Treatments that can help to reduce or reverse the effects of sun damage
When skin becomes damaged by UV radiation, several levels are affected. The superficial layers become dry, dehydrated and sustain significant moisture loss. This leaves the skin looking dull and can lead to the appearance of very fine dehydration lines. Damage to the superficial layers can also result in redness, sensitivity, impaired barrier function and decelerated exfoliation.
It’s a little deeper, however, that much of the chaos occurs and later becomes visible on the surface of the skin. Collagen and elastin fibres become denatured and damaged. Due to this type of damage, the dermis (the deep layer of the skin) becomes weakened and loses its ability to stretch and contract which is the start of wrinkle formation. Hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for trapping water in the skin, breaks down faster due to sun damage and this only compounds the overall problem.
To reverse or at least remove some of the damage done, we need to ensure that we do the following:
1) Repair the skin’s barrier, which will result in decreased sensitivity, decreased redness and result in less moisture loss from the skin’s surface.
The use of barrier repairing products such as Serra by Lamelle. These products are specifically designed to repair and protect the skin’s barrier.
2) Replace volume loss and assist those areas where the hyaluronic acid in the skin has severely degraded.
For areas that have suffered severe volume loss and laxity, dermal fillers are a fantastic tried and tested treatment for fast and effective results. Newer treatments such as Xela Redermalization or Restylane Skin Boosters allow hyaluronic acid to be injected into the skin in a technique similar to mesotherapy, replacing what’s lost all over the affected area.
If you fear needles and would rather opt for another type of treatment, consider transdermal mesotherapy (needle-free mesotherapy) with a powerful hyaluronic acid serum.
3) Encourage elasticity by assisting the removal of old, damaged collagen and elastin, and stimulate the production of new, healthy collagen and elastin in the deeper layers of the skin.
Specialised treatments such as Laser Genesis, Exillis, Titania, Accent, VelaShape, Carboxytherapy, Skin Needling, Fraxel DUAL, CO2 Laser, Pearl and Pearl Fractional Lasers and Titan all help to breakdown old damaged tissue while encouraging the production of new collagen and elastin.
4) Prevent future damage
Homecare and maintenance is of the utmost importance! If you follow this simple routine you’ll be well on your way to both reducing as well as preventing damage:
- SPF every day come rain or shine
- Use products containing antioxidants in the day
- Use products containing ingredients such as retinoids, growth factors and anti-ageing peptides at night to repair and aid in regeneration.
- Ensure that you visit your skin care clinic monthly for an intensive anti-ageing treatment which will continuously improve the skin. Peels, microdermabrasion, IPL, Limelight, PDT and even some maintenance Laser Genesis are all fantastic monthly treatments.
As with many things, prevention is better than cure, but remember that it is never too late to start improving and taking care of your skin.