If you’re like most people, you probably spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer months. And while you may have been careful to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, sometimes we neglect to do this, or we just aren’t able to protect our skin enough.
Sun damage can cause redness, blisters, sagging skin, uneven skin tone, freckles, melasma, papules, and scaly patches. But the good news is that sun damage can be reversed–at least to some extent. Read on to learn more about the dos and don’ts with your skin and sun damage to keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy throughout the years.
Top Things You Should Do During Summer to Protect Skin
Skin protection is important all year round, but it’s especially crucial in the summertime. The sun’s rays are more intense during the summer months, so it’s important to take extra care of your skin. Here are some tips for protecting your skin in the summer:
- Use sunscreen religiously. This is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin during summer. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it every two hours (or more often if you’re swimming or sweating).
- Cover up. Choose clothing like long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats when you’re outside. Consider investing in clothing that has built-in UV protection.
- Avoid peak sun hours. Don’t be in the sun during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10am and 4pm.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin (and your whole body) hydrated. This will help flush out toxins and keep your skin looking plump and glowing.
- Eat summer produce. Take advantage of all the delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season during summer. Not only are they nutritious, but many of them also contain antioxidants that can help protect your skin from damage.
- Protect your lips. Don’t forget to protect your lips from the sun! Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply it often throughout the day.
- Visit a dermatologist. If you’re concerned about your skin or you have any unusual changes, it’s always a good idea to visit a dermatologist. They can help you diagnose and treat any problems you may have.
What Happens When We Neglect to Protect Our Skin?
When we neglect to protect our skin, several things can happen. First and foremost, we become more susceptible to skin cancer. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma will affect one in every five Americans during their lifetime.
In addition to skin cancer, neglected skin is also more prone to other conditions such as premature aging, sunspots, and wrinkles. Ultraviolet radiation breaks down collagen in the skin, which leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. Sunspots are dark patches on the skin that are caused by overproduction of melanin in response to UV exposure.
Can Sun Damage Be Reversed?
Many people believe that once you have damaged your skin from too much sun exposure, the damage is permanent. However, this is not necessarily true. While it is true that sun damage can cause long-term problems, such as wrinkles and age spots, there are ways to reverse some of the damage.
One way to reverse sun damage is to use a topical retinoid cream. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, and they help to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover. This can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.
Another way to reverse sun damage is to use a laser treatment. Laser treatments can help to stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover. This can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
If you are concerned about sun damage, it is important to talk to a qualified skincare professional. They can help you choose the best treatment for your skin type and condition.
At Home Skin Care for Sun Damaged Skin
With these simple tips, you can help to heal and protect your sun damaged skin at home:
- Exfoliate. Gently exfoliate your skin regularly with a soft brush or cloth. This will help to remove dead skin cells and reveal new, healthy skin beneath.
- Rehydrate. Be sure to rehydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water and using a moisturizer daily. This will help to repair damage and keep your skin looking its best.
- Avoid harsh treatments. Scrubbing or excessive sun exposure can further damage sun-damaged skin. Instead, opt for gentler methods of care.
Get Help from Your Dermatologist for Sun Damaged Skin
If you’re concerned about sun damage to your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist at Swinyer Woseth Dermatology. Our skilled team will assess the sun damage and create an appropriate treatment plan.
There are several ways to treat sun damaged skin. For example, we may recommend:
- Dermabrasion: This procedure involves using a rotating wire brush or diamond wheel to sand down the top layer of skin. This can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other irregularities.
- Micro-needling: Micro-needling uses tiny needles to create microscopic punctures in the skin. This helps stimulate collagen production, which can help improve the appearance of sun damage.
- Topical treatments: These can help reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of sun damaged skin.
- Laser skin resurfacing: Laser resurfacing can help improve the texture and tone of sun damaged skin.
- Chemical peels: A chemical peel can remove the top layer of damaged skin, revealing new, healthy skin underneath.
Depending on the severity of your sun damage, one or more of these treatments may be recommended. We will create a customized treatment plan for you based on your individual needs.
Contact Swinyer Woseth Dermatology Today
If you’re concerned about sun damage to your skin, make an appointment with Swinyer Woseth Dermatology today. Our expert dermatologists will be able to recommend the best treatment for your specific situation. With the right treatment, you can help to reverse some of the damage caused by the sun and enjoy healthier, more youthful-looking skin.