The sun and the skin have a bit of a complicated relationship. Too much of the sun’s heat and radiation can cause some major skin conditions and cancer. However, this doesn’t stop people from sunbathing. Many still find a tan attractive and spend time out in the sun on weekends and holidays. It’s nearly inevitable you’ll wind up on the beach for a tad bit too long during at least a few summers in your life.
Sun damage is a result of continuous or prolonged exposure to the sun’s radiation or ultraviolet rays. It could manifest as sunburn, dry skin, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. If you’re wondering whether this type of damage can be reversed, we’re here to debunk common misconceptions.
Because of the diverse kinds of sun damage caused by the sun’s rays, it’s safe to say that some cases of sun damage can be reversed. This, of course, isn’t instantaneous and some damage may require more time and procedures than others.
- Dry skin can be reversed with exfoliation and moisturizing the affected areas.
- Wrinkles are more complex. While you can lessen their appearance with standard treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, retinoids, and other in-office procedures, you can’t erase wrinkles non-invasively.
- You can use lightening creams, cryotherapy, chemical peels, and even retinoids to combat solar lentigines/age spots.
- Melasma can be treated with hydroquinone/kojic acid and actinic keratosis with prescription creams/photodynamic therapy.
However, when dealing with any sun damage, self-medicating can lead to more damage. It’s essential to seek professional help by going to a dermatologist, especially if you’ve had many bouts of sun damage.
So ultimately, to answer the question, sun damage can be treated according to the severity and type. Sun damage recovery is subject to time and type of treatment administered. A complete reversal is possible in some cases, but not all as scars may linger. To prevent damaged skin, wear sunscreen, moisturizer, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun whenever possible!