Warm weather is upon us, which means more time enjoying the outdoors and fewer layers to wear. Higher temperatures also mean that you are exposing more of your skin to the sun. The sun may feel great after so many months in the cold, but it can be harmful to your skin. Sun damage is a very real threat to both your health and a youthful look. The good news is that there are effective ways to prevent sun damage, and treat it after it occurs.
Why UV Rays are Harmful to Your Skin
You have special components in your skin that help to keep it smooth and tight. When you’re younger, your skin has a lot of these components called collagen and elastin. As you get older, however, collagen and elastin production slows and your skin begins to loosen. This happens naturally regardless of how much time you spend in the sun, but too much sun exposure can actually accelerate the process.
When the sun shines, even on an overcast day, it’s generating UVA and UVB (ultraviolet) rays of energy. These ultraviolet rays are what cause your skin to get tanned or, worse, sunburned. Over time and with too much exposure to the sun, the UV rays will begin to breakdown and damage your skin. Since your body slows down the collagen and elastic tissue production naturally, it can’t replace the damaged fibers fast enough. The results is that skin aging is accelerated.
How You Can Prevent Sun Damage to Your Skin
The easiest way to protect your skin from sun damage is something you’ve heard about your entire life: sunscreen! Wearing sunscreen every day will provide you with a base level of protection against the sun and will help you maintain your skin’s elasticity and strength. It’s generally recommended that you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 or SPF 30. People with very fair skin may want greater protection.
You can also help to combat skin aging by using a customized regimen of topical creams offered by Dr. Diane Walder and Dr. Stacy Chimento. Dr. Walder and her associate have a wide variety of skin care products that help patients with all types of skin tones and conditions achieve a healthy and younger-looking skin. Many of these products are designed to protect your skin and counteract the effects of sun damage. For example, the CE Ferulic serum works to protect against environmental contaminants (antioxidants) and lightens dark spots on your skin from sun damage. Another example is the Biopelle Tensage Growth Factor, which stimulates collagen growth to improve your skin’s elasticity and tone. Drs. Walder and Chimento can help you select the right skin care regimen based on your skin’s condition and your lifestyle.
Ways to Treat Sun-Damaged Skin
Sun damage doesn’t just happen overnight; it builds over time until it becomes visible in your face. Sun spots, fine wrinkles, rough scaly pink spots and rough leathery skin are all signs of sun damaged skin. This means that by the time sun damage is visible, it’s already penetrated to the deep layers of your skin. That can be improved using cosmetic skin procedures like laser resurfacing and chemical peels.
Laser resurfacing is a procedure that treats signs of damage both on the surface and in the deep layers of your skin. A carbon dioxide laser beam emits pulses of light that destroy damaged skin cells in the deep layers of your skin and stimulates your fiber production. By getting rid of the damaged cells, the laser also jump starts your skin’s natural healing process, which replaces the bad cells with new healthy cells. The newer cells slowly grow in to replace the damaged layers and give you younger-looking skin. Laser resurfacing may be used to treat things like sun damage, skin redness, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.
Chemical peels are a way to remove the damaged cells by applying a chemical solution directly onto the skin. The peels come in a range of depths based on what needs to be improved. Sun damage removal typically requires a deeper peel because it treats the deeper layers of skin. In a chemical peel, a solution is carefully placed on your skin in areas where you have the most damage. After it sits for a certain amount of time, the solution is rinsed off and your skin is carefully cleaned to ensure the chemicals have all been removed. The solution removes the surface layers of skin, which in turn removed the damaged skin cells. After the damaged layers are removed, the newer and undamaged layers replace them and refresh your skin. Chemical peels are used to treat sun damage, uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, melasma, and scars.
Prevent and Treat Sun-Damaged Skin with a Dermatology Consultation
The best time to start taking care of your skin is right now, so contact Dr. Walder or Dr. Chimento at (305) 866-2177 for a dermatology consultation. Drs. Walder and Chimento are both board-certified dermatologists and are considered two of the nation’s top experts in skin care. They offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures designed to improve the look and feel of your skin in addition to the skin care products they offers through the practice. If you’re looking to refresh your skin and plan ahead for the summer, call today to get started.