Treatments for Sun Damage

Sun damage is responsible for up to 80% of visible signs of aging. (1) It can cause premature wrinkling of the skin, brown spots, dry skin, and other signs effects. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s rays by wearing a hat and sunscreen, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

Although the sun is many millions of miles away, we are saturated in UV radiation even when the weather is cloudy. What’s more, many of us underestimate just how dangerous sun damage can be. Repeated exposure to UV radiation has long been known to increase the risk of photoaging (skin damage), photo immunosuppression (reduced immune response), and photocarcinogenesis (skin cancer). (2) 

At Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa, we understand that every patient has different needs and goals. We customize each treatment plan to meet the individual needs of the patient. To learn more about treatments for sun damage, contact Dr. Alyson Wells today for a medi-spa consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, healthy skin you deserve.

Before and After Photos

Ultraviolet Light

Skin photodamage is far more common than we might realize, with over half of the US population having experienced a sunburn. (1)Whether it’s a sunny day or a cloudy day, UV light is all around us. Therefore, it’s important to understand the risks of prolonged UV exposure and how to protect yourself from long-term damage.

The Sun

UV damage from the sun’s rays is an insidious risk that we all face, no matter where we are in the world. This type of radiation is composed of three types of rays, UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are the most damaging but fortunately, they’re blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. Both UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the atmosphere and reach us, however. Both of these types of UV radiation can cause damage to our skin cells, leading to premature aging, eye damage, and even skin cancer.

Tanning Beds

Popular with younger and older patients alike, tanning beds provide artificial UVA and UVB light. However, the energy emitted is no-less dangerous than the sun’s rays. Tanning bed use in patients younger than 35 years is associated with a 75% increased lifetime melanoma risk. (1)

Signs of UV-Damaged Skin

  • Age Spots
  • Broken Capillaries
  • Crepiness
  • Dryness
  • Fine Lines
  • Freckles
  • Liver Spots (Solar Lentigines)
  • Redness (Hyperpigmentation)
  • Skin Tightness
  • Textured Skin (Actinic Keratosis)
  • Uneven Tone
  • Wrinkling


Retinoids are a form of vitamin A used in dermatology and skin care products as a treatment for various skin conditions and to improve skin health. Retinoids are available in both over-the-counter and prescription products, which contain different strengths and formulations. Over-the-counter products contain weaker concentrations and may take longer to show results. Prescription-strength retinoids are more potent and should be used only under the supervision of a physician.

Why Are Retinoids So Good for Sun-Damaged Skin?

Sun exposure causes skin cells to produce abnormally high amounts of melanin, which can lead to age spots, wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging. Retinoids work by stimulating cell regeneration, which can help reverse the effects of sun damage on skin cells.

If you’re ready to take the next step in improving your skin health, call (410) 628-8200 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wells.

CO2 Laser Resurfacing

CO2 laser resurfacing is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a laser beam to remove damaged skin cells and stimulate the growth of new collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps to keep skin looking firm and youthful. During the procedure, the laser beam is passed over the treatment area, removing thin layers of skin at a time. The heat from the laser stimulates collagen production, which helps to rebuild the skin from the inside out.

The treatment is precise, so it can be used to target specific areas of the skin, particularly areas of sun damage. After the procedure, the patient’s skin will be smoother, tighter, and more even in color.

What are the Benefits of CO2 Laser Resurfacing?

  • CO2 laser resurfacing offers a number of benefits, including:
  • Improved skin texture
  • Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
  • Smoother skin
  • Reduced appearance of brown spots, freckles, and other pigmentation issues
  • Stimulated collagen production
  • Reduced acne scars
  • Improved self-confidence


Microneedling is a minimally-invasive treatment that uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries to the surface of the skin. The process stimulates the natural healing response of the body, which leads to the production of new collagen and elastin, two proteins that are essential for healthy, youthful-looking skin. This technique is also known as collagen induction therapy.

Why is Microneedling Effective for Sun Damage?

Sun damage disrupts the natural balance of collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. Microneedling helps to restore this balance by stimulating the skin to produce more collagen and elastin. This helps to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.


Microdermabrasion is a type of exfoliation that uses a machine to buff away the top layer of the skin. This process eliminates dead skin cells and promotes the growth of new, healthy skin cells. The machine used for microdermabrasion also has a vacuum, which helps to gently remove debris from pores and encourages circulation.

Microdermabrasion can help improve the appearance of sun damage by removing the top layers of damaged skin. It can also help stimulate collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. 

Find out more about treatment options for sun-damaged skin by booking your personal consultation at Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa. Call (410) 628-8200 or fill out a form on our website to book with us.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a great option for those looking to improve their skin health, reduce the appearance of sun damage, and improve overall complexion. Dr. Wells offers chemical peels that can be tailored to each patient’s needs.

Benefits of a Chemical Peel

  • Smoother, softer, and well-hydrated skin
  • Reduction in wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improved tone and texture
  • Reduced age spots, discoloration, and other forms of skin damage
  • Clearer pores and reduced acne outbreaks
  • Stimulation of collagen production
  • Healthier, younger-looking skin

Personal Consultation

Dr. Wells is committed to finding the most effective solutions for your photodamaged skin. So, if you have struggled to find answers before, come for a personal consultation at Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa. During your one-on-one consultation, we’ll take some details about your health and medical history and perform a skin examination. You can point out the areas you are most concerned with and Dr. Wells can determine which treatment is right for your skin type and sun damage severity.

Cost of Treatments for Sun-Damaged Skin in Cockeysville, MD

The cost of treatment at the Valley Plastic Surgery & Medi-Spa will depend on your individual requirements, the type of procedure you choose, and the number of sessions required to reach your aesthetic goals. We will be happy to provide you with an estimate at your personal consultation.

Find the most effective treatments for sun-damaged skin. Contact us online, or call our Cockeyesville office at (410) 628-8200 for more details.


What can I do to slow the skin aging process?

One of the most important aspects of skincare is ensuring you spend as little time as possible in direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light is known to cause long-term damage to skin, so if you must be in the sun, be sure to cover up with UV-protective clothing and broad-spectrum sun protection (SPF 30 or higher).

How often should I use a retinoid?

The frequency of use depends on the type and strength of the retinoid you are using. In general, you should start by using the product once or twice a week and gradually increase the frequency until you reach the recommended amount.

What are the best treatments for sun-damaged skin?

Topical treatments like retinoids and in-office treatments like laser resurfacing can remove the uppermost layers of skin to address signs of photoaging, texture, and uneven pigmentation.

Is CO2 laser resurfacing good for sun damage?

Yes! If you’re looking for a way to improve the health and appearance of your skin, including improving sun damage, CO2 laser resurfacing may be an option for you. However, it’s important to consult with your doctor to determine if it’s the right treatment for your individual needs. Your doctor will take into account factors such as skin type, medical history, and lifestyle to determine whether or not this procedure is right for you.

Is it normal to have swelling after a chemical peel?

It’s normal to experience swelling after a chemical peel. This is due to the inflammation caused by the peel solution. Swelling usually subsides within a few days, although it may last longer depending on the strength of the peel and areas treated.


  1. Amaro-Ortiz A, Yan B, D’Orazio J. Ultraviolet Radiation, Aging and the Skin: Prevention of Damage by Topical cAMP Manipulation. Molecules. 2014;19(5):6202-6219. doi: 
  2. Gromkowska‐Kępka KJ, Puścion‐Jakubik A, Markiewicz‐Żukowska R, Socha K. The impact of ultraviolet radiation on skin photoaging — review of in vitro studies. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2021;20(11):3427-3431. doi: 
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