Forget Your Sunscreen And Get Burned? Here Are Some Options For You

Posted on July 13, 2016 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

If you go out in the sun wearing the wrong sunscreen or forget it entirely, you’re exposing your skin to some serious damage.  Everyone has heard of the sun’s UV rays but did you know that both UVA and UVB rays can cause your skin to age prematurely?

When UVA and UVB rays hit your skin, they release these highly unstable and reactive molecules called free radicals.  Free radicals damage living cells which causes them to lose their ability to function normally. When cells stop functioning normally tissue damage occurs which means wrinkles.

When it comes to treating aging skin there are quite a few options to choose from:

Starting with beta-carotene

Research has shown that this antioxidant can help even out skin tone and improve skin texture making your skin more supple and flexible, reducing sun-related wrinkles. Time to stock up on some carrots, spinach and cantaloupe!  Or you can always find it in supplement form.

Another option is retinoids

Prescription strength retinoids work by increasing the production of collagen and will stimulate new blood vessels, giving your skin a nice rosy appearance.  There are also over-the-counter retinoids which might not work as well for reducing wrinkles but can improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin overall.

You may decide that you want to visit a professional for treatment

There are a few different treatments your dermatologist may recommend.  Chemical peels can treat wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging.  This treatment removes damaged cells from the upper layers of your skin by causing the skin to “blister” and then peel off.  The new skin revealed is typically smoother and less wrinkled.

All of these options can help reduce and counteract the damages done to your skin from the sun. Your choice on which you should utilize is dependent on the severity of the sun damage. If you have damaged your skin in the sun, it is recommended that you consider consulting a specialists for recommendations on how to best treat your issue.