Sun damage usually occurs in our early years before the age of 20, however, this sun damage accumulates and only begins to show up from the age of 35 and onwards, and progressively worsens as we age.
Sun damage is usually occurs in our early years before the age of 20, however, this damage only begins to show up from the age of 35 onwards.
Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable sun damage and eventually also visible changes to the skin.
Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sun Damage?
Also called photoaging, sun damage can lead to uneven pigmentation, vascularity, premature ageing, skin cancer and other skin conditions. Sun damage is referred to by many other names including photoaging, photodamage or solar damage. It happens when ultraviolet (UV) light hits unprotected skin resulting in DNA changes at a cellular level.
What Does Sun Damage Look Like?
Excessive sun exposure causes our melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) to become damaged by the sun and produce excessive amounts of pigment in certain areas of the skin; this shows up as dark brown sun damage spots.
They can also cause the death of the melanocyte resulting in loss of pigment in certain areas showing as white spots.
When our skin is exposed to the sun our capillaries dilate and move closer to the surface of the skin. This temporary effect allows heat to escape so the body can cool down in periods of prolonged heat. This continued sun exposure over the year’s results in the sun damaging those capillaries causing them to loose there ability to constrict again leading to a red appearance of the skin and larger capillaries can become visible.
Wrinkles and Sagging
The UVA rays that are emitted by the sun have a long wavelength and can penetrate the dermis of the skin. This breaks down our healthy collagen and elastin fibres and leads to premature ageing. This sun damage can be seen as wrinkling and sagging of the skin and mostly affects the face.
Sun Damage is most apparent on the areas of the body which is more exposed to the sun and light, but is not limited to the face. Even thought sun damage of the face is more common, it can also affect the chest, arms and legs – in fact, any area which is exposed to the sun without protection.
Can Sun Damage Be Treated?
Sun damage can be treated very successfully, if done by an experienced professional in a controlled and environment after a comprehensive consultation.
The approach to sun damage treatments will however depend on the severity of the sun damage, the area affected (e.g. facial sun damage, sun damage on the chest, arms, legs, etc.)
The following treatments for sun damage have delivered excellent results:
Cosmelan / Dermamelan
Cosmelan and Dermamelan are world class depigmentation treatments made up of a powerful cocktail of ingredients which work together to inhibit tyrosinase, the basic enzyme responsible for the production of excess pigment in the skin.
3D MD PRP (aka Dr Vampire)
Our 3D PRP MD bespoke treatment, formally known as the Dr Vampire, utilises the powerful regenerative effects that our own platelet containing growth factors have on stimulating collagen, elastin and Hyaluronic Acid within our skins, reversing the signs of sun damage by transforming it into a healthy radiant and more youthful looking skin.
Lumecca Intense Pulsed Light
Lumecca IPL is the most powerful intense pulsed light (IPL) used to treat sun damage, pigmented and vascular lesions. After each session, patients notice significant improvements in the overall complexion and clarity of the skin.
A chemical peel is a technique that improves the skin’s texture and appearance by applying a chemical solution to the skin which removes the outer damaged layers. The amount of skin removed will depend on the type of chemical used, the strength of the peel and how long it is left on the skin or how many layers are applied to the skin. There are various chemical peel treatments available for the treatment of different types of sun damage, as well as whether it is sun damage of the face or body.
See the full list of suggested treatments for sun damage below!
How Do I Choose The Right Treatment For Sun Damage?
Always start with a professional consultation with experienced specialists for an indepth analysis of your skin and to reach a good understanding of your skincare concerns and goals.
At Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates we start with a VISIA Skin Analysis. The computerised VISIA Skin Analysis is an international classification system that objectively measures and maps your skin by taking in depth pictures and providing detailed results, including details of concerns not visible to the naked eye. This analysis also includes a detailed Skincare Specialist consultation. This process will help us to determine your main concerns, allowing us to compile a relevant skincare treatment plan to target your main area(s) of concern.