Sun damage, also known as photoaging, refers to how repeated sun exposure over time alters the appearance and feel of the skin. Too much time spent in the sun can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, uneven skin tone and even cancer, making you appear older than you really are.
Like the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And the good news is that by protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays now, you can actually put a halt to additional skin damage and even start to reverse the damage you’ve already accumulated.
- Be Sun Smart
It may seem like a no-brainer, but the first step to reversing sun damage is to get out of the sun. Limit your amount of exposure to the sun—especially during peak hours—and always apply sunscreen. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and cover up with a wide-brimmed hat.
Too much sun exposure can dry out your skin. Apply a high-quality moisturizer daily to replenish dry skin and stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin its smooth texture and appearance.
While showering, exfoliate your skin to remove the dead skin cells from the top layer of your face and body. This will help to improve skin tone and minimize fine lines.
- Healthy Diet
Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet high in vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants help repair damaged skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fade skin discoloration.
- Consult Your Dermatologist
Depending on the extent and type of sun damage, you may want to talk to a trained dermatologist for treatment options. Visiting a dermatologist is not only important to look for precancerous cells, but a professional can also make recommendations for treatment to reduce the appearance of sun-damaged skin.
Cosmetic treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser therapy and fillers are just a few procedures that can reduce visible signs of sun damage and restore the youthful appearance of your skin.
The sun can do a number on your skin, leaving it depleted, dull and damaged. Don’t expect immediate results, but regular care, prevention, and treatment will lead to the reversal of sun damage and improve your skin complexion for the better over time.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It covers and protects your internal organs, muscles and bones from outside invaders, and it helps maintain and regulate body temperature and water balance. It’s also a window to your overall health, and when something is awry with your body, it often shows up in the form of a skin condition. That’s why it’s important to give it extra care and attention every day. While many skin problems can be safely treated from the comfort of your home, others require care from a specialist, otherwise known as a dermatologist.
What do Dermatologists Do?
A dermatologist is a trained medical doctor who specializes in the health of your skin, hair, and nails. These doctors can treat a wide range of skin problems and conditions, including acne, eczema, scarring, moles, warts, psoriasis and skin cancer.
Some dermatologists specialize in cosmetic dermatology, a branch of dermatology that deals with correcting and improving skin flaws, such as sun damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, sagging skin and scarring. Cosmetic dermatologists work with patients to improve their skin’s appearance, restoring it to a natural, more youthful state by utilizing a variety of cosmetic procedures, such as fillers, wrinkle relaxers, laser treatments and facial peels.
When to See a Dermatologist
Whenever you have a question or concern regarding the health of your skin, nails or hair, it’s important to schedule a visit to your dermatologist. Unusual symptoms, such as a strange bump, excessive hair growth or hair loss, or brittle nails are all good reasons to pay your dermatologist a visit.
In addition, if you have risk factors that increase your likelihood for developing skin cancer, then visiting a dermatologist regularly for checkups is the key to early detection and treatment. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer, but if caught early enough it is nearly always curable.
Other people choose to visit a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons, such as unwanted spider veins, fine lines or sunspots. A trained cosmetic dermatologist will work with you to create a customized skin care regimen based on your individual needs and goals for treatment.
Whether you’re worried about an abnormal mole, waging a war against breakouts or looking to erase fine lines, it may be time to visit your dermatologist. By partnering with a dermatologist, you can help keep your skin healthy for a lifetime. The specialists can also help educate you about your skin type and teach you how to best implement a daily skin care routine for optimal skin health.
We all desire to maintain and restore our youthful appearance. But with hundreds of anti-aging products on the market that promise to make you look younger, finding the right one for your skin can be overwhelming and confusing.
Rather than buying product after product in an attempt to achieve a more youthful glow, it’s best to find an experienced dermatologist who can assess your skin type and problems, and then make recommendations for the best course of treatment.
There are many professional, cosmetic treatments available to help you minimize signs of aging and renew your young, healthy skin. Talk to your dermatologist about:
Botox involves a series of injections which work to relax the muscles that cause facial expressions. It’s a quick procedure that is commonly used to treat frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles.
