Recognizing Different Types of Damage
Age or Liver Spots
Like freckles, these small, dark spots form on the skin as a result of sun exposure. But unlike freckles, they appear later in life and do not fade with time.
Long-term exposure to the sun often dries out your skin and can leave uncomfortable rough patches.
Because UV rays from the sun can break down collagen and elastin in the skin, sun exposure often leads to wrinkles.
Am I at risk of sun damage?
Sun Damage Is a Problem for Everyone
While some people are more susceptible than others, too much time in the sun can damage any person's skin. Going out without a hat, protective clothing, or sunscreen leaves you exposed to the UV (ultraviolet) rays in sunlight that break down the skin. Even people who don't burn easily still suffer damage from this kind of exposure. However, if you have fair skin, you are likely at greater risk of damage and even skin cancer than the average person.
Is sun damage really that common?
How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
Apply Sunscreen Regularly
If you plan to be out in the sun, take care to reapply your sunscreen at least every 80 to 90 minutes. While it can be easy to forget when you're having a good time, diligent application is essential to protecting your skin.
Cover Your Skin
Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses also serve as important shields for your skin.
Stay in the Shade
While avoiding the sun completely is impossible and inadvisable, remembering to stay in the shade as much as possible can keep your skin healthy.
Do I need to talk to a dermatologist?
A Specialist Can Recommend Treatment That's Right for You
Scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist can never hurt. Even if the damage is minor, your doctor will often be able to recommend the best treatment. If there are signs of skin cancer, your doctor can determine the most appropriate course of action as soon as possible.
While dermatologists can often diagnose your condition with a visual exam, they may take a biopsy to check for cancer. In this case, they will apply a topical anesthetic to reduce discomfort before removing a small sample of skin cells for laboratory analysis.
Is there any way to repair sun damage?
A Wide Range of Treatment Options
This non-ablative form of laser therapy gently removes damaged skin and smooths out minor blemishes.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
A more intensive form of laser therapy, laser skin resurfacing can target more severe sun damage.
Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion
I've noticed signs of sun damage. What do I do now?
Consult a Professional
Sun damage is not always serious, but it can often undermine confidence in your appearance. Reach out to a doctor today and discuss your options for minimally invasive treatment.
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