If you spend a lot of time outside doing your favorite activities, you may notice your skin doesn’t have the bright, even look it used to. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our cosmetic team can help you reverse signs of sun damage and aging for younger, brighter skin.

What is Sun Damage?

Sun damage can go by a few different names including photoaging or photodamage. It usually appears as brown spots or areas of dullness, texture, or dryness in areas where the sun reaches the skin. Over time, sun damage can cause premature aging or even skin cancer, meaning it’s important to prevent and treat it with the help of a dermatologist.

Types of Sun Damage


One of the telltale signs of sun damage is pigmentation. It typically manifests as brown spots like moles, freckles, age spots, or areas of brownness.

Actinic Keratoses

Actinic keratoses are whitish, textured growths that can become cancerous. They’re very common and develop from years of sun exposure.


Sunburn is one of the most noticeable and immediate types of sun damage. It can range from mild pinkness to severe, blistering, and painful redness.


How to Maximize Prevention and Repair the Damage

Dr. Cope is the author of Sun Proof: A Practical Guide for Sun-Damaged Skin. How to Maximize Prevention and Repair the Damage. In it, Dr. Cope details easy and accessible steps for improving your skin and reversing the harmful effects of sun exposure. Using the latest and most scientifically-backed studies on sun damage, Dr. Cope has created a guide to achieving healthier, more radiant skin with the best tips, tricks, and tools available.


What Causes Sun Damage?

Sun damage is caused by UV rays which damage skin cells at a molecular level. This can cause changes in things like pigmentation or growth pattern. It can even cause the cells to die off and peel from the skin. Sun damage can be immediate in the case of sunburn, or it can emerge over months or years of exposure. In the most severe cases, sun damage can cause skin cancer over the course of a lifetime.

What Are My Treatment Options for Sun Damage?

Some professional treatments can effectively reverse sun damage and achieve clearer, brighter skin. These can include:

  • Vitamin C Serums
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
  • Antioxidants

Additionally, the right at-home skincare regimen can help reverse sun damage and support the results of your in-office treatments. Our skincare experts can help you formulate the right regimen for your needs.

Maintaining Healthy Skin with Sun Damage

The best way to treat sun damage is by preventing it entirely. This means wearing SPF 30+ daily and avoiding sunlight during the middle part of the day (especially when using skincare products like retinol or Vitamin C). Additionally, you should make sure to follow aftercare instructions after your treatments, some of which can make your skin more sensitive to sun damage. You may need multiple treatment sessions to fully treat your sun damage and our team will make sure you understand when to come back for your next appointment.


Dr. Austin Cope is a Utah native as well as a highly educated and well-trained cosmetic dermatologist. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team is here to help you look and feel your best.


Dr. Cope can help you achieve a new level of confidence with aesthetic experience and a laid-back approach. To learn more, contact us through our online form or give us a call.

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