How do you treat skin with sun damage and make it healthy again? This image of early sun damage shows what we often disregard as unimportant.
How do you treat skin with sun damage? Most everyone has some sort of sun damage in my part of the world. We will be adding more and more layers of damage if we don’t do a better job of skin protection from the sun.
This person will soon have early aging that will cause her to spend too much money trying to get her skin back to where it was. You can restore some of its former health, probably not all.
The wise thing of course is to avoid this. Wear sun blocking hats, sunglasses, and sun blocking, loose-fitting long sleeve shirts. Use sunscreen every day. Avoid the more dangerous times of day when the sun is the hottest. Look for shade to be in when you are outside. Limit time out in the sun. Drink lots of water.
What Does Sun Damage Look Like?
Mayo Clinic’s slide shows skin damage caused by the sun and a brief explanation of the image. Having an explanation of what damage we are talking about will give you an idea of what long-term damage is.
There is also another kind of skin damage. It is most commonly known as “liver spots” or lentigines.
Lentiginosis refers to the presence of lentigines in large numbers or in a distinctive configuration. These are spotted areas created by the accumulation of melanin in the skin due to sun exposure.
These lentigines are not actually considered skin cancer. However, their presence could be a symptom of an underlying problem such as progressive cardiomyopathic lentiginosis, which can cause retardation in children and more issues in adults.
This is why you should get any irregularity checked out. In the past, most skin conditions were considered to not need treatment. The danger of untreated conditions was usually slow coming to light, and after it was too late to make a difference.
With modern technology giving the medical community access to much more information, they are able to help you have better results.
How Do I Know If A Spot On My Skin Could Turn Into Cancer?
This danger is from chronic exposure to the sun. So this makes the spots or dark freckle-looking spots appear in the areas where the sun shines on your body. So, this means they appear on your arms, legs, face, hands, neck, and décolletage.
There are different from some of the skin pigmentation issues which occur when cells become damaged, or when your body starts reducing its natural melanin production. If you’ve noticed any of these skin issues, here’s how to protect your skin from further sun damage and improve the health of your skin.
Remember, the better choice is to use a combination of sun blocking clothing and sunscreen to keep your skin from getting too much sun in the first place.
Sun damage, when continually repeated can and will add up and is what skin cancer starts from. Repeated skin exposure to the sun is where you get in trouble with skin cancer.
Can you fix sun damage to your skin?
Let’s Think About The #1 Sun Related Skin Issue
Photosensitivity is one skin condition that the sun definitely will make worse. This particular sensitivity to the sun is often referred to as a sun allergy. The thing that sets off this allergy? It is the sun shining on the skin and causes immune system reactions.
This kind of immune system reaction is like being allergic to strawberries. Your system can have a slight reaction or one with hives and swelling face and tongue.
Those who develop itchy spots on their skin or areas of splotchy red places and inflammation on patches of skin that get exposed to the sun. If you have a slight reaction, your skin will usually heal, and be forgotten.
Please don’t consider ignoring this condition. It is a subtle condition to start with and needs to be diagnosed on a doctor’s evaluation. However, it can be treated. If ignored, and more sun exposure is experienced, lasting damage to the skin will happen.
My son reacted to the sun for several months of his life. I was not aware of the dangers of the sun and didn’t realize he had no business outside at such a young age. No sun exposure before 12 months of age would have given him a better chance to be less sensitive to the sun.
Let’s talk a bit more about photosensitivity. This condition of your skin reacting as though it is allergic is a reaction to the sun by your immune system. A reaction to sunlight.
A Quick Review Of Photosensitivity Reactions
Symptoms of photosensitivity:
- Sunlight is what will trigger your immune system reactions.
- Itchy eruptions or areas of redness and inflammation on patches of sun-exposed skin can be your skin’s reaction to the sun.
- Based on a doctor’s evaluation the diagnosis is usually definite
- These reactions typically resolve without treatment unless there are too many repeated exposures.
Photosensitivity causes reactions, one well-known reaction is solar urticaria.
The other name for solar urticaria is simply Hives, large, itchy red bumps or welts that develop after just a few minutes of sunlight exposure.
The hives will usually last for minutes or hours. Image example of hives.
You can be prone to developing solar urticaria for a very long time, or even sometimes indefinitely. If you have large affected areas, you may have headaches, as well as wheezing, with periods of feeling dizzy, weak, and nauseated.
Chemical photosensitization, as well as polymorphous light eruption, are usually characterized by itchy spots on patches of skin that get exposed to the sun.
If you react to sun exposure with the kind of reaction discussed, protect your skin with sun blocking clothing. Keeping the sun off your skin will help keep lower sun damage totals.
If you are still reacting even though you have covered your skin, you are probably having heat reactions and should get in a cooled area, and allow symptoms to dissipate.
Some people may inherit a tendency to have these reactions. Let’s look at what sets up a chemical photosensitivity flare-up.
What Causes Chemical Photosensitivity?
