Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It serves as a barrier to protect your internal organs from harm. Sun rays help your body produce vitamin D, but too much sun leads to painful burns. Additionally, being at the beach leaves a lot of people wondering, “ is sea water good for your skin ?” While the answer is yes, being out in the sun can have a negative impact. Too much sun exposure leads to early age spots, deep wrinkles, other blemishes, and if not protected, the sun can also cause dangerous skin cancers. It’s best to limit direct sun exposure if you want to prevent these problems.
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Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun
If you want to know how to protect your skin from the sun, it starts with knowing the times of day to avoid the sun. Sun rays are the most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This period is the time of day when you could expect a bad sunburn and possibly some skin damage. Preventing sunburns requires applying sunscreen on exposed parts of your body and covering up what you can, including wearing a wide-brimmed hat to limit sunlight on your skin. For those with more sensitive skin and prone to burning more easily, it’s best to simply avoid direct sunlight during the most intense parts of the day.
Why Is It Important to Protect Your Skin From the Sun?
The most important reason to protect your skin from the sun is to prevent skin cancer. While some skin cancers can get removed easily, others go deep and can metastasize. Too much sun leads to skin damage that can become cancerous over time.
Different kinds of sunburns can be more harmful than others. They get caused by UV radiation that damages your skin cells and causes an inflammatory response. Constant sunburns may seem harmless, but over time can cause melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. More skin damage means more opportunities for cancer cells to grow.
- First-degree burns are the least harmful. You can expect your skin to be a little pink, dry, and sore. These heal in 6 days or less and only impact the top layer of your skin.
- Second-degree burns affect the top two layers of skin. You can expect a second-degree sunburn to last up to 3 weeks. You may experience small weeping blisters and skin color changes. A second-degree sunburn may or may not leave scarring.
- A third-degree sunburn will leave scarring if it doesn’t heal within three weeks. These burns go deeper, cause blisters, and show the importance of sunscreen. The deeper damage to cells can cause more harmful cancer cells to grow in deeper parts of the skin. These cancer cells become harder to remove.
- If you get a fourth-degree sunburn, you can expect to spend a lot of time in the hospital on medications and in surgery. These sunburns go all the way through the skin and can impact the fat and muscle as well. They cause the skin to change color to gray, black, or white.
How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun
When you’re planning your San Diego vacation , you’ll want to include sunscreen and clothing to help you protect your skin from the sun. Wear clothing that covers most of your body unless you are in the water. Clothing provides a physical barrier to protect you from UV radiation.
A good sun safety rule is to wait until 15 minutes after you apply sunscreen to go outside. This rule helps prevent sun damaged faces from exposed skin before the sunscreen is ready. A good sunscreen with at least SPF 30 will protect your face and any exposed limbs that you put it on. Your nose is an important spot to cover as well as your ears. Not only are they often forgotten, but they are also prone to skin cancers. When you’re in the water or outdoors for a long time, reapply sunscreen every hour.
Put on a hat. For additional coverage on your face, a hat is essential. Skin cancer prevention experts recommend this for people who have had previous cancer cells removed from their face. A hat plus sunscreen provides almost 100% protection when you must be outside for a little while.
Does Sunscreen Stop You From Tanning?
A lot of people want to know how to tan and not burn . There are two kinds of sunscreen. One uses chemicals that alter UV radiation, so it doesn’t harm your cells. The other uses something like zinc to block the sun from penetrating your skin. While a little tanning may occur if you use a low SPF, the best sun precautions should not cause you to burn.
How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun Without Sunscreen
If you don’t have any sunscreen, and you must be outdoors, cover your body, wear a hat, and stay inside between the hours of 10 a.m and 4 p.m. Some of the best beaches in La Jolla allow umbrellas and other sun shelters to help people stay out of the sun.
How Can I Protect My Face From the Sun?
Other than trying to prevent skin cancer, many people do not want to experience early signs of aging. A wide hat, a good sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and sunglasses provide the most comprehensive coverage to prevent sun damaged faces. Designer sunglasses for women can be worn for protection; just make sure they prevent 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
What Is the Safest Time to Be In the Sun?
