With the long summer days winding down, it’s important that you don’t ignore the consequences of spending time in the sun.
At Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston, experienced dermatologist, Lisa Hitchins, MD, offers customized treatment plans to help you recover from sun damage and protect the long-term health of your skin all year round. She specializes in a variety of services, including microneedling, that rejuvenate your skin and reduce the long-term effects of the environment, including sun exposure.
The effect of the summer sun on your skin
The sun gives off invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays and it’s these rays that affect your skin’s health. Any time you’re out in the sun, UV rays go through the epidermis, or outer layer, of your skin. Within this layer are blood vessels, nerves, and cells that contain a pigment known as melanin.
Melanin is what gives your skin color. If you have less melanin, you have fair skin. People with a lot of melanin have much darker skin. Melanin helps your body produce vitamin D to promote skin health and when exposed to UV rays, it darkens or tans.
There are some advantages to exposure to UV rays. First, it helps your body produce vitamin D needed for calcium absorption that produces healthy bones. The rays can also treat common skin issues, like eczema and psoriasis.
However, spending too much time in the sun can allow the UV rays to reach the inner layers of your skin and damage or kill off skin cells. This is what sunburn is all about. Excess UV ray exposure can also lead to premature age-related changes like:
- Fine lines
- Dark spots
- Tough skin texture
UV ray exposure can also lead to changes in your skin cells that increase your risk for skin cancers like melanoma, a very aggressive type of cancer that can be fatal. For these reasons, it’s imperative you use a high-quality sunscreen any time you spend time in the sun.
How microneedling can help sun-damaged skin
While microneedling can’t reverse permanent damage caused by too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays, it can be beneficial as an anti-aging treatment to fight lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment option that harnesses the power of your body’s own healing ability. Dr. Hitchins and her aesthetic team use the SkinPen® microneedling system, the world’s first FDA-cleared microneedling device. SkinPen creates micro-wounds in your skin that prompts your immune system to heal itself.
The anti-aging and other benefits of microneedling
The healing progress that follows microneedling involves the production of new collagen and elastin, two proteins essential for healthy skin. As new collagen and elastin develops, it fills in areas of loose skin to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. Dark spots and age spots also begin to fade, and your skin looks younger and refreshed.
The SkinPen microneedling system can be safely used on any area of your skin damaged by the sun, including your face, neck, and hands. The needle depths are easily controlled to meet your skin needs and optimize your results. SkinPen is also effective on all skin types and colors.
Following your SkinPen microneedling session, your aesthetic specialist enhances your experiences by applying Skinfuse® skin care products. These products are formulated to remodel and rejuvenate your skin after a microneedling treatment.
Additionally, Dr. Hitchins provides comprehensive skin care resources, including skin cancer screenings, to help you protect yourself from further sun damage.
If you’re ready to address premature wrinkles, dark spots, and other side effects of UV ray exposure, schedule a consultation to learn more about microneedling. You can call Dermatology of Northwest Houston or request a skin evaluation online today.