In a perfect world, we would always remember to reapply sunscreen and we’d never get caught in the sun without sun protection. But as diligent as we might be about keeping our skin protected from the sun, the truth is that sometimes sunburns and other signs of sun damage do happen. Luckily, there are plenty of in-office treatments and at-home remedies that you can use to treat dark spots, wrinkles, and burns if you’ve gotten a little too much sun.
Take a look at the best treatment options for some of the most common types of sun damage, plus brush up on a few easy tips to help prevent sun damage in the future.
The best treatment for sunburn focuses on helping your skin heal efficiently and making yourself comfortable in the meantime. You can optimize your skin’s healing process by adding antioxidants to your diet, either in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables or taking extra vitamin C supplements. Antioxidants play an important role in protecting your skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals, which can form as a result of sun exposure.
While your skin is healing, do not pick at or peel it. Not only can this slow down the healing process, but it can also lead to problems like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring. For the same reason, you should avoid exfoliating your skin while it is healing from a sunburn.
If your skin feels itchy or uncomfortable as it starts to peel, apply a cool compress, topical aloe gel, or a calming moisturizer. Take special care to apply SPF to any areas of new skin while your sunburn is healing.
Dark Spots and Freckles
If you got a tan from the sun this summer, you might start to notice dark spots and freckles as it starts to fade away. Unfortunately, these are signs of sun damage and are one of the many reasons why indoor and outdoor tanning are bad for your skin’s health.
The good news is that laser treatments and skin-brightening skincare ingredients can help to even out your complexion after getting too much sun.
The MOXI™ laser is among the best laser treatments for dark spots and uneven skin tone because it does not produce high levels of heat like some other types of lasers. Thus, MOXI is gentle enough to be used on sun-damaged skin without the risk of hyperpigmentation. For this same reason, MOXI lasers can be safely used on all skin tones.
Light therapies like the BBL™ Photofacial are also excellent options for improving pigmentation problems like sun spots and freckles. Photofacials can also be combined with MOXI laser treatments for even more comprehensive results.
Depending on your skin type and specific needs, your dermatologist might also recommend skin-brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, kojic acid, or glycolic acid to help you achieve and maintain a more even skin tone.
Lines and Wrinkles
Sun exposure can cause signs of aging like lines and wrinkles by breaking down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. In fact, the sun is the leading cause of premature skin aging. The best long-term strategy to wrinkle prevention is to wear daily sunscreen and avoid prolonged sun exposure as much as possible. However, years of accumulated sun damage can gradually lead to lines and wrinkles, making prevention no longer possible.
If you are beginning to see signs of aging on your skin, a combination of in-office skin treatments and a consistent anti-aging skincare regimen at home can offer the best results.
Injectables like BOTOX®, Dysport®, and dermal fillers are some of the most popular anti-aging skin treatments for both women and men. These treatments can temporarily smooth away lines and wrinkles and add volume to the cheeks and lips. Studies have shown that getting BOTOX in your 20s and 30s may help to prevent wrinkles in the future.
In addition to skin treatments like injectables, laser and light therapy, and chemical peels, your dermatologist may also recommend topical anti-aging ingredients like retinoids, resveratrol, niacinamide, vitamin C, and others.
Dull, Rough Skin
Have you ever noticed a dull, lackluster complexion at the end of summer? Sun exposure can deplete your skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and dehydration. The result is dry, rough skin. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and facials are some of the best skin treatments to reverse dull, dry skin. The three-step HydraFacial® is an excellent way to revive dry skin after a summer full of sunshine. HydraFacial deeply cleanses, exfoliates, hydrates, and protects your skin after a single 30-minute session.
In addition to in-office treatments, a customized skincare regimen that includes the right moisturizer for your skin type is key to getting and maintaining healthy, smooth skin all year round. If you aren’t sure what type of moisturizer is best for your skin type, speak with a board-certified dermatologist to ensure you are using the correct products for your skin.
Sun Damage Prevention Tips
Of course, it is always best to prevent sun damage before you have to treat any of these conditions, but we know that is easier said than done! So here are some simple tips to help you stay sun safe and avoid skin problems associated with getting too much sun.
- Wear daily SPF. Even on days when you plan on being indoors, it is important to cover up with SPF. The sun’s rays can penetrate glass, so you could be exposed in your office or in your car while driving.
- Add antioxidants to your diet and skincare routine. Antioxidants work to prevent and reverse signs of sun damage by neutralizing free radicals caused by UV light. Foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, and berries contain high amounts of antioxidants. You can also give your skin a boost by using a topical vitamin C serum.
- Avoid peak hours of sunshine. The sun’s UV rays are at their strongest from the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so consider exercise and other outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon to reduce your risk of sun damage.
Even when we do our best to prevent sun damage, it is impossible to avoid the sun altogether. So if you notice any of the signs of sun damage outlined in this article, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to create a customized treatment plan just for you.
Whether you’re dealing with a bothersome sunburn or want to get rid of wrinkles, our team of skincare professionals in Boca Raton, Florida can help. Give us a call at 561-462-0347 or contact us online to book an appointment today.