When you’re looking for how to prevent sunburn, it’s important to consider when you’ll be outside. It’s safest in the sun early morning before 10 a.m. and late afternoon starting at 4 p.m.
When Is the Sun the Strongest?
The sun is the most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This timeframe is when most people should avoid sun exposure.
How Long Does It Take for the Sun to Damage Your Skin?
It depends on your skin type. Very fair-skinned people may experience sun damage in as little as 5 minutes, while those with very dark skin can spend 30 minutes in the sun without getting damaged.
How Much Sun Is Safe per Day?
Most people can get up to 15 minutes of sun per day to get the full benefits of being in the sun without any harm. More than that can lead to skin damage.
If you want to prevent age spots, sun damage, and skin cancer, the good news is that you can. You just need to learn how to protect your skin from the sun. With good sunscreen applied regularly, hats, sunglasses, and good sun habits, it’s easy to prevent sunburns and other sun damage that can lead to problems down the road. And finally, never underestimate the value of a good dermatologist.
Your skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection from sunscreen and clothes. To help heal and soothe stinging skin, it is important to begin treating sunburn as soon as you notice it. Follow these dermatologists’ tips to help relieve the discomfort.
Your skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection from sunscreen and clothes. To help heal and soothe stinging skin, it is important to begin treating sunburn as soon as you notice it. The first thing you should do is get out of the sun—and preferably indoors.
Once indoors, these dermatologists’ tips can help relieve the discomfort:
Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.
Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.
Although it may seem like a temporary condition, sunburn—a result of skin receiving too much exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays—can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. This damage increases a person’s risk for getting skin cancer, making it critical to protect the skin from the sun.
For questions about your sunburn or to learn how to better protect your skin from the sun, see a board-certified dermatologist.
It was a hot summer day. Clear blue skies. A light breeze in the air. Warm sunshine kissing your skin. It’s the kind of day you don’t often get in London. So when it comes, you have to make the most of it.
I was walking along Regent’s Canal with a friend, catching up with each other’s lives and making plans for the future. When, all of a sudden, I stopped dead in my tracks.
Ouch! My eye! It stung like hell. It was so painful, I started crying and rubbing my eyes to ease the pain. But it only made things worse.
My friend caught my face in his hands, keeping it still so he could take a better look at my eyes. Maybe something had accidentally slipped in?
Nothing. There was nothing in my eye. What the heck was going on?!
That’s when it hit me. The day was so hot despite the gentle breeze, my sunscreen had trickled down my forehead and into my eye.
My friend had a bottle of water with him – thankfully! – so we managed to clean up my eye. Eventually. But it got me thinking, how can you prevent sunscreen from stinging your eyes in the first place?
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Mineral Sunscreens Are Less Likely To Irritate Eyes
You know how I always say that I prefer mineral sunscreens? It’s true. If I have a choice, that’s what I use.
But as a skincare blogger, I sometimes get sent stuff I wouldn’t pick off the shelves of SpaceNK. In a way, it’s good – I get to try new products that didn’t catch my eye but turned out to be holy grails.
Other times… That day at Regent’s Canal was one of those other times. I was testing a chemical sunscreen with synthetic UV filters. When they got into my eyes… Ouch!
Mineral UV filters – that’s titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – are gentler so when they get into your eyes, they don’t sting as much. If I’m going for a long walk or know I will sweat, it’s a mineral sunscreen I put on.
With high temperatures setting in across the country, many of us are heading to the pool or the beach in our spare time. If we’re smart, we’re piling on the sunscreen to protect our skin and prevent burning, but questions abound: Are we buying the right sunscreen? And finally (and for many, most important) why might we still get a sunburn even with sunscreen and how can we best treat this typically minor but painful skin irritation?
There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and mechanical
First, a lesson in what sunscreen actually is; there are two types: chemical and mechanical.
“Chemical sunscreens have a variety of different chemicals that actively absorb light — particularly the most damaging light, UVA and UVB [ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B] rays,” says Dr. William Wooden, a plastic surgeon specializing in skin cancer and director of operative services at Indiana University School of Medicine. “This is the light that causes a burn but also can damage your cells, predisposing you to skin cancer.”
