My last couple of blogs I have discussed the impact the sun can have on our skin and how important protecting with sunscreen really is. Today I am going to talk about how we can treat Photodamaged skin.
The treatments that we are looking at when treating this condition are treatments that are going to cause the skin to rejuvenate. So when I talk about rejuvenating treatments, you may be thinking, what are these?
A rejuvenating treatment is a procedure that is going to encourage your skin to increase its cellular turnover, increase the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid etc. So we are encouraging the normal functioning of your skin to work more to increase the health, structure, and support of the skin to keep it looking, acting and feeling younger and healthier. All these functions will have been impaired or slowed down by the damage from the sun.
My favourite treatments to achieve this are both Chemical Peels and Microneedling. I would usually opt for Chemical Peels initially if I am working with a skin that has a high level of pigmentation from sun damage or the skin has begun to thicken. This can happen as a protective response to the sun. This will help with any surface pigmentation and encourage that epidermal cell renewal, bringing it back to a normal thickness.
Microneedling offers a deeper rejuvenation, so targeting the dermal layer of the skin that holds your structural elements like collagen and elastin. This treatment causes a controlled wounding to the skin. When the skin has been injured it will go into repair mode where all our functions will kick into action. So the fibroblasts will produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, our epidermal cell renewal will speed up, our blood flow to the skin cells will be increased. All those functions that have slowed and aged due to the sun damage will be speeded up and act younger again. With regular treatments of microneedling or Chemical Peels, our skin will start to look and feel younger. We should also see improvements in those ageing signs of sun damage too.
The photo here shows an example of results from treating photodamaged skin. Here (top pic) you can see how the skin has thickened and those deep lines that have formed as the structural collagen within the dermis has depleted. These results were achieved with a combination course of Chemical Peels (my level 3 bespoke treatments) and Microneedling (my level 4 bespoke). We are still working on this skin and continue to achieve great results.
So when I am presented with a skin showing signs of photodamage it is really important that I don’t go straight in with the heavy rejuvenating treatments at the beginning. A skin that has been damaged by the sun will most probably be experiencing a high level of free radical activity. This could mean that the skin is not in the right place or health to then be put under the added pressure of trying to rejuvenate itself.
For our skin to do this effectively it needs to be in its best possible state to achieve good results, and if there is lots of free radical activity going on the skin is going to be fighting against this. Your results just won’t be as good.
So prepping the skin for rejuvenation is vital. This may be done in the form of a good homecare regime. Including a high level of antioxidants, like Vitamin C for example, this is a great active as the vitamin C, not only a powerful antioxidant, but its also needed for collagen synthesis and controlling the production of melanin.
Once the skin is prepped and your ready to go ahead with your treatments it is then important to feed your skin with the right actives whilst on a rejuvenation programme. This will give your skin help along the way as it heals and rejuvenates between treatments. The results from these treatments aren’t necessarily based on the treatment itself, it is based on how well your skin responds and repairs post-treatment, and feeding it with topical actives will help achieve the best results. And don’t forget we need to protect those results from further sun damage by protecting with sunscreen. Click here to read all about sunscreen, how it works and which sunscreens are best to maintain those precious results.
If you want to know any more about treating Photodamaged skin or any other treatments I offer at the clinic please get in touch. During lockdown I am offering my online consultations free of charge (normally £50), you can book appointments here, and we can get you on the road to healthier skin ready for when the clinic is open again and we can get you straight onto your rejuvenation programme.