Love Your Skin! 6 Ways to Treat Sun Damage

UV risk is highest during the summer months which is why we need to take good care of our skin at this time of the year. Fine lines, wrinkles, sunburn, and skin cancer makes the sun the skin’s number one enemy. But, of course, a little bit of sun exposure is also good for you to get enough vitamin D.

In case you already have some sun damage on your skin, be that sunburn, hyperpigmentation, freckles, wrinkles or anything else you’d like to tackle, we list 6 ways you can treat sun damaged skin.

#1. Treating Sunburn

The problem with sunburn is that we don’t know it’s happening until it is too late. It takes as little as 15 minutes of sun exposure to cause changes to the skin’s DNA but 2 to 6 hours for the skin to become red and painful. Unfortunately, at this stage, much damage is already done, and all we can do is try and reduce the pain and speed up the healing process.

Treating sunburn

Common treatments include aloe vera creams, corticosteroid creams, antioxidants, pain killers, and antihistamines. Unfortunately, studies show that these treatments do not speed up the healing process, but they do offer some relief. But surprisingly, natural remedies in the form of green tea extracts and tea tree oil seem to speed up skin healing according to an article published in Pharmacognosy Review.

#2. Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation refers to spots of unevenly darkened skin caused by excessive melanin production. This type of change in the skin can lead to a dull complexion. Treating hyperpigmentation is difficult because it is usually a result of several factors such as hormones in combination with too much sun exposure.


However, studies show that there are successful treatment options such as hydroquinone creams in combination with tretinoin. Kojic acid in combination with glycolic acid is also a good option as both are efficient in gently lightening the skin. To prevent hyperpigmented areas from getting worse, it is important always to wear broad spectrum sunscreen.

#3. Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Years of sun exposure can damage the deeper layers of the skin. Most of these changes are due to a loss of collagen caused by UVA rays. While you won’t be able to get really completely rid of wrinkles and fine lines without the help of a cosmetic surgeon, you can significantly reduce their appearance with topical treatments like retinoid creams and peptides which one study that was published in the International Journal of Tissue Reaction found had remarkable wrinkle-reducing effects in women between 40 and 62 years of age.

Wrinkles and fine lines

#4. Rough Skin

Sun damage can also cause changes in the texture of the skin called solar keratosis. These are rough and scaly patches of the skin usually seen in older people, but younger persons can get them as well. They usually resolve on their providing you reduce your sun exposure, but if you don’t like the appearance of these rough patches.

Must Read: Top 10 Glowing Skin Tips For A Perfect Complexion

You can consult your doctor who can prescribe you anti-inflammatory creams, Imiquimod 5% cream, and Ingenol mebutate all of which were found to be effective in treating solar keratosis.

Rough skin

#5. Tan

Having a tan may seem to symbolize good health and it looks good. However, tanned skin is also an indicator of DNA damage caused by UV exposure as the damaged to the skin’s DNA. Now, having a tan also means your skin has developed its natural sun protection, but maybe you would like to make things easier on your skin.

Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 will keep your skin from tanning further. Besides this, wearing the best sunscreen you can find will also protect you from skin cancer.

#6. Freckles

Freckles are usually considered to make a person look cute, but they are also a sign of sun damage. Freckles are mostly seen in people with fair skin. They are different from moles in that they are not a result of a production of too many melanocytes but rather the melanocytes themselves producing too much melanin granules.


A popular treatment option for freckles is intense pulsed light which one study found had a 97% success rate. Topical treatments that studies found were successful are trichloroacetic acid and phenol spot peel.

Sun damage comes in many forms, and for the sake of your skin’s health should be prevented at all costs. However, most of us already have some amount of sun da-mage due to the accumulation of years of sun exposure, but luckily, these can be re-versed to some extent.


  1. Try to stay inside during sun’s peak hours as UV rays are at their most intense, even on gray, overcast days.

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