Erase the Sun Damage

We have all spent long summer days at the beach, playing in the pool or at the park with the kids, or just hanging out in the backyard. As much fun as summer can bring us, the sun and heat wreak havoc on our skin. So, after a whole season of sunny, summer fun, we might start to notice less-than-desirable changes in our skin. 

We all know to take precautions with sun exposure (i.e., sunscreen with SPF 50 or above, dark clothing, not being out in peak hours, etc.) and avoid overexposure whenever possible. However, visible sun damage just kind of creeps up on us and can cause us to look older than our age. Some aspects of sun damage, such as skin cancer, can be irreversible. But wrinkles, sun spots and dry skin can often be treated to reduce the signs of sun damage with today’s cutting-edge cosmetic treatment options, which include services bundled with products. So, while you are doing all you can to protect your skin against future sun damage, that doesn’t remove the past.

If you are one of the many that believe you can’t change past sun damage, we are here to give you some good news, you absolutely can! Even if you didn’t protect your skin most of your life, once you do, you can stop additional damage from happening and work on reversing the damage done. Did you know that sun damage can show up 20 years later?!

Let’s talk about some ways to reverse that sun damage

Treatments like chemicals peels, dermal fillers, and injectables like Botox or Dysport can all reduce the damage caused by overexposure to sunlight, as well as improving the overall tone, texture, and appearance of skin.

At Travis Shaw MD, we recommend the very best procedures coupled with physician strength/medical grade skincare. Our skincare will help turn back the clock and help you face the fall with less lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or other blemishes.

Skin damage from the sun 101

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) spectrum light, a form of radiation that causes damage to your skin. You can protect your skin with sunscreen and coverings like a shirt, hat, or other shade.

The form of sun damage most of us know all too well is a sunburn: red, painful, and temporary. Sun damage can also increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so the damage isn’t completely gone when your sunburn fades.

Too much sun exposure can also cause other visible forms of skin damage, including unsightly blemishes like:

  • Loose skin
  • More visible fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Age spots
  • Redness or blotchiness
  • Spider veins

Visible sun damage can leave you looking years older than your real age, and the effects can accumulate and worsen over time.

Treatment options to reverse and erase 

Sunscreen protects you from skin cancer risks, but visible sun damage, also known as photoaging, still needs professional care to reverse. Our aesthetic team at Travis Shaw MD can help erase this summer’s sun damage from your face and take you into a fresh-faced fall.

We offer an array of cosmetic procedures that can benefit patients with sun damage. We start by prepping your skin for 6-8 weeks with medical grade skincare. It’s important to rid the skin of oil and get it hydrated. In addition, you want to maintain those results after your procedure. You could enjoy a microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing treatment, noninvasive procedures that remove the damaged outer layers of your skin and stimulate new growth in the underlying layers.


Let’s start with the basics. Exfoliation, but do it right. The object of exfoliation is to smooth the skin by removing the dead cells and creating a nice glow. If you are using an at home exfoliant, be careful not to use apricot scrubs or anything too abrasive to the skin for this can cause tiny micro-tears in the skin. Also, you want to make sure you aren’t exfoliating every day. If your skin is sensitive, stick to once a week, if your skin is a little tougher you can do up to three times a week. Chemical exfoliation is more results oriented and more even because it dissolves the dead skin cells rather than scrubbing them off. ZO Skin Health Medical Grade Exfoliator Polish will give you the results you want and the beauty of it is it can be used 3 times per week while in the shower.


Microdermabrasion uses chemical solution and microcrystals to exfoliate the outer layer of skin, as well as stimulating collagen production and new elastin fibers. Microdermabrasion is particularly useful for removing sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines brought on by overexposure to sunlight, as well as reducing acne and acne scars. Results are typically seen after a few treatments, though you can repeat the treatments as often as six to eight times every two weeks until you achieve your desired results.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels also exfoliate the skin, which reduces sunspots, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines caused by sun exposure. By removing the top layer of dead and damaged skin, you reveal the fresh, youthful skin beneath. Most people see improvements after just one treatment, but best results are often seen after a few sessions.


Clogged pores, acne scarring, wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation are just some skin problems a HydraFacial can help resolve while restoring smoothness and texture to your skin. A simple HydraFacial can provide fast and beautiful results with no downtime. Best of all, HydraFacial’s are designed to deliver cleansing, hydration, and moisture to all skin types by using natural, nutrient-rich super serums to help protect skin. When you come in for your consultation, our resident master esthetician will spend some time discussing and assessing your skincare needs.

The HydraFacial treatment is a relaxing, painless experience. During your session, your skin will be pampered and delicately cleansed of harmful substances. Following your treatment, you will notice an immediate result in the form of radiant, glowing skin that can last up to 30 days. For those struggling with severe hyper-pigmentation and acne scarring, monthly treatments are recommended for optimal results.

Microneeding RF

If you have sun damage, you could also see great results with Microneedling RF treatments. This medical-grade procedure improves your overall skin appearance, reducing hyperpigmentation and scarring. It also stimulates your natural production of collagen, a protein that helps your skin stay smooth and firm.

For weeks after your microneedling treatment, you’ll see continuing improvement in your skin texture for a more elastic, younger-looking appearance. You’ll only need a few hours to a day for any redness to dissipate following your treatment session, and the best part is no downtime. 

