Did you know that lying on tanning beds are as bad as sun exposure and that your skin can be damaged by the sun even during winter? Sunbathing is not as healthy or as safe as people used to believe. It can cause cancer, early skin aging and wrinkles. Studies even show that a person who stayed out in the sun too much during his or her childhood or have been careless about wearing sunscreens as he or she grew older faces a higher possibility of developing sun damaged skin and skin cancer in the future. Treating sun-damaged skin is not a simple task. It takes long, needs a good amount of money and may hurt as well. Prevention is still the best cure, but once you see the following symptoms on your skin, you must find out the possible treatment procedures you can undergo to save your skin or your life. If you think you’ve been best friends with the sun for too long and at the same time, you are approaching the end of the calendar, then it is recommended that you check your skin for the following symptoms of sun damage regularly. Watch out for hyper-pigmentation like brown or red spots, sunburn marks that never go back to its original color and scaly, dry and sagging skin. You may also want to observe if you have early signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, thick texture of the skin and complexion that is easy to bruise. Most importantly, look out for benign lumps or pre-cancerous lacerations on your skin and be sure to have this checked-up by a doctor. There are 3 existing categories of treatments that can help reverse the effects of sun damage. 1. Topical Products Over-the-counter or prescriptive topical creams and whatnots, there are tons of these skin care products available formulated to improve skin that has been ill-treated through excessive sun exposure. For an effective skin regimen, one must have an effective exfoliant, lightening cream, antioxidant cream, moisturizer that fights ageing and last but not the least, a hardworking sunscreen. Exfoliants may come in the form of toners or cleansers that contain glycolic acid or alphahydroxy acids of about eight percent. This will be in charge of wiping out dead skin and improving production of collagen. Creams that contain natural whitening enzymes like kojic acid should be applied at night to lighten dark spots and any skin discoloration. Antioxidants are also very important to stop free radicals from bringing further damage to the skin. An anti-aging moisturizer should beat dryness and a broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher should give protection. 2. Cosmetic Procedures This includes microdermabrasion using diamonds or brushes, photorejuvenation using IPL or Intense Pulsed Light and chemical peels using lactic acid, glycolic acid and TCA. Expect this type of treatments to be expensive since it should be done in a clinic and by a professional dermatologist. A series of treatments is also recommended for better results. The common factor among these treatments is exfoliation or removing dead and damaged skin together with imperfections such as age spots, wrinkles, rough texture and redness. Once the old and damaged skin is removed, new skin is revealed and at the same time, cell reproduction is improved. However, these procedures may leave the skin even more sun sensitive so following doctor’s orders and precautions is very important. 3. Holistic Approach Skin that shows severe damage from the sun can get uglier because of stress. So, in treating this condition, a complete body and mind approach is recommended. If you want to look younger and relaxed, a complete lifestyle change is needed. Eating the right portions of healthy foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will give you energy to go through the day minus the stress. Starting your mornings with exercise is also a great way to have a good mood for the rest of the day. It will also keep you fit and having a fit body can make a person look young. Finding time to relax with important persons in your life as well as getting complete sleep can help the body heal fast and keep your skin looking healthy and blemish-free. Do not limit yourself from just one of these treatments. It’s best to consult a licensed dermatologist to find out the extent of damage on your skin and the best approach to use. On the last note, serious sun protection to prevent skin damage is still the best cure.