If you’ve had a lot of sun over the years and/or you have skin that is more susceptible to Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation, you will develop some of the many signs of sun-damaged skin. Sun damage typically looks like red/brown splotchy discoloration. You will also have skin texture changes from sun damage, especially premature wrinkling, thinning or even thickening of the skin. Altogether, sun-damaged skin looks more “weathered” – more splotchy in color, uneven and rough in texture and duller.
Well, the sun! Specifically, UV radiation from the sun. In general, UV radiation causes discoloration (the brown spots), damage to small blood vessels that may break and lead to redness and splotchiness, and damage to collagen and elastin which leads to wrinkles and thin or crepey skin. The fairer you are, the less natural protection you have from UV radiation and the earlier you may see signs of sun damage.
Perhaps naturally, you will see sun damage on the most sun-exposed areas. Typically, that’s on the face, but not always.
The chest and neck are also particularly vulnerable to sun damage, but really you may see similar patterns of sun-damaged skin on other sun-exposed and less protected areas like the arms and less so, on the legs. The chest and neck are some of the most sun-exposed areas in women and men. For women, the chest and neck tend to be missed with sunscreen and makeup on a regular basis, and exposed in v-neck and scoop neck tops, swimsuits, workout tops, etc.
How do we treat sun-damaged skin?
Your treatment depends on what signs and symptoms you see. We focus on addressing brown and red spots with lasers, chemical peels, and skincare. It’s also important to address wrinkles and skin texture with lasers, microneedling, toxin, and filler. Sun damage affects so many aspects of the skin that you can use multiple modalities to treat it and improve the health of the skin.
Laser CO2 Resurfacing is a powerful laser treatment that smooths and tightens skin. The energy from this laser can blast away layers of skin that show severe sun damage and signs of aging such as discoloration and wrinkles especially on areas like the chest.
Excel V Laser Treatments are specifically designed to address redness and vascular (blood vessel issues). For those whose chests are significantly red from aging and sun, this laser is the best treatment to bring the color back to normal to blend in with surrounding skin.
Chemical Peels (medical grade) are treatments that are applied to the skin by one of our aestheticians in the office. It usually causes the skin to peel a few days after application. The specific formulation of the chemicals in the chemical peel is designed to target discoloration, acne, or other skin conditions. Those for the chest typically peel away the brown spots/sun freckles and sun damage.
Ultherapy is an in-office procedure FDA approved to lift and tighten the skin. It uses ultrasound energy to stimulate the tissues to make new collagen and importantly, elastic tissue to lift and tighten, especially along the jawline, cheeks, chest, or areas of the body. The treatment creates natural and long-lasting significant improvements because it causes your body to make it’s own collagen and elastic tissue – especially to treat wrinkles and lines on the chest.
Laser Skin Toning with Laser Genesis is a lunchtime laser treatment that helps make your skin tone and texture better over several treatments. It delivers moderately aggressive energy to the skin to stimulate collagen production and improvement in skin texture over time. It would be best for mild-moderate sun and age-related changes on the chest.
Microneedling is an office procedure where tiny needles puncture the skin in a repeated and controlled manner. The needles spark the natural healing process in the skin, to make new fresh skin and repair scars and damaged skin. Numbing is required prior to the procedure to ensure proper depth of penetration is achieved for maximum results.
With offices conveniently located in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Steele Dermatology offers expert skincare treatments and skincare regimens for patients with sun-damaged skin. To learn which treatment may be right for you, schedule an appointment or give us a call at (770) 464-6000.