Sun Damaged Skin Treatments at dermalclinic® Edinburgh.
One of the most common conditions that we see at dermalclinic® is sun damaged skin caused by over exposure to ultra violet and infra red rays.
We are often told by patients that as soon as they see some direct sunshine they’ll try and get a tan as quickly as possible, and so little or no sun protection is used.
As we don’t have high temperatures and, let’s face it, too much cold rain, sun protection is seldom used on a daily basis, if at all! Anyone who works outside or takes part in sports where they are outside for periods of longer than approximately 20 minutes should use sun protection – yes this means builders, footballers, cyclists, netballers, ramblers, dog walkers etc.
Despite being in relatively sun-starved Scotland we are still subjected to harmful rays – even on overcast days! Although we may not experience the heat intensity or amount of direct sunlight of other countries we should still be aware of the damage that the sun can cause us.
The sun, however, also provides us with necessary Vitamin D and research has shown that we can gain our recommended daily amount with sun exposure of approximately 20 minutes per day. If the weather is particularly overcast or if you do not venture outside during daylight hours it may be beneficial to supplement Vitamin D with an alternative source. However, we do not recommend sun beds as, although some Vitamin D may be gained, in our opinion, this is more than offset with UV damage to the skin which could potentially lead to cancer.
Typical symptoms of sun damaged skin are hyperpigmentation (or discolouration of the skin caused by increased pigment). These are also sometimes called sun spots or age spots as they become more apparent with age. However, these have taken a long time to develop and can vary in size and shape.
The UV rays from the sun and sun beds can also damage the DNA in your skin cells and, over time, the DNA damage can build up and lead to skin cancer. The rates of malignant melanoma in Scotland in the 15-34 age groups have tripled in the last 30 years. This is higher than the UK average and around 100 Scots are diagnosed with this cancer every year.
The most effective treatment to remove existing sun damage is with laser.
At dermalclinic® we use an FDA approved Nd Yag Laser (Revlite) to target sun damage and remove surface layers of old damaged skin. If you are concerned that your sun damage could be something more sinister we would recommend that you book an appointment with Consultant Dermatologist Dr Andrew MacKenzie. Remember, prevention is better than cure! So ensure you always wear sun protection when you are outside during daylight.
For those still looking for a sun kissed skin, why not book in for a tan We know we all feel better with a tan and a natural looking one can be achieved through alternative methods such as our Sienna tan which are much safer than sun beds, much cheaper than a foreign holiday, and available throughout the year. From walking in the clinic door, having a tan to leaving can be less than 30 minutes.