Summer has arrived—and with it, the threat of sun damage. As a board-certified dermatologist, I often consult with people who want to know how to repair sun-damaged skin. Fortunately, there are several ways to fade sunspots, wrinkles, and redness caused by a few too many days of catching rays.
Read on for a few dermatologist-approved tips for outsmarting sun damage, from prevention to in-office treatments worth trying.
How To Protect Your Skin in the Summer
Too much sun exposure may cause premature aging, wrinkles, sunspots, rough texture, and of course, skin cancer. The best treatment? Prevention.
Follow these tips to keep your skin safe in the summer months:
- Wear SPF: Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day, especially if you’ll be in and out of the water.
- Cover up with clothing: Pack your vacation bags with UV-blocking hats, sunglasses, and clothes.
- Check the UV index: Use the EPA’s UV index tool to see how intense UV rays are near you. You’ll also find helpful tips for protecting your skin at each level of the index.
When you can, try to limit your time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV levels are at their peak.
The Best Dermatology Treatments for Sun Damage
What happens if you forget the SPF a few too many times? Here are the best treatments for reversing damage and giving your skin a fresh start.
BroadBand Light (BBL)
BBL is one of the most trusted treatments for minimizing redness and hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure. This gentle treatment is quick and easy to undergo, but it delivers serious results. See for yourself in my before-and-after photo gallery.
It’s a myth that you can’t have BBL treatments done during the summer. As long as you follow proper aftercare instructions, you can enjoy the benefits year-round. Learn more truths behind common BBL myths in this blog post.
Fraxel® Laser Skin Resurfacing
Fraxel is a fractionated laser that stimulates collagen production for smoother and more evenly pigmented skin. Because it is a bit more aggressive than BBL, it’s ideal for more significant damage, such as fine lines and wrinkles, rough texture, and dark spots.
Chemical peels remove damaged cells and reveal the healthy skin underneath. Try one at the end of the summer to peel away damage and reset your skin for the new season.
DermaSweep microdermabrasion sweeps away damaged cells to give you a softer and more even skin tone. It’s a very comfortable and low-downtime option for those with mild damage. You can also combine this with EpiFusions and PremiumFusion, topical solutions that deliver even more complexion benefits.
Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy that stimulates collagen production to minimize fine lines and create a smoother texture. If you have skin laxity caused by damage over time, Genius® RF microneedling is a great way to tighten it. See real patient examples in my before-and-after photo gallery.
Ask a Board-Certified Dermatologist
No two complexions respond to the sun in quite the same way. The best sun damage treatment (or prevention) for you depends on your unique skin story. Working with an experienced dermatologist is an excellent place to start.
Get a fully customized treatment plan to keep your skin looking its best now and in the future at my Washington, DC, dermatology practice. Request a consultation online or call (202) 393-7546 to get started. Happy summer!