Sun Damaged Skin

To tan or not to tan?

With the fabulous weather recently, which by the way is a novelty for us Irish, there is a real delimma. Should we expose our lily white skin and get a colour in an attempt to look like bronzed gods and goddesses? Or are we doing permanent damage to our skin?

Ireland’s Northerly latitude and lengthy winters mean that we have one of the highest rates of vitamin D deficiency in the industrialised world. There seems to be a trade off between vitamin D deficiency and sun burn, or is there? Can we expose our skins to the sun safely. If so, how do we minimise any long lasting damage to our skin.

FACT: A sun tan is ageing.

The sun is the main exogenous factor responsible for skin ageing. The effects may not necessarily become evident immediately but can develop over time. If you really want to have a colour why not use sun tanning lotions. With many of the newer formulations on the market the results are better than a real tan and your skin will look healthier not to mention less aged.

FACT: Tanned skin is damaged skin.

A lot of my patients are surprised when I say this…The suns rays penetrate the skin and destroys the skin cells both directly and indirectly, this causes free radicals which are harmful molecules that can damage the skin cells DNA resulting in a reduction in collagen and elastin production. This sequence of events leads to premature ageing of the skin. The results are wrinkles, age spots, pigmentation and a loss of tone and elasticity of the skin.

FACT: Sundamage is preventable.

A few simple steps can minimise your sun exposure and risk of burning. Always always use a sunscreen. This means daily application of a factor 30 even during the Winter months. I often see patients who are vigilant about applying sunscreen to their faces but forget their hands, necks or chest or decolletage areas.

FACT: The signs of sun damage are treatable.

There are many medical-aesthetic treatments available which can effectively treat premature ageing and wrinkles due to improper exposure to the sun. The first thing which you need to do us to start wearing daily sunscreen.

In the treatment of sun damage you need to take action on several fronts, combining home therapy with outpatient medical-aesthetic treatments. There is clinical evidence supporting the significant benefits of Tretinoin, which is applied topically to damaged skin. Tretinoin or Vitamin A has multiple skin benefits. These include an increase in collagen and production and therefore an improvement in skin tone and elasticity. At CosmeticDoctor we recommend ZO skincare because some of the products in this range can contain 5-10 times more Retinol than other competitive over the counter products.

In order to really reverse the signs of ageing it is advisable to consider medical grade chemical peels performed in a cosmetic clinic. Chemical peels such as alpha-hydroxy acid or trichloracetic acid peels can improve the appearance of your skin while also improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Deeper wrinkles may benefit more from botox or dermal filler injections.

With a holistic approach to treating skin damage rather than just focusing on either treating lines, wrinkles or pigmentation your skin will look fresher, more hydrated, firm, bright, relaxed and youthful.

Contact 01 685 3100 at CosmeticDoctor to find out which treatment would best suits your problem and issue.