Fact Check Tom Brady Says This Trick Prevents Sunburns. Science Says Otherwise.
Mechanical sunscreen, typically touted as “natural,” “has naturally occurring elements and minerals that act like mirrors and block the rays,” says Dr. Wooden. “We have identified that you can micro-powerdize minerals and titanium oxide so it doesn’t make that white goo our grandfathers wore — so if you want to stay away from chemicals, you can buy these.”
That said, chemical sunscreen is safe to use. Essentially, as Dr. Wooden explains, chemical sunscreen has shown to not pose risks to one’s health or secondary skin problems, and is shown to be highly effective in blocking dangerous light from the sun by absorbing it.
Which type of sunscreen is better?
What’s the best choice? Dr. Wooden is agnostic on the matter, feeling that it’s up to the consumer’s preference and that everyone should stick with what their skin handles best.
While both types of sunscreen are safe for humans, Dr. Wooden points out that one type may safer than the other at least when it comes to our oceans: “Hawaii has identified that chemicals, [oxybenzone and octinoxate], which are ubiquitously common in chemical sunscreens may be damaging our coral reefs. Hawaii has banned the sunscreens with these chemicals.”
If you decide to go the mineral-based or mechanical route, be sure to look for a product that has both titanium dioxide and zinc oxides, says Dr. Wooden.
SPF: 30 is the magic number
Though I’m someone who generally doesn’t burn (likely because I’m more olive in skin tone, a factor I’ll get to shortly), I still always look for the maximum protection in sunscreen and usually end up forking over extra money on the SPF 110, believing that the higher the SPF grade, the greater and longer the protection. This isn’t quite how it works.
“The difference between SPFs is real, but diminishes with increasing SPF numbers,” says Dr. S. Tyler Hollmig, dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and dermatologic oncologist at Stanford Health Care. “For example, an SPF of 2 would block only about 50 percent of dangerous light, while SPF 15 blocks 93 percent, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent, and SPF 70 blocks 98.5 percent. Most dermatologists agree on an SPF of 30 as sort of the magic number when it comes to sunscreen.”
There’s some argument to be made that higher SPF ratings (over 30) can be less effective than that magic SPF 30, just because people tend to use less of them and apply them less often. This is definitely the case with me. I’ll slather the SPF 30 on my body all day because it’s cheaper (and I because I’ve believed it to be less effective); meanwhile I treat my pricey SPF 110 like a precious, all-powerful potion, using only a sparing layer once a day for my face.
“Studies have shown that higher SPFs actually perform like a lower SPF when too little is applied,” says Dr. Hollmig.
Oops. Time to apply more to my face, even if use up all the expensive SPF 110.
You’ve heard it all before: Daily sunscreen use protects against skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, dark spots and more, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation (and every dermatologist and esthetician ever). But what if swiping on an SPF is actually painful?
For many, burning eyes go hand-in-hand with daily sunscreen application, and the discomfort only gets worse if water or sweat causes the product to run into your eyes. But what causes the burning, and are there sunscreens that can protect you without the sting?
Why some sunscreens burn your eyes
Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu, cosmetic chemists and co-founders of Chemist Confessions , said there are numerous ingredients in sunscreen that could cause eye irritation.
“Sometimes chemical filters, volatiles (ingredients that evaporate) used to lighten up sunscreen textures, fragrance or even preservatives can be culprits for irritation,” Lu told HuffPost. “We recommend avoiding light, fluid textures, especially if you’re experiencing watery, burning eyes.”
“What I really think it is, is the chemical blockers,” said Heather Summe, a board-certified dermatologist at Northwell Health and chief of the division of dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital. “Physical blockers sit on the surface of the skin and reflect UV radiation, and chemical blockers also sit on the surface of the skin but they absorb the UV radiation. I think the ones people often complain sting the eyes are the ones in the chemical category.”
