Sun damage represents the cumulative effects of ultraviolet radiation from years of sun exposure. Most people refer to sun damage as a combination of brown age spots, broken capillaries, loss of brightness and wrinkling of the skin. Those who have significant sun damage generally have a higher risk of skin cancer, as well.
Although there are several topical treatments available, Retinoid compounds such as Retin-A appear to be the only topical therapy that can significantly reduce and partially reverse these effects. Unfortunately, even retinoids have minimal effects relative to laser procedures that do so with greater efficacy and speed.
Sun Damage affects both the epidermal layers and dermal layers of skin. Depending on the severity of the damage, various lasers can target each area individually or in combination. In general, the deeper the treatment, the greater the downtime or recovery. Older treatments such as chemical peeling and dermabrasion are rarely used today because of their associated downtime and risks.
Photofacials, or Intensed Pulsed Light (IPL) technology, is a simple and effective treatment that addresses sun damage in the more superficial levels. Several treatments are performed for a cumulative effect. Deeper laser such as the Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair address more severe sun damage, targeting all layers of skin. Depending on a patient’s expectations, availability of downtime, and budget, one or a combination of these treatments are extremely effective in permanently reversing several of the cosmetic and medical symptoms of sun damage. Please research these procedures on our website and discuss with Dr Frank upon consultation which treatments would best suit you.