Things to Know – How to Deal with Sun Damaged Skin?

Introduction

Imagine spending a fun-filled day at the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin.

While it may be a great way to unwind and relax, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause severe damage to your skin. Sun damage, also known as photoaging, is irreversible and can lead to a host of issues like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and even skin cancer.

So, how do you deal with sun damaged skin? In this blog post, we aim to explore the symptoms, causes, and the best ways to repair and prevent sun damage.

Photoaging (Sun Damage) – Symptoms and Causes

Photoaging is the damage caused to the skin from exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Symptoms

  • Wrinkles and fine lines (loss of elasticity because of damage to collagen fibers due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays)
  • Age spots (also known as liver spots, which appear brown particularly on hands, arms, and face)
  • Dry and rough skin (at times scaly)
  • Redness and inflammation (usually in the form of sunburn, which is common to sun damage. The skin appears red, inflamed, painful to touch, and in some cases blisters)

Causes

  • Exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds (this results to damage to collagen fibers, which keeps your skin taut)
  • Repeated exposure to UV radiation over time
  • Failure to protect the skin (sunscreen SPF 30 or better or protective clothing)
  • Genetics
  • Smoking

Apart from prematurely aging the skin, photoaging also increases the risk of cancer

So, how can you reverse the damage caused by the sun?

Can Sun Damage Be Reversed?

Sun damage may be reversed – especially if it is caught early and is treated early.

However, the damage caused by the sun cannot be reversed entirely.it can be minimized. And its effects can be reduced with the right treatment and care.

One of the best ways to repair sun-damaged skin is to incorporate antioxidants into your skincare routine. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E help to neutralize the free radicals that cause damage to the skin cells, reducing inflammation and improving the skin’s overall appearance.

In a study, sunscreen that has Coenzyme-Q has prevented progression of skin damage.

Another effective treatment for sun-damaged skin is a chemical peel, which involves applying a solution to the skin to remove the damaged outer layer. This process stimulates the production of collagen, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

But do these treatments work? Let’s take a closer look.

What is the Best Sun Damage Skin Repair?

There are several treatments available for repairing sun-damaged skin, but which one is the best?

Does Vitamin C Reverse Sun Damage?

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which according to a study can potentially reduce the damaging effects of the sun. It also helps to neutralize free radicals thus protecting not only the skin but also your overall health. However, there is limited evidence whether vitamin C can reverse sun damage.

It is important to note, however, that vitamin C can only neutralize free radicals induced by sun-damage at higher doses. 

Can Vitamin E Repair Sun Damaged Skin?

Vitamin E is another potent antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. However, there is no evidence that can support its claim to reverse sun damaged skin.

Will a Chemical Peel Get Rid of Sun Damage?

Yes, in fact according to a study, it is the gold standard (deep peels) when it comes to treating sun damaged skin.

A chemical peel is a treatment that involves applying a solution to the skin to remove the outer layer. This process stimulates the production of collagen, helping to reduce the appearance of sun damage as well as reduce the visible signs of aging – namely: fine lines and wrinkles.

However, it would be best if you consult an expert aesthetic professional before you start with the procedure. It is also best if you allow an expert to do this treatment in-office so as to lessen the side effects, which further damage your skin.

Can Coconut Oil Heal Sun Damaged Skin?

Coconut oil is used as an emollient, which moisturizes and softens the skin. However, there is limited evidence (if any) that supports its claim to heal sun damaged skin. Nonetheless, according to a study, virgin coconut oil has shown to improve skin integrity of preterm infants. Furthermore, it also has an antimicrobial property, which improves the barrier function of the skin.

How Long Does Sun Damaged Skin Take to Heal?

The time it takes for sun damaged skin to heal can vary from case to case. It depends on how severe the condition is. For example, sunburns may take only a few days to a week to heal. But more severe damage to the skin like wrinkles and age spots may take a lot longer – maybe even several months or years to heal.

How Do You Prevent Sun Damaged Skin?

The best way to prevent sun damage is to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here are some tips:

Wear sunscreen (apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours. Use it even frequently if you are under the sunlight for too long like swimming)

Wear protective clothing (wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your exposed skin from the sun)

Avoid peak sun hours (stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm)

Stay hydrated (drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy)

Eat a healthy diet (a diet rich in fruits and vegetables)

Avoid tanning beds (these approach produce detrimental changes in the skin)

Follow a good skincare routine (natural products are good for preventing sun damage. Practice a routine that basically covers from cleansing to moisturizing)

Try antioxidants (incorporate dietary antioxidants specifically those with vitamin C and E, which will control the levels of reactive oxygen species that are harmful)

Exfoliating (once or twice weekly peeling is enough to keep the skin fresh)

Be aware of your medications (if you have maintenance that increases your sensitivity to the sun, you should talk to your physician about this)

Other Important Information

Who is Susceptible to Photoaging?

Anyone can develop photoaging, but some people are more susceptible than others. People with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to develop sun damage.

What Time is the Sun Harmful?

The sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. It’s best to stay out of the sun during these hours or take extra precautions to protect your skin.

Where is Photoaging Most Visible?

Photoaging is most visible on the face, neck, hands, and arms, as these are the areas that are most exposed to the sun.

Conclusion

Sun damage is a serious issue that can lead to a host of problems, from wrinkles and age spots to skin cancer. While it may be impossible to reverse the damage caused by the sun, there are ways to minimize its effects and prevent further damage. By incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine, wearing protective clothing, and staying out of the sun during peak hours, you can protect your skin and keep it looking healthy and youthful for years to come.

For medical professionals:

If you are a medical professional who wants to expand your horizon and try aesthetics, you need training and certification. ReplenishMD Training is the answer to your needs. We offer a robust training program that helps medical professionals achieve success. For more information, visit our website or call us for inquiries.

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