Sundamage & Aging

The sun’s rays contain radiation that increases skin aging and causes skin cancer, more so in lighter skin types.  UV-A and UV-B are the main causes.  Our climate, relatively unpolluted skies, and outdoor lifestyles mean this is a major concern in NZ.

Over time the skin loses support substances such as collagen and elastin, and also dries out, becoming thinner and less robust.  Pore sizes enlarge, the skin becomes sallow, slightly yellow in colour and coarser in texture. Lines develop as a result of volume loss especially in the face, and red veins or pigmented brown spots may result. This is an oxidative process, with ultimately alteration of intracellular DNA with the development of possible skin cancer changes.

The aging process is accelerated by sun damage, as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive stress or alcohol. Some antioxidants are very effective in reversing these trends, the most effective being topical Vitamin A preparations such as Retreive or Retin A. Vitamin C in high concentrations is also helpful, an excellent anti-inflammatory, with an additional UV protective quality too. Alphahydroxy acids such as glycolic, malic or lactic acid topically help cellular turnover and hydration.

Fractional CO2 laser treatments are the gold standard to reverse sun damage with remarkable results.  These can be maintained with on-going, effective, topical skincare and daily broad spectrum UV-A and UV-B protection.