With the possible exception of smoking, sun exposure is the biggest factor in how good the skin on your face looks and how it ages.
It is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight which causes changes that can make the skin look older – primarily UVA. In fact, damage caused by exposure to sunlight is responsible for 90% of visible changes in the skin, so we can’t blame age for wrinkles and pigmentation problems as much as the sun.
Photoaging results from cumulative sun damage which builds up over a lifetime, so even if you’re diligent now about using daily SPF, the skin can be exhibiting damage from youth and childhood. What’s more, sun damage isn’t just from sunny holidays and sunburn. Any exposure to the sun can cause damage, even in overcast or snowy conditions.
Due to this, sun damage is one of the most common conditions to affect people; and it can present in various different ways.
Symptoms of Sun Damage
UV rays cause skin cells in the dermis to produce melanin in the epidermis to prevent further damage by blocking radiation. This is the process that gives you a tan, which is designed to give the skin some protection. A tan is really a sign of sun damage.
However, sun damage can cause longer-term pigmentation problems, such as dark spots, freckles, or patchy complexion appearing on your skin. Known as hyperpigmentation, this occurs because the sun’s rays trigger excessive production of melanin, which is responsible for the pigmentation of your skin. Over time, further sun damage could trigger the development of age or sunspots too.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
When your sun is exposed to the sun, it ages more quickly. This means you might notice wrinkles or fine lines developing. Common areas for this to occur are on the forehead, around the mouth and around the eyes.
The reason for this is UVA rays again, as these penetrate deep into the dermis, where they damage the collagen and elastin. Elastin normally helps keep the skin elastic and resilient, while collagen gives it texture and rigidity. With reduced collagen and elastin, the skin loses its firm texture and the skin forms wrinkles, creases and sagginess. The skin can appear rough and leathery.
What Can You Do About Sun Damage?
There are many treatments which minimise the effects of sun damage. From injectable treatments to eradicate wrinkles to chemical peels or microneedling to rejuvenate the skin; our experienced doctors can help you to find the most effective treatment for sun damage. By tackling lines and wrinkles, boosting collagen production or removing pigmentation, the most noticeable effects of sun damage can be reversed for a rejuvenated appearance.
- Dermal fillers can be helpful to restore lost volume, smoothing out the deeper lines, creases and hollows
- Anti-ageing injections using BOTOX® can help to tackle finer lines, allowing the skin to appear smoother
- Microneedling using Dermaroller or Dermapen is a technique which stimulates the skin’s renewal processes through a series of tiny wounds that trigger natural healing responses
- Pigmentation treatment to tackle patchiness and discolouration
- Chemical peels can be helpful by stripping away the outer layer of skin cells, promoting a more even texture and also stimulating cell renewal
These treatments could help to improve creases or wrinkles, but more importantly, can also help with confidence for those who felt their appearance did not reflect how they feel inside.
All the treatments suggested are available at Cosmedics Skin Clinics in London. Some are also available at our Bristol clinic.
If you’d like to take advantage of an assessment from one of our Aesthetic Doctors or Surgeons, please call us today and we will be happy to book an appointment. They’ll carefully assess your face and discuss your concerns before talking you through your options. There’s no obligation to proceed.