The sun’s UVA rays are long, and penetrate deep into the skin, damaging cells and producing enlarged pores, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dryness and other signs of aging. Some topical applications may improve the look of moderately sun damaged skin, but more severe damage, accumulated by years of over-exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, may require professional treatment.
Cosmetic procedures offer more complex treatment options for serious signs of sun damage and for reversing the signs of sun damage. These procedures must be done by a licensed skincare professional or a medical doctor.
Microdermabrasion – Microdermabrasion is non-surgical, non-invasive skin resurfacing procedure performed by a trained skincare professional. A fine, controlled spray of crystals buffs away the surface layer of skin. This removes the dead skin cells and stimulates the production of new, healthy cells. Microdermabrasion can successfully improve the look of sun damaged skin, however, several treatment sessions may be required to achieve the desired results.
High Frequency Treatment – High frequency is ideal for treating mildly sun damaged skin. High frequency facial machines provide a gentle alternative to more invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing and chemical peels. The application of low level electrical current can improve blood circulation and cell renewal, increase the production of collagen and elastin, soften the skin, reduce pore size and improve overall skin texture.
Chemical Peels – Chemical peels are acid chemical solutions used to improve and smooth the texture of the sun damaged skin by removing the damaged outer layers. There are a variety of different chemical peels available – the right product and precise formula used, may be adjusted to meet each person’s needs.
Dermal fillers – Dermal fillers provide immediate results and are injected directly beneath the skin to replace the body’s natural collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and facial lines. Most fillers are temporary (biodegradable), requiring continued treatments every three to six months to maintain their effect. Some, newer, synthetic fillers can last up to two years. Using a patient’s own body fat can enable the treatment to last 1-3 years. So far PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) is the only filler believed to be permanent.
Dermabrasion – this procedure involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that “abrades” the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure (this can take several weeks) the surface appears smoother and fresher.
Laser skin resurfacing – Laser skin resurfacing uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin while rebuilding the collagen as the skin heals. Laser resurfacing may be used to minimize wrinkles and fine scars. A newer treatment option is called non-ablative resurfacing, which also uses a laser as well as electrical energy to remove the damage and replace the collagen without damaging the top layers of skin.
For mild to moderately sun damaged skin, there are less severe treatment options that can effectively restore the skin’s condition.