Summertime is synonymous with beach days, margaritas, patio lunches and, above all, sun. Many people love to soak up rays, but while you're busy lounging by the pool it can be easy to forget that the same sun that encourages you to break in your new swimsuit can also do some damage to your skin. 

Few things age skin prematurely like prolonged exposure to direct sun, and unfortunately, summer is prime exposure time. You may have noticed some of the negative effects already.

Fear not! It's possible to keep your skin safe from further sun damage, so that you can enjoy the rest of your summer with peace of mind. 

Don't get burned
The most common form of sun damage is familiar to everyone who's spent a day by the pool or a few hours on the tennis court. Sunburn is not only unsightly and painful, but is also damaging to your skin. Because it's so common and heals relatively easily, many people still don't take adequate measures to protect against this condition.

Sunburn may seem innocuous, but it's actually doing substantial harm to your skin on a cellular level. According to the Los Angeles Times, sunburned skin actually experiences damage to its DNA, with skin cells shriveling and dying under the harsh ultraviolet rays. As the National Institutes of Health pointed out, prolonged exposure to UV rays can severely increase skin cancer risk, but in the more immediate timeframe it can also leave skin discolored, dried out and prematurely aged. 

Skin health gets spotty
Your skin has natural sun defense in the form of a chemical called melanin. As Mayo Clinic explained, melanin is a dark-colored pigment that your skin produces to keep harmful UV rays from penetrating and damaging deeper skin cells. The more time you spend in the sun, the more melanin your skin produces – the same principle harnessed by anyone who's ever spent a day working on a killer tan. 

Of course, just because your skin can produce more melanin when needed doesn't mean that it wants to, or it even should. In fact, the more you put your skin to the test, the higher the likelihood that you'll incur some sort of damage. One of the more common forms of this is what Mayo Clinic referred to as solar lentigines – known to the common sunbather as sun spots. These are instances when skin produces melanin unevenly, resulting in discoloration and dark spots on the skin.

Summer vacation for your skin
The best way to keep your skin healthy is to stay out of direct sun as much as possible and to take preventive measures, such as sporting a high-SPF sunblock if you do venture into the rays. However, for those who have spent the summer soaking up rays and, by extension, potential skin damage, there are new solutions that can help your skin shine as brightly as the sun you've been hanging out in all summer.

Even for those who have put their skin to the test in the sun, new laser revitalization treatments can provide a much-needed respite for sun-damaged dermises. Some may have reservations regarding laser treatment, but the good news is that recent advances in technology offer a type of treatment that maximizes results, minimizes downtime and reduces potential skin damage that previous laser treatments have been known for. By penetrating top layers of skin with a precise picosecond pulse laser, it's possible to stimulate the generation of collagen and elastin – the substances that keep your skin looking young and healthy. After all, you may have spent your summer in the sun, but there's no reason to wear that on your face.

PicoSure® is the latest technology for laser tattoo removal and skin revitalization and offers faster and better results in fewer treatments. It is the first and only aesthetic picosecond laser that is FDA-cleared for the removal of tattoos and sun spots. Visit to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you.