Sun Damage and Your Skin – Results of UV Exposure
- Actinic Keratosis – a precancerous growth on the skin (most common)
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – a skin growth that is the result of sun exposure but one that will not spread beyond the skin
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – a sun related skin cancer that can sometimes spread to other organs
- Malignant Melanoma – a very deadly skin cancer that must be removed immediately
- Lentigo Maligna – a pre-malignant lesion that should also be removed as it may become a melanoma one day
Before & After treatment for long history of sun exposure and clear sun damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Sun Damage?
- Rough and dry skin lesions
- Patches or growths on the skin
- Localized growths
- Appearance on the face, scalp, back of the hands, chest, or other common sun-exposed areas
- Gray, pink, red, or flesh-colored discoloration
- Begins as flat and scaly evolving into a wart-like or rough surface
What Are the Causes of Sun Damage?
Actinic Keratosis is specifically caused by repeated sun exposure. Ultraviolet light damages the elastin (elastic) fibers in the skin leading to increased signs of aging and vulnerability to the effects of sun damaged skin. Common risk factors contributing to the expression of sun damage are:
- Having fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair
- Long-term, daily sun exposure (for example, if you work outdoors)
- Multiple, severe sunburns early in life
- Older age
As a result, it is imperative to keep a strict regimen in terms of sun exposure throughout your life. Dr. Crippen recommends daily application of a UV-A and UV-B blocking sunscreen to help prevent the most common types of skin cancer.
What Are the Treatments?
Quick Answers About Sun Damage
Can sun damage spots be removed permanently?
Many types of sun damage spots can be removed permanently. Whether or not these spots can be easily removed depends on the type of spot, and how much time it has been given to develop. It is almost always preferable to treat sun damage as soon as it’s visible. Timely treatment will minimize the threat of permanent spots.
How long, or how many treatments does it take to remove spots of sun damage?
Depending on the characteristics of the spot and the type of treatments that is used, most removals will take anywhere from one to a half-dozen sessions. While non-invasive, our laser treatments are powerful instruments that can only treat small surface area of skin at a time. Larger and darker spots of sun damage will require more treatments.
Which of the listed treatments is the best option for sun damage?
Each of the treatments listed above may be considered for different cases of sun damage. Some are more intense than your treatment may require, while others are too gentle to remove the spot you want to target. Our doctor will choose the best treatment for your case during your consultation.