Who doesn’t love the sunshine, I know I certainly do… Who makes the most of the sunshine when it’s out, I know I certainly DID!

As we get daily enquiries, asking if we can remove sun spots, liver spots and age spots and the sun is currently shining, I thought I would write my next blog on pigmentation, sun damage and the importance of SPF.

I actually didn’t realise the impact of the sun and the toll it takes on your skin until I started my clinic and now SPF is very much included in my daily routine. From years of loving the sun in my younger years, I do have sun damage and as a result of this I have got sun spots on my face, which Lucy is currently treating using IPL.

Sun damage is caused by prolonged sun exposure without adequate protection or the overuse of sunbeds. To protect itself from the damaging UVA and UVB rays, the damaged skin produces more melanin. Although we tend to associate sun damaged skin with uneven pigmentation and a leathery look, there are a number of other common signs;

  • Premature wrinkles
  • Brown Spots
  • Freckles
  • Thick, leathery texture
  • Rosacea

As sun damage presents itself in many different ways, Amy Jayne Aesthetics Limited offers a range of procedures to treat sun damaged skin. We will be able to create a tailored treatment plan to suit your unique needs, even if you suffer from multiple signs of sun damage. We treat all common signs of sun damage including uneven skin texture, premature ageing and wrinkles, brown / sun spots and even unwanted freckles and we now stock SPF which you can buy directly from us.

What does the treatment involve – initially we will have a 30 minute free consultation and this is where we will discuss your skin concerns, we will then patch test the area to make sure your skin is suitable for the treatment. After your patch test we will then monitor your skin over a period of 1-2 weeks and then invite you back in for your full treatment.

We will cover the pigmented lesion with gel and with our laser apply firm pressure to the lesion to evacuate the blood from the area, I will count you down, 3,2,1 and you will then feel a warm elastic band ping. I will then monitor the skin, I will be looking for the darkening of the pigmented lesion which could take a couple of minutes to become apparent and you may also experience some erythema (general redness). To optimise results a second pass may be performed if the lesion has not darkened enough. Throughout the process we will be using a Cryo Cooler which will help keep the skin nice and cool and will help with any discomfort. Most people will experience slight reddening and possibly mild swelling which usually disappears within a couple of hours to a couple of days. Very rarely a small blister may form but please don’t be alarmed as this is a natural side effect.

I always make my clients aware that the lesion will look worse before it gets better, it will darken and form a thin micro-crust before flaking away leaving the treated area without excess pigmentation. 100% clearance cannot be guaranteed. The degree of clearance depends on the type of pigmented lesion, the size of the pigmented lesion and the depth.  Many of my clients have received excellent results.

Multiple sessions may be required, on average 1-3 sessions are needed at 4-6 weekly intervals.  Maintenance treatments may be required and the lesions may recur, particularly with continued sun exposure. This is actually a really common question after treatment… “Once the sunspots have gone, can I go back into the sun again” The answer is yes, however if you don’t look after your skin whilst in the sunshine the sun spots will come back!

Pigmented lesions not suitable for the treatment by my machine are moles, malignant lesions and post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Melasma can be unpredictable and due to the small risk of inducing further hyper-pigmentation, treatment is not advised.

How does laser work?
The intense pulsed light (IPL) releases short bursts of light that is readily absorbed by the high concentration of melanin (colour) found within freckles, sunspots or age spots. The quick absorption of light heats the melanin and destroys the melanin-rich cells without affecting the surrounding skin. Generally, any area of the body can treated and we find that the most common areas to be treated are face, neck. décolletage and hands.

I have some amazing before and afters, so if this treatment is of interest to you please let me know and I will be very happy to send some photos over to you.

Some facts about the sun:

  • There is no such thing as a healthy tan.
  • A suntan may be cosmetically desirable, but in fact it is nothing but a sign that your skin has been damaged and has attempted to protect itself.
  • High doses of UV radiation kill most of the skin cells in the upper skin layer, and cells that are not killed get damaged (this causes wrinkles).
  • Sun exposure promotes the ageing of your skin due to a combination of several factors;
    • UVB stimulates cell proliferation in the outer layer of the skin. As more and more cells are produced the epidermis thickens.
    • UVA penetrating into the deeper skin layers disturbs the connective tissue: the skin gradually loses its elasticity. Wrinkles, sags and bags are the common result of this loss of elasticity.
    • A phenomenon often seen in elderly people is the localized over-production of melanin resulting in dark patches or liver spots. Furthermore, the sun’s rays dry out your skin making it coarse and leathery.
  • 90% of visible signs of aging are due to sun damage.
  • The most important anti-aging step you can take is to wear sun protection.
  • Up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin, even on cloudy days!
  • You need to reapply sun protection every two hours.
  • One application in the morning is simply not enough! Just because your moisturiser or foundation has SPF does not mean you’re adequately protected for the day.
  • Skin cancer can affect anyone – all ethnicities and skin tones.
  • Snow can multiply your UV exposure because it reflects the sun’s rays.
  • Wintertime doesn’t give you a free pass to skip sun protection! The snow actually increases your risk of sun damage because of its reflective properties.
  • Tanning beds increase melanoma risk by 75%. Another very dangerous myth is that tanning beds offer a “safe tan.” Unfortunately, there is no safe tan from UV rays. Tanning beds not only accelerate the signs of aging, causing fine lines and wrinkles and dark spots, but greatly increase your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Luckily, current fashion trends are about celebrating your natural skin tone, and celebrating the beauty of pale skin.
    (thanks Skincancer.org for providing some of these stats).

Which fact resonated with you the most? I found them really thought provoking especially as I am sitting here looking outside at the glorious sunshine.

The good news is that if you have any pigmented lesions, we can book you in for a 30 minute free consultation to talk about your skin concerns.

The even better news is that despite my shop being temporarily closed because of the Corona Virus I have got 12 bottles of Lynton Light Protect for sale. 5-star UVA, Boots-accredited daily protectant, SPF 50 using a unique daily formula for laser / IPL treated skin – protects against both UVA & UVB rays.

Would you like a bottle?

Thank you for reading, please stay safe from both the Corona Virus and from the sunshine and I will see you all very soon.

Amy X