Summer is coming in hot and before you grab those tanning oils and bathing suits – hear us out first about the dangers of sun damage! Getting a golden-bronze tan may seem like the mission of summer for many of you, and while tanned skin may give you a shimmering glow to last the winter, sun exposure can be creating unforeseen damage to your skin. The tricky part about sun exposure and the sun damage that comes along with it is that you may not even know you’re experiencing it until you’ve had years of prolonged damage, or worse, until you’re diagnosed with skin cancer. The AYA™ Medical Spa team believes in nurturing healthy skin and wants to share our top skincare tips for sun damage.
If you thought genetics and aging were the only contributing factors for the reason wrinkles and sagging skin start to accumulate – you’re close, but not completely correct. It’s sun exposure that breaks down the elastin (the skin’s fibers that help it to stay firm and bounce back if stretched) in the skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin on the face and neck, freckles, and irregular pigmentation (including age/sun spots and melasma) are all caused by damaging ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. In fact, lots of sun can send your skin’s aging appearance into hyperdrive and on top of all that, increase your chances of developing skin cancer at any point in your teens, early adulthood, and well into your more mature years.
Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers in the United States and if left untreated can spread and become fatal, so it’s nothing to take lightly in our opinion. Everyone, regardless of your skin tone, is at risk of developing skin cancer, although those with fair skin, light eyes, and blonde or red hair are most susceptible to the disease. UV rays emitted from tanning beds are just as harmful as direct sunlight and an additional cause for concern as a potential skin cancer trigger, and something you should add to your “no-go” list.
While we don’t diagnose or treat skin cancer at AYA™, we do treat the noticeable changes that sun damage leaves behind on the skin. Treatments that nourish and moisturize, smooth scarring and discoloration, and jump-start weakened collagen production are the goals for our plethora of skincare and laser treatments including:
- Customized Facials – removes dead skin cells that can clog pores and provides intense moisturizing to replace what was lost, and encourage the face to stay moisturized on its own.
- Chemical Peels – reduces blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone by removing the damaged outermost layer of skin and stimulating cell regeneration to restore a smoother, more even-toned appearance.
- Sciton® MicroLaserPeel™ – removes the top layers of damaged skin cells on the neck, face, chest, and hands to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation, and other skin irregularities.
- Sciton® BBL™ –gently removes acne, uneven skin texture, discoloration, and vascular lesions on the face, neck, chest, and shoulders using pulses of light energy.
- Halo™ by Sciton® – a tunable hybrid fractional laser that treats sun damage, elasticity, age spots, melasma, and hyperpigmentation for most skin types.
- Sciton® ProFractional™ – encourages collagen production, tightens skin, treats fine lines, and uneven pigmentation.
The key to beating the effects of sun damage before it gets out of hand is prevention and maintenance. A preventative skincare trick that we like to stress to our Phipps Plaza, Northside, and Avalon patients is to start with proper hydration. Summer months are steamy and enough to dry anyone’s skin from the inside out. The more water you’re able to supply the skin with, the more supple, glowing, and healthy it will look and feel in the long-run.
Lastly, and arguably the most important thing you can do for your skin is to always wear sunscreen. Medical-grade skincare products are packed with SPF to help give the skin the much-needed protection it needs from UVA/UVB rays and any part of the body that comes into contact with the sun is at risk and deserves a bit of extra attention each day (this includes the face, neck, hands, feet, etc.). Try to make a habit to never leave the house without that extra layer of defense. It’s amazing what a few small additions to your skincare routine can do to help keep your skin looking the best it can all year long.