Sun damage doesn’t happen overnight. Repeated exposure to UVA rays is responsible for aging, since they penetrate deep within the skin, breaking down collagen and inhibiting the production of healthy elastin.
Here are the five signature signs of sun damage and what you can do about them:
Since the sun literally sucks out moisture and natural oils that lubricate the skin, years of repeated sun exposure can leave your face looking dehydrated and flaky. The first line of defense is a high-quality moisturizing sun block.
2. TEXTURE CHANGES
Constantly exposing your skin to the sun causes it to become thick and almost leathery, because of the depletion of collagen. Rays can also cause other texture irregularities, as well as skin cancer and pre-cancer. A carbon dioxide laser such as the Fraxel Repair can help stimulate the growth of new collagen and even out the texture of sun-ravaged skin.
3. AGE SPOTS
The sun revs up melanin production, causing age spots, which can be brown, black or even gray. The are usually found on the forehead, near the temples, on the chest, shoulders and hands. These sun spots can be treated with an IPL Photofacial.
4. BROKEN CAPILLARIES
As the sun’s harmful rays come into contact with your skin, they break down the structural walls of the tiny blood vessels in the face. The more the walls are broken down, the more rupturing there is, resulting in red, broken capillaries. A Pulsed Dye Laser, such as the VBeam can remove the appearance of these red ruptured nuisances.
5. LINES AND WRINKLES
Because the sun breaks down collagen and elastin, fine lines and wrinkles result. Deeper folds and wrinkles, especially around the mouth, are commonly associated with years of sun exposure, too. A series of Fraxel Restore Dual treatments can reduce these fine lines and wrinkles, and can also diminish the appearance of sun spots as well.
Remember, it’s never too late to come in from the sun. Start by always using a strong, moisturizing sunscreen and don’t forget to use it on the backs of your hands and your décolleté. Use it every day, even during days you don’t plan to be in the sun. Just driving your car can expose you to enough harmful rays to make a significant difference in your appearance. This is why most people have more brown spots on the left side of the face, where the sun comes through the driver’s side window of the car.
Also, if you have small children, teach them the importance of protecting their skin from the sun at an early age. With a little care, their skin can stay smooth, even and supple for a lifetime.
Dr. Mitchell Chasin founded Reflections Center for skin & body as a place where physicians specializing in cosmetic medicine could focus on helping empower patients to feel their most beautiful. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.