How to Improve the Look of Sun Damaged Skin

Apr 2, 2023 | Treatments

The sun has many benefits. It makes us feel good, gives us warmth, and activates vitamin D which is important for the nervous system, bone health, muscle health and our immune system. But as many of us know, the exposure to the rays of the sun can also be harmful leading to fine lines, rough skin and pigmentation issues. In the medical field these are called solar lentigo’s, aka sun-spots, and can appear anywhere. There are several approaches in aesthetics that can improve these pigmentation issues. Let’s discuss more below.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

IPL is a laser-based therapy that uses light at a specific wavelengths to target melanin that causes to sun-spots to form. By using light energy, it breaks up this pigment. It is then brought to the surface and the body eventually reabsorbs and rids it from your system. IPL can also target fine lines, it can tighten and brighten the skin. We generally prep the skin beforehand with a lightening cream or with Alastin Skincare’s A-Luminating Brightening Serum. Following treatment, the skin will feel warm and may be red. Generally, downtime is minimal and is around 3-5 days where the skin is red, may itch and peel. During the healing process it is important to avoid the sun. Many ask, can these sun-spots re-occur after treatment? Unfortunately yes, with continued unprotected sun exposure. This is why it is so important to have a good skin-care regimen after your treatment and to always wear sunscreen. About 3-5 treatments are recommended, spaced 2-4 weeks apart. This treatment is safe in skin types I-IV.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is also a great way to target unwanted pigmentation. It has a lower price point then some of our other treatments. This treatment modality is best in those with minimal sun damage as severe changes may warrant more aggressive treatment (ie: with CO2 laser). The solution is added to the face in a series of steps, looking for a reaction in the skin from red to frosting, depending on the depth and level of treatment desired and skin type. The skin will be red following treatment and will peel. It is important to keep the skin hydrated after treatment and as always, protect the skin from future damage with a good sunscreen. About 3-5 treatments are recommended, spaced 2-4 weeks apart. This treatment is safe in skin types I-VI.

Fractional CO2 Laser

Fractional CO2 Laser is a wonderful treatment that really packs a punch. It not only improves pigmentation issues, but also the appearance of poor skin texture, deeper wrinkles, skin laxity, pore size and dull skin. A topical anesthetic is applied to the skin for 45 minutes before the treatment. The skin will feel warm and will turn red. As the skin is healing, it will peel and be itchy. This is normal and expected. Downtime is about 1 week. During this time, the skin will change from shades of red to pink. It is important to keep the skin moisturized after treatment and of course, a good skin care routine including a good sunscreen is recommended. About 3 treatments are recommended, spaced 4 weeks apart. This treatment is safe in skin types I-IV.

RF Microneedling

RF Microneedling uses heat generated from radio frequency waves and fine pinpoint pricks in the skin to stimulate inflammation. This turns on the healing cascade which produces collagen and elastin. This cellular regeneration improves the look of dull skin, pore size, skin texture, fine lines. It can also break down pigment from sun damage and age.

We are happy to discuss these treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have. We are here to guide and support you on your aesthetic journey. Call or schedule online.