Did you know that over 100 different substances, that you swallow or apply to your skin, are known to cause sun-induced reactions on your skin?
A limited number of these substances cause most reactions by making your skin have a reaction. Your skin can be reacting to one, or the other, but not normally both at the same time.
If you have phototosensitivity there will probably be pain. You may also developing redness, and inflammation in skin that has been exposed to the sun.
There may also sometimes see a brown or blue-gray discoloration in areas of your skin that have been exposed to sunlight, even for a brief period. Look at legs, arms for instance for color change.
Symptoms closely resemble some of the symptoms of sunburn. However, the reaction is different from sunburn. Occurring only after you have taken certain drugs. This is a partial list to give you something to think about in deciding to visit a doctor about you skin problems.
- Coal Tar and Derivatives.
- Contraceptives, Oral and Estrogens.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.
You may react if you have applied chemical compounds to the skin such as perfume and coal tar, for instance in shampoo.
Sun Related Skin Damage From Eating Certain Plants!
Some plants, including limes, celery, and parsley contain compounds called furocoumarins. This is enough to cause a flare for some people’s skin more sensitive to the effects of UV light. This reaction is known as phytophotodermatitis. I know, these seem to be extreme reactions, but it is not as rare as you think.
Remember, these phototoxic reactions will only appear on areas of skin that have been exposed to the sun. Reactions will usually develop within just a few hours after being out in the sun.
Now a bit about photoallergy.
An Allergic Reaction:What To Expect With Photoallergy
Those who have a conditions know as photoallergy, have an allergic reactions. These reactions will cause redness, scaling, itching, and sometimes blisters and spots.
This reaction suffered by some closely resembles hives. This can be misleading.
A photoallery reaction can be caused by aftershave lotions, sunscreens, and sulfonamides. The substances that cause photoallergy can only do so after you have used the aftershave lotion, sunscreen, or sulfonamides and been exposed to sunlight.
A sulfonamide is a functional group that is the basis of several groups of drugs, which are called sulphonamides, sulfa drugs, or sulpha drugs. The original antibacterial sulfonamides are synthetic antimicrobial agents that contain the sulfonamide group. Wikipedia
Sunlight must be present because sunlight is what makes the substance capable of triggering photoallergy. This is an ongoing fact with this condition. Without sunlight directly on your skin, it won’t happen.
You also have photoallergic reactions in areas of skin that have not been exposed to the sun. They usually develop 24 to 72 hours after sun exposure.
However, you do have to have sun exposure on your skin. Your leg may exhibit a reaction, but it was not exposed to the sun as your arms and face were.
Your Immune System Contributes To The Condition
A bit of a review first. “Photo” refers to light. So, a photosensitivity reaction is a disorder in which your immune system overreacts to sunlight. A Sun Allergy is the other name for this reaction.
- Now we know that Photosensitivity is a condition that causes red, itchy patches on your skin. Usually shows up where the skin that has been in sunlight.
- There are certain medicines or chemicals which can make your skin super-sensitive to the sun.
- Tendancy for Photosensitivity reactions often will run in families.
- There are some diseases that can cause a severe photosensitivity reaction.
- Usually, the Photosensitivity reactions go away on their own. However, medication will often help you feel better while the reaction goes away.
How Can Doctors Tell If I Have A Photosensitivity Reaction?
When you have a photosensitivity reaction, your doctor will suspect the cause when your rash is mostly on areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun.
There will also be questions about what you take and what you apply to your skin.
Your doctor may do tests: (examples)
- You may need skin patch tests to see what substances you may be allergic to.
- Your diagnosis may include shining a UV or ultraviolet light on your skin to see if there will be a reaction.
Each doctor has their own opinin of how to diagnose these conditions.and These suggested ones are not the only ones that will be important to figure out your treatment.
How do doctors treat photosensitivity reactions?
Your treatment depends on which type of photosensitivity reaction you have.
Your Doctor will probably:
- Suggest that you stop using any medicines or substances that cause photosensitivity.
- There is often a medication with the name of corticosteroids to apply to your skin or take by mouth.
- You may need other medicines if the reactions are frequent or severe.
Doctors may also have you:
- Be very cautious about spending too much time in sunlight
- Wear sunblocking clothing when you go outside
Sami’s Take On How Do You Treat Skin With Sun Damage?
The treatment referred to here is in response to flare-ups from the conditions discussed. While it does not cover all the different forms of sun damage to your skin, this article should make you aware that the can be reactions in the reactions to too much sun.
Covering your skin when outside makes sense. Keeping a level of protection is important because we no longer have the Ozone that we can count on. There are now times that there is little Ozone out there.
Changing your habits to wear clothing when you are outside will take a bit of awareness. You will need to try for a healthier lifestyle.
Just because you haven’t had a reaction yet, does not mean you can forget to take care of your skin. These reactions can start any time, a change in medication, or even in skin care products can set you up for problems.
Staying aware of your skin health will keep your skin healthy.
Getting some good skincare habits going starts with awareness.