SUNSHINE & SKIN
1. What effect does sun damage have on the skin in the short term and long term? Can sun damage lead to cancer?
Tanning is a short term protective mechanism of skin against solar UV radiation. Repeat sun damage causes uneven pigmentation: spots, melasma and freckles, collagen breakdown and elastosis (faster aging, lines, wrinkles and spots).
When skin is unable to protect itself by darkening, it may burn. Repeated sunburns can increase risk of skin cancer (melanoma) but chronic sun damage causes higher risk of all kinds of skin cancer and unsightly non/pre cancerous growths.
2. If a person experiences acute sun damage, such as sunburn etc, what can they do to combat the effects & prevent long term damage?
Acute sun damage may be treated by post tanning solutions that contain antioxidants and allegedly undo genetic damage in skin. However this is uncertain, prevention is better
3. If a person gets sun damage over time, on their face and chest or even other parts of their body, what can they do to reverse the damage? Are there effective cosmetic treatments (laser, IPL, peels)? How do they work? And are there products that can help?
In my practice we use microneedling radiofrequency treatments, fractional lasers and peels with potent home care (retinols & antioxidants) to address collagen breakdown, solar elastosis and disorders of pigmentation.
4. What's your advice to people to prevent sun damage?
Non negotiable daily use of sunscreen (SPF 30 or more, 5 ml for face and neck coverage).
Dr Sonam Yadav; Medical Director, Juverne