Contrary to popular belief, sunburns alone aren’t the cause of skin damage. There an immediate sign that you’re hurting yourself and a warning to get out of this. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that heat up your skin, cooking the collagen and elastin. UVB rays are short rays that damage the skin’s surface, resulting in redness and burning. UVA rays are long rays that penetrate deep into the skin, weakening collagen and resulting in wrinkles, uneven skin tone, redness, dryness, and other signs of aging. There are many ways to lessen the effects of sun damage. The Medical Spa at PRO Sports Club offers many possible solutions to reverse the damage our skin accumulates over the summer.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
UNEVEN SKIN: UV excites malanocytes (cells that give our skin color), resulting in increased brown spots.
Treatment: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Vitalize Peel, Vi Peel, Vitamin A (aka: Retin-A/Tretin-X), Fraxel®, and Active FX Fractionated Resurfacing.
REDNESS: UV exposure causes broken capillaries and may lead to rosacea.
Treatment: IPL, Skin Medica Essential Serum, and mineral makeup.
FINE LINES AND WRINKLES: Time and UV damage collagen and elastin, causing skin to sag and crease.
Treatment: IPL, chemical peels, Deep FX Fraxel®, Fractional Resurfacing, and Vitamin A.
LARGE PORES: Collagen loss enlarges pores.
Treatment: IPL, chemical peels, Fraxel®, Fractional Resurfacing, and Vitamin A.
THICK SKIN: The body tried to protect itself, so skin end up leathery.
Treatment: Exfoliants and chemical peels, Fraxel®, Fractional Resurfacing, and Vitamin A.
DULLNESS: Damaged skin is more dry and flaky.
Treatment: Exfoliants and chemical peels, Fraxel®, Vitamin A, antioxidants, Skin Medica Essential Serum.
Chemical Peels (Vitalize Peel, Vi Peel, TCA Peels) use a variety of different acids to remove dried, dull skin, even out skin tone, and reduce pore size. Downtime and frequency differ with each peel, ranging from little to no downtime.
Cost: $150 to $800 depending on the strength.
What to expect: Spots are lighter but still visible. Pores look tighter. Skin glows.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lessens dark spots, redness, and premature wrinkling. IPL does not break the surface of the skin, therefore, make up can be applied immediately after.
Cost: $500 or more per treatment. Depending on severity, 2 to 6 sessions are needed.
What you can expect: IPL feels like a rubber band snapped (minus the sting after), skin looks noticeably smoother and more even in color, even in just one treatment. Maintenance is necessary to retain results.
Fraxel® re:store treatment is the gold standard for quickly and rejuvenating your skin and correcting acne scars and other imperfections – all without impacting your daily routine. Fraxel re:store treatment has FDA clearance for wrinkles, acne and surgical scars, age spots, and skin resurfacing. Even some melasma has been improved with Fraxel® .
What you can expect: Treated areas feel like a sunburn, skin then sloughs off in 3 to 10 days. Results vary and there is a risk of discoloration, so strict SPF is required.
Q- Switched Lasers lighten or move brown spots (as well as tattoos) without scarring. Cost: $300-$1000, depending on the size of the area treated. Brown spots require 1-2 sessions, whereas tattoo treatments vary on color and depth.
What to expect: Area will darken for a week with a mild crust that falls off, leaving little to no discoloration. Brown spots will reappear if you do not wear sunscreen.
To keep in mind: The effects of these in office treatments last longer for some people than others. Length varies depending on the severity of your skin damage and your lifestyle (how well do you protect your skin from the sun).
HOW TO TREAT YOUR SKIN AT HOME
Exfoliants, skin care repair creams, and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) can slow the clock by helping illuminate dull, flaky skin (a normal sign of aging that appears greatly intensified after UV exposure).
Vitamin A cream’s increase cell turnover and can stimulate collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic-acid production. Skin appears “plumper” and softer. Skin Medica’s TNS Essential Serum™ combines the higher number of growth factors in any one topical product with a potent mixture of antioxidants, peptides, and other innovative anti-aging ingredients. Together these products work synergistically to transform and regenerate your skin for a more youthful appearance. Vitamin C can brighten skin and helps counteract UV damage which also helps to lessen brown spots
PREVENT FUTURE DAMAGE
Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: Look for sunblock that protects weekends both UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients like next-door right now and haole a little likes look for sunblock that protects weekends both UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients like mexoryl and helioplex offer longer-lasting UVA protection. Sunblocks are stronger than sunscreens.
Mineral SPF: Minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc offer immediate sun protection and create a sheer physical block against the sun. Minerals also reflect light which can help keep your skin cooler, so your face gets less red and appears more radiant. Try ColorScience Powder in SPF 30.
Antioxidants: For extra protection, apply an antioxidant serum before sunscreen. Antioxidants can prevent and reverse sun damage. Vitamin C, Skin Medica’s TNS Essential Serum™, and green tea are among the most effective and proven to shield skin from harmful rays.
Originally From PRO Pulse September-October 2009
By Staci Sakariassen