I think it’s safe to say that all of us have been sun-burnt at least once in our lives! The warm sun’s rays against our skin is what most of us look forward to after blistering cold Winters. However as nice as it feels in that moment, it’s doing long-term damage to our skin.
Over time, we notice the gradual changes in our skin caused by the accumulation of sun exposure. This is what we refer to as Sun damage, and the harsh reality is that these effects increase with age. Chronic sun damage causes a cosmetic change in the skin’s appearance called “photo-ageing”. Photo-ageing is evidenced by brown spots and other possible changes to the skin. These changes can sometimes be of medical or health concern such as skin cancers and pre-cancerous lesions. We understand that those markings can affect your self-esteem, which is why we are here to help remove them.
What exactly is a sunburn?
The symptoms of sunburn may include:
- A change of skin colour, ranging from pink to red and even purple in extreme cases.
- Pain and swelling of the affected areas.
- Your skin feels hot to the touch and has fluid-filled blisters that may itch that eventually pop or break. Please do not pop or break them yourselves, if you come across these.
- When the blisters break or peel, tender skin is revealed beneath.
Mild sunburn can be self-treated, but severe and blistered burns need prompt medical attention. Visit your General Medical Practitioner or for severe cases, visit your local hospital.
Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin
We are now very aware of the adverse effects of over-exposure to the sun. This awareness has given way to sun screens & skin care aimed to prevent, or at least minimise, sun damage. As skin therapists, we urge you to invest in an everyday sunscreen to protect your skin from the damaging rays. Protection from the sun will always be the best prevention from sun spots and related sun-damage skin disorders. However there are treatments available for those already suffering from “photo-aging”.
We have chosen the MedLite Q-Switch Laser for its proven effectiveness in combating pigmented skin lesions. The MedLite Q-Switch Laser has two wavelengths in one laser designed to remove skin lesions. These wavelengths are 532nm (targets epidermal/surface pigmentation) and 1064nm (targets dermal/deeper) Nd: YAG. The ability to use multiple wavelengths allows us to treat different lesions and provides you with more treatment options. If your lesion(s) is not suitable with the Medlite, we may use the Alexandrite (755nm) or Fractional Co2 (10,600nm) lasers. In some cases, we may use a combination of the lasers. The result is a safe, effective way to control the laser energy and safely achieve desired results.
The laser cannot be used for the removal of lesions that are cancerous or suspected of being cancerous. We provide initial consultations which are mandatory prior to treatments. In the consultation, our therapists will identify your specific type of lesion and discuss the removal success rate. If there is any suspicion that the lesion may be cancerous, we will refer you to your GP for assessment. When in doubt, we will not treat until a Medical Clearance is provided. We will also provide you with an exact quote and advise how many treatments you will require. Whilst treatments may differ with skin type, 1-2 treatments is normally all that is required for complete removal.
Are There Any Precautions to Take During Treatment?
As with all laser treatments, you must avoid direct sun exposure 2 weeks before, during, and after the treatment. It is important to remember that you are treating lesions caused by the sun. Therefore it is wise to always avoid direct sun exposure, particularly without protection. Whilst we can rid your sun damage, we cannot prevent more sun damage from occurring with constant exposure.
Our laser therapists at City Laser Clinic are trained, qualified and accredited in the treatment of many skin conditions. If your skin condition is not part of our expertise, we will refer you to your GP or an alternative expert.
Please Protect your skin!
For best protection, Cancer Council Australia recommend a combination of sun protection measures:
Extra care should be taken between 10am and 3pm when UV levels reach their peak. Remember to ‘slip-slop-slap’ whenever you go out in the sun – slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. Wear sunglasses too, since UV radiation can also damage your eyes.