Dermal Fillers

Dermal Fillers, such as Juvéderm and Restylane are injectable, hyaluronic acid treatments that soften creases, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and can even improve scarring. These non-invasive treatments are helpful for correcting the damaging effects of sun exposure, and the results typically last between six months and one year. In addition, dermal fillers can also plump lips and enhance contours to restore a more youthful appearance.


As some of the most popular cosmetic treatments, Botox and Dysport are both effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet, and may even help prevent future wrinkles from forming. They are virtually-pain free, non-invasive procedures that work by relaxing the muscles in the face, which smooths the surface and removes wrinkles. Full results are seen within a few days, and last for roughly three months.

Dr. Shaw and his Master Injector, Whitney, will discuss treatment options based on your unique needs during your consultation.

ZO Skin Health Medical Grade Skincare

No doubt beautiful, healthy skin helps you look younger and boosts your confidence. Many factors including sun damage can diminish your natural radiance but there’s good news! ZO Skin Health products can help.

We are asked all the time can sun damage be reversed with products. The answer is yes! ZO Skin Health was founded by Dr. Zein Obagi, a dermatologist known around the world. ZO helps people achieve healthy skin regardless of skin condition, age, and skin type. The products are specially formulated according to individual needs, including: 

  • Daily maintenance
  • Anti-aging
  • Aggressive anti-aging
  • Skin brightening
  • Complexion clearing
  • Skin normalizing

Pigment Control + Hydroquinone

This all-encompassing system is designed to correct the signs of sun damage, including hyperpigmentation and severe textural concerns. Products including a cleanser, exfoliator, complexion pads, sunscreen, and pigment control creams all work synergistically to restore skin’s overall health.

The purpose is to suppress pigment production, which in turn reduces sun spots and helps balance skin tone and texture, therefore improving skin appearance. This system is especially well-suited to treating melasma. It also corrects other skin types by restoring a soft, radiant glow. 

The Importance of Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a pigment blocking agent historically used to bleach skin. In ZO, this agent works to gently fade dark blotches, scars, and acne. Many healthcare providers, including Dr. Obagi, consider hydroquinone to be an essential component of skin rejuvenation, when used properly and on a short-term, documented basis.

How do these specific ZO Skin Health products work?

Each product within the Pigment Control regimen serves a specific purpose, starting with the gentle cleanser. It’s safe for all skin types and, with a gel consistency, removes impurities. In turn, the skin feels clean, refreshed, and hydrated.

The Exfoliating Polish contains magnesium crystals that slough away dead skin cells to deliver a clear and smooth complexion. It also evens skin tone, so you look revived. It’s the ideal accompaniment for treatments designed to replace damaged skin cells with those that are fresh and healthy.

Keep in mind that this system, in addition to reversing the damaging effects of the sun, improves your skin in a much broader sense. The Complexion Renewal Pads, for instance, contains a blend of salicylic and glycolic acids to clear clogged pores and exfoliate layers of dead skin. They also minimize surface oils so skin is balanced.

The Daily Power Defense is an antioxidant cream that serves one potent purpose: to protect your face from environmental toxins in a way that prevents further damage. This is a key step in correcting skin tone and texture; if we merely treat your current concerns without taking proactive steps for the future, the damage will only repeat itself.

Melanin is natural pigments found in the hair, eyes, and skin. It helps us tan in the sun and is also responsible for the dark-colored skin spots we develop with time.

Pigment Control Cream lightens those spots by diving deep into the dermis and reducing melanin production at the cellular level. It also inhibits pigment production to prevent future spots from developing. Skin looks brighter, smoother, and more youthful. The Pigment Blending cream helps with cell regeneration and promotes a glowing complexion.

Why ZO Skin Health Is Different

ZO has acquired an international reputation as a luxury medical skincare brand. But the real difference between these products and those you can purchase from any local store is in their delivery. The bio-engineering behind ZO Skin Products means they penetrate well below the skin’s surface. They can help repair DNA to completely remodel skin, improve the skin barrier’s functionality, and stimulate cell renewal.

In addition, anyone can benefit from using these products, whether you want to maintain healthy skin, erase wrinkles, or correct damage caused by the sun. Our Master Aesthetician is certified in the ZO product line as a ‘ZO Expert’ so she can design a regimen that addresses your skincare needs that is specific to you. Best of all: No more guessing which products you need!

When will I see Results?

It can take up to six weeks for the skin to adjust to a new regimen, but with ZO, you can expect to see results in as little as two weeks. This is when cellular turnover will become visible as damaged skin layers are exfoliated and brown spots diminished. You’ll also notice your skin texture becoming smoother.

ZO Skin Health products can treat a variety of aesthetic concerns by penetrating the skin’s deepest layers, where real healing occurs. Formulated with nourishing ingredients like glycolic acid, antioxidants, and hydroquinone, these products can help everyone enjoy healthy skin.  

Are you ready to Erase the Damage?

There are many ways to combat sun damage and restore healthy, beautiful skin. Our experienced aesthetic team can help you determine the best options for your specific needs and provide you with specific recommendations designed for you.

Remember: After these treatments help reverse sun damage to your skin, you will want to continue to protect your skin even more from the sun’s damaging rays. Make sure to apply your SPF every two hours and apply it at least 30 minutes before exposure. Say hello to clear skin, and goodbye sun damage!

To learn more about treatments for sun damage, schedule a consultation with our Master Aesthetician for a skincare consultation by calling or texting us at (804) 775-4559.