How Sunburns Can Damage Your Skin By William P. Baugh on May 30, 2020

digital diagram of how the sun’s rays can affect the layers of the skinIt’s no surprise that sun exposure can lead to skin problems. But just how badly does the sun damage the skin, and how much exposure is too much? The truth is, just a single sunburn increases the risk of skin damage. Fortunately, we offer cosmetic dermatology treatments at our Fullerton, CA, practice to reverse the signs of sun damage. Dr. William P. Baugh and the rest of the team at Full Spectrum Dermatology explain how sunburns can damage your skin and what you can do to address these issues.

What Happens to the Skin during a Sunburn?

Sunburns are not like other types of burns and what happens to your skin is obviously different than what occurs if you touch something hot. Sunburns do not occur from heat but instead are due to UV radiation. That is why individuals can still get sunburned in cold weather.

When UV rays reach the skin, they damage the cells and actually cause mutations in the DNA. The body has natural defense processes that correct these mutations. However, if exposure is excessive, the cells can die off. As the body begins to heal, blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow to the damaged areas. As a result, the skin becomes red and inflamed – a condition we commonly refer to as sunburn.

Can Sun Damage be Reversed?

Many topical creams and ointments claim to turn back time and reverse sun damage. However, there is no research available yet to support this claim.

While much of the damage that occurs during a sunburn is permanent, there are cosmetic dermatology treatments that can reduce the appearance of sun damage. Some of the most common treatments available at our Fullerton practice include:

  • Photorejuvenation facial: This procedure effectively reduces signs of sun damage and promotes natural collagen production for a more even skin tone. Recovery following this procedure is minimal, and each treatment is customized to the patient’s unique needs.
  • Medically based facial: If sun damage is combined with other skin conditions, such as rosacea, acne, or sensitive skin, this procedure can be particularly beneficial. A medically based facial takes the patient’s specific skin issues into account for personalized care.
  • Microdermabrasion: This is a common procedure recommended for individuals with sun damage. Microdermabrasion offers advanced treatment with a gentle touch to improve overall skin texture and tone.

Tips on Preventing Sun Damage

The best way to prevent sun damage is to avoid excessive sun exposure. However, most individuals spend at least some time outdoors every day. Here are some tips for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays:

  • Wear sunscreen every single day, regardless of the season.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, to shield your face from UV rays.
  • Avoid going outdoors during peak sun hours – typically between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
  • Choose sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Schedule a Cosmetic Dermatology Appointment

If you have sun-damaged skin and would like to explore cosmetic dermatology treatment options, schedule an appointment at our Fullerton practice. Contact us online anytime or give us a call at (714) 879-4312.

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William Baugh, M.D.

Full Spectrum Dermatology William Baugh, M.D.

Board-certified dermatologist William Baugh is dedicated to providing the best professional dermatological services. He is proud to be affiliated with the:

  • American Board of Dermatology (Diplomate)
  • American Academy of Dermatology (Fellow)
  • American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (Fellow)
  • Orange County Medical Association
  • Christian Medical and Dental Society

For an appointment at Dr. Baugh's modern, spa-like practice, please contact us online or call (714) 879-4312.

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