Treating Sun Damage

How to Reverse Skin Sun Damage

You’ve had a blast enjoying the pool, beaches and outside activities for months.  Now your skin is paying the price.  What can you do to reverse sun damage?  Turns out, there are quite a few options.  The best advice I can give you for your skin is to wear sunblock daily all year long.  SPF 50 to be exact.  Adding a hat for extra shade and reapplying every hour is best.  But, we all have sun damage to some extent even when we take precaution.  This is caused by previous damage earlier in life that is coming up as we age. Here are your options to even out skin tone and fade sun spots.

Retinoids are compounds derived from vitamin A that are available by prescription in topical creams. They encourage skin cells to slough off and renew themselves, improving skin cell turnover cycles and lighten brown spots. Milder forms of retinoids, called retinols, are available in OTC creams; they may be less effective than their prescription counterparts, but can still have some benefit.

Lightening agents that include hydroquinone, an ingredient with clinically proven skin-lightening properties, can be used in conjunction with a retinoid to lighten sunspots.

Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants work by slowing the skin’s degeneration due to the production of rogue chemicals (free radicals) that cause visible signs of damage. They can reduce UV damage to skin.

Exfoliants, such as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), stimulate faster skin cell turnover, the process by which skin cells replace themselves. Because sun damage slows the rate at which skin cells turn over, exfoliants may be effective treatment.

Chemical peels encourage the dead top layer of skin to slough off, which in many cases will take with it areas of uneven pigmentation and precancerous lesions and fine lines. Peels can either be performed in a series or as a one-time treatment, depending on the peel depth. It’s especially important to protect your skin with a strong sunscreen after a chemical peel.

To schedule your chemical peel or to purchase skin lightening products, contact me at dinacrowell@gmail.com or text me at 703-862-9403.

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