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There’s Nothing Bright and Warm About Sun Damage

woman wearing 100% UV light eyes protection sunglasses, stand and raise her hand to block sunlightThe sun is a spectacular ball of energy. Necessary for life and serving as a helpful light, our mega star brightens our days and warms our bodies. For our skin, however, particularly unprotected skin, the sun isn’t so very good. In fact, it can be downright harmful.

The sun produces three types of ultraviolet (UV) light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The latter never reaches the earth’s surface, but UVA and UVB do, and to varying degrees, these sources of light can cause serious damage to our skin.

UVA rays are the weakest, but that doesn’t make them powerless. This light penetrates the skin, speeding the aging process, sapping the skin of moisture, and causing a general loss of elasticity. UVB rays are slightly more potent and, while not related to aging, are the source of skin discoloration, sunburns, and skin cancer.

Damage from UV rays is cumulative, gradually progressing with each unprotected exposure to the sun. This makes daily use of sunscreen essential for preventing damage. However, not all sunscreen is safe or effective.

Sunscreen or sunblock? Which is best for your skin? Sunscreen is chemically based and takes about 30 mintues to begin protection. Sunblock is mineral and instantly protective. Choices are based more factors than just time, so consider if you need the extra protection of a sunblock if you suffer from Melasma or routinely use an exfoliant or a retinol or have recently had a procedure that makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight. 

It is very important to choose a high-quality product for daily use. We have carefully selected the best sunscreens available today for purchase at our office and would be happy to help you find the right formulation for your needs during your next visit.

Treating Existing Damage

In Southern California, we live in the sun – many of us since childhood – and sunscreen use has only become common in the last several years. Countless residents of Los Angeles are living with some degree of sun damage. We can fix that…or at least make some substantial improvement.

We are pleased to offer a range of treatments for existing sun damage, allowing us to correct even the most visible of issues with treatments including:

  • Laser Skin Rejuvenation. Options including HALO Hybrid Laser, BBL Photofacial, Vbeam Laser, and Photodynamic Therapy can address different types of sun damage, including wrinkles, broken capillaries, skin laxity, and sun spots.
  • Non-Laser Skin Rejuvenation. Targeted treatments such as RF Microneedling, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peel, and HydraFacial can correct fine lines, skin dullness, pigmentation irregularities, and similar issues caused by sun exposure.

Many treatments we offer address similar concerns but to varying degrees and with different benefits and limitations. Some can even be used on multiple parts of the body. The best way to learn which might be optimal for your concerns is through a one-on-one consultation at our welcoming office.

Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald and our team of board-certified dermatologists have decades of experience helping people in the Greater Los Angeles area achieve beautiful, glowing, damage-free skin. To schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, please use the contact form on this page or call 323-464-8046 today.