What Is It?
Fortunately, the Skin Specialist Centre can provide multiple treatments for sun-damage with our extensive array of laser and light devices. People of all skin types develop sun-damaged skin on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms and legs. Sun damage occurs from repeated long-term exposure to UVA and UVB, resulting in brown spots (liver spots, sun freckles), dilated blood vessels and fine lines and wrinkles. Fortunately, there are multiple sun damage treatments that the Skin Specialist Centre provides for you.
The treatments range from topical therapies to laser treatments. It is essential to start a skin care regime that will both prevent and repair sun-damaged skin. In order to remove the sun damage, we recommend prescription Hydroquinone with retinoids. In order to achieve the desired result of sun damaged skin treatment, the use of these medications must be accompanied by sun avoidance and adequate and consistent application of a sunblock.
We also recommend the use of a daily antioxidant. Antioxidants work by protecting the skin from future sun damage. Laser and light treatments including Genesis V, Picoway, Revlite Q-switched laser, and Smart Xide Dot laser can also repair sun-damaged skin.
Photorejuvenation treatments treat redness and brown spots on the face caused by sun damage, with little or minimal down-time. This is often called Photofacial or Fotofacial and is a non-invasive procedure which makes your face look more youthful, by removing and reversing sun damage, signs of rosacea and reducing pores or acne spots.
Fraxel laser treatments (Fraxel Restore Dual, Smart Xide Dot laser) improve texture, surface irregularities, fine wrinkles, scarred areas and sun damage. Fraxel lasers produce thousands of tiny, but deep columns of precisely wounded skin known as microthermal zones (MTZ). This is based on a grid and this “fractional” treatment allows the skin to heal much faster because there is normal skin between the treated areas. Fractionated lasers are an excellent treatment for sun-damaged skin, as they tackle both the brown spots and fine wrinkles associated with excessive sun exposure.
The Picoway laser is also a sun damaged skin treatment and is used to remove unwanted brown spots or skin freckles. The laser energy pulse, which is in billionths of a second, releases the pigment into the skin so it can be naturally reabsorbed and disposed of by the body. The Revlite laser is appropriate if you have a few isolated spots of sun-damge on the face, chest, arms or legs.
Broken blood vessels (telangiectasia)
Broken (dilated) blood vessels (telangiectasia) are individual small blood vessels that can be seen with the naked eye because they are located very superficially. They can occur on the face and are usually most prominent around the cheeks and nose. Individuals prone to flushing or blushing easily, those with very fair skin and/or sun-damaged skin and those with rosacea (see section on redness) are more prone to developing telangiectasias.
Candela VBeam Perfecta, Cutera Excel V, Genesis V, Gemini KTP are most effective and provide excellent clearance of widespread facial rosiness and discrete vessels on the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin and chest. We provide four different lasers to treat vascular lesions. The Candela VBeam Perfecta, the Cutera Excel V, the Genesis V and the Gemini KTP are excellent for vessel clearance around the nose and anywhere on the face.
Redness of the face is caused by many small blood vessels in the face and can be caused by either sun damage or by a condition called rosacea, which causes flushing, blushing, dilated blood vessels and pimples. Rosacea is often accompanied by very sensitive skin, not only to fragrance and irritants, but also to heat, sun and alcoholic beverages causing flushing episodes, accompanied by burning, stinging and itching. At the Skin Specialist Centre we are most fortunate in providing state-of-the-art lasers and light sources to treat redness. Vascular lasers, referring to lasers that are effective for treating blood vessels, are used. At the Skin Specialist Centre we have three different lasers that can achieve this – the Candela VBeam (known as the pulse dye laser) was the original laser to treat redness of the skin. The Skin Specialist Centre has the newest model of the Candela VBeam which allows us to gently and effectively treat blood vessels and redness without purpura (bruising) and with minimal, if any, down-time. We also use the Excel V and the Gemini.
Although patients benefit from these lasers, each laser is chosen on its individual merit depending on the patient’s presentation, so that we can combine treatments to achieve the best result for each patient. In this way, we can effectively treat each individual’s case of rosacea or broken blood vessels.
As well as laser treatment, there are topical gels, creams and systemic medications that can aid our treatment of rosacea. Topical and oral therapy are an important component in the treatment of rosacea, since rosacea is a chronic condition and without treatment it will return. We also recommend maintenance treatments at least every year with the lasers to maintain a low level of redness and activity of rosacea, and stress the importance of regularly applying sunscreen throughout the year.
A primary function of melanin production in your skin is to protect us from UV rays from the sun and a tan is an example of the body’s melanin response to the sun. Repeated sun exposure to the skin produces sun-damage in a variety of ways and one of those is brown spots (liver spots and sun freckles) which are due to sun damage accumulating over the years. People of all skin types can and usually do develop brown spots on their facial skin, neck, chest, hands, arms and legs. Usually such spots do not pose a health risk, but many people find such lesions a cosmetic concern. Rarely, a brown spot becomes larger and has irregular pigment and/or shape and should be evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out that it is not malignant, and a skin biopsy is usually required for this.
There are multiple options that the Skin Specialist Centre can provide to remove brown spots from the skin. These treatments range from topical therapies (Hydroquinone with retinoid and steroids) to lasers and light devices (BBL, Excel V, Fraxel Restore Dual, Gemini KTP, Picoway and Revlite Q-switched laser. If there are only a spots, the Revlite Q-switched laser and Excel V can effectively remove these in one to two treatments. If an entire area is affected, we often consider treatment with the Fraxel Dual or the BBL. If the brown spots are accompanied by wrinkles or texture irregularities, then the Smart Xide Dot laser is very effective.
Sun exposure, internal ageing and smoking cause wrinkles, with sun exposure being the most common reason for wrinkles, although smoking is even worse. There are dynamic wrinkles caused by muscle movement and passive wrinkles caused by loss of collagen and elastic tissue.
The long wavelengths of UV (called UVA) penetrate deeply and cause much collagen and elastin loss. UVA even goes through window glass and is present all year round and all day long. It is for this reason that specialist dermatologists will inform you to apply a sunscreen every day, even days you will only be driving in your car. Also, only zinc oxide really protects you from the majority of UVA wrinkles. Wrinkles can also be treated with Botulinum toxin, injectable fillers and lasers.
There are many different types of wrinkles and locations for them. These are explained in more detail in the wrinkle section.
What’s the next step?
If you already have an appointment booked at The Skin Specialist Centre, you can easily add a sun damage treatment consultation to your booking by calling our friendly team on (09) 524 5011. If you have never been to The Skin Specialist Centre, you can either give us a call on (09) 524 5011 or make an enquiry by clicking on the Enquire Now option below.