and damage the skin to inspire healthy tissue growth. It helps stimulate collagen and elastin growth. It also will produce protective hormones.

It’s great for treating sun-damaged skin. It helps with hyperpigmentation and smooths wrinkles.

This usually takes between three to five sessions and then yearly maintenance.

6. CO2 Laser

A Co2 laser uses a beam that fractionates into small pieces of light that penetrate deep into the layers of skin. It uses short-pulsed light energy or a continuous beam to rid layers of skin.

It helps with deep wrinkles and large pores due to sun damage. It also improves texture and redness.

Recovery can take several weeks, but the results last several years.

7. eTwo Laser

This treatment combines light energy and radiofrequency energy to heal deep into the skin layers. Skin cells get activated by deep heating, and it helps new collagen form.

This helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and shrinks pores. It will leave you with brighter skin.

8. Ultherapy

Ultherapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses ultrasound therapy that goes much deeper into the skin than other noninvasive procedures. It’s a micro-focused ultrasound that makes a thermal effect.

It stimulates the body to make new collagen, which helps improve lines and wrinkles. This therapy produces a firming effect on the face and neck.

After the procedure, your skin may look red, but that redness will subside after a few hours.

9. Dermasweep

A dermasweep is a microdermabrasion treatment that is non-invasive and painless. A smooth bristle with a suction softly exfoliates the skin, promotes collagen, and helps improve circulation.

This treatment also improves fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. It takes about thirty minutes to complete, and you may have mild redness for about an hour after.

10. BRP Medical Facial

BRP medical facial stands for build, repair, and polish. The treatment goes deep into the skin. It uses many radio frequency wavelengths that are sent deep into the dermis layer of skin.

This renews the skin to help lift, tighten, and tone the face. To eliminate sun damage, the superficial dermis is also treated.

This improves circulation and blood flow. The outer layer of skin gets exfoliated and it helps with hyperpigmentation. Your skin is left with a smooth healthy glow.

Keep Your Skin Sun Safe

Even if you already have sun-damaged skin, it’s not too late to start protecting it.

Make sure you’re applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s a sun protective factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. It needs to be reapplied every three hours, especially if you’re sweating or in water.

Don’t forget about sunblock for your lips. Make sure you buy one designed for the lip area. Sunblock is not just important during the summer but should also be worn in wintertime.

Try to limit your time outdoors when the sun is at its highest. That is between 10 am and 3 pm.

A hat with a wide brim will also offer great protection, as will sunglasses that have UV light protection. The sunglasses will prevent sun damage around the eyes and also keep you from squinting.

Sun-damaged Skin Is Treatable

It’s in your best interest to try to keep your skin safe from the sun. Reversing sun damage will help premature aging and leave your skin glowing. Remember to wear sunblock and take care of your skin.

If you already have sun-damaged skin, make an appointment with us at Indulgence Medical Day Spa. We offer many different services to help you feel like your best self.

About the Author: Cosette Saba Saliba, APRN

Avatar of Cosette Saba Saliba, APRN
Cosette Saba, ARNP, is the dedicated owner of Indulgence Medical Day Spa since 2012. With her expertise as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Cosette ensures personalized skincare and advanced medical aesthetics for every client. She is committed to health, wellness, and delivering transformative results as a premier destination for beauty and rejuvenation.

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