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How to Treat Sun Damage on Your Face

Basking in the sun can be so relaxing. Unfortunately, it is also hard on your skin. Even average levels of sun exposure, over the years, can lead to advanced aging and the appearance of sun spots! Thankfully, there are several ways you can treat sun damage and restore a more even skin tone and texture. Here are a few non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options our practitioners often recommend for patients with sun damage.

Photodynamic Treatment

Photodynamic treatment is often the best treatment option for people who have extensive sun damage. It not only helps address discoloration and sun spots, but can also treat precancerous cells, as well.

The first step in photodynamic treatment is the application of a special, medicated product. This product, known as Levulan, contains amino acids and other compounds which, when exposed to light, work to kill precancerous cells. Once the treatment area is covered in Levulan, your practitioner will shine light, at a specific wavelength, onto your skin. This will activate the Levulan, killing the precancerous and damaged cells.

Usually, your practitioner will only use photodynamic treatment on the most damaged and cancer-prone parts of your skin. For any other areas where you’re experiencing uneven skin tone or texture, they’ll likely recommend one of the other treatments described here.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Also known as IPL or a photofacial, this non-invasive treatment is ideal for skin that is sun damaged, but not precancerous. It’s very effective at addressing red and brown patches, specifically. Very specific wavelengths of light are used. The light will not damage or affect your healthy skin.

Getting the IPL treatment done is really simple from the patient’s perspective. Your practitioner will have you wear special glasses or goggles to protect your eyes. Then, they’ll use a specialized device to send pulses of intense light into the sun damaged parts of your skin. Since IPL can also be used to treat wrinkles, acne scars, freckles, and age spots, your practitioner can address these issues at the same time.

Your skin may be a little red and sore for a day or two after IPL, but these mild side effects will soon wear off. You can hold a cool washcloth or ice pack on your face to ease the discomfort. Most people can return to their normal skin care routine about a week after treatment. You may need anywhere from three to seven sessions to see an obvious reduction in sun damage.

Carbon Dioxide Treatments

A carbon dioxide treatment uses CO2 to abrade away the outermost layers of your skin. Once these damaged, outer layers are removed, the healthier, deeper layers of your skin are revealed.

CO2 treatments can be helpful in areas where you have more extensive sun damage that has left you with a rough or uneven skin texture. They also work well when you have thinning or wrinkle-prone skin after years of sun exposure.

One nice thing about CO2 treatments is that it can be used on body parts other than the face. Patients often receive this treatment on their neck – it’s great for managing sun-related wrinkles and fine lines in this area. If the backs of your hands show signs of sun damage, a CO2 treatment may be helpful, too.

Lifestyle Changes

Regardless of how you and your med spa practitioner choose to address your sun damage, it’s important to also make some lifestyle changes to protect your skin going forward. Limiting your future sun exposure will help ensure your results last. These changes will also help protect against skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, sun spots, and laxity in the years to come.

The following are the most important lifestyle changes we recommend for anyone with sun damage:

Wear Sunscreen

Apply a good-quality, facial sunscreen on any day when you’ll be outside for even a few minutes. To simplify your routine, look for a daily moisturizer that also includes SPF. A product with SPF 30 or 50 is best, but SPF 15 is passable if you’re only in the sun for a few minutes at a time.

Wear A Hat

When you’re outside gardening, walking, or relaxing on the patio, wear a wide-brimmed hat. This will keep the sun off your face and neck.

Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet

Vitamins and minerals help protect your skin from sun damage. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Also talk to your doctor about adding a multivitamin to your routine.

Don’t let sun damage get the best of you! Contact Balance Med Spa to schedule a consultation with our practitioners in Orlando. We’ll recommend treatments to help restore a more youthful look.


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