Read our September newsletter to learn the best ways to prepare your skin for the upcoming laser season and to get information in regards to our October 4th Open House Event
Fall is right around the corner (thank goodness!). Days will be getting shorter. School is in high gear. Pumpkin spice lattes are going to be on the menu, once again. Did you have a good summer? Lots of fun in the sun? Are you looking in the mirror and taking notice of changes in your skin? Do you see evidence of a little too much fun in the sun? Brown spots, lines and wrinkles? Saggy, crepe and aging skin? It happens to all of us and can add years to the appearance of our face, neck, chest and the rest of the body. Accumulated sun damage can also lead to more worrisome problems like skin cancer.
How does this damage occur?
Our team always love to educate, so let’s first briefly take a look at how this damage occurs. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays.The most problematic of them are UVA and UVB. These rays penetrate the skin causing specific cells in the skin to produce melanin, or pigment. Melanin is the skin’s defensive tactic to absorb the UV radiation. When you develop a tan that is evidence of overexposure to UV rays and sun damage. If you are overexposed to the sun in a short time period this leads to a sunburn. A sunburn is an inflammatory response in the skin due to damage. That damage and inflammatory response can lead to decrease in collagen and elastin formation. Secondly, disorganization of the remaining collagen and elastin. Worst of all, the formation of free radicals within the skin. These can permanently damage the DNA within cells of the skin. Most importantly, this leads to saggy skin, wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer.
Prevention is always easier than reversal.
Always remember prevention is easier than reversal. Past newsletters have addressed sun protection. PLEASE, apply daily sun protection even in the winter months. Use UPF clothing, as well. For many of us, there is already a degree of accumulated damage. We need some options for reversal. It is important to work with a board-certified physician. They will accurately assess and diagnose your concerns. Often times, this involves planning ahead to let any accumulated summer tan or self-tanners to fade prior to treatment. Sometimes, it also involves pre-treatment with specific topical medications. This will augment your treatment result or prevent certain post-treatment issues.
What are the options?
We will briefly touch on these now. In future newsletters we cover them in greater detail. Broad band light therapy is just what it says. It allows for application of specific filters for specific concerns and skin types. It is a staple treatment to address issues like brown spots. Background redness or small vessels also can be attacked with BBL. It typically involves minimal to no downtime. Other options include lasers that are targeted towards multiple different concerns. The selection of the appropriate laser therapy is VERY dependent on consultation with your physician. Some of these can be minimal to zero downtime procedures. Others may involve significant downtime but give life changing results. In addition, we often use bio-stimulators, such as Sculptra, or platelet rich plasma to boost a skin rejuvenation result.
Protect your skin.
It’s very important to protect your skin and its result following treatment. You will need to protect the treatment area from sun exposure. Appropriate product selection to do this is something we discuss with every patient. We also help monitor your skincare products after procedure, as your skin can be very sensitive and certain types of skincare will be inappropriate.
Finally, we encourage everyone to plan a budget and prep yourself to be patient. Results often take months to develop fully and often require staged procedures. In many cases, we are trying to correct years of accumulated damage. Correction doesn’t happen overnight.