sun-damaged skin

Sun Damage

Some damage from the sun is unavoidable, but it can be frustrating when enjoying the outdoors leaves you looking older than you feel.

Thankfully, most sun damage can be smoothed out with minor cosmetic treatments like fillers and IPL photofacials.

But what qualifies as sun damage?

sun-damaged skin

Recognizing Different Types of Damage

Age or Liver Spots

Like freckles, these small, dark spots form on the skin as a result of sun exposure. But unlike freckles, they appear later in life and do not fade with time.

Dry Skin

Long-term exposure to the sun often dries out your skin and can leave uncomfortable rough patches.


Because UV rays from the sun can break down collagen and elastin in the skin, sun exposure often leads to wrinkles.

Sun Damage Is a Problem for Everyone

While some people are more susceptible than others, too much time in the sun can damage any person’s skin. Going out without a hat, protective clothing, or sunscreen leaves you exposed to the UV (ultraviolet) rays in sunlight that break down the skin. Even people who don’t burn easily still suffer damage from this kind of exposure. However, if you have fair skin, you are likely at greater risk of damage and even skin cancer than the average person. 

How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage

Apply Sunscreen Regularly

If you plan to be out in the sun, take care to reapply your sunscreen at least every 80 to 90 minutes. While it can be easy to forget when you’re having a good time, diligent application is essential to protecting your skin.

Cover Your Skin

Long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses also serve as important shields for your skin.

Stay in the Shade

While avoiding the sun completely is impossible and inadvisable, remembering to stay in the shade as much as possible can keep your skin healthy.

A Specialist Can Recommend Treatment That’s Right for You

Scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist can never hurt. Even if the damage is minor, your doctor will often be able to recommend the best treatment. If there are signs of skin cancer, your doctor can determine the most appropriate course of action as soon as possible. 

While dermatologists can often diagnose your condition with a visual exam, they may take a biopsy to check for cancer. In this case, they will apply a topical anesthetic to reduce discomfort before removing a small sample of skin cells for laboratory analysis.

A Wide Range of Treatment Options

IPL Photofacial

This non-ablative form of laser therapy gently removes damaged skin and smooths out minor blemishes.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

A more intensive form of laser therapy, laser skin resurfacing can target more severe sun damage.


Botox® Cosmetic and dermal fillers can respectively immobilize the muscles that contribute to wrinkles or replace lost collagen to rejuvenate your skin.

Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion

These treatments minimize skin blemishes and irregularities by removing the top layer of skin with either a weak acid or abrasive material.

Consult a Professional

Sun damage is not always serious, but it can often undermine confidence in your appearance. Reach out to a doctor today and discuss your options for minimally invasive treatment.

Dr. Brownrigg

Dr. Peter Brownrigg

Dr. Brownrigg has focused on facial plastic surgery since 1984. He is affiliated with a range of prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the Canadian Region Vice President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the treasurer and president of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Ontario Medical Association

For more information about the services we offer, contact our office online or call (613) 706-6919 today.

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Dr. Brownrigg has been focusing exclusively on facial plastic surgery since 1984!