Sun-damaged skin can be cosmetically reversible, but a permanent health risk

If you've noticed more spots and lines on your face lately, it could be from too much sun over the summer. However, it is possible to turn back the clock a bit and give yourself a fall “face fix.”

30-year old Christina Gonzalez spent her summer holiday at the beach. She says she can't believe how bad her skin looked after such a short time in the sun. something her doctor says is no surprise at all.

“By the end of the sixth day of vacation, I started getting a brown, an actual brown spot, a dark spot and I was like, 'What is this? It's never been there before,” says Christine.

Her doctor, however, was not surprised.

“It doesn't take a lot before you do actually harm your skin
Irreversibly,” says Dr. Nadia Chaudhry.

She says even in as little as five days, skin develops brown spots and wrinkles.

It becomes inflamed, lowering your defenses against further skin destruction.

“Every single time you burn, you double your risk of skin cancer,” says Dr. Chandhry.

She also says African Americans and those with darker skin may think they're protected, but it's a dangerous misconception.

“They're still getting UVA, which is 95% of our sun exposure that we get. So those people still get cancer and wrinkles and photo damage,” says Dr. Chandhry.

Christina looked at her “face fix” options and decided on photo dynamic therapy, a laser treatment combined with a topical medication.

It's expensive – almost $4,000 – and requires a few days of down time, but Christina says it's worth it.

Doctors say there are much cheaper prescription products like Retin-A and skin bleachers that help. Several inexpensive over the counter products are also worth a try.

Look for products that contain retinol or an antioxidant like vitamin C.


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