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BLUSH Beverly Hills is the premier aesthetic medicine destination for those looking for natural, beautiful results for the face, skin, and body without going under the knife. 

sun damage skin

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 90% of visible skin aging is caused by the sun. This includes fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and a loss of elasticity. It takes only 15 minutes out in the sun to start that process. Managing the effects of Sun Damage Skin can be challenging, even with the use of sunscreen and protective clothing. This is because many individuals may have already experienced significant sun damage earlier in life, making it necessary to take additional steps to address the visible effects of this damage.

Sun exposure is good for our health and bad for our skin. If you’ve experienced sun damage and want to mitigate its effects to prevent signs of aging and maintain healthy skin, there are many tools at your disposal. Laser skin care is a great way to help rejuvenate skin and return a healthy glow, correcting things like discoloration and sun spots while diminishing the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. 

In order to correct sun damage, it’s important to understand the extent of the damage and what type of treatment your skin would respond to best. These treatments aren’t a cure-all, and you may find that some options will be better for your skin than others. 

Sun Damage Details

The sun emits a type of radiation known as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can damage the skin in several ways. Two main types of UV radiation affect skin: UVA and UVB. UVA radiation can penetrate deeply into the skin and cause long-term damage, such as premature aging and wrinkles. It can also contribute to the development of skin cancer. On the other hand, UVB radiation affects the top layer of skin and is the primary cause of sunburn.

When skin is exposed to UV radiation, it triggers a response from the body’s immune system to protect itself from further damage. This response leads to inflammation and the production of melanin, which gives skin its color. Over time, repeated exposure to UV radiation can damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to mutations that contribute to the development of skin cancer.

The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during peak hours. It’s also important to regularly check your skin for unusual moles or other changes, as early detection is key in treating skin cancer.

But what do you do if you’ve experienced sun damage from when you were younger and want to counteract the effects? Sun damage leads to faster aging in the skin and can leave people looking much older than they are. Luckily, there are tools to help reduce the effects of sun exposure and help your skin regain some health. 

Laser Skin Care

Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic procedure that uses a laser to improve the appearance of the skin. It can treat various skin concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, uneven skin texture and tone, and sun damage.

During the procedure, the laser removes the outer layer of the skin, stimulating collagen production and new skin cells. This can result in smoother, tighter, and more youthful-looking skin. The laser can be adjusted to target specific areas of the skin, making it a versatile and precise tool for skin rejuvenation. There are two main types of laser skin resurfacing: ablative and non-ablative. 

Ablative

Ablative laser treatments are a type of skin resurfacing procedure that can correct sun damage on the skin. Sun damage can cause several issues, including wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin texture. Ablative laser treatments remove the outer layer of skin, stimulating the growth of new skin cells and collagen production, resulting in smoother, more youthful-looking skin.

During an ablative laser treatment, a laser removes the outer layer of the skin. This can be done with a carbon dioxide (CO2) or erbium laser. The CO2 laser is generally used for more severe sun damage, while the erbium laser is used for mild to moderate cases. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Following the treatment, patients may see redness, swelling, and peeling of the skin. It is important to keep the skin moisturized and protected from the sun during the healing process, which can take several weeks. However, once the skin has fully healed, patients should see a significant improvement in the appearance of their skin, with a reduction in wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of sun damage.

While ablative laser treatments can effectively correct sun damage, they are not without risks. In addition to the potential for temporary redness and peeling, there is also a risk of infection, scarring, and changes in skin pigmentation. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of ablative laser treatments with your practitioner before undergoing the procedure. Not all skin types work well with ablative laser treatment, so understanding what is best for your skin will allow you to achieve ideal results. If it is too harsh for your skin, many additional laser options are less invasive.

Non-Ablative

Non-ablative laser treatments are another option for treating sun damage on the skin, and they work differently than ablative procedures. Instead of removing the outer layer of skin, non-ablative lasers use heat to stimulate the growth of new collagen in the deeper layers of the skin. This can help reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of sun damage.

During a non-ablative laser treatment, a laser delivers heat energy to the skin. The laser is typically a fractionated laser, which delivers small columns of laser energy into the skin, leaving surrounding tissue intact. This allows for a more targeted treatment and faster healing time. The procedure usually involves a numbing agent and lasts 30 minutes. 

Though less invasive, patients may still experience some redness and swelling following the treatment. However, there is typically no peeling or significant downtime. Multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the desired results, and the full effects of the treatment may not be seen for several months.

Non-ablative laser treatments are generally considered to be safer than ablative procedures, with a lower risk of scarring or changes in skin pigmentation. However, they may be less effective at treating severe sun damage, and the results may not be as dramatic as with an ablative treatment.

Ultimately, the choice between an ablative or non-ablative laser treatment will depend on the severity of the sun damage and the desired results. Discussing the options with your practitioner will help determine which treatment best suits your needs.

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a specific non-ablative procedure to help remedy sun damage. The treatment targets the pigment in the skin, which absorbs the light energy and is converted into heat. This heat can then destroy unwanted cells, such as those that cause age spots, while also stimulating collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

IPL treatment is generally considered safe, with few side effects, and is a good option for those with sensitive skin looking for a non-ablative treatment. However, as with any medical procedure, some risks exist, such as changes in skin pigmentation or burns. Your practitioner will be able to help you determine the right procedure to help your skin look and feel its best. 

Laser For Lasting Results

While laser skin resurfacing isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent treatment option for sun-damaged skin. Sun exposure is inevitable, and the possibility of damage shouldn’t keep you from enjoying a beautiful day. Using sunscreen and staying covered when you can will help prevent further damage, and laser treatments are available to help with the damage already done. 
If you’re ready to start loving your skin and heal previous sun damage, BLUSH Beverly Hills is the perfect place to start. We offer many treatments to help you look and feel great. Learn more on our website about the different procedures offered and how you can start improving your skin today.