Sun Damaged Skin

Written by Serena Berger
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Sun damaged skin, first and foremost, is an area of concern because it may be cancerous. The sun's ultraviolet rays mutate DNA, and consequently skin cells, in a number of ways, and some of these ways can spread and become cancers. If you have any sort of moles or birthmarks that are changing shape or color, you must see a doctor, as sun damage or other factors out of your control may have turned these into melanomas.

Even if sun damage has not caused any melanomas, it may have caused a number of other unattractive skin problems. Sun damaged skin is prone to worse wrinkles than normal skin, and is also often discolored in blotchy patches due to an over activity of pigment-producing cells. Brown, yellow, red, and white splotches can all develop due to sun damage. You may also have problems with dilated blood vessels, blackheads, whiteheads, and extreme dryness.

Treating Sun Damaged Skin

There are a number of procedures that a dermatologist can employ to reduce the visible effects of non-cancerous sun damage. Alpha hydroxyl acids have been shown to significantly increase the thickness of skin that has been damaged by the sun, which helps prevent blisters, tears, and inadvertent scratches and injuries. Retin-A is the most successful prescription product, which has many benefits, including the reversal of some sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

Chemical peels and dermabrasion are also very popular treatments for slightly-to-moderately sun damaged skin. Cosmetics companies are working on products which are essentially versions of these procedures that you can do yourself at home. It is always best to bear in mind, however, that avoiding sun damage in the first place is vastly superior to anything you can do to combat its effects.

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