By Dr Barbara Kubicka
Don’t be fooled by the title of this article… The first thing you need to know about sun damage is that it is unfortunately irreversible. It is also avoidable and the best treatment is preventing it from happening in the first place. However, with advances in modern aesthetic treatments, there are more and more options to treat the common consequences of over-exposure to the sun.
So back to basics… It is by far better not to over-expose the skin to the sun in the first place. It ages the skin prematurely, raising the prospect of issues from wrinkling to pigmentation as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer. The answer is as simple as staying out of the sun and using high protection mineral sunscreen.
However, having got that off our proverbial chests, we do recognise that realistically, millions of British adults will have over-indulged in sun exposure, especially in a summer which has seen some beautiful sunny days in June and July.
It’s so tempting when the sun is shining to get outdoors and to stay out longer than you should too.
On holiday, people tend to be fairly focused on sun protection and are more inclined to use sun creams to guard against UVA and UVB rays that can damage the skin. The ‘hidden’ risks of sun damage are usually closer to home – basking in the pub garden for an hour or so on a sunny weekend, or simply grabbing half an hour outdoors at lunch – informal, happy occasions but which very often don’t include time for sun cream!
Signs of Sun Damage
Consequences of over-exposure to the sun’s rays can include:
- Premature fine lines and wrinkles
- Freckles or age spots
- Pigmentation issues or hyperpigmentation
- Tired, dehydrated or dry skin
- Poor complexion or texture, lack of radiance
It is very important to watch for any suspicious moles on the skin as melanoma is a highly dangerous form of skin cancer – this could include irregular, fast growing or changing moles or moles with discharge or unusual colouring. Any concerns should be taken to a GP as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.
Professional Sun Damage Treatment
While prevention is better than cure, it is never too late to treat sun damage and modern aesthetic. I designed one myself called the Exquisite Facial.
After treatment, the following at-home treatments or routines can help to maintain and further improve the condition of the skin:
- Use sunscreen SPF30+ every day, particularly in summer
- Apply moisturiser twice a day
- Refrain from smoking
- Exfoliate, to remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell renewal
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Eat a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants
- Drink water where possible
For more information visit www.clinicbe.com or call 0207 125 0521.