AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Eimg sun damaged skin Medical Treatment For Sun Damaged Skin Is Brightening UpJust like miles on a car’s speedometer, ultraviolet light exposure clocks-up over the years. The faster and longer you drive, the more “ultraviolet miles” you rack-up. So when you have clocked-up enough – no matter if you are forty, sixty or eighty – the medical reality is the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Some of that is annoyingly cosmetic – lines and wrinkles, facial thread veins, brown and red smooth blotches on the face and back of hands. Sometimes it can be more serious – pre-cancerous skin lesions (solar keratoses) or skin cancer itself. The rate of skin cancer across Europe is increasing 5% per year, but in Devon it is shooting up 12% per year. This makes it an extremely common problem in the South-West of the UK.

Prevention skin damage

Preventing skin damage is key, but for most Caucasian adults over the age of thirty, a lot of the damage has already been done. Reducing overall annual sun-exposure, avoiding sun-burn episodes and high street tanning booths and regular sun screen use will all help and even heal early sun-damaged skin. Non-prescription cosmetics have no added extra value, so to treat solar keratoses that can lead to some forms of skin cancer; it is a trip to your GP to see what is available.

Receiving Treatment

If your GP believes your problem is more serious or complex, then you would be referred onto a dermatology specialist. Mild cases may just need sensible sun advice. If solar keratoses are causing persistently flaky, sore, itchy or bleeding skin; are more extensive or thickened; or you have had previous skin cancer or low immunity, then you are likely to be offered treatment. Up until fairly recently, options have been frustratingly limited or hospital only restricted, but new treatment are now available. The big change in medical practice has been to target both the individual lesions that can be seen or felt, as well as the whole area of unstable skin – with either one or two different types of medication applied to the skin. None of the available treatments are 100% effective long term, because some of this sun-damage is treatment-resistant. The added advantage we have now is the availability of at least six different treatments that work in totally different ways. Cycling from one treatment type to another, gives a much better chance to stabilise and reverse the sun damage, and ultimately the continuing rise of some skin cancers.

With numerous hospitals across the UK offering this form of treatment, it is worthwhile booking a consultation with a trained medical professional if you think you may be at risk of the effects of sun-damaged skin.

Any information in this article should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or relevant health professional.

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Written By Dr Tony Downs FRCP; Consultant dermatologist and skin cancer specialist at about hospitals in Devon


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