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Dermatologist explains 8 ways to treat sun-damaged skin






ICYMI, the sun's ultraviolet rays are the most common cause of premature skin aging, or more commonly, sun damage. It is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat.


Not only are UV rays so harmful, but also because sun damage is often difficult to treat—wrinkles, dark spots, sagging skin, and loss of elasticity are all signs of severe sun damage to the face.

What is sun damage? "Sun damage occurs when the skin is overexposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays," explains Michelle Green, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in New York City.


"UV rays can penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin and cause changes in DNA at the cellular level." Green says UV rays can negatively impact the skin's aging process and, in some cases, lead to cancer from a variety of

factors: From the surface of the skin to deep within the skin.


01. Apply vitamin C every day. "Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight hyperpigmentation, the formation of fine lines and wrinkles caused by exposure to UV rays,"

Green explains, pointing to L-ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C). The regenerative properties help speed up the production of collagen and elastin in the skin.


As you know, collagen and elastin are largely responsible for keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful. By using vitamin C, you can rejuvenate your complexion and slowly reverse the effects of sun damage, Green says.

02. Don’t be afraid of retinol. Another ingredient that’s great for sun-damaged skin? Retinol. "Topical tretinoin is considered the gold standard in anti-aging skin care, second only to sunscreen," says Dr. Adeline Kikam,


board-certified dermatologist and founder of @brownkinder.

"Topical retinoids are commonly used in skin care to provide new texture to sun-damaged skin, promote skin cell turnover, and combat blemishes and uneven skin tone." Additionally, Kikam says they help stimulate collagen


production , and stimulates elastin in the skin.

Skin, lost due to degeneration caused by ultraviolet radiation. "Prescription retinoids prescribed by dermatologists tend to be more effective and work faster than over-the-counter retinoids, which tend to be less effective


and work more slowly," she adds.

"However, over-the-counter retinols are great for people with sensitive skin, as prescription retinoids may cause more irritation."


03. Consider adding a chemical peel to your routine. If the words "chemical peel" coupled with your face scare you, let us ease your worries. Chemical acids can actually do wonders for your skin. According to Hope Mitchell,

M.D. add an acidic solution (also known as a chemical peel) to your skin care routine—whether you choose mandelic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or triclosan Acetic Acid – Both can help reverse sun damage.


"Chemical peels improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin by using a chemical solution to speed up the process of resurfacing or renewing the skin," she explains. "With exfoliation, the new skin underneath may appear smoother,

less dull, less pigmented, and may even have fewer fine lines and precancerous lesions."


Now that you definitely want to add a chemical peel to your routine, Keep in mind that while it's very gentle to use on its own, mixing different chemical peels is generally not a good idea. So if you are adding more than one

to your daily routine, make sure you use one in the morning and one at night.


Also, as Kikam reminds us, it's always a good idea to do a patch test before applying product to your entire face.

04. Book an in-office chemical peel. Because there are so many exfoliating acids on the market, and many at-home exfoliants are nowhere near as strong or effective as in-office peels, Mitchell recommends booking an appointment


for a chemical peel if you have obvious signs of sun damage.

Think of office peels as acidic household products raised to the power of ten. That's because, as Mitchell points out, dermatologists can tailor peels to a patient's specific needs — whether it's sun spots, hyperpigmentation,


fine lines or wrinkles.

"This skill makes chemical peels one of the best cosmetic services dermatology clinics offer—they produce the best results," she says.


05. Consider dermaplaning: Another treatment that can be done at home and in the office is dermaplaning. While at-home dermaplaning is very gentle and its main purpose is to improve skin texture by removing peach fuzz, in-office

dermaplaning goes a step further.


According to esthetician Edyta Jarosz, this is because in practice, dermaplaning is often combined with chemical peel treatments. "Dermaplaning helps replace sun-damaged skin with new skin growth, allowing for better absorption

of products and a healthier, more vibrant look," she explains. “If you combine dermaplaning with a chemical peel, your results will be enhanced because your skin will be better able to tolerate the peel treatment.”


06. Make an appointment for dermabrasion (after summer) Generally speaking, summer is the best time to get sunburned. After all, this is the time when most people get out and enjoy nature and all it has to offer. The problem is

that in-office chemical peels and other skin resurfacing treatments, such as dermabrasion, can make the skin sensitive to the sun, making it more susceptible to damage. Therefore, Yaros recommends continuing these treatments


into the fall. “In the fall, chemical peels and Diamond Glow facials can be great options to restore and repair summer-damaged skin,” she says, noting that the DiamondGlow facial is a refreshing, rejuvenating facial. "It

exfoliates the skin's surface, removes impurities from pores, and delivers a targeted serum to the skin. The newest option is TNS Advanced+Serum, which targets rough wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin to improve skin tone


and Texture." So, she says it's a great option for reversing the effects of sun damage.

07. Make an appointment for radiofrequency microneedling treatment Another practical option is radiofrequency microneedling. "Years of exposure to the sun without sun protection can lead to rough and uneven texture changes, as


well as fine lines and wrinkles," Kikam explains, noting that radiofrequency microneedling can be used to treat sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles, thereby reshaping the skin's texture to provide support. Perhaps

the reason it's so effective is because it combines two techniques into one. "Microneedling is a medical procedure that uses short, thin needles to injure the skin in a controlled manner, thereby stimulating collagen and


elastin production and increasing blood flow," Kikam explains, noting that it can be used alone or with radiofrequency Energy is used in combination to get better results. "Radiofrequency energy, on the other hand, is a

non-surgical method in which an insulated needle penetrates the skin and releases radiofrequency energy from the needle tip, penetrating deeper into the skin, stimulating collagen and tightening the skin."


08. Consider shuttle While retinol is the gold standard for at-home anti-aging ingredients, Fraxel is the "magic eraser" in the office and the gold standard treatment for improving skin tone and texture, Green says. "Fraxel is

often recommended to patients suffering from sun damage because it can combat a variety of skin problems," she says. "Fraxel creates controlled microscopic wounds in the skin by using highly concentrated laser pulses. As the


skin repairs these wounds, collagen production increases, new skin cells grow, and sun damage begins to heal." The tricky thing about sun damage is that you can't always look at it in a way that makes you think, "Damn, I have

sun damage." In some cases, your skin may look relatively flawless, But then you go to the dermatologist and have their UV rays tested. Photography and was horrified by the results. This is because many signs of sun damage take


a while to fully reach the surface of the skin (this may seem confusing since UV rays hit the surface of the skin first, but be patient). How long does it take for sunburn to show up? "Due to the depth of UV damage to skin

cells, sunburn can take years to appear," Green explains, noting that visible signs of sunburn include brown spots, wrinkles and fine lines, as well as loss of skin elasticity and elasticity. Evenly. tone or texture. If you


notice these signs, you don't have to worry, Green says. Instead, take a deep breath and make sure you know how to repair (and prevent) sun-damaged skin with the list of at-home and in-office treatments we've compiled below.

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