Photoaging Treatment In Gainesville, FL

Uneven pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles are inevitable skin changes that appear as we age. In addition to the visible signs of aging, premature aging can occur due to photodamage, also referred to as photoaging, which occurs due to the cumulative effects of sun damage when the skin is exposed to sunlight throughout a person’s lifetime. As Florida residents, we all are at higher risk for the development of early signs of skin aging.

Our skin care specialists in Gainesville, FL, with John W. Tyrone, MD, PLLC, Plastic Surgery, offer a vast range of state of the art anti-aging treatments designed to help our patients remediate visible signs of aging and retain healthy, beautiful skin throughout each stage of life. Contact our plastic surgery office today to schedule your wrinkle treatment appointment!

Woman examining her face

What Is Photodamage?

The skin comprises three layers, with the central layer containing natural fibers and proteins, such as collagen and elastin, which support the skin’s structure. When exposed to the sun’s UV rays, the UV radiation damages these vital proteins, causing damage at a cellular level, resulting in sun damage or solar damage. Damage to collagen fibers in the skin results in the loss of elasticity within the skin, hastening the extrinsic aging process. The following are the categories of photodamage.

Color Photodamage

While epidermal and dermal photodamage refers to sun damage within the different layers of skin, color photodamage is characterized by sun damage resulting in skin discoloration. This can develop on a small, distinct portion of the skin to large, sweeping portions of the skin.

Dermal Photodamage

Dermal photodamage refers to damage affecting the upper layers of skin. Easily identifiable to the naked eye, dermal photodamage results in skin damage primarily through changes to collagen and other important skin fibers.

Epidermal Photodamage

Epidermal photodamage affects the inner layers of the skin and is a form of sun-related skin damage that can develop into skin cancer if left untreated. Anyone can experience photodamage, yet it’s more likely to develop as individuals are exposed to significant amounts of UV radiation throughout their lifetime.

What Is Photoaging?

The sun is essential to human, plant, and animal life. It contributes to a positive mood, our well-being, and the body’s synthesis of vitamin D. Yet, the sun continually emits electromagnetic radiation, such as ultraviolet A radiation and ultraviolet B radiation. Solar radiation, particularly UV radiation, accelerates our extrinsic signs of aging, such as wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines, while accelerating the natural aging process. UV radiation also provokes free radicals, which break down proteins in the skin, resulting in cell and DNA damage.

Our bodies can naturally defend against a portion of free radicals through antioxidant products, but when free radicals grow to the point where it is too great for antioxidant defenses to remediate, they can cause oxidative stress, resulting in visible signs of aging. Photoaging of skin is characterized by premature aging, or extrinsic aging, due to repeated skin exposure to UV radiation. This primarily occurs from exposure to natural sunlight but may be caused by artificial UV light sources, such as tanning beds or booths. Photoaging differs from chronologic aging, as photodamage alters the skin’s normal supportive and functional structures, causing cellular-level damage. Two types of UV light, or solar radiation, result in photodamage and photoaging: UVA light and UVB light.

What Causes Photoaging?

Ultraviolet radiation causes oxidative stress in the body, resulting in DNA changes in the skin that can result in premature aging as well as the development of skin cancer. There are two types of UV light, or solar radiation, that result in photodamage and photoaging: UVA light and UVB light.

UVA Light

Ultraviolet A (UVA) light is a type of solar radiation that causes damage to the skin at all levels, starting at the surface layer of the skin, the epidermis, to the deepest skin layers, or the dermis. Within these skin layers, several skin areas become affected by this damage, including collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen and elastin provide our skin with a youthful glow, tautness, and elasticity in conjunction with our epidermal cells and capillaries.

UVB Light

Ultraviolet B (UVB) light is a type of solar radiation that irradiates the outer layer of the skin or the epidermis. UVB light causes a substantial degree of damage to our DNA in a more potent concentration than UVA light in the epidermis.

UVC Light

Ultraviolet C (UVC) light is the third type of solar radiation. Unlike UVA and UVB radiation, this category of UV light is absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer and atmosphere. As such, it is not considered a significant health risk to humans.

Signs Of Sun Damage

Unlike normal, chronological aging, which occurs at a rate dictated by age, genetics, and other factors, photoaging occurs when ultraviolet light from the sun and/or artificial tanning sources permanently damage the skin’s structure. The simplest way to see the difference between chronological aging and photoaging is to compare the skin on your body seldom exposed to the sun with the skin on your face, arms, or other body areas frequently exposed to sunlight. Common signs and symptoms of photodamaged skin include the following.

  • Wrinkles & Fine Lines
  • Pigmentation Changes
  • Age Spots, Liver Spots & Freckles
  • Decreased Skin Elasticity
  • Rough, Uneven Skin Texture
  • Spider Veins (Broken Capillaries)
  • Skin Redness & Blotchiness
  • Thickened Skin
  • Actinic Keratoses Lesions
  • Sagging, Dull Skin

Where Does Photodamage Occur?

Photodamage and subsequent photoaging can occur anywhere on the skin. However, it typically appears on the most visible areas of the body, such as the face, neck, back of the hands, lower neckline, upper chest, and legs, and body areas that receive the highest concentrations of sunlight exposure. In addition, the lips can have signs of excessive sun damage as they are covered with particularly thin skin, making them even more vulnerable to sun damage than other body areas.

Who Is Susceptible To Photoaging?

