Sun Damaged Skin

Sun damaged skin has different effects and causes. It can be defined as the drying out of skin and the blemishes or pigmentation of skin. Over exposure to the sun causes the skin’s natural oils to deplete which may result in sunburnt skin and over time, skin cancer.

Here are some of the sun damaged skin types and their treatments:

PREMATURE AGEING

Characterised by the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, discolouration of the skin and changes in texture that appear prematurely aged and damaged.

Treatments:

DRY SKIN

This is the result of the depletion of the skin’s natural lubricating oils resulting in flaky and wrinkled skin, even on younger people.

Treatments:

The main goal is to moisturise the skin.

  • Microdermabrasion – deeply exfoliates the skin
  • Hydra facial – provides cleansing, exfoliation, extractions and hydration of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid
  • Enzyme masks – deeply exfoliates, moisturizes, smoothens and calms the skin, and provides antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits to skin
  • Moisturising creams and lotions.

PHOTOAGEING

Changes of the collagen in the dermis cause the skin to develop wrinkles and fine lines.

Treatments:

SUNBURN

A painful reddening of the skin, sometimes appears with tiny bumps and blisters that occur after being exposed to the sun’s radiation.

Treatments:

  • Replenish the body with lots of fluids – water, juices, sports drinks
  • Have a cool bath
  • Apply topical anaesthetic creams
  • Apply Calamine lotion, aloe vera gel and/or moisturisers to cool the skin.

SKIN CANCER

In Australia, this is the most common type of cancer.

Treatments:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Moh’s Surgery – micrographic surgery
  • Photodynamic laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Curettage and cautery (diathermy)
  • Topical Chemotherapy
  • Ointments, creams (Immunomodifiers) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel.

SUN SPOTS

Also known as skin lesions, these are characterised by a wart-like or scaly appearance that may be reddish or dark in colour.

Treatments:

  • Excision – cutting off of the sun spot on the skin
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Curettage
  • Cautery
  • Topical creams, gels, and ointments.

ACTINIC KERATOSIS (Solar Keratosis)

This is due to prolonged or repeated sun exposure which may lead to skin cancer. It is a sandpaper type skin with tiny bumps and scaly patches that are yellowish, brownish, reddish or pinkish, and are commonly found on the face, nose, ears, lips, neck, scalp, ears, forearms, chest, and at back of the arms and forearms.

Treatments:

  • Cautery – the process of eradicating damaged tissues by way of burning
  • Curettage – scooping out or scraping out damaged tissues
  • Cryotherapy – destroying abnormal cells by way of freezing using liquid nitrogen
  • Surgery
  • Topical creams – speak to your pharmacist.

Of course, the best treatment for sun damaged skin is prevention! This means wearing a hat and clothing that covers your skin; applying sunscreen on any skin that is exposed to the sun; staying in the shade on a hot day where possible, and; making sure that you apply quality after sun treatment – such as aloe vera – when you do have over exposure.

Trish

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