Understanding sun damage.

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Understanding sun damage

Sun damage is a term that gets bandied about quite freely, but to the average person, it can be perplexing. What does sun damage mean exactly? In this post, we share with Ottawa patients what the term “sun damage” encompasses and what can be done to prevent and correct this skin condition.

What is sun damage?

Sun damage relates to the changes that occur when the skin is exposed to sunlight. There is a cascade of reactions that occur in the skin that lead to changes in how the skin cells functions, which can also lead to pigmentation concerns, and in some cases, skin cancer. Additionally, accumulative sun exposure degrades the connective tissue that gives our skin its elasticity and firmness. The signs of sun damage include:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Enlarged pores
  • Sagging skin
  • Rough skin texture
  • Brown spots
  • Redness

How can sun damage be prevented?

The most effective way to prevent sun damage is to stay out of the sun, which is not exactly an easy or enjoyable prospect. Barring living a nocturnal life, these realistic measures should be taken consistently to limit sun damage to your skin.

  • Wear a minimum SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen every day
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to sun exposure to ensure it has time to become active
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses whenever possible
  • Cover up with clothing and stay in the shade, especially during the peak UV index hours between 10am and 4pm.

How can sun damage be corrected?

There are fantastic non-invasive procedures that can be undertaken to correct sun damage. These include clinical peels, photodynamic therapy, IPL photorejuvenation and medical-grade skincare.

  • Clinical peels are a safe and quick treatment to remove the superficial layer of skin cells. Regular in-office clinical peels will maintain a smooth and soft skin texture while consistently removing damaged cells for a bright and clear complexion.
  • Photodynamic therapy is a specialized non-invasive treatment that targets precancerous and cancerous lesions. The side benefit of this therapeutic treatment is that the skin tone is evened out and cell renewal is activated for a rejuvenated complexion.
  • IPL Photorejuvenation uses wavelengths of light to direct heat energy into the skin. This energy is used to target brown spots and skin redness that result from sun damage. When these damaged cells and vessels are cleared away, the skin tone is noticeably refreshed, and the overall texture and firmness of the skin is improved as well.

Each of these treatment methods work at varying degrees of intensity to shed away damaged skin cells and reveal fresh and healthy skin. Knowing which treatment to pursue is difficult to ascertain on your own. Concept Medical has a staff of certified cosmetic physicians on hand to help you navigate the cosmetic treatment landscape. We will develop a treatment plan that is best suited to your skin condition and lifestyle. We welcome you to visit us for a professional consultation. Request an appointment with us.

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