It is true that the more sun exposure one incurs as a child and as an adolescent, the earlier and more extensive its effects will in the skin. Initially the skin loses its luster because of changes in the uppermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. Then follows the gradual loss of collagen and hyaluronic acid which cause the skin to lose its youthful plumpness. Meanwhile, brown spots start showing up and cause a muddy tan look in the summer. Once the elastic tissue gets weakened, fine wrinkles will appear. Patients often feel worse about the uneven skin tone than the wrinkles. And lastly, precancerous and cancerous lesions can develop.
Here, at Greenwich Dermatology TM, we have an array of advanced methods to tackle each one of the above problems.
The most important thing during your sun damage evaluation is to make sure you do not have skin cancer. Any suspicious lesion will be biopsied and submitted for examination at the dermatopathology department at Yale New Haven Hospital. Precancerous changes called actinic keratoses (AKs) are irregular rough little patches. These can be treated with anti-cancer creams, Fraxel treatments, PDT BLU-U photodynamic treatments (with the newest sensitizer) and LADD or Laser Assisted Drug Delivery, often all at the same time.
Early sun damage can be helped with a series of peels.
Besides sunscreens, the newly developed DNA repair creams and extracellular matrix promoter creams are simply non-negotiables in today’s skin care.