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Sun Damage Specialist

Marcella Bonnici, MD

Medical Aesthetic Specialist & Family Medicine Physician located in Wildomar, CA

For many people, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in the sun, by a beach or a pool. Unfortunately, exposure to the UV rays of sunlight can damage your skin, leaving you with unattractive brown spots and an uneven complexion.

Sun Damage Q & A

How does the sun damage my skin?

The UV rays in sunlight are responsible for skin damage. UV rays are what cause your suntan, which is actually a sign of sun damage and the painful and unwanted sunburns that come from overexposure and a lack of adequate sunscreen.

UV light penetrates your skin, damaging the elastin fibers in the skin and causing melanin to build up. While initially, you might feel like you look healthier with a slight tan, the long-term effects of sun exposure aren’t worth the risk. Over time your skin loses elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkles, and age spots develop. Your weakened skin also is more susceptible to bruising and injury.

What are signs of sun damage?

Sun damage is responsible for most skin imperfections associated with aging. Wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy, loose skin develop because of the damage to the elastin fibers in your skin. Brown age spots develop due to melanin build up from sun exposure. You may also have an uneven complexion or skin texture because of sun damage.

Sun damage develops slowly. Overexposure to the sun during your youth may not cause noticeable damage right away, but with time the damage is more obvious.

How can I get rid of sun damage?

Dr. Bonnici offers laser treatment using the Cynosure ICON™ system. This fractional laser treatment not only breaks up the clusters of melanin responsible for brown or grey sunspots but also tightens your skin by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a substance produced by the body that keeps your skin plump and youthful. Not only does your body produce less collagen as you age, but it’s part of the elastin fibers damaged by the sun.

What happens during laser skin resurfacing treatment?

You wear protective goggles while Dr. Bonnici uses a handheld wand to direct the laser at your skin. You may notice a warming sensation during treatment. The ICON laser system includes a cooling system to keep the surface of your skin cool so you are comfortable throughout treatment. Each individual has unique needs so results may vary, but most patients need a series of four to six treatments, about a month apart, to see the full effects of treatment.

How should I take care of my skin after laser resurfacing treatment?

You need to protect your skin from the sun following treatment. Wear a high-factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat if you have to go outside. Dr. Bonnici provides specific advice on what skincare products, including cleansers and moisturizers, to use between treatments. You can go back to work and your normal activities immediately following treatment, although you should avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after your treatment.

If you have embarrassing sun damage, call or book a consultation online today to talk to Dr. Bonnici about your concerns; serving Wildomar, Murrieta, Temecula, CA, and the surrounding areas and learn if ICON laser treatment will restore your skin.