Medical Treatment Options for Sun Damage

Information from the American Academy of Dermatology Association indicates the majority of sun damage occurs in younger years, and by the time it’s realized or diagnosed, the damage has already been done. That’s the bad news. The good news is, there are many medical treatment options for sun damage available, and many of them take place right in a doctor’s office. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body and protects from infection and injury, it makes sense to take good care of it.

Some of the medical treatment options for sun damage range from non-prescription medications to cosmetic procedures. A discussion with a dermatologist will determine the best treatment for each unique situation. Sun damage treatment can include:

Vitamin Creams

This includes Vitamin A (in the form of Retinol) and Vitamins C and E. Vitamin A is an important component of skin formation; Vitamin C is an antioxidant and combats free radicals, and Vitamin E also fights cell damage.

Alpha Hydroxin Acids

These remove the dead skin cells and encourages new skin growth, mitigating sun damage by replacing the damaged skin with new skin.


Also a Vitamin A substance, Tretinoin is by prescription only and has been shown to improve collagen production, which contributes heavily to healthy and beautiful skin.


This is a procedure whereby a layer of dead skin cells are removed by light scraping, encouraging new skin growth. Usually more than one treatment is required for any improvement.

Chemical Peels

Chemicals are applied to the skin and removed, taking the sun damaged skin with it. This is typically done in a doctor’s office.

Laser Resurfacing

This is a procedure in which the skin layers are removed, one by one, and the skin is resurfaced reducing not only fine lines and wrinkles, but sun spots and other sun damage.


This substance is also available by prescription only, and inhibits the melatonin level in the skin. It reduces the appearance of sun damage by removing overpigmented skin cells and smoothing out skin color.

    Sun damage can be very dangerous. Not only does sun damage contribute to accelerated aging of the skin, it is also the cause of skin cancer. The most dangerous of these is melanoma, however, it is eminently treatable and curable if caught early enough. Dermatologists will state the best kind of treatment for sun damage is to not need it in the first place – that prevention is the best treatment of all.

    Although the damage may have already occurred, there are treatments available to help combat the worst of the sun damage. It’s important to speak with a dermatologist as soon as possible if any abnormalities of the skin are noted.

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