The signs of aging are not something most people look forward to. We imaging our skin looking smooth and radiant well into our adult years. The thing is, the skin is aged not only by our biology but by external factors as well. Primarily, the skin can be aged more quickly by the sun. We refer to this as photoaging. It’s what people mean when they talk about premature aging and what dermatologists list as a consequence of too much sun exposure. Here, we discuss what can be done to minimize the effects of sun exposure and also to reverse the signs of photoaging.
What Photoaging Looks Like
The signs of photoaging are similar to the issues we face simply by getting older. They may happen as early as our thirties, though, depending on our daily habits. Photoaging may look like:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Spider veins
- Rough skin
- Freckles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation
- Actinic keratosis (precancerous lesions)
Managing Sun Damage
Sun damage, or photoaging, is something we do better to avoid than try to treat. The earlier that good sun habits and skincare begin, the better. Damaging UV light exists in sunlight and can permeate a thick cloud layer. For this reason, it is necessary to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen even on cloudy days and especially on sunny days. If the signs of photodamage develop, various strategies can be used to reverse them.
- Chemical peels are professional treatments that are customized to meet specific objectives. Some peels are very light, good for reducing the effects of sun exposure before the signs of photoaging have occurred. Deeper peels do not require much in terms of recovery and can reach greater levels of cellular turnover.
- Microdermabrasion is another form of professional exfoliation. Different than a chemical peel, microdermabrasion resurfaces the uppermost layer of the skin using tiny particles that abrade the epidermis in a controlled manner.
- IPL treatment. This treatment is designed for dark spots, redness, and broken capillaries. These problems are caused either by an accumulation of melanin or by blood vessels. The intense pulsed light gets absorbed by the pigment beneath the skin, breaking it up into tiny particles so spots fade away.
There are many reasons to see a dermatologist. In our Lake Charles office, one of those reasons is to feel great about the appearance of your skin. To schedule a visit to discuss how to treat sun damage, call 337. 477.0011.