It can be hard to resist the sun’s warm rays, but repeated and prolonged exposure to sunlight takes a toll on the skin. Nearly every day, renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Charles S. Lee, MD, meets with patients that have skin damage as a result of too much exposure to the sun. In this blog, he reviews some of the common symptoms of this damage.
Signs of Sun Damage
Sun damage causes the skin to create less collagen. Since collagen is responsible for keeping skin elastic and tight, a decrease in collagen leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Many people assume their wrinkles are the natural result of aging, but many lines are caused by sun exposure.
The decrease in elastin and collagen from sun damage also causes the skin to droop. This is most noticeable along the jawline where jowls form and along the neck where a “wattle” of dangling skin can form.
Sun exposure can also cause the skin to appear uneven in color. A portion of skin that is lighter or darker than the overall complexion stands out. Hyperpigmentation can also include moles, which should be evaluated by a dermatologist for signs of cancer.
UV rays are also responsible for altering the texture of the skin. Soft, supple skin can gradually become dry and crusty. Some of these scaly patches of skin, known as actinic keratoses, are considered pre-cancerous.
Vein walls are also strengthened by collagen. As collagen production decreases, blood can start to pool inside the vein. Consequently, the veins are more readily visible through the skin. A “web” (hence the spider nickname) of blue, purple and red veins can show up on the face.
Preventing and Reversing Sun Damage
The easiest way to maintain attractive, healthy skin is to avoid UV rays. Following the conventional wisdom of limiting your time outdoors (especially during midday hours) and always wearing SPF sunscreen goes a long way toward blocking signs of premature aging.
Usually, those most concerned with sun damage are people already suffering the repercussions. Fortunately, a variety of non-surgical treatments available at Enhance® Medical Center can reverse signs of sun damage, including laser resurfacing, chemical peels, Ultherapy, Vivace microneedling and injectables. Patients who want a more dramatic transformation may consider facelift to rejuvenate the face.
Schedule an Appointment
To speak to Dr. Lee about sun damage and devise a custom treatment plan that will revive glowing, healthy-looking skin, please schedule a consultation at Enhance® Medical Center by emailing or calling (310) 271-5954.