Chronic or overexposure to the sun in your past will have created lasting damage to your skin. Too much time exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause your skin to develop unstable moles and sometimes skin cancer. Apart from these more serious conditions the damage caused to your skin can cause it to develop pigmented spots and blemishes (age spots), lines and premature wrinkles.
Actinic keratoses are dry, scaly patches of sun damaged skin usually forming on areas commonly exposed to the sun like the scalp, face, forearms, and the back of the hands. A single lesion is called an “actinic keratosis” or “solar flare”. They can also occur on the lips. They are usually harmless but can progress to skin cancer as squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). If an actinic keratosis begins to become a lump, itchy or start to bleed you should seek medical advice immediately because this may indicate the development of an SCC.
Regular mole checks and prevention
If you have a lot of moles it is advisable to have at least one yearly check with a dermatologist who will carefully screen all your moles, even the ones on the soles of your feet. Any suspect lesions can be identified and easily removed and sent for analysis. Treatment for actinic keratoses includes cryotherapy to freeze the cells in the lesion allowing it to dry up and fall off naturally, surgical removal in a simple outpatient procedure or treatment via prescription application/creams. The best course of action is to simply avoid overexposure to the sun and use a daily SPF whether you are in the sun or not as UVA light levels are present throughout the year and can play havoc with your skin in later life.
Medical grade skin peels are another treatment that can improve the quality of sun-damaged skin. They work deep in the lower layers of the skin removing areas of pigmentation to produce a clearer complexion. Microdermabrasion removes cells from the superficial layers of the skin to promote new cell growth and healthy skin. Regenlite laser treatments can improve the collagen content of the skin, helping to reduce the lines, wrinkles caused by sun damage and to rejuvenate the skin.
Treatment options include:
- dermatology consultation and prescriptions
- medical grade skincare products with SPF
- medical grade facials and skin peels
- Regenlite laser by Chromogenex
- surgical removal of the lesion