No matter where you live, you can’t get away from the impact of the sun. Even on overcast days, its ultraviolet radiation penetrates the clouds. Staying out of direct sunlight as much as possible and wearing sunscreen are incredibly important and effective prevention strategies against sun damage, but Chesterfield’s West County Dermatology team knows that exposure will happen.
One of the most concerning forms of sun damage is skin cancer. West County Dermatology offers prevention advice, skin screenings, diagnosis, and treatment to help combat this common, but potentially deadly disease. Beyond this, the team also provides cosmetic dermatology treatments to address aesthetic forms of sun damage.
Healthy skin has plentiful collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin, and other elements that work together to keep it smooth, clear, and supported. While all of these molecules break down on their own over time, ultraviolet radiation speeds up the process. This leads to sun damage in the form of brown spots, wrinkles, rough or uneven texture, sagging, visible veins, and more.
Wrinkles and rough areas develop due to a mix of causes, but collagen loss and drying out are two common factors. UV radiation breaks down collagen molecules, weakening and thinning the skin so that it loosens and loses moisture. This also contributes to sagging, which can manifest as hollow areas in the mid-face and wobbling jowls farther down.
Brown spots are typically found in areas where UV exposure has caused melanin production to increase, leading to small, concentrated areas of pigment.
The best treatment for sun damage depends on the specific cosmetic issue being treated, as well as its severity. Fine lines, for example, may require a different approach than more dramatic creases.
In general, treatments that boost collagen levels in the skin are quite effective at addressing sun damage.
Dermal fillers are used to add hyaluronic acid-based volume under the skin, which evens out the surface and encourages hydration.
Visible vessels that appear in part due to sun damage—known as spider veins—can be treated with sclerotherapy and laser treatments for telangiectasia.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) can help to improve the look of the skin as it also treats medical conditions, including actinic keratoses. These are benign lesions considered to be “pre-cancer,” so addressing them early is recommended.
West County Dermatology also carries a wide selection of skincare products that can be used to repair and correct sun damage.
Because there are so many options for treating sun damage, it is important to work with a skin-focused professional who can determine the ideal solution for you. Our dermatologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating both medical and cosmetic skin problems that develop from prolonged and cumulative exposure to ultraviolet radiation.