How To Treat Your Sun-Damaged Skin
The sun, and how we protect ourselves from it, is one of the biggest factors that impacts our skin’s overall health and longevity. Unfortunately, though we might try our hardest to avoid it, sustaining sun damage is still a much more common occurrence than many of us think. Whether we get burned from a day out on the beach or we merely feel a little ashy, these are each forms of sun damage that need some level of intervention. Because of this, it’s crucial that we recognize how to react when our skin has already been damaged so that we can maintain a healthy, vibrant complexion. This is how to treat sun-damaged skin, including several ways to recognize damage before it can turn into a problem later in your life.
Types of Sun Damage and Treatment
When it comes to effectively treating sun damage, it’s important to first know what type of damage you’re experiencing. While we tend to believe that sun damage is only apparent after a painful sunburn or visible scaling, this simply isn’t true. In fact, there are several different ways your skin could be telling you that it’s suffering—you just need to know the signs. This way, you can react quickly with the proper products and treatment methods.
Dry skin never seems to be an issue at first glance. It’s one of the most mundane conditions that can plague our complexions, and there are a series of ways to trigger it. At its core, visibly dry and flaky skin is a symptom of the first stages of cell damage caused by the sun. As the sun beats down on us, it burns the top layers of our cells, causing them to break down. This process hinders each cell’s ability to hold moisture, leaving the surface dry and fragile.
Fortunately, you can easily mitigate the effects of dry skin by adding a specialized moisturizer to your skincare routine. Hydrating creams or lotions that contain vitamin C, lactic acid, and glycerin are particularly helpful for replenishing the moisture that your skin has lost.
Sunburn, on the other hand, is a bit more severe, as it’s a direct result of prolonged, unprotected exposure to the sun. In this case, your external layer of cells dies completely, leaving your skin red, inflamed, and hot to the touch. Though the painful first stages of a sunburn will need to pass on their own, you can lessen your discomfort by taking anti-inflammatory medications and applying cooling agents such as aloe vera. When your skin finally begins to shed itself of the damaged outer layer, you can reduce your chances of scarring by using a gentle antibiotic ointment.
Photoaging is the effect of premature aging due to all the sun damage sustained over a person’s life. As the skin’s collagen breaks down, wrinkles and fine lines begin to develop. This occurs much earlier than one would typically expect and makes the skin far less durable. Photoaging can also cause hyperpigmentation and dark spots that are more difficult to correct. You can treat these blemishes with a consistent regimen of anti-aging skin creams and hyperpigmentation serums. However, since this condition is an external sign of deeper skin issues, we also encourage you to reach out to a dermatologist for additional advice.
Additional Treatment Options
If any of the standard options don’t work for you, don’t worry. Everyone has different skin that behaves in unique ways when confronted with treatment. As such, knowing how to treat your sun-damaged skin involves familiarizing yourself with all potential options. Below are a few additional things you can try to counteract the effects of sun damage on your skin.
While using anti-aging and hyperpigmentation treatment products will help directly correct your blemishes, you can also use serums to infuse your skin with nutrients. These products contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and essential acids to provide your skin with the tools to revitalize your cells. Vitamin C and retinoids, such as vitamin A, are especially helpful for reducing the extent of damage caused by the sun.
If you can’t fit an extra step into your skincare regimen, there are other ways to supply your body with these much-needed nutrients. In fact, you can also ingest many of these same ingredients in dietary supplements. Vitamins C and A are particularly common and can be taken with meals. It’s also important to mention that hyperpigmentation treatment offers a supplement option in the form of skin whitening pills. You should only take these with your doctor’s knowledge, as they may impact other factors contributing to your overall health.
Laser and Skin Peeling Sessions
If you want to attack sun damage at its source, you might need to pursue something a little more direct. Cosmetic laser correction and skin peeling treatments are a popular option offered by dermatologist clinics. These procedures remove the top layer of the skin to make room for the healthier cells underneath to come to the surface, either through a physical or chemical removal process. Over time, these procedures have shown significant improvement of the skin. However, they can be very harsh for those with sensitive skin, and you may need to go back for more than one session to correct deep, long-term damage.
No matter what treatment options you plant to pursue, make sure you reach out to a trusted dermatologist or healthcare provider first. Based on your unique condition, they can help you determine whether you’re eligible for certain procedures and the likelihood of success for each option.
At Flawless Beauty & Skin, we know how draining it can be to feel like you’re fighting a constant battle with your skin. From hyperpigmentation and premature aging caused by the sun to scars left over after a nasty breakout, it can seem as though there’s no end in sight. But we can promise that there’s a light on the other side of this tunnel—you don’t need to go through the treatment process alone. With our tested stock of skincare products and assortment of scientific knowledge on how to protect your skin, we can help you achieve the results you’re after. This way, you can get back to loving your appearance.