In the midst of some of the most unprecedented heatwaves in Europe and the UK, many people have been exploiting this opportunity to soak up the sun by spending times outdoors and on beaches. Whilst great for mental health, mood and improving our vitamin D levels – we must remember that with warmer weather comes higher UV ratings, and prolonged periods in the sun with little to no protection on your skin can lead to sun damage in the long run.
We tend to forget about the side effects that sun damage can cause in terms of premature signs of ageing such as (wrinkles/ fine lines) and pigmentation (freckles and moles). Avoiding the sun or wearing sun block is advised to prevent sun damage, but sometimes sun damage is unavoidable.
The good news is that there are methods of repairing sun damaged skin with certain treatments.
What does "Sun Damaged" skin look like?
Sun damage and photoaging can come in many forms.
Sunburn: When exposed to sun the degree of damage can vary. The more immediate type is a first-degree burn. This happens when the outer layer of your skin is the only part that is damaged. Your skin will feel hot, look red, and hurt a bit. You can ease the pain by taking aspirin or ibuprofen.
Whereas a second-degree sunburn hurts the deep layers of your skin and nerve endings. It is more painful than a normal sunburn and heals slower. There is a high risk of infection if the blisters are touched.
Wrinkles - The fibres in your skin that are called elastin and collagen get damaged by ultraviolet light in daylight. This causes your skin to start sagging and stretching.
Freckles - These are spots that appear on parts of your body that get a lot of sun. They are more visible in the summer, especially if you have pale skin with blond or red hair.
Freckles aren’t bad for you nevertheless some cancers in the earliest stages can look like one. See your doctor if the size, shape, or colour of a spot changes, or if it itches or bleeds.
Uneven Tanning and Sun Spots - Some parts of your skin get darker, and others get lighter when you get too much sun. This can give an inconsistent look which is not ideal.
What are the risks of sun damaged skin?
Lower Risk - Sun exposure speeds up the process of wrinkling by breaking down the skin’s collagen and causing wrinkles also known as solar elastosis.
Medium Risk – Letting damage build and go unchecked can increase the risks. For instance, if damage such as sunburn is left untreated, it generally develops deep lines or dry, scaly patches called actinic keratoses. Actinic Keratoses has the potential to become high risk as it is a pre-cancerous skin growth.
Medium to High Risk - Another point to keep your eye on are moles. This is because moles can turn into a type of skin cancer named malignant melanoma. We advise you to check for new moles or older moles that may have changed shape, colour, size, height. Also do seek medical advice if moles start bleeding to become itchy.
Highest Risk – The highest risk is skin cancer. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause serious skin damage and can eventually become skin cancer. Depending on the degree of the burn there are lots of different types of skin cancers for example basal, squamous or melanoma.
How to repair sun damaged skin: Our recommended treatments
The good news is that there are ways to help treat sun damaged skin with treatments such as facial peels, laser treatments and HydraFacial. These methods can be highly effective for treating sun-damaged skin and addressing various skin concerns caused by excessive sun exposure. Here are some of the treatments EF Medispa offer to help you treat sun-damaged skin.
1. Facial Peels
A facial peel removes the outer layer of your skin called the epidermis. It is ideal for treating fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone and even dryness. You can have a light chemical peel as often as every two to five weeks depending on your desired results. They can treat pigmentation and age spots.
What are the benefits of facial peels?
They are great for revitalising and boosting your skin and can treat a range of skin issues. They are non-surgical peels and may well be the answer to sun damaged skin. They don’t involve any injectables or surgery. They have a skin tightening effect and can help smooth out sun damage from fine lines and wrinkles on your face, neck, and décolletage.
HydraFacials are a form of treatment which uses a patented vortex technology. It cleanses the skin, effectively delivers nutrients, deep and powerful antioxidants to counteract damage from pollution, sun exposure and stress which can accelerate the aging process.
What are the benefits of a HydraFacial treatment?
They can help balance uneven tanning as they target enlarged pores at their source to produce a more refined and even complexion. They can be used to target very specific areas to help tighten and minimise pores.
The HydraFacial treatment can be effective for sunburns where the patient might have redness from broken blood vessels. This treatment helps by gently exfoliating the uppermost layer of skin and extracting impurities and dead skin cells through a suction method. Then, it infuses a calming serum packed with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid which help reduce redness and sensitivity.
3. Pixel laser
Pixel is a revolutionary, next-generation skin resurfacing treatment that can deliver amazing results for a wide variety of skin concerns. Pixel treatments can be carried out on the face and body and only targets the exact areas of concern, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue untouched.
What are the benefits of Pixel Laser?
It very intelligently tricks the skin into thinking it's wounded which then triggers the production of new collagen to replace sun damaged, older skin cells with healthy and new ones.
The new collagen helps improve skin tone, texture, and overall appearance. During the treatment, a laser creates microscopic perforations to the surface of the skin prompting the epidermis to heal itself.
It is a highly effective treatment to address various skin imperfections from the common signs of ageing to more tricky conditions such as scarring, pigmentation from excessive sun exposure and stretch marks.
Sun Damaged Skin Repair at EF MEDISPA London
Overall, the majority of people have had some sort of skin damage from the sun. You can improve your defences through sun protection and skin care programs. It is worth getting a second look from our Treatment Coordinators and Therapists reparative treatments at EF MEDISPA where they can help devise a bespoke treatment plan designed to tackle your concerns.
To achieve optimum results, they will suggest a customised treatment plan for you that suits your needs.
To discuss your goals, Book a consultation with one of our specialists today.