Sun-damaged skin, can you repair it?

The warmth of the sun certainly feels good on our skin and also produces vitamin D. But it can damage our skin. Sun-damaged skin such as pigment spots, fine lines, burst blood vessels and actinic keratoses (precursor of skin cancer) does not mean that it is hopeless. A complete recovery of the skin is not possible, but we have tips on what you can do about sun-damaged skin to prevent it from getting worse.

Chemical peeling

Chemical peels remove the top layers of your skin. This makes your skin look fresher, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and reduces pigment spots.

The peels range from very mild to very intense acid peels (like a TCA peel) requiring downtime. While stronger peels can produce the most noticeable results, it’s not for everyone. Get advice from your skin specialist based on your skin color and specific wishes.

Although a professional chemical peel is usually stronger (around pH 2.0), at home you can opt for the less strong peel with fruit acids AHAs and BHAs, lactic acid and mandelic acid. These superficial peels have almost no downtime and help with mild skin problems such as light discoloration and rough texture.

Cosmetic ingredients against sun-damaged skin

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A products such as tretinoid are a powerful and effective option to reduce sun-damaged skin. The over-the-counter option is retinol, which is available in different concentrations and formulations. The efficacy of retinol is already at 0.3%. A higher concentration is not always better, it can cause skin irritation and more absorption in the body. For skin problems such as reduction of fine lines, removal of the epidermis and a more even complexion.

Vitamine B3 (Niacinamide):

Niacinamide, one of the eight B vitamins, is the so-called essential vitamins. This means that only a small part can be stored in our body.

Niacinamide can reduce the risk of skin cancer! An Australian study has shown that the use of niacinamide can have a reduction in actinic keratosis (precursor of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma). A 1% niacinamide ointment was used in the test. Even low doses of UV radiation can cause measurable DNA damage in the skin. Niacinamide is able to improve this recovery and reduces the suppression of the skin’s immune reactions caused by UV radiation.

Laser treatment

There is a whole range of laser treatments that can address the discoloration, numbness, and rough texture caused by sun damage. You will need three to four laser treatments spaced 3–4 weeks apart. Keep in mind that you need at least five days of recovery time.

What you can do yourself

Sun protection is and remains the most important remedy. There are two types of ultraviolet sun rays: ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B.

The intensity of UVB depends on the season, location in the world and time of day, and causes skin burning. Although less intense than UVB, UVA rays are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year. These can penetrate through clouds and glass.

UVA penetrates deep into the dermis, and affects your collagen and elastin skin fibers. The elastin and collagen fibers provide the elasticity of the skin. In the long term, UVA rays can lead to skin aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, skin discolorations and even skin cancer. What many people don’t realize is that UVA rays contribute to sun-damaged skin.

Uva Uvb Rays Sun Damage Skin Aging Wrinkles Skin Aging Sun Protection
Uva Skin Damage In A Truck Driver, Sagging Skin, Coarse Texture, Deep Wrinkles

UVB rays reach the epidermis and are responsible for our vitamin D production. Too much UVB causes DNA damage, redness, sunburn and eventually skin aging and skin cancer. Unlike UVA, UVB does not penetrate glass and UVB is least strong during autumn and winter in the Netherlands.

More questions:

While you are here

Minimally invasive cosmetic treatments are increasing every year. Nowadays it is more and more accepted. When you think of cosmetic procedures, you quickly think of injectables such as botulinum toxin, fillers, but also peels and various laser treatments to look less tired and make the skin more radiant. More about: Cosmetic treatment, what are the reasons for having it done?


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