Treatments for Sun Damage in Scottsdale

Sun damage, also called photoaging, is the result of the harmful effects of excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays on the skin. This can manifest in various ways, impacting both the appearance and health of our skin. If you’ve noticed that your skin has a rough texture, uneven tone, and more wrinkles and blemishes, it may be from sun damage. These types of issues can’t necessarily be reversed with over-the-counter products, but more comprehensive treatments that address deeper layers of the skin can help heal it from within. 

At Scottsdale Plastics, under the expertise of plastic surgeon Dr. Robert G. Bonillas, we offer a variety of FDA-approved treatments to address the different outcomes of sun damage. With his keen diagnostic abilities, Dr. Bonillas can address these specific needs with treatments such as Morpheus8, chemical peels, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), and the ZO Skin Health range. With a quick call to our location in Scottsdale, Arizona at (480) 245-6380 or a consultation request online, we can help find which treatment works best for you. 

About Sun Damage

The sun’s rays accelerate the natural aging processes of the skin. Photoaging leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in sagging, wrinkles, and a loss of elasticity. Sun-damaged skin often appears dry and rough, making individuals look older than their actual age. UV rays from the sun even damage skin cells’ DNA structure, which can lead to more serious problems like skin cancer. It’s important to get familiar with different blemishes to fully make sense of what kind of skin damage you may have. 

  • Wrinkles –  Although wrinkles are often caused by certain facial expressions, the wrinkles caused by UV rays appear different. Naturally aged skin tends to be thin and finely wrinkled, while sun-aged skin exhibits thicker and coarser wrinkles. (1) Severe cases may be diagnosed as solar elastosis, a condition where too much elastin- the protein responsible for skin elasticity- is produced in the skin. 
  • Hyperpigmentation – When an overabundance of melanin is produced in one area of the skin, a sun spot, or liver spot, may appear. Melanin is a natural pigment that gives skin its tone, but UV rays can overstimulate melanocytes, the cells that make melanin. 
  • Vascular lesions. UV rays can wear down the walls of small blood vessels and break down the connective proteins that surround them. This causes vascular lesions commonly known as “spider” veins or varicose veins. 

Candidates for Sun Damage Treatment

If you are in good general health, Dr. Bonillas will be able to find a solution that fits your needs. Those with active acne will have to have that addressed prior to any procedure. Patients who have experienced a viral outbreak will likely be prescribed an antiviral medication to prevent an active infection.

Personal Consultation 

If you are concerned about sun damage and the sun’s impact on your skin, the team at Scottsdale Plastics is here to help. With our expertise in various treatments and procedures, we can develop a personalized plan to restore the health and beauty of your skin. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is a lifelong commitment to maintaining its vitality and ensuring your overall well-being. Give us a call at our Scottsdale, Arizona location at (480) 245-6380 or request an appointment through our contact page today. 

How Can I Treat Sun-Damaged Skin?


Morpheus8 is an advanced microneedling device designed to rearrange collagen fibers and stimulate fibroblast growth factors, causing a massive boost in the production of connective proteins. The ultra-fine needles of Morpheus8 go as deep as 4 mm in certain areas to provide smoother, healthier skin for several months. This device is also equipped with radiofrequency energy (RF) that is emitted through the needles. This electromagnetic energy works to contract existing collagen fibers for a skin-tightening effect. Patients usually need 3 monthly treatments to see significantly reduced wrinkles and dark spots. One study confirmed a 400% increase in collagen after just 4 microneedling sessions spaced one month apart. (2)


Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) utilizes a broad spectrum of light to 

treat sun damage rather than just emitting one wavelength. Like microneedling, it stimulates fibroblasts and growth factors, but it is unique in that it doesn’t harm the first layer of skin- the epidermis. While it causes microinjuries in the dermis, the epidermis is left unharmed, serving as a dressing that speeds up recovery. Since IPL is a non-invasive treatment, most patients find that their skin is back to normal after just a couple of days. If you’re looking to treat spider veins in particular, IPL treatments are the way to go. 