As such, you should look for mineral sunscreens. They’re also sometimes labeled as physical SPF, physical actives or mineral actives . Sunscreen can also include fragrance, texture-related ingredients or skin care additives. Any of these can be irritating when applied near the eyes.
“Sprays or gels are more likely to have alcohol added to them, and those are likely to sting if they’re near the eyes,” Summe said. “Fragrance is a big one, and a lot of these sunscreens will have various botanicals added to them.”
How to find an SPF that won’t sting
If your eyes burn as a result of fragrance or botanical ingredients, some mineral formulas may still cause stinging eyes. In that case, you may have to try a few different products to pinpoint the cause of your sensitivity.
“Minerals can be a good alternative to try,” Lu said. “But one thing to note is that mineral formulas also can vary far and wide, so it’ll still take a little experimenting.”
Summe said not to trust marketing phrases like “mineral-based” on the front of the package. Flip the bottle over and check the active ingredient list.
“Physical blockers are what you want when you’re using it around the eyes,” she said. “A lot of sunscreens will contain a mix of physical and chemical blockers, but they’ll market it as a mineral-based sunscreen, and it’s one of my big pet peeves. There’s always going to be various inactive ingredients, but if you’re looking for a mineral sunscreen, the only two things you should see in the active ingredients are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.”
When using a mineral sunscreen formula, it’s important to ensure you use enough. Summe recommends a nickel- or quarter-sized dollop to cover your face adequately.
“Many 100% pure mineral formulas free of possible triggers don’t have the best textures,” Fu said. “As a result, user application won’t be great, compromising your sunscreen protection.”
Being formulated for the face doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t burn your eyes
Sunscreens made specifically for the face, especially ones from well-known skin care brands, seem like they would be a safe choice for those with sensitive eyes. But Summe cautions consumers against falling for good branding.
“In terms of ones specifically marketed for the face, they’re just more cosmetically elegant,” she said. “It’ll feel more like a luxurious cream or lotion. It’s more about the texture and the appeal of them; they’re not necessarily less irritating or less likely to burn. A lot of it is just marketing.”
Dermotologist-recommended sunscreens for sensitive eyes
Summe recommends the following sunscreens for patients complaining of burning eyes.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.
This sunscreen formula relies on zinc oxide instead of chemical blockers, and leaves out other potentially irritating ingredients, too.
“It’s very bland and doesn’t have fragrance or botanicals, nothing like that,” Summe said.
Blue Lizard’s sensitive SPF uses both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect skin, and leaves out fragrances as well. This formula also comes in a stick version.
This sunscreen is oil-free and has a soft finish, but most importantly, its protection comes exclusively from mineral actives.
“It’s formulated with only mineral blockers in it. You can be a little more precise about where you’re putting it, and it may be less likely to run into the eyes,” Summe said.
“This one is tinted, so it’s a good option for people with melasma or hyperpigmentation,” Summe said. “The EltaMD UV Replenish is a good non-tinted version.”
While most people like to be tan, no one likes a sunburn. And the biggest phenomenon when you are first out in the sun is how fast the burn comes on – even if you slather on gobs and gobs of sunscreen with level 50 protection every fifteen minutes. That sun is a mean, sneaky rascal! But it’s a sneaky meanie we love because we look so darn good (we glow and appear thinner) when we’re tan. That’s a fact. So if you want to know how to avoid a sunburn and still enjoy the sun, consider these options.
1. Avoid peak sun hours. One of the best ways to prevent a sunburn, and still get a tan is to go to the beach or pool early in the morning before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. But even then, depending on where you are in the world, the rays can still be harsh. So this is the first, basic rule, and probably one of the very best techniques for sunburn prevention.
2. Ease into it. For your first day on the beach, limit your time in the sun. Painful, we know. You want to serve up all your ghostly, white flesh to this almighty star (yes, the sun is a star), but if you can, hold yourself back. Better still, maybe spend your time at the spa getting a massage first before you get a burn. This way, you won’t have someone kneading your burned skin trying to help you relax when all you want to do is scream. All this, of course, does not go without heeding the next rule of how to avoid a sunburn.
