Our Top 5 Treatments to Improve Sun Damage

  • Posted on: Sep 20 2021
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As much as we all love to feel the summer warmth on our faces, your cherished days spent in the blazing sun take a toll on your skin. And while most want sunny days to stick around, the colder months present an opportunity to evaluate and plan for sun damage control. After all, sun damage is a cumulative process that happens throughout your life. 

Here are a few examples of sun damage: 

  • Wrinkling
  • Pigmentation changes such as age spots, lentigines, melasma, and freckles
  • Decreased skin elasticity
  • Rough and uneven skin texture
  • Broken capillaries (spider veins)
  • Redness and blotchiness

Did you know that 80% of visible signs of aging are caused by the sun? In other words, the fine lines and age spots you start to see creeping on your skin are likely damage resulting from UV exposure. 

The first step in softening the appearance of sun damage is prevention. When it comes to taking care of your skin, applying a broad spectrum SPF is a must. While sunscreen is key, SPF isn’t a foolproof solution to prevent sun damage. Hyperpigmentation and the like may still appear on your skin. Thankfully, a number of topical creams and robust in-office treatments exist to target everything from age spots, wrinkles, and even precancerous lesions. Here’s a comprehensive guide to Dr. Munk’s top 5 treatments to fight the signs of summer. 

1. Intense Pulse Light (IPL): 

IPL treatment is one of the most useful treatments in equalizing skin tone and improving vascular and pigmented lesions caused by sun damage. The Lumecca™ is our go-to IPL device at MunkMD to improve skin texture, redness, broken veins, blotchiness and brown spots. During an IPL session, a bright flash of light is directed to the skin and feels like a light elastic band snapping on the skin. This process causes pigmented spots to darken and flake off after approximately 1 week post treatment. Vascular lesions may blanch or change colour over the next few days. 

The results leave you with a rejuvenated, smoother and brighter complexion unparalleled to other treatments. 

2. Picoway:  

Picoway™ is another popular treatment option to treat sun damaged skin. Picoway™ is a powerful non-surgical Pico laser device that uses short laser pulses to stimulate natural collagen production and targets unwanted skin irregularities caused from sun damage such as dark spots, pigmented lesions, fine lines, etc. Depending on the severity of the sun damage, the number of treatments required to achieve the patient’s desired results can vary between 2-4 sessions with 1 month spacing between each session. 

With little to no downtime required, Picoway™ is an effective choice for those seeking treatment for sun damaged skin. 

3. Chemical Peels:

Chemical peels are a great way to treat anyone and everyone with sun damage. This non-invasive procedure uses a combination of solutions to improve the skin’s appearance. Peels remove the outermost layers of the skin so newer, clearer skin can come to the surface. The removal takes away areas of uneven pigmentation, malignant lesions and fine lines. Depending on the depth of the peel and the severity of sun damage, chemical peels can be performed in a series or as a stand-alone treatment. 

With minimal downtime, chemical peels are a great option to help improve sun damage.

4. Microneedling:

Microneedling does a tremendous job of lightning and reversing hyperpigmentation and sun damage. This non-surgical treatment carefully pierces the top layer of the skin with multiple ultra thin needles. The body processes the tiny needle punctures as injuries and rushes growth factors, collagen and elastin to repair and regrow the skin tissue. 

Due to the powerful collagen production and skin restoration, microneedling is a widely popular treatment for sun spots. 

5. Retinoids: 

These compounds are chemically derived from vitamin A, which work to fade hyperpigmentation by increasing epidermal cell turnover. In addition, retinoids stimulate collagen production, lighten brown spots and reduce the size of pores, all of which aim to reduce the appearance of sun damaged skin. You can easily incorporate retinoids into your skincare routine with over-the-counter products such as retinol, or a prescription from your dermatologist for stronger formulas. 

Conclusion

While these treatments can reverse the signs of sun damage, they are the most effective when accompanied by a good skincare routine that includes daily UV protection and using quality preventative ingredients.

Preventing sun damage is extremely important not only to improve the signs of aging but to also prevent skin cancer. Be sure to monitor any changes in colour and size in spots and lesions, and have regular check-ups with your doctor. 

If you’re interested in any of these procedures to treat sun damage contact us and Dr.Munk will build a personalized treatment plan to help restore your skin.

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