This non-surgical procedure involves removing the top layer of skin to reveal a fresh, healthy skin underneath. Microdermabrasion offers many age-defying benefits, including softening fine lines and minimizing scars and shallow wrinkles.
- Chemical Peel
Chemical peel treatment involves applying chemicals to the skin to gently exfoliate skin on the face and encourage new skin cells to replace the old, dead ones. Skin peels can take years off of aging skin, and may be a good treatment option for people with sun damage, fine lines or discoloration of the skin.
Not all skin problems require professional treatment. There are other practical ways that you can keep skin looking fresh and healthy every day.
- Protect your skin from the sun
Applying sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is one of the single most important things you can do to prevent brown spots, fine lines and sagging skin caused by repeated sun exposure.
- Eat a well-balanced diet
Regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, water and other foods high in antioxidants and omega-3s can keep your skin from aging.
Lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated by applying lotions or creams daily. Keep skin moist to give the skin a radiant, smooth look.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking cannot only lead to cancer and other diseases, but it can also damage your skin. Common side effects of smoking include skin discoloration and fine lines.
You can’t turn back the hands of time, but you can prevent and even reverse some of the visible signs of aging by practicing smart basic skin care and consulting your dermatologist for professional treatment.
While people have many reasons for getting tattoos, people have just as many reasons for wanting to have them removed down the road. The old methods of tattoo removal were time-intensive and often resulted in scarring. Fortunately, thanks to advancements in laser technology, tattoos can be significantly lightened and reduced safely today with the help of your dermatologist.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
The lasers used to remove tattoos can precisely target ink in the skin, allowing for non-invasive and effective removal of unwanted tattoos. During treatment, the laser works by emitting a focused beam of laser light that passes through the skin’s outer layer. The ink particles absorb the light from the laser, breaking the pigment into smaller particles that are eventually removed by the body’s natural healing processes.
Following a series of laser treatments, the ink particles are gradually faded from the skin. The number of treatment sessions required for optimal results varies according to the size, location, color and depth of the tattoo. Some only require a few laser sessions, while others require multiple treatments.
If you’re having second thoughts about a tattoo or want to learn more about laser tattoo removal, talk to your dermatologist and find out if laser tattoo removal is right for you.
Everyone desires beautiful, smooth, healthy skin. The good news is that you don’t always have to undergo a medical procedure or chemical treatment to achieve it. In fact, many of the nutrients you need for glowing, healthy skin can be attained through the right combination of vitamins found in foods and antioxidant-loaded topical treatments.
Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that can help to prevent and repair damage to your body's skin cells. Incorporating the right antioxidants into your diet and skin care routine can have a positive effect on your skin, making it appear youthful and healthy. The following nutrients are among the very best to consume for healthy, young-looking skin:
- Vitamin C. This important vitamin is key to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and gives skin its firmness and smoothness. It also helps counter the adverse effects of too much sun. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers and cauliflower are rich in this nutrient.
- Vitamin E. This vitamin repairs skin and quells dryness by helping the skin retain its natural moisturizers. It’s found in most sunscreens, as well as nuts and spinach, which keep skin looking supple and soft. This nutrient is very effective in fighting free radicals—the main culprit in the aging process. Vitamin E oil may also be used to minimize scars.
- Vitamin A. Found in many topical night creams, Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue. You can improve your intake of this vitamin by eating foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables. Supplying your skin with vitamin A can help reduce signs of aging by diminishing fine lines and boosting the skin’s natural elasticity. It can also help control acne.
- Vitamin B. Oatmeal, bananas and eggs all contain the vitamin B Complex nutrient, which forms the basis of our hair, skin and nail cells. Topical creams containing vitamin B help hydrate cells and even out skin tone.
- Vitamin K. Vitamin K applied topically is especially beneficial for fading skin discoloration and minimizing dark under-eye circles.
Because vitamins have such an impact on the health of your skin, it's important to make sure your skin is getting enough of the right nutrients. One place to start is by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with antioxidants. You can also talk to your dermatologist about the best topical treatments containing these nutrients that will replenish and repair damaged skin.
The right combination of antioxidants can reduce damage caused by the sun, smooth fine lines, keep skin moist, improve your skin’s texture and give you a healthy, youthful glow.
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