3. Slather, slather, slather. Sunscreen, that is. It doesn’t really matter what kind of skin you have, or if you stay in the shade – the rays still bounce off the sand and onto your skin. So when you go to the beach, put on buckets and buckets of sunscreen. When it come to how to avoid a sunburn, it generally does the trick.
4. After getting wet, reapply. We know it’s a pain. But water does what water naturally wants to do – it removes particles from your skin. Some products may tout the fact that you don’t have to reapply after swimming. Don’t believe them. Reapply anyway. You’ll be happy you did.
Secrets St. James beach view, Jamaica (Photo by: @aircon2006)
5. Apply sunscreen EVERYWHERE. This means your ears, hands, palms, feet (especially here), the back of your neck, under your arms…everywhere. And if you’re on a clothing optional beach, we do mean everywhere. (This, um, “everywhere” is where you’ll especially want to prevent a sunburn.)
6. Don’t forget your scalp or lips. Rub some oil or sunscreen in your hair. It’s easy to skip over our scalp – it’s covered by hair (for some of us.) But that’s what’s under there – skin. Vulnerable, tender, baby skin. Also, your lips – slather them, as well, with loads of lip balm with sunscreen already in it. You don’t want burned lips to interfere with relishing all the tantalizing tropical cuisine.
Pueblo Bonita Sunset Beach, Los Cabos, Mexico (Photo by: S. Daniels)
7. Stay covered. Floppy hats, umbrellas, cover-ups or shirts. We know it kind of defeats the purpose of going to the beach – you just wanted to get some sun, right? Though these looks are not so sexy, it just makes good sense to make sure when you are starting to get burned to grab your clothing article and head for the shade. When it comes to how to avoid a sunburn, we know this is one of the most un-fun ways to do this, but trust us, it works.
8. Know your skin. If you have darker skin, you most likely tan easily, so you probably can be more carefree in the sun, but don’t overdo it. If you’re fair, you probably should sit under an umbrella most of the time. If you’re somewhere betwixt and between, err on the side of precaution. Limit your times and ramp up your sun exposure.
Moderation in excess. Use protection. When it comes to sunburn prevention, these are the two ground rules, as well as the aforementioned, that undergird not having the feel of fire all over our meat suits after a day at the beach. Summer, and life, is too short for that.
Now, if you’ve already done the deed, and are in the throes of suffering from too much sun, see 9 Fail-Safe Sunburn Remedies.
If you haven’t overindulged in the sun, and are craving some beach time, dial 1-800-915-2322 and one of our savvy Beachologists can set you on on a sunny dream escape in no time. If you want to check out the lay of the sand yourself,
Have you ever used sunscreen and noticed that instead of sinking into your skin; it balls up or forms flakes instead? This is called pilling; and it can happen with any skincare or makeup product that you have layered. In essence, with pilling, the product will not be absorbed or taken up your skin.
The side effect of unprotected UV exposure to the skin include skin cancer, burns and accelerated signs of ageing.
What is the implication of sunscreen pilling?
When a product balls up or flakes- its absorption and efficacy is reduced. In other words, if your sunscreen pills, you’re not getting the full amount of sun protection that your sunscreen states. So besides having your skin looking bumpy or flaky; your risk of sun burns, skin cancer and premature ageing (e.g. hyperpigmentation, sagging and early wrinkles) are increased.
Some sunscreens have a higher tendency to cause pilling if they contain silicones, talc and mica.
Why does sunscreen pill?
So why do sunscreen or makeup pill? The answer: the product is not getting absorbed by the epidermis and ends up sticking together. This can happen for reasons related to your skincare, skin and sunscreen. Here’s the low down.
Skincare causing pilling
If your skincare is not getting absorbed, you are probably layering too many products; or in the wrong sequence. Healthy skin does not require an excessive or expensive regimen.
Your skin causing pilling
Skin that congested, rough and clogged up has a harder time letting skincare ingredients penetrate. Excess oil, dead skin and dirt form a physical barrier to reduce uptake of skincare.
