FAQ: How can I best prevent and treat sun damage?

treat sun damaged skin

In May, we focus on sun awareness, and this year the British Association of Dermatologists wants to raise awareness of the importance of protecting your skin in the UK. Sunburn doesn’t just happen when we are abroad – the sun can be strong enough to cause skin damage from mid-March to mid-October in the UK, even when it’s cloudy.

Accumulative sun damage over the years increases the risk of developing skin cancer, but it also results in photoageing, which is estimated to be the cause of at least 80% of the signs of visible facial ageing.

The damage the sun does to our skin occurs when ultraviolet (UV) light penetrates unprotected skin, causing DNA changes at a cellular level.

Sunlight contains two different kinds of UV light that threaten our skin. UVA light penetrates deep into the skin from the epidermis to the dermis. Elastin and collagen fibres which give the skin its strength and elasticity, are affected, as well as the small blood vessels just below the skin’s surface. UVB light affects the outer layer of the skin and can cause photoageing and precancerous cells, known as actinic keratoses, to develop.

What are the signs of sun damage on the skin?

Chronological or intrinsic ageing affects everyone, whatever your skin type or genetics, but this process can be significantly accelerated by hormonal, environmental or lifestyle factors. These factors include the menopause, smoking, stress, poor nutrition and lack of hydration, and air pollution. However, the greatest risk factor in premature ageing is exposure to UV radiation.

Fine lines & wrinkles:

The breakdown of elastin and collagen fibres in the skin presents as fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes and across the brow. Viscoderm Hydrobooster is an injectable Hyaluronic Acid product that is particularly suited to smoothing superficial fine lines caused by dynamic facial expressions around the mouth, eyes and forehead.

Poor skin elasticity:

As well as fine lines, the loss of collagen and elastin also causes skin sagging. 3D Dermaforce delivers radiofrequency energy through insulated microneedles to safely heat the dermis and kickstart the body’s natural healing process. This stimulates new collagen and elastin production, which tightens sagging skin.

Pigmentation changes:

Melanin production speeds up when the skin is exposed to the sun to absorb its UV rays safely. Over time abnormal and permanent modifications to melanin production present as sun spots, solar lentigines, liver spots, and freckles. The Perfect Peel contains glutathione which is proven to reverse melanin’s metabolism, thereby lightening dark pigmentation.

Broken capillaries:

Known as spider veins, they typically appear around the nose and across the cheeks. Vasculase is a laser treatment that delivers laser energy into unwanted broken capillaries, causing the blood to heat up and thereby damaging the vein wall. The body absorbs the vein, causing it to disappear.

For more advice on treating sun-damaged skin, call 0115 772 2363 to arrange an appointment.