Repair: the best ways to deal with sun damage

It’s always easier to prevent than repair, but if your skin is showing signs of sun damage, all is not lost. Find out what you can do…

Signs of sun damage differ depending on your age and on how much tanning you’ve done in the past.

In your late twenties and early thirties, the first signs become visible as hyperpigmentation (especially under hormonal influence from contraceptive pills, pregnancy, etc.) and fine lines. Unfortunately, the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, is also most likely to strike younger people.

By the time you get to your late forties/early fifties, the full extent of the damage starts rising to the surface in the form of age spots, loss of elasticity and plumpness and a leathery skin, not to mention skin cancer.

This is the reason we encourage people to use preventive measures in the sun, and – equally importantly – to take action to repair sun damage sooner rather than later.

Skin Renewal clinics offer a variety of treatments to treat your particular sun damage repair needs. As each person’s skin and sun exposure history is different, a doctor will first assess your needs and prescribe a specific  treatment programme that fits your requirements and budget.

The first line of treatment helps to counter the damaged and dehydrated appearance of skin. By stimulating collagen and elastin production, the skin’s strength and elasticity will be restored and the plump appearance of the skin will return.

A course of treatments using different light technologies (often used in combination) are especially effective in treating and restoring damaged skin:

Collagen recovery

  • Laser Genesis uses award-winning, non-invasive laser technology to stimulate the skin to produce new collagen – with no pain or downtime – improving premature signs of ageing effectively, with scientific proof that new collagen is produced. Not suitable for very dark complexions.
  • Pearl Rejuvenation laser gives you very targeted, uniform skin resurfacing, with minimal downtime. Depending on the depth, treatments can range from mild to very aggressive. It is able to treat a variety of conditions, from skin texture and age spots to deep wrinkles. It is suitable for fair to medium complexions (skin types 1-3).

Treatment of excess pigmentation

The Limelight non-invasive IPL is used specifically for brown and red marks. This Class 4 medical light system, has a selection of programme settings that make it possible to address different discolouration levels.

Double-duty laser

The Fraxel™ DUAL laser has two treatment modes: the Restore wavelength targets skin texture and improves deep lines and acne scars, while the 1927 laser treats all forms of pigmentation. They can be used separately or together, depending on skin needs, and results may show in as little as 2-3 treatments. Skin texture and deep lines can be improved and sun damage and pigmentation can be treated, with hardly any downtime.

As with all active treatments and light therapies, especially to prevent hyperpigmentation recurring, you are strongly advised to use appropriate home-use skincare treatments and high-level UVA and UVB protective sunscreen. We recommend products from Neostrata, Obagi, Heliocare and Lamelle.

To find out more about protection against the sun or to find suitable treatment solutions after the damage was done, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

RELATED TAGS: Laser Laser & Light sun damage