By now, we all know the virtues of sunscreen. When used properly, sunscreen can protect us from the harmful rays of the sun, while allowing us to enjoy our outdoor activities worry-free.
Note the key words “when used properly.”
Because although we’re much better at protecting our skin these days, we still don’t always apply – or properly apply – sunscreen. Add to that the damage leftover from our misspent youth when we didn’t really know or care about sunscreen, and that spells trouble in the form of lines, wrinkles, and discolorations.
There’s a plethora of information regarding sunscreen and the use thereof, so we’re not going to spend a lot of time discussing it. In short, use broad spectrum sunscreen every day with SPF values of 30 or higher (the higher the better). To maximize its effect, apply 30 minutes before you head out into the sun, and then reapply it at least every two hours.
The sun can do some pretty nasty things to our skin – from age spots to skin cancer. But for today, we’re going to address cosmetic issues. And one of the biggest is premature aging.
In fact, the number one cause of “extrinsic aging” (aging caused by the environment) is sun exposure. Research shows that UV exposure is the reason behind 80 percent of our skin’s aging. Why?
Well, the sun gives off ultraviolet (UV) light that damages our skin and causes sunburn. This UV radiation that penetrates our skin actually alters the DNA of our skin cells, causing the lines, wrinkles, discolorations, and uneven pigmentations that make us look older. Without a doubt, the cumulative effects of excessive sun damage can wreak havoc. In order to address the cellular damage, you have to get below the skin’s surface.
Topical creams and serums can fade dark marks to a certain extent, especially if they contain lightening ingredients like vitamin C. However, although creams and serums can help improve the appearance of skin, they do virtually nothing to help repair damage, unless they contain retinol.
So what do you do about it?
The answer to that is laser therapy treatments. Laser therapy treatments are performed in-office with very little to no down time. They work by emitting short pulses of light that go below the surface of the skin to repair and remove the damage caused by the sun.
Laser treatments have come a long way in the last few years, making them even more effective and very affordable. At Dermatology Associates, we use two of the most advanced lasers on the market to help reverse sun damage – the PicoSure® laser and the NewSurg KTP™ laser.
With PicoSure, the laser light pulses help your skin form new collagen as well as improving its elasticity. As a result, your skin appears plumper, fuller, and free of blemishes. The added elasticity smoothes out wrinkles near your eyes and other locations on your face.
The NewSurg KTP laser is an excellent way to get rid of pigmented lesions like brown spots and freckles. The intense beam of light precisely targets the area to eliminate the pigment without affecting the surrounding skin.
So if you’re noticing that those freckles are actually age spots, or the “dimple” that suddenly appeared is actually the beginnings of a “marionette” line, you owe it to yourself to check out laser therapy treatments. At Dermatology Associates, we’d welcome the opportunity to consult with you.
Dermatology Associates offers a full spectrum of leading edge medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services from offices in Savannah and Vidalia.