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Sunburns and Aging Skin

Despite feeling good for your soul, we all know that the sun can be bad for your skin. In fact, too much exposure to the sun can speed up the signs of aging and can cause the skin to wrinkle, lose elasticity and cause spots and discoloration. Sunburns are especially dangerous because they cause the skin to redden, blister and swell, leading to short-term discomfort and long-term skin damage which can sometimes lead to skin cancer.

This type of skin damage will not improve without treatment, but fortunately there have been many advances in skin rejuvenation therapies all of which are performed by our expert team of doctors at our office locations in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Book a consultation with any of our Los Angeles area board certified dermatologists to discuss which treatment is best for you.

Courses of Treatment

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

This treatment works by applying a topical acid to the skin called Levulan, which is activated and absorbed by the damaged cells when in contact with a particular wavelength of light. This interaction, along with the presence of oxygen, improves the damaged skin without harming the healthy cells around it. This treatment results in a more youthful appearance with only 1-3 treatments required.


This treatment uses tiny microneedles to damage the top layer of the skin. By creating small needle injuries in the skin, the skin cells are encouraged to regenerate. This leads to new and healthy collagen re-growth, tighter, smoother skin, and a fresher appearance. This is a very short procedure and once redness subsides, improvements to sunburned and sun damaged skin are seen quickly.


Retin-A (tretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that can both reduce signs of aging and minimize skin discoloration caused by sun damage. It can be prescribed as a gel or cream to be applied topically on the skin. It may take a few weeks to notice improvements in the skin’s appearance but this slow and steady treatment effects the skin’s cellular level to reduce dark spots, boost collagen production, and minimize pores.

Fraxel and Fractional CO2 Laser

The Fraxel laser is a skin rejuvenating treatment. Similar to microneedling, it works by creating small wounds in the skin that stimulate new cell growth. These treatments are done on small, targeted areas of sun damaged skin, eroding the spots, lines and creases created by sun exposure. The Fractional CO2 laser is a more aggressive laser that treats sun damage well and it goes deeper under the skin. The downtime is longer for the CO2 but it can treat more severe sunburn damage and signs of aging.

Chemical Peels

By using chemical formulations on the outermost layer of the skin, damaged, aging skin is removed and undamaged skin below is revealed. This is an especially popular and beneficial treatment for sun damaged skin because the type of skin prone to sun damage is the most receptive to peels. While some people get a few treatments done, even just one peel can improve the look of your skin and reverse the signs of sun damage.

Care for Sunburns and Aging Skin in Los Angeles

In addition to these treatments, our skin care line at The Dermatology Institute of Southern California can help reduce the signs of aging brought on by sun damage. Our PM Retinol serum is an especially important element to add to your skin routine. It minimizes signs of aging with Vitamin A and also hydrates the skin with other advanced active ingredients. Call us today to book a consultation and begin a course of treatment tailored to you by our experienced dermatologists in Los Angeles, at both our Santa Monica and Beverly Hills locations. Restore your skin and your confidence in just a few visits!

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If you have questions or want to learn more about our sun damage treatments, we invite you to contact our office to learn more!

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