July is National UV Safety Awareness Month, and while it pays to focus on sun safety every month, our Coastal Dermatology + Aesthetics team is here to provide you and your loved ones with treatments to help you look and feel your best.
Our team is here to offer insider information on how sun damage occurs, the signs of sun damage, and the best way to reverse unwanted sun damage. If your skin has become overexposed to the sun’s rays, we’re here to help deliver an effective solution.
How Sun Damage Occurs
Sun damage can happen to anyone — even just fifteen minutes of direct exposure can impact your skin. Harmful UVA and UVB rays can cause harm to your skin, but they are still different.
UVA rays are longer and are responsible for causing the skin to tan. However, there’s no such thing as a safe tan: These rays age skin cells and cause superficial damage such as wrinkles and photoaging, but they are even linked to some skin cancers. You may not feel any pain or discomfort, but your skin is still being damaged.
UVB, on the other hand, are shorter and have slightly more energy than UVA rays: They cause sunburns and are the cause of most skin cancers. Whether visible or not, exposure to these rays unprotected and for prolonged periods leads to damaged skin.
How to Spot the Signs of Sun Damage
Damage from UV rays can cause DNA changes at a cellular level in the deepest part of the skin called the dermis. Because of this, it can take years before the damage surfaces and becomes visible.
Sun damage, also known as photoaging, presents in a multitude of ways:
- Pigmentation changes such as age spots and freckles
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Uneven skin texture and tone (redness and blotchiness)
- Broken capillaries around the nose and chest
- Premature fine lines and wrinkles
How to Treat Sun Damage
When it comes to sun damage, the best defense is a good offense. Finding a daily sunscreen you like and use consistently should be a top priority. There are two different types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Physical sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays, while chemical absorbs into the skin and absorbs UV rays.
A couple of our personal recommendations are from ZO’s line of medical-grade products.
SUNSCREEN + POWDER BROAD-SPECTRUM SPF 45 is a great physical option for those with sensitive skin who are looking for sun coverage with coverage. In three different shades, it’s the perfect product for daily use. Whereas SMART TONE BROAD-SPECTRUM SPF 50 is a great chemical option for those seeking a lightweight product that hydrates while it protecting your skin. While incorporating daily SPF into your routine is a great way to prevent sun damage from occurring, there are ways to treat existing sun damage as well.
Check out some of our favorite treatment options offered at our practice:
- VBeam Photorejuvenation works by using laser heat to remove the damaged cells and reduce the appearance of unwanted pigment, all while triggering new collagen growth.
- ThreeForMe™ Photorejuvenation uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) energy to trigger new collagen and elastin production while helping to improve your skin’s tone and texture.
- HydraFacial® is a 3-step, 30-minute facial that exfoliates, extracts, and hydrates deeply to improve the visibility of wrinkles, facial redness, and hyperpigmentation.
While these aren’t the only treatments that tackle photoaging, they are some of our favorites. If you’re curious about the best way to prevent and correct sun damage, click HERE to request an appointment with our industry experts.