By Stephen M. Krant, MD, FACS
Summer has long been a favorite season for sun worshipers. But in recent years, increased awareness surrounding the dangers of sun damage has led many to forego tanning in favor of wide-brimmed hats, shielding layers and higher SPF. These and other strategies can help prevent sunburns and premature aging; and for those hoping to reverse existing
sun damage, skin treatments
like laser resurfacing and photodynamic therapy offer effective solutions for younger, healthier-looking skin.
Tips for safe fun in the sun
The single safest strategy for preventing sun damage is limiting sun exposure, especially during the hottest part of the day between 10 am and 2 pm. However, for those who wish to protect their skin without giving up on outdoor recreation this summer, effective prevention ideas include the following:
- Wear sunscreen every day, and choose SPF 15 or higher (UVA and UVB protection)
- Re-apply sunscreen after swimming or sweating
- Choose a wide-brimmed hat for added facial protection
- Keep thin, light-colored layers handy for better skin coverage in bright sun
- Eat for healthy skin: load up on antioxidant-rich foods like greens, blueberries, broccoli and nuts to get plenty of free radical-fighting nutrients
Of course, for those of us who grew up in the days before sunscreen became a daily essential, this information comes too late to prevent the sun’s signature effects: wrinkles, rough skin texture, dark spots and sagging. Fortunately, though, there is still hope in the form of innovative and highly effective skin treatments using the latest in medical laser technology.
Laser skin treatments to turn back the clock
Laser resurfacing treatments, whether performed alone or in conjunction with a facelift or other plastic surgery procedure, can work wonders when it comes to rejuvenating sun-damaged skin. At
, we combine medical science with artistic skill to erase unwanted dark spots and moles, refresh aging skin and restore smoothness and elasticity to the face and décolletage using a combination of laser therapy and injectables.
IPL (intense pulse light) can remove hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage, as well as treat broken capillaries. In addition, Fraxel laser resurfacing (performed at our San Diego
) is a surgical treatment designed for patients with deeper, more severe sun damage. We offer accelerated healing oxygen treatments, as well as topical mineral and vitamin administrations, to help our clients see faster results with minimal downtime. In addition, we provide injectable treatments like Botox®, Dysport®, Radiesse™, Restylane®, Juvederm® and Sculptra Aesthetic® to those who wish to further enhance the appearance of their skin.
Finally, for those patients with severe sun damage and pre-malignant actinic keratoses, Levulan (ALA-Blu-U) is a topical solution used with a Blu-U light that can treat and remove these lesions of the face, scalp, hands and forearms.
To learn more about laser resurfacing and injectable treatment for sun-damaged skin, contact us at SK Clinic today for a complimentary consultation. Visit us online for more information, at