It is not a secret that exposure to the sun can damage your skin – one afternoon in the sun without sunscreen can leave you with a painful sunburn. What is important to know is how even limited exposure over time can damage your skin and change its appearance. The earlier in life that you begin protecting your skin from sun damage, the better chance you have to keep it healthy throughout your later years.
What Causes Sun Damage?
The UV rays in sunlight are what cause damage to the skin. UV rays breakdown the fibers in the skin that are called elastin and can also take a toll on collagen levels. Over time, the loss of elastin and collagen changes the skin, allowing it to become thinner and looser, causing sagging, lines and wrinkles. The skin also produces melanin to protect itself from UV rays, but over time melanin can clump and cause discolorations in the skin, such as sun spots and freckles.
Sun damage is estimated to be responsible for approximately 80% of aging of the skin. It is also a key factor in the formation of skin cancer. If you can protect your skin from UV rays, you can greatly impact changes in the skin, lower your risk of skin cancer and slow the aging process. To protect your skin, consider these tips:
- Use sunscreen on any skin exposed to the sun, even for short periods of time
- Wear protective hats and clothing when outside
- Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes when outdoors
- Eat a diet high in anti-oxidants, especially beta carotene
- Keep skin moisturized and hydrate your body
Unfortunately, by the time you are in your thirties, forties or beyond, sun damage may have already occurred. While you can protect your skin from further sun damage, you may notice your skin has begun to show signs of aging and damage already done to elastin and collagen.
Treating Sun Damage for Younger Looking Skin
It is never too late to seek treatments for sun damaged skin. There are options that can reverse some of the cosmetic signs of sun damage, reducing wrinkles, lines and sun spots while improving the tightness and elasticity of your skin. Some treatments that we use at Arcadia Wellness Center for sun damaged skin include:
- Laser therapy
- Radio frequency skin resurfacing
- Photo facial (IPL)
- Dermaplaning, microneedling and chemical peels
- PRP treatments
Protect your skin from sun damage and come to Arcadia Wellness Center to learn about treatments to erase some of the signs of aging to the skin. Contact our office to schedule your consultation to learn more about combating sun damaged skin to look your best at any age.