From the first moment your skin is exposed to the sun, it begins to accumulate photodamage (aka Sun damage). Through your lifetime, the repeated exposure to the sun or artificial UV sources (tanning beds) and their harmful UV rays causes an accumulation of damage, which overtime, will become evident on your skin. These damaging UV rays alter the skin’s normal structures. Over your lifetime, this repetitive exposure increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
What does it look like?
Photodamage appears on areas with the most chronic sun exposure, such as the face, neck, and hands. Women tend to have a significant amount of photodamage on the upper chest. 90% of aging on sun exposed areas is due to the sun’s damaging rays. It can appear as many different types of changes on the skin such as:
· Thickened, leathery skin
· Dark spots (age spots) or freckles
· Broken blood vessels
· Red, rough scaly spots (Actinic Keratosis or precancerous changes)
How can it be prevented?
By taking the proper precautions to prevent sun exposure, such as clothing and sunscreen, you can help prevent, and even reverse, sun damage. Learn how you can protect yourself HERE!
How is photodamage treated?
There are many treatments available today to help reverse the cosmetic signs of aging. Botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, laser therapies, dermabrasions and chemical peels can help to treat the signs of photoaging. There are also topical skin preparations, such as Vitamin C, that will also help to reverse the signs of skin aging.
For more severely sun damaged skin, showing precancerous changes, topical prescription creams, chemical peels and light-based therapies are available. Your Dermatologist will help decide what the best treatment is for you.
Want to learn how you can protect yourself against sun damage?