What people consider aging is in fact largely sun-damage. When one examines elderly skin in non-exposed areas there is intrinsic wrinkling or atrophy of the skin, but none of the blotchy dyspigmentation and severe wrinkling one sees on sun-exposed areas. Sun-exposure, particularly from UVA (which is in most tanning booths) damages the deeper layers of the skin so that the skin loses elasticity. Young skin will stretch and bounce back into place. Old skin sags after losing its elasticity. Sun-avoidance is critical to improving and preventing sun-damage as is wearing hats and using high numbered sunscreens on a regular basis. Some chronic sun-damage can improve when one is very good about sun-avoidance, especially when supplementing that with anti-wrinkle treatments such as Vitamin A and antioxidant creams. More often than not additional treatment such as laser therapy, chemical peels or filler agents are needed to improve a person’s appearance who has severe sun-damage.
Smoking severely damages the tissues including the skin as can be evidenced by the severe wrinkles around the mouth in heavy smokers.
In summary, the best thing you can do is to avoid the sun, wear hats and sunscreens and avoid the mid-day sun to prevent what we think of as “aging” of the skin. If children never ever were sunburned their entire lives, they would certainly look much younger by the time they reach our age and have a much lower risk of skin cancer. If you are good about avoiding the sun you may need to take extra Vitamin D as this is produced in the skin with sun exposure. Consult your doctor about the need for extra Vitamin D; we usually recommend 1000 units a day. Too much Vitamin D can cause kidney stones in susceptible people.
Though the damage is already done in most of us, there are many things we can do as dermatologists to improve wrinkles, ugly brown spots or “liver spots”, and other blemishes using a combination of creams, both prescription and over-the-counter, laser surgery, botulinum toxin and filler agents.
We are happy to offer the latest in dermatologic procedures used to enhance one’s appearance.
We now have eight different lasers that can be used individually, or in combination, to achieve optimum results.
We also provide a number of procedures in our office to revitalize, restore and enhance your features. Some of these are:
- Chemical Peels
- Dermal grafts
- Collagen & other fillers
- Photodynamic Therapy
Some of the cosmetic uses for these lasers & procedures are:
- Acne scarring – Subcision, Restylane, Collagen, Fraxel, CO2, Dermal grafts
- Broken capillaries & redness – IPL, KTP
- Brown spots/age spots – Fraxel, YAG, IPL, Chemical Peels, CO2
- In-grown hair(folliculitis) – Sheer Laser
- Sweaty palms & underarms – Botox
- Tattoo removal – YAG
- Unwanted hair – Sheer Laser
- Varicose leg veins – Diomed EVLT
- Spider veins – Sclerotherapy
- Wrinkles & aging skin – Fraxel, Botox, Restylane, IPL, C02, Dermabrasion, Chemical peels, PDT, Collagen
- Body Contouring – Luminis
- Lips – Restylane, Collagen & other fillers