If you spent many a day basking in a tanning bed or soaking up the sun rays, many times without sunscreen or another form of sun protection, your skin may be showing signs of damage. With modern day research showing the negative effects that the sun can have on your skin, the dermatologists at Blue Ridge Dermatology preach the importance of sun protection. However, if the damage has already been done and you have found yourself suffering from sun damaged skin, we are here to help.
What Causes Sun Damaged Skin?
Although the heat of the sun feels great on our skin, the effects from the sun and artificial sunlight, such as the UV light of a tanning bed, can damage the skin. The damage begins with the sun depleting the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils, thus drying out areas of unprotected skin. Additionally, the UV rays of the sun and tanning beds, known as ultraviolet radiation, can cause the skin to burn, resulting in long-term changes to the structure of the skin.
Over time, repeated unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause serious and life threatening conditions, such as malignant melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. For this reason, it is important to avoid sunburn and prolonged sun exposure by wearing sun protection such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, and long covered clothing when possible. We recommend against the use of tanning beds for recreational tanning.
Signs of Sun Damaged Skin
The sun can affect people in various ways. If you are experiencing any of the signs of sun damaged skin below, you may benefit from an appointment with the professionals at Blue Ridge Dermatology. Signs of sun damaged skin include:
- Brown spots
- Actinic keratosis (a small, colored path of bumps that feel like sandpaper)
- Dry skin
- Red spots
- Fine lines
Treatment of Sun Damaged Skin
Blue Ridge Dermatology offers treatment of sun damaged skin in our office. Treatment methods vary on a case-by-case bases. For example, patients with moles will undergo a different treatment method than patients with fine lines and wrinkles. The first step in treatment is evaluating the affected area. Treatment options include:
- The use of a laser to remove or reduce the effects of sun damage
- Removal of cancerous or precancerous moles
- Topical creams or ointments to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots
Blue Ridge Dermatology is Here to Help
Your dermatologist will discuss your treatment options with you and recommend a treatment method that fits your lifestyle and your needs. Don’t let sun damaged skin stop you from enjoying your life. It is not too late to have great skin. Schedule an appointment today to speak with a dermatologist who is an expert in the treatment of sun damaged skin.