Can sun damage be reversed?

Beautiful woman with no sun damage

The sun’s ultraviolet light can cause wrinkles, dark spots, and other problems over time, adding years to your looks. The good news is there are a number of ways we can treat sun damage and heal your skin.

Age spots generally occur because our skin changes, and our cellular turnover slows down, as we age. This can cause uneven pigmentation, which can result in brown spots that make us look older than we really are. They can range in size and shape, but they generally appear on areas that have been exposed to the sun for long periods of time, like the face, hands, shoulders and arms.

The main treatment options we recommend to minimize the appearance of sun damage include chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion, IPL photofacials or dermaplaning. Each treatment has different advantages, so it’s best to speak to your clinician to find out which one is right for you.

Want to talk to the experts? Request an appointment.

What does sun damage look like?

First of all, how do you know if your skin is sun damaged? It can present in a number of ways, from a smattering of freckles to relatively large dark spots. Here are two examples:

Sun damage spot on cheekSun damaged skin on forehead

Sun damage occurs because your skin tries to protect itself from the damaging effects of the sun by producing a dark brown pigment called melanin. This is what makes your skin tanned, but in some cases, it can develop in clumps. However, this is just one symptom. Sun damage can also cause small blood vessels in your skin to stretch, which creates a mottled and reddish appearance.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the medical term for sun damage is “photo-aging.” As the damage gets worse, you may also notice deep lines or dry patches start to appear. These are called actinic keratoses, which is a pre-cancerous skin growth that you should have properly checked out by your doctor, because early detection is crucial to successful treatment.

Want a professional opinion? The AK Beautiful You team works closely with Dr. Michael Manuel, a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience.

What is the best treatment for sun damaged skin?

We offer four very successful treatments to minimize the appearance of sun damage.

  1. Chemical peelsA chemical peel is a treatment used to remove dead, dry, and dull skin cells and smooth the texture of the skin. It uses an acidic solution to cause a controlled injury that makes the skin flake or peel, removing sun damaged cells. We tailor the treatment to your skin type, and recommend you come back three or more times to ensure you see the best results possible.
  2. Micro-dermabrasionMicro-dermabrasion is a minimally invasive treatment that buffs away damaged cells on the outer layer of the skin, creating a younger looking appearance. It can reduce the appearance of sun damage, as well as fine lines, and mild acne scarring. it also increases circulation and collagen disposition, and you’ll notice results after one treatment.
  3. IPL photofacialsIntense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses different wavelengths of light to stimulate skin regeneration. It gently injures the skin, stimulating collagen production, and minimizes hyperpigmentation and broken capillaries associated with sun damage. We recommend you come back once or twice a year to maintain the results.
  4. Derma-planingDerma-planing is a painless procedure in which the face is gently exfoliated with a surgical blade. It removes all the dead surface skin – including sun damaged cells – to uncover a healthy new layer below, making the skin soft and smooth. Typically, it’s only performed on the face, whereas the other treatments we offer can be used on other areas as well.

Our clinicians provide safe, natural results every time. Request an appointment.

Always protect your skin

And of course, the best way to avoid sun damage in the first place is to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation. This means covering up whenever possible, wearing a broad-brimmed hat on sunny days, and always remembering to apply a good-quality sunblock every time you leave the house. This isn’t just relevant in summer, either, because the light that reflects from snow in winter can also cause damage. Choose a moisturizer or a foundation with SPF and just incorporate it into your morning routine.

Our team is here to help. Request an appointment.

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