Sun Damage Causes, Symptoms & Treatment in Dallas, Texas
What is sun damage?
Sun damage is any damage or changes of the skin due to sun exposure. Sun damage can affect any of the body frequently exposed to the sun, but the most commonly affected areas are on the face, neck, hairline, lips, and ears. Forms of sun damage include dry skin, suntans, sunburns, actinic keratosis, brown spots, freckles, uneven skin tone, and changes in collagen, which can lead to signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles on the face. Spending too much time in the sun can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
While leaving your skin unprotected from the sun rays can cause a certain degree of irreversible damage, there are treatment options available to help reverse, repair, and virtually remove certain signs of sun damage on the face and body. Preventative skin care measures can also help safeguard your skin from future damage.
What causes sun damage?
Sun damage is caused by exposure to UV radiation emitted by the sun. Sun damage from UV radiation can occur while spending many hours in the sun, as well as spending small increments of unprotected time in the sun over your lifetime. Tanning beds can also emit UV radiation and cause sun damage.
What are the symptoms of sun damage?
Symptoms of sun damage can occur slowly over time, or they can appear suddenly after spending too much time in the sun. Signs and symptoms of sun damage may include:
- Peeling of the skin
- Uneven pigmentation or changes in skin tone
- Age spots
- Actinic keratosis (small red, brown, or skin-colored scaly patches on the skin)
- Actinic cheilitis (scaly, dry, or cracked patches on the lips)
- Other unusual growths
How is skin damage diagnosed?
If you believe you are suffering from sun damage, a thorough skin exam by an experienced dermatologist can help confirm a diagnosis. Your doctor may also review your medical history and family history with you. Along with reviewing your medical background, your doctor may want to know more about how much time you spend in the sun and if you follow any skin care regimens to help protect your skin from sun damage. If you display actinic keratosis of the skin or any unusual growths, your doctor may recommend a biopsy to determine if the area is cancerous.
Can skin damage lead to complications if left untreated?
Left untreated, repeated unprotected sun exposure and sun damage can increase your risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer, if left untreated, may spread to other areas of the body, making it more difficult to treat.
How is sun damage treated?
If areas of your face or body have been affected by sun damage, there are a wide array of treatment options available to help repair the skin, including facial rejuvenation treatment, laser treatment, and other skin care methods. Depending on the type of sun damage sustained, treatment will vary. Your doctor will work to determine the best treatment options and recommendations for your needs. Treatment options for sun-damaged skin may include:
- Topical creams
- Chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Photodynamic therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of sun damage that are interfering with your quality of life, a consultation with an experienced dermatologist may be the first step towards helping restore the appearance and health of your skin. At Dermatology Treatment and Research Center, our board-certified physicians hold expertise in clinical, cosmetic, and general dermatology and are ready to provide you with high-quality expert care in a friendly and compassionate atmosphere. Call 972.661.2729 or fill out the form on this page to book an appointment.