Can UV Damage Be Reversed?

Video Transcript:

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

So is it possible to reverse the damage from tanning beds, or from sun exposure? So this UV or ultraviolet light damage that we get from tanning beds or sun exposure, they say is responsible for about 90% of your aging of your skin. Think about that. 90% of the signs of aging on sun exposed areas is due to the damage from tanning beds or just from the natural sunlight.

And while it is possible to reverse some of it, it’s not possible to reverse all of it. So the best policy is never, never, never, use tanning beds. Guys, the World Health Organization has classified tanning beds as cancer causing as cigarettes. That’s an enormous statement. In fact, there are more skin cancers developing from tanning bed used every year, than there are lung cancers developing from cigarette use.

Blows my mind, and yet people do them all the time. And what even blows my mind even further is that it’s usually people who are teenagers or in their early 20s who are using the tanning beds the most. And unfortunately, the younger you are, the more damage from tanning beds and the sun, causes more DNA damage. When you’re older, it still causes damage, but doesn’t seem to cause as much. So please limit that.

And I know that you’re saying, “Ok, come on, Reagan, there have to be ways to reverse the damage.” Yes, there are. We can reverse some of it. We have specialized creams, a lot of which focus on kind of the Vitamin A materials as the active ingredient. We have things like microneedling. We have things like microdermabrasions. We have things like laser resurfacing. We have devices that we can use to help reverse some of it.

But my personal opinion, I think prevention is way better than an invasive procedure to reverse some of it.

Dr. Reagan Anderson is a local dermatologist from Colorado Springs.