What is sun-damaged skin?
The vast majority of skin damage is caused by over-exposure to the sun. Sun-damaged skin is the kind that has aged prematurely from years of neglect. It's damage like this that brings about the visible signs of ageing such as wrinkling, scaling and irregular pigmentation, such as red or darker patches.
Those with fair skin and light eyes are more susceptible to sun damage. Additionally, those with a history of long-term sun exposure are more prone to early ageing, irregular pigmentation and scaling.
The daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a necessary preventative measure. Tanning, from the sun or from a tanning booth, should be avoided. Smoking has been shown to substantially increase your signs of sun damage, so if you smoke, start a quit program.
A wide array of dermatological techniques is currently available for rejuvenating sun-damaged skin.
To ensure the retention of moisture in the skin, you should:
- Apply a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturiser
- Use soap-free cleansers, gentle emollients and light foundations (those containing a broad-spectrum sunscreen are recommended)
- Avoid astringents and toners
- Use water-based make-up.
Recent products that incorporate polymer technology help your skin absorb excess surface skin oils without causing dryness. Antioxidants and vitamin E fight free radical damage, contributing to skin rejuvenation.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), anti-oxidants and retinoids are among the most effective topical treatments for improving the skin's condition. These applications are often most effective when combined.
AHAs are excellent at rejuvenating sun-damaged skin but as they can thin the outer layers of your skin and let more sunlight in to the deeper layers, the daily application of sunscreen is important when using these agents.
Pregnant women should avoid Retinoids and other vitamin A-based products.
The current non-surgical treatment options available to treat wrinkles include:
- Photodynamic therapy.
- Fractional resurfacing
- Chemical peeling
Consult with your qualified practitioner when considering any surgical procedure.