Shedding Light on Photo Damage: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Sun Damage Prevention & Treatment
Sun damage is an infamous factor in the development of skin cancer and aging. Consistent with its notoriety, photo damage is a major influence in the development of aging symptoms like wrinkles, brown spots, and even lax skin. Abraham Medical’s board certified family medicine doctors and trained aesthetic technicians are here to answer your questions about sun damage prevention and treatment:
Do I still need to wear sunscreen if my skin tone is dark?
Individuals with dark skin tones have more melanin in their skin than those with fairer complexions. Even though people with darker skin are less likely to develop sunburn as quickly, they are still susceptible to photo damage with unprotected UV exposure. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone regularly apply a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30 if planning to be outdoors.
What makes all of the sunscreen brands different?
There are a host of marketing variables amongst all of the sunscreen brands out there, but if your skin does not require a specialty product because of a skin condition, it’s best to look at what type of protection the product offers. Chemical sunscreens (like most sun protection products sold in drug stores) are formulated to attach with the skin’s surface and protect against UVB rays while other products that contain larger particles (like zinc or titanium oxide) provide a physical shield against more UVA rays. It’s best to use a product that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays, typically labeled “broad spectrum” sunscreen.
I have acne prone skin; won’t sunscreen clog my pores and make me break out?
Abraham Medical Cosmetics offers three Obagi ®sunscreens (RosaClear, Obagi-C®, and Physical UV Block) specially formulated for sensitive skin types such as yours. While all of these products effectively prevent sun damage, it’s beneficial to have a skin analysis to determine which product will perform best for you.
Is there anything that I can do to erase the sun damage I already have?
We offer treatments like Photofacial IPL and chemical peels that can help erase the areas of dark hyperpigmentation and tighten the lax skin that can result from sun exposure; however, it’s important to remember that sun damage is cumulative and the damaging internal effects sun exposure can have on skin cell replication should be prevented with regular sunscreen usage.