Chemical Peels 

Chemical peels exfoliate the skin to make way for new skin cell regeneration. They are helpful tools for people with sun-damaged skin who may not shed old skin cells at the same rate as when they were younger. While superficial chemical peels only exfoliate the first layer of skin, some deeper peels are designed to penetrate the dermal layer and help regenerate collagen from deep within. Research has shown that increased collagen production can continue up to 6 months after your treatment. (3) Dr. Bonillas can prescribe a light, medium, or deep peel depending on your specific cosmetic issues.

ZO SkinCare 

Dr. Bonillas offers specially formulated skin care products for patients of all ages. Whether your goal is to prevent further sun damage or treat the signs you have now, there is a ZO SkinCare routine that will work for you. All of these products are backed by the expertise and knowledge of dermatologist and founder, Zein Obagi, MD. 

Recovery After Sun Damage Treatment

 It is important to understand the recovery process after sun damage treatment and the incredible results that can be achieved. These are some of the general rules to follow after any dermal treatment to ensure the best results possible: 

  • Avoid sun exposure for at least one week.
  • Keep the treatment area clean.
  • Use mild soap and refrain from harsh exfoliants until your skin is healed. 
  • Use topical skincare products exactly as prescribed.  
  • Use a high SPF sunscreen once Dr. Bonillas says it is safe to do so 
  • Do not pick or scratch at your skin 

Over time, as your skin heals, you will notice remarkable improvements. You will gradually notice the improved texture and firmness of your skin with reduced wrinkles, sun spots, and varicose veins.

Cost of Treatments for Sun-Damaged Skin in Scottsdale

At Scottsdale Plastics, our priority is to provide you with the best possible results while ensuring affordability. When determining the cost, we take into account several factors such as the extent of treatment required, the number of sessions needed, and any additional services or products involved in your personalized treatment plan. These factors will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Bonillas. 

We offer CareCredit, PatientFi, and other financing options for patients who are interested. Those looking to get repeat treatments at Scottsdale Plastic may benefit from our membership plan. If you’re ready to tackle sun-damaged skin, call (480) 245-6380 or contact us using our online form for further details.

See the Scottsdale Plastics blog for more information about surgical and non-surgical services by Dr. Bonillas.


Is Morpheus8 painful?

Most patients report minimal discomfort during microneedling treatments. A topical numbing cream is applied to the treatment area before the procedure to ensure a comfortable experience. After the treatment, patients may experience some redness and mild swelling, similar to a sunburn, which usually subsides within a few days.

How many sessions of Lumenis Stella are required to see results?

Most patients require at least 3 treatment sessions to see significant improvement in their wrinkles and overall skin texture. Each session should be spaced about 2 to 6 weeks apart. 

Can I get a chemical peel if I have sensitive skin?

Absolutely. In general, people with sensitive skin or darker skin should opt for alpha-hydroxy acid (AHAS) peels that only penetrate the first layer of skin (the epidermis). 

What ingredients in ZO SkinCare products aid in skin health?

ZO SkinCare products contain vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A to reduce inflammation and synthesize connective proteins. Some products contain hydroquinone to promote a more even skin tone. SPF is a vital ingredient for protection against harmful UV rays from the sun. 

Can Morpheus8 be combined with other treatments?

Yes, Morpheus8 can be combined with other treatments to enhance results. For example, it is commonly combined with chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and dermal fillers. The decision to combine treatments will depend on your specific concerns and can be discussed with your doctor during a consultation.

How often can I get a chemical peel? 

You may go back for mild, or “light” peels every few weeks or so, but medium peels will require a longer amount of downtime. For patients that have suitable skin for it, a medium peel can be done every year with no ill effects. Deep peels affect the deeper parts of the dermis and should only be done once. 


  1. Rittie L, Fisher GJ. Natural and Sun-Induced Aging of Human Skin. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. 2015;5(1):a015370-a015370. doi: 
  2. Yadav S, Singh A. Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. 2016;7(4):244. doi: 
  3. Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A Practical Approach to Chemical Peels: A Review of Fundamentals and Step-by-step Algorithmic Protocol for Treatment. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2018;11(8):21-28. 
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