Sun damage is a common problem among both men and women. Although tanning beds are an easy culprit to blame, exposure to too much sun is not always a choice. For those who work outdoors or even hike or swim on a regular basis, sun damage is bound to occur. Unfortunately, sun damage can cause many of the common aging signs we struggle with in later years, meaning it’s important to address it early and often. Here are some of the best ways to keep your skin youthful and damage-free with the help of our skincare specialists.

What Is Sun Damage?

The sun gives off UV (ultraviolet) light rays that can cause skin to age over time. Skin discoloration known as dark spots or sunspots as well as wrinkles are a likely symptom of sun damage. In addition to health factors such as skin cancer, too much sun exposure can cause premature aging.

A sunburn is the most obvious form of too much sun exposure. This frequently happens if you forget sunscreen at the beach or by the pool. Skin can turn pink or even orange before starting to peel. This happens when your skin cells’ DNA is damaged and can lead to health concerns like melanoma.

Dry skin is also a likely outcome from overexposure to UV rays. Much like when skin is naturally dehydrated, dry skin can cause a tough texture. Too much dry skin can result in wrinkles.

Can I Treat Sun Damage?

Although we now know not to spend too much time in the sun, we didn’t always. If you’ve already experienced sun damage, you have some options with the help of your skincare specialist.

80% of visible aging is from overexposure to UV rays. Although sun damage occurs below the surface of the skin, there are ways to minimize damage. Depending on the type and extent of sun damage, different treatment options are available. For slight discoloration or sun spots, intense pulsed light lasers and chemical peels are recommended. These are good options for less significant sun damage, and a dermatologist or skincare specialist should administer both treatment options for safety and comfort. If you have more significant sun damage, you should discuss your options with your dermatologist since it might require more aggressive treatment.

What Is A Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are best performed by a trained professional to reduce the chance of damage to the skin. They work effectively to reduce sun damage and reduce signs of aging. During a chemical peel, an acidic solution is applied to the surface of the skin to remove dead and damaged skin cells down to a calculated layer of skin. By removing the outer layers of skin, skin cell turnover and collagen production are increased. Depending on the sun damage and desired results, there are different strengths of chemical peels available, so your skincare specialist can recommend the right type for you and your goals.

What Is Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)?

Intense pulsed light lasers can help smooth the texture and color of skin. This is a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t require downtime. Intense pulsed light lasers can be used on the neck, hands, or chest as well as the face. IPL laser treatments work by using light energy to target specific areas of discoloration in the skin. Once treatment is finished, the skin often looks younger.

Schedule a Consultation

Sun damage plays a large factor in premature aging, meaning it’s important to explore your treatment options with the help of a dermatologist. To learn more about sun damage treatments, we invite you to contact our Seattle office by calling or filling out our online form.