Keeping your skin safe in the summer weather is an important consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked. But what are the effects of sun damage and what are the different treatments for sun damaged skin?
The difference between UVA and UVB
Exposure to the sun can be beneficial for increasing vitamin D, improving circulation, boosting mood and increasing metabolism, but too much can be dangerous. You might have heard that it’s the UV exposure that can be damaging, but sunlight is made of two different types of UV light. These are UVA and UVB, but what is the difference?
UVA is a type of light ray that can reach deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. This type of exposure over the long term can result in early cell ageing, fine lines and long-term damage.
UVB is a type of light ray that is thought to cause most types of skin cancer, and causes direct damage to the skin tissue and even skin cells DNA.
Collectively, too much UVA and UVB can be incredibly dangerous over time, and that’s why full spectrum sun cream is so important.
What are the effects of sun damage?
Over exposure to the sun causes a wide range of damage to the skin beyond sunburn in the short term. This includes:
- Dry and patchy skin- the sun can dehydrate the skin and leave it dry, depleting the essential nutrients in the skin and leaving it dry, flaky and rough. In addition, too much sun can dramatically reduce the speed at which skin cells renew, which can result in a build up of old and dead skin cells. This leads to dull and congested skin.
- Dark spots and hyperpigmentation- exposure to both UV light types can result in an excess melanin production within skin, to help the skin protect itself from sun damage. This melanin however is often produced unevenly, which creates darker patches of skin concentrated in small areas. These patches of discoloured pigmentation can be stubborn and difficult to remove.
- Fine lines and wrinkles- too much sun can result in a loss of collagen and elastin in your skin too. Collagen is responsible for the volume and firmness of the skin, while elastin is responsible for allowing the skin to be flexible. The loss of both of these can combine to result in premature ageing signs, such as the development of lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes, forehead and mouth.
What are the different treatments for sun damaged skin?
If your skin has been damaged there are a number of different treatment options available. These include:
- Dermaplaning and chemical peels– chemical peels can be applied to the skin, where they remove the outer layers of skin, including dry, flay patches, and skin cells that have hyperpigmentation. If paired with a dermaplaning before the chemical peel, the effects can be even more extensive.
- IPL skin rejuvenation– This is a treatment that uses intense pulsed light to treat areas of skin damage including dark patches and sun spots.
For more information or advice get in touch with Preston’s leading aesthetic practitioners, here at The Skin and Wellbeing Clinic.