The effects of sun damage on the skin

Every day, the sun emits harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can be detrimental to our skin, causing sun freckles, sun damage, or even actinic keratosis. By protecting the skin and preventing problematic issues, including skin cancer, many of our patients at Magnolia Dermatology can keep their skin clear, beautiful, and healthy. Let’s talk about certain sun damage conditions and what can be done to reverse these changes and bring the skin back to health with our Clarksville, TN, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Neelam Patel.

What is actinic keratosis?

Dr. Patel explains that actinic keratosis, also known as AK or solar keratosis, is a pre-cancerous skin condition caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. It appears as scaly or crusty bumps on the skin and mainly affects fair-skinned individuals over 40. They typically develop when UV radiation from the sun damages the DNA in skin cells, leading to abnormal growth. AKs are most commonly found on areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure, such as the face, ears, scalp, hands, and arms. They can vary in both size and color, from pink to brown to gray, and may feel rough or itchy. In some cases, they may even bleed or become inflamed.

What is skin cancer?

Alternatively, patients with an unusual skin growth, tag, mole, or lesion that changes in size, shape, or color or appears as a wound that will not heal may be dealing with skin cancer. Skin cancer is just as serious and concerning as any other cancer on the body but is luckily the easiest to see and diagnose. There are three primary varieties of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each type has its own characteristics and risk factors. However, all skin cancers are caused by an abnormal growth of cells in the skin due to DNA damage from UV radiation.

How can I reverse sun damage?

We now know more than ever about the development of skin cancer and what can be done to avoid it. This includes being mindful of time spent outdoors and wearing sunblock every day on exposed skin. But what about reversing sun damage after it occurs? At Magnolia Dermatology, we offer various cosmetic and medical treatments to help reverse the effects of sun damage on the skin. This can include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and topical creams or serums. Each treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and can help improve skin texture, tone, and overall health by reducing sunspots, fine lines, and wrinkles.

How do I find out more about addressing sun-damaged skin?

Improve your skin’s health and appearance by talking to our board-certified dermatologist about your treatment options. Call (931) 551-2929 to request an appointment at our facility, conveniently located in Clarksville, TN, at 276 Warfield Boulevard. We are open to new and returning patients from the surrounding areas, including Nashville, Pleasant View, Springfield, and Fort Campbell, TN.