Sun Damaged to “Sun Virgin”!

You know the rules: wear sunscreen, wear a hat, stay out of the sun. The reality is, our lifestyle gives us so many opportunities for fun in the sun.

So if you, like many of us, have broken the sun-protection rules, and regret the effect it’s had on your skin, take heart! You can do something about the damage.

Now is the season when people want to get informed about the damage the sun has done to their skin. Particularly in the instance of skin cancer, it is important for people to know how to correct any damage.

The first thing we do at The De Pieri Clinic, is address the possibility of skin cancer. The appearance of moles, or a change in existing moles or discolourations, can signal early skin cancer and should be assessed as soon as possible. If Dr. De Pieri thinks the spot looks suspicious, he excises and sends it for biopsy to find out for sure.

Other signs of sun damage can be thickening or thinning of the skin, both of which cause sagging and wrinkles. You may also notice the appearance of tiny blood vessels, or “telangiectasias.”

Many people in later years complain of “liver spots” or “age spots.” These aren’t caused by the liver or age, but by UV exposure. Sometimes, the melanocytes, or cells that cause the dark spots, get completely destroyed and leave bright white spots instead.

So what can you do? The good news is, most sun damage of the skin CAN be reversed. The De Pieri Clinic offers several treatments. For example:

A Levulan® treatment is a very effective tool for treating pre-cancerous lesions caused by sun damage. It is applied to the entire face and left on for a period of hours at the doctor’s discretion. The face is then exposed to a blue light for a period of minutes at the doctor’s discretion. The Levulan accumulates in the cells of the lesions, causing them to become photosensitive. When exposed to blue light, the Levulan is activated, causing the pre-cancerous cells that have absorbed it to be destroyed. You will also enjoy an overall rejuvenation effect.

Specialized light therapy devices, such as IPL (intense pulsed light) and pulse dye lasers, targets specific colours to safely treat discolourations. For example, some target the colour red for broken blood vessels and rosacea, others target brown for hyperpigmentation. Targeting the right colour ensures damage is not done to the natural-coloured skin.

“Resurfacing” is the process of removing the outer layer of skin to encourage the growth of new, healthy skin, correcting uneven pigmentation, scars and wrinkles. Resurfacing also stimulates your own natural collagen formation, making skin plumper, smoother and tighter*.

Resurfacing can be achieved with a chemical peel, (usually containing glycolic acid), Levulan treatment(very effective for treating pre-cancerous lesions), or microdermabrasions.

The most significant resurfacing results are achieved with a CO2 resurfacing laser. Be sure you are treated with a fractional CO2 laser, which allows the treatment depth to be customized to your needs and leaves microscopic areas of surrounding skin intact for quicker healing.

To book a professional skin consult, call The De Pieri Clinic at 250-448-7408.

* Disclaimer: Results and patient experience may vary.

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