As we head into summer, sun protection is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are in using sunscreen and keeping yourself safe from the sun’s rays, you cannot fix existing sun damage with this type of prevention. If you were a frequent tanner in the past, or simply forgot to slather on the sunscreen regularly, then your skin is probably suffering and now showing signs of sun damage. You are in luck, however, as there are currently many treatments that can help improve the signs of aging and damage that come with too much sun exposure. Check out these treatments if you need a pick-me-up for your skin:
A classic treatment for overall skin tone, texture, and color, laser-resurfacing works to improve deep wrinkles, dullness and discoloration from the sun by heating the layers of skin and encouraging new cell development. There are many different laser treatments available, some requiring a much more invasive procedure than others. More invasive laser treatments produce better overall results, but require general anesthesia and more downtime–up to several weeks for intensive treatments. If you decide to undergo laser resurfacing, you will need to prepare your skin for the treatments several weeks in advance.
Plasma Skin Resurfacing
A new option for skin resurfacing, plasma treatments are a good alternative for some patients who could benefit from laser treatments. Plasma resurfacing can produce many of the same toning, wrinkle-reducing, and pigment-improving effects of laser resurfacing, but with a gentler, less invasive procedure. A nitrogen plasma spray is used to heat the layers of skin, encouraging new collagen formation to rejuvenate the face. This collagen stimulation can continue for up to one year. Plasma resurfacing can be done in one intensive treatment, or a few gentler sessions. Downtime includesjust a few days, with most signs of peeling and discoloration gone within 10 days.
Sun damage and aging cue a reduction in collagen and elastin in the skin, causing it to wrinkle and sag. Pelleve is a gentle method for improving wrinkles with very little discomfort and downtime. Pelleve involves the use of radiowave technology to gently heat the skin and encourage natural collagen formation, which tightens the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Collagen will continue to form for up to six months following the procedure. Pelleve requires no anesthesia whatsoever, and any swelling or redness from the treatment should disappear within a day or so.
ZO Skincare Systems
Skin health is internal as well as external, so it makes sense to treat sun damage using both approaches. The ZO Skincare line is a prescription system for all skin types, featuring products such as skin brighteners, peels, and supplements. These products support skin health, overall tone, and help reduce unwanted pigment. ZO is ideal for subtle results or to support the outcome of a more invasive procedure.
Preventing Further Damage
Whether you elect to undergo a cosmetic treatment for sun damage or not, it is extremely important to protect your skin moving forward. Sun exposure greatly increases your chances for skin cancer and accelerates aging. You can take care of your skin by using sunscreen whenever you are outside for more than a few minutes, and by being mindful of where you are throughout the day. Avoiding the hottest part of the day will help you protect your skin from harmful UV rays. In addition to sunscreen, protective measures like a hat and sunglasses are essential, even when driving, as reflective surfaces put you at risk.
Do You Have Sun Damage?
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if skin problems are caused by sun exposure or simply the natural aging process. Most of the treatments discussed above treat normal signs of aging, as sun damage mostly accelerates the rate of aging. Also, remember to be on the lookout for skin irregularities that could signal skin cancer as well. Sun exposure and damage increase your risk for the most common types of skin cancer that can be disfiguring or even deadly if left untreated.
The best way to assess your skin’s condition and explore your options is to consult with prospective plastic surgeons, who will answer your questions and help you decide on the treatment or treatments that are best for you. If you need a trustworthy provider in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033) MA, to schedule your consultation withboard-certified facial aesthetic specialist Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover has honed his skills through decades of dedicationand passion in order to give his patients the best results.