This is a guest post courtesy of Dr. Craig Crippen of DermMedica, a skin care clinic located in beautiful Kelowna, BC.
Prolonged and unexpected sun exposure is one of the most common sources of damaged skin and skin disorders. The UV radiation from sunlight can cause havoc to your skin’s health, and it can build over time as you get older. What you might not realize is how sunlight through a window is just as bad, so sitting in sunlight when you are inside your home, office, car, and so on, is not much better than getting direct sunlight while outdoors.
There are many types of damage that sun exposure can cause. Here are the top treatments for sun damaged skin.
For Sunburned Skin
The most obvious and common damage that sun exposure causes is, of course, sunburn. It happens when your skin is exposed without cover or sunscreen for too long, and it gets dry, red, sensitive to the touch, and eventually peels off. The best treatments for sunburn do not require any doctors, prescriptions or clinical treatments.
First, you’ll want to cool your skin down. You can use a cold press, which uses a cloth run under cold water — maybe with ice included — and pressed softly on the burnt area. You can also have showers or baths with cool water, or as cool as you can tolerate. The water helps rehydrate your burnt skin, which will be very dry. The colder temperatures will help soothe and calm your skin, as well as reduce any inflammation.
The next step is to get good quality products that will help your skin heal and recover from the burn. The absolute best is aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is a natural plant that has all kinds of medical use because it is loaded with tons of natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and acids. It is often used in products to provide antibacterial, antiseptic, and hydrating results for things exactly like sunburn. The other kind of product you should get are good moisturizers to help hydrate and soothe the burnt skin.
For Dull, Dry, Wrinkled Skin
If your skin’s damage is more an accumulation of sun exposure over time, you probably have skin that feels paper thin, dry, and looks dull. You might even have premature wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of aged skin. There are two kinds of treatments that work best to restore your skin’s health to a smoother and younger look.
The first is chemical peels. This treatment contains naturally occurring acids that promote the health and strength of your skin cells as well as other good quality skincare ingredients. The acidic part of the peel slowly eats away at your top layer of skin and all the damaged skin, dirt, and debris that it contains. Eventually that layer of skin peels away, showing a newer layer of skin that is healthier, thanks to the other skincare ingredients.
The other effective way to overcome sun aged skin that is dull, wrinkled and lifeless is laser resurfacing treatments. These work in a similar way to chemical peels, but instead of using a mix of natural acids and chemicals to remove the top layer of skin, they use high-temperature lasers to gently remove your surface skin cells. The lasers also cause your body to produce more collagen, the key structural protein in your skin cells that helps your skin look younger and healthier.
About the Author:
A Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and a diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery in Cosmetic Procedures, Dr. Craig Crippen, M.D. has trained with physicians who are at the forefront of laser & aesthetic medicine. Working extensively in public and private medicine since 2003, Dr Crippen has devoted his practice exclusively to medical & cosmetic skin care procedures/treatments in response to rising demand.