When you’re sitting on the shore or by a pool enjoying warming rays of sunshine, the last thing on your mind may be how the effects of a golden tan may show up on your skin decades from now. We hate to be a downer but it is our job to discuss how sun exposure can affect the skin. It isn’t only surface damage like a sunburn that is concerning but the way that the ultraviolet light of the sun can permeate deeper layers of skin to cause changes in skin cell renewal. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer and also the primary factor associated with premature aging. Here, we discuss what you can do to protect and restore your skin’s vitality and health.
Sun Damage Needs Professional Help
Regardless of how your skin looks today, you can benefit from a visit with a board-certified dermatologist. You may be surprised to hear that your skin is already showing signs of damage and that you need more than that daily application of sunscreen to make a dent in the way your skin ages over time. In our Lake Charles dermatology office, patients benefit from professional services like:
- Chemical peels. Whether your goal is to slow the progression of aging and sun damage or you have visible cosmetic concerns like hyperpigmentation you wish to correct, a chemical peel may be ideal for you. Chemical peels are customized to various strengths. A light peel may be sufficient for a younger adult or one who has largely avoided direct sun exposure. To soften rough skin and lighten sun spots, Dr. Smith may recommend a deeper peel. In either case, downtime is minimal.
- IPL. Intense Pulsed Light is a specific dermatologic treatment that is often sought for the correction of sun damage. This is because the types of light emitted during an IPL treatment expressly target melanin and hemoglobin, the two chemicals in the skin that are involved in hyperpigmentation. A few treatment sessions may be needed to achieve the best results.
- Laser skin resurfacing. Lasers use a different type of light than an IPL device. Laser skin resurfacing also often works by targeting only a fraction of the skin. In this way, the energy that is absorbed is healed more quickly by the collagen present in micro areas of untouched skin.
Even your dermatologist recognizes that there are some benefits to be gained by brief periods of sun exposure. When too much is too much, though, professional treatment can help resolve the effects of damage. To explore your post-summer sun damage treatments, schedule a visit to our Lake Charles dermatology office at 337. 477.0011.