Everyone is susceptible to photodamage and photoaging. The degree of photodamage you sustain depends on how much-unprotected sun exposure you’ve experienced over time, your skin type, geographical factors, and other considerations. In most cases, individuals with lighter skin are more susceptible to developing signs of photoaging and skin cancer. While darker skin can experience photodamage and develop skin cancer, darker skin typically develops uneven, hyperpigmented patches of skin in affected areas. Dermatologists and skin health professionals use the following scale, known as the Fitzpatrick’s Scale to determine a person’s skin phototype or skin color and subsequently, assess their risk of photodamage and photoaging.

  • Type I. Pale skin, light-colored eyes, and blond or red-colored hair. Type I skin always burns with sunlight exposure; it does not tan.
  • Type II. Fair skin with light-colored eyes. Type II skin burns easily with exposure to UV radiation and sunlight but may tan.
  • Type III. A light to medium-light skin tone. Type III skin may initially burn with sunlight exposure and then develops a tan.
  • Type IV. Light brown skin. With exposure to sunlight, individuals with a type IV skin tone experience a tan with minimal burning.
  • Type V. Medium-brown skin. Type V skin rarely burns with exposure to sunlight and tans easily.
  • Type VI. Dark-brown or black skin. Type VI skin tans easily and never burns with exposure to sunlight.

Anti-Aging Treatments In Gainesville, FL

Once the effects of photodamage occur within the skin, there is no way to completely eliminate its signs. However, our skincare specialists offer a comprehensive selection of skin treatments to help combat the visible signs of aging, with each procedure individualized to the unique needs of the patient and their skin. Using the latest innovations in photodamaged skin treatment technology and anti-aging treatments, our providers are able to provide patients with visible improvements to their skin with lasting effects. Our treatments diminish the appearance of extrinsic signs of aging, such as reduced collagen production, uneven skin texture, redness and blotchiness, spider veins, wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone and pigmentation, while leveraging our patients’ natural beauty for graceful aging that allows their skin to glow from within. Contact John W. Tyrone, MD, PLLC, Plastic Surgery, to learn about our available procedures, get aesthetician tips for skin care, and schedule an appointment for wrinkle treatment.

Dermal Fillers

Signs of visible aging from photodamage and natural aging process are a normal park of growing older, but innovations in cosmetic medicine make it possible for patients to control certain aspects of their external aging. Our aesthetic and plastic surgery center offers facial fillers and cosmetic fillers in Gainesville, FL, which are among the most popular options for non surgical wrinkle treatment available on the market. These treatments offer various benefits, including simple and quick injections offering near-immediate results, no downtime, and customizable options. Based on the extent of your photodamage, our skin specialists will help you select the ideal type of filler to help you achieve your desired beauty objectives.

Laser Treatment

John W. Tyrone, MD, PLLC, Plastic Surgery offers professional wrinkle laser treatment through CO2 laser resurfacing, for remediating the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, skin pigmentation irregularities, scars, and other common signs of photodamage and photoaging. Our plastic surgery office uses an ablative fractional CO2 laser, widely prized as the most effective option for laser skin resurfacing. Laser resurfacing sloughs off a significant amount of skin damage and skin concerns, reversing the effects of sun damage (photodamage) and melasma, while likewise reducing the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring, and fine lines.

Chemical Peels

Professional chemical peels comprise clinical-grade aesthetic treatments that effectively unveil a fresh, undamaged layer of skin by removing dead skill cells from the epidermis. In addition, chemical peels promote the regeneration of new skin cells, combatting the effects of photodamage and photoaging. We offer several strengths of peels, including light chemical peels, or superficial peels, which are suitable for all skin types; medium-strength peels, such as VI Peel®, which penetrate multiple layers of skin; and deep chemical peels which penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers and are most suitable for use on photodamaged facial skin. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for a professional chemical peel.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy is a clinical treatment helping remove precancerous skin lesions that can develop on the skin from sun exposure. During a photodynamic therapy session, the provider applies a topical medication to the skin and then uses a special medical blue or fluorescent light to activate the applied medication. This combination of topical medication and specialized light destroys precancerous cells without harming normal, healthy cells.

Topical Medications

For mild-to-moderate cases of photodamage and photoaging, your skin specialist may recommend topical treatments, such as ZO® Skin Health products, including vitamin A products, such as retinol or Retin A. Prescription topical medication for photoaging are more concentrated and potent than over-the-counter formulas, and as such, they are likely to prove more effective. Retinoid-based products work by increasing the rate of cell turnover in the skin, and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections resulting from sun exposure. Your skin specialist may likewise recommend pairing topical medications with in-office treatments, such as HydraFacial, microneedling, and microdermabrasion, to optimize your results from treatment.

Can Sun Damage Be Reversed?

Unfortunately, skin damage caused by exposure to UV radiation is not completely reversible. However, there are a variety of effective, noninvasive anti-aging skin and wrinkle treatments 

specially designed to help remediate some of the most visible signs of photodamage and photoaging. Additionally, it’s never too late to practice good sun protection. Doing so can help prevent future photodamage and photoaging. We recommend patients use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 35, which shields the skin from UVA and UVB rays on a daily basis, and reapply it throughout the day. Additionally, patients should avoid direct sun exposure during the sun’s peak hours, seek shade whenever possible, and wear sun-protective clothing, headwear, and eyewear to ensure their skin is sufficiently protected.

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