Your sunscreen ingredients
Here’s where looking at the ingredient list can help. Products that are rich in silicones, talc, mica and iron oxide have a tendency to pill more than others that do not. These ingredients can also be found in cosmetics; which is why any beauty product can potentially pill.
Having healthy and clean skin helps to prevent sunscreen pilling.
How can sunscreen pilling be avoided?
Some tips and tricks that can help prevent sunscreen piling:
• Reduce your skincare steps and layering. Keep it directed to avoid problems of product interaction or incorrect layering. 3 Essential Skincare Steps for Healthy Skin will offer a guide to an effective and minimal regimen
• Wait for a few minutes between each skincare layer. Allow the one product to dry before layering the next.
• Exfoliate to remove dead skin, dirt and excess oil that interfere with the uptake of your skincare. Chemical peels are a very effective and efficient way to achieve that and boost collagen levels in your skin. Alternatively, manual exfoliation with sonic cleansers can be helpful. The Truth About Chemical Peels will explain how chemical exfoliation works.
• Skip the usual suspects like silicones, talc, mica and iron oxide. It may be a trial and error to get a sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin. You can read my sunscreen recommendations in Sunscreen Review 2021 and Sunscreen Reviews 2019.
If you found this blogpost useful, you may enjoy the following sunscreen related blogposts:
Updated January, 2020
Let’s face it. We are on the tail end of summer and, like me, I bet you spent a little too much time soaking up the rays. Even the most diligent sunscreen appliers may find a few more freckles or uneven skin tone than they had last spring. But worry not (and make more wrinkles in your forehead!). I am sharing with you part of a report from John Hopkins that shares treatment options for sun-damaged skin.
What is photo-aging?
Excessive exposure to the sun early in life can make a person look older than he or she really is. Premature wrinkling and skin damage from sun exposure is also called photo-aging. Photo-aging, unlike natural aging, results in coarse, dry skin, freckling, skin discoloration, leathery skin, and deep wrinkles.
Treatment for sun-damaged skin
To minimize the effects of photo-aging, several treatment options are available for aging skin. Specific treatment for sun-damaged skin will be determined by your doctor based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Severity of the skin damage
- Type of skin damage
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
- Botulinum toxin type A. An injection of botulinum toxin (a complex type of protein) into specific muscles will immobilize those muscles, preventing them from forming wrinkles and furrows. The use of botulinum will also soften existing wrinkles.
- Chemical peels. Chemical peels are often used to minimize sun-damaged skin, irregular pigment, and superficial scars. The top layer of skin is removed with a chemical application to the skin. By removing the top layer, the skin regenerates, often improving the skin’s appearance.
- Soft tissue augmentation or filler injections. A filler is injected beneath the skin to replace the body’s natural collagen that has been lost. There are multiple different kinds of fillers available. The filler is generally used to treat wrinkles, scars, and facial lines.
- Dermabrasion. Dermabrasion may be used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. As the name implies, dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that abrades the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.
This gentler version of dermabrasion, called microdermabrasion, uses small particles passed through a vacuum tube to remove aging skin and stimulate new skin growth. This procedure works best on mild to moderate skin damage and may require several treatments.
- Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is different from laser therapy in that it delivers multiple wavelengths of light with each pulse (lasers deliver only one wavelength). IPL is a type of nonablative* therapy.
- Laser skin resurfacing. Laser skin resurfacing uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin. Laser resurfacing may be used to minimize wrinkles and fine scars. A newer treatment option is called nonablative* resurfacing, which also uses a laser as well as electrical energy without damaging the top layers of skin.
- Tretinoin treatment. Tretinoin treatment, a prescription topical cream, can reduce wrinkles, rough skin, and discolored skin.
Prevention, however, is the key to retaining a youthful appearance. Practicing safe sun exposure habits, such as using sunscreens correctly, staying out of the sun as much as possible, and wearing protective clothing and hats, are essential to keeping the skin healthy. In addition, practicing sun safety may prevent the development of skin cancer later in life.
*Nonablative dermatological procedures do not remove the epidermal (top) layer of the skin. Ablative procedures remove the top layers of skin.