How to reverse decades of sun damage to your skin – just like this 75-year-old did

Skin cancer: Dr Chris outlines the signs of a melanoma

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When skin becomes sun burned the top layers release chemicals that make blood vessels well and causes fluid to be released. According to Nuffield Health, although the dead layers of skin peel – revealing new healthy skin, the damage of sunburn remains. More importantly, sunburn that results in blistering can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer (melanoma). Other symptoms and long-term consequences of sun damage include dry and uneven skin tones – including patchy hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

Mrs Perrin from Surrey was around the age of 50 when she started to notice dark spots on her face.

Having a house in Lanzarote, she admitted that she spent prolonged amounts of time in the sun, so unsurprisingly the dark spots worsened.

Talking about her experience to Express.co.uk Brenda said: “My husband and I used to have a house in Lanzarote where we spent a lot of our time and so the extended periods in the sun didn’t help.

“I tried aesthetic treatments over in Lanzarote but it was very harsh on my skin and the results weren’t very effective.

“As the years went on the dark patches were all over my face with one very big one on my cheek by my eye.

“I couldn’t bear to look at the dark spots in the mirror and it really affected my confidence.”

Paula’s Choice – a skincare brand- explains that brown or dark spots on the skin occur because UV light triggers excess melanin production within skin.

In the absence of broad-spectrum sunscreen, skin overproduces melanin to protect itself from sun damage. For many people, the excess melanin is produced unevenly and concentrates in smaller areas, causing stubborn pigmentation marks – like Brenda’s experience.

These dark spots often require powerful, skin-evening ingredients to help fade the hyperpigmentation and return skin to its natural colour. However, this is not as easy as it may seem.

Over the years and after multiple unsuccessful skincare treatments, Brenda tried to cover her darker patches with make-up, but this was not a long-term solution.

Then she met Dr Rekha Tailor, a skin expert and former GP. Dr Tailor was able to explain that the marks on Brenda’s skin would need “patience and perseverance” if they were ever going to improve.

But in order to give Brenda the best possible start, Dr Tailor recommended a revolutionary treatment that would give Brenda back her self-confidence.

“I had a series of laser treatments and a regime of ZO products which began to reduce the pigmentation,’ says Brenda.

“Then last year Dr Tailor suggested I try the Cosmelan Mask treatment.

“This is a unique chemical peel that incorporates an exclusive combination of active ingredients, which act on all stages of the hyperpigmentation process to eliminate existing hyperpigmentation as well as preventing new pigmentation appearing.”

Starting her skin transformation journey in October 2020, Brenda’s treatment involved having two peels in the clinic, one of which had to be left on for eight hours.

Following that Brenda was given a tailor-made prescription of skincare products that had to be administered three times a day for three months – but finally results were starting to show.

Brenda went on to explain: “I began using the products and after a couple of months I noticed the dark spots beginning to fade. After three months the prescription was reduced to twice-daily application, morning and night. This, combined with a strong SPF that I had to apply daily, meant that over time the spots were fading.

“Now, nearly a year on my skin has been transformed and the dark spots that I hated so much have gone. My husband and friends and family, have all noticed the difference, I don’t have the skin of a 20-year-old, I didn’t expect to, but my skin is healthier, brighter and without the unsightly brown patches that I hated so much.”

Although a lengthy process, Brenda’s skincare journey worked, but she will always be at risk of the dark patches redeveloping if she doesn’t use a strong SPF. Paula’s Choice recommends using products such as retinols, AHA exfoliants, vitamin C and antioxidant serums as another alternative to try and see visible improvements.

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