Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage: Tips and Treatments for Reversing Sun Damage

Smiling summer woman with hat and sunglassesSun exposure is unavoidable if you enjoy outdoor activities, and while it’s important for our health, too much sun can damage the skin. Sun damage results from long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can increase your risk of skin cancer, cause premature aging and discoloration, and other problems. Knowing the causes of sun damage and steps to prevent and treat it is essential to skin care.

How Does Sun Damage Occur? 

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, released from the sun in two forms: UVA and UVB rays, can cause lasting damage to our skin. UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburns, but UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the skin and causes more severe effects in the long run. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation damages DNA and results in wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer. Our body does have built-in protective mechanisms, such as melanin production that help combat sun damage; however, excessive exposure will still lead to skin damage over time.

How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage 

Prevention is the best defense against sun damage. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your skin:

  • Wear protective clothing: Cover with long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses. Loose-fitting clothing made from tightly woven materials, such as cotton or linen, provides the best protection.
  • Use sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every 2 hours. Choose a waterproof sunscreen if you are swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade: Avoid the sun’s intense rays during peak hours, 10 am to 4 pm. Find shade under trees or umbrellas. You can also bring your own shade with a portable beach shelter.
  • Stay indoors during peak hours: If possible, stay inside during the hottest part of the day to reduce exposure to UV radiation.

Tips for Reversing Sun Damage 

While sun damage can have significant long-term effects, there are steps you can take to reverse it.

  • Hydrate your skin: Drinking plenty of water and using a moisturizer can help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
  • Use topical treatments: Topical creams, serums, and exfoliating agents can help to reduce sun damage, age spots, and discoloration. Products containing retinoids, glycolic acid, and Vitamin C are known to be effective in treating sun damage.
  • Consider professional treatments: Professional treatments, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy, can help to reverse sun damage and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Please contact the American Society for Mohs Surgery at 714-379-6262 or complete this form to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Skin Cancer, Skin Care

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American Society for Mohs Surgery
6134 Poplar Bluff Circle, Ste. 101
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
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