Sun Damage Treatment

It’s nice to lounge in the warm Texas sun, but sun exposure can hurt your healthy skin over time. The same light that causes sunburn can permanently damage your skin and even add years to your appearance. Fortunately, our Greater Houston dermatology practices offer a variety of treatments to reverse some of the damage caused by the sun. While it’s not possible to erase all sun damage, you can take some simple steps toward fresh, rejuvenated skin.

What are the effects of sun damage?

Too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) will place you at risk for many problems. Skin cancer, age spots, freckles, dry skin, wrinkles, and early aging signs, such as long-term loss of collagen in the skin, are all common side effects. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet light is responsible for at least 80% of overall skin aging. If left untreated, some sun damage-related spots, moles, or skin changes can become pre-cancerous lesions such as changing moles, actinic keratosis, and actinic cheilitis (which can lead to squamous cell carcinoma).

What is the best treatment for sun-damaged skin?

There are several treatment options for cosmetic sun damage, depending on the diagnosis and damage level. Treatment may include options such as topical anti-inflammatory creams, cryotherapy (freezing), topical lotions, and more. Below are a few common treatment options offered at our practice.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are exfoliating treatments that remove dead, damaged cells on the skin’s surface. They can effectively reduce fine lines, dark spots, and other types of damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Peels come in various formulations and intensities (mild, moderate, and deep), depending on your particular needs.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing removes the top layers of skin to reveal fresh, healthier skin underneath. These procedures address more advanced signs of damage, such as deeper wrinkles. They also help the skin appear more evenly pigmented. Our locations offer customizable resurfacing treatments using CO2 and erbium lasers, along with gentler Q-switched Ruby lasers (QSRL) and Nd:YAG lasers.

Microneedling

Microneedling stimulates the body’s natural collagen production to reduce common signs of aging. New collagen and elastin can reverse years of sun damage and improve discoloration and scarring. There is little to no downtime required after this quick “lunchtime treatment.”

How can I prevent further sun damage after my treatment?

To help prevent sun damage, use an appropriate SPF (15 to 50) sunscreen daily—even if you’re staying indoors. When outside, you can wear hats or shirts with long sleeves to reduce your amount of sun damage. While it’s important to stay protected, 10 to 15 minutes of daily sun exposure does help your body produce vitamin D. Follow up with a dermatologist for annual skin checks to make sure your skin is healthy.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays affect us all, but a few popular treatments can give your skin the support and rejuvenation it deserves. Contact one of our many Greater Houston dermatology practices to learn more about sun damage treatment and create a plan for restoring your skin.

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