Aging & Sun Damage
There are two primary factors that cause skin to age:
- The natural aging process – The natural aging process generally produces lines and wrinkles, age spots, splotches and pigmentation problems, broken capillaries, dull skin texture and color, and other skin flaws.
- Damage from the sun – Sun damage compounds the aging process. Ultraviolet light from the sun penetrates all the layers of skin, including those that fortify it and lend it resilience.
Anti-aging creams and topical products only treat the milder symptoms of aging, such as damage to the skin’s uppermost layers.
It may also cause other skin problems. The sun ultraviolet (invisible) rays cause most of the damage to your skin. These invisible rays known as ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B can tan, burn, and damage your skin. These rays are more intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in regions that are closer to the equator. The state of Florida receives 150% more harmful UV rays than Maine.
If your skin is exposed to sunlight too long, redness may develop and increase for up to 24 hours. Severe sunburn can cause skin tenderness, pain, swelling, and blistering. Additional symptoms like fever, chills, upset stomach, and confusion indicate serious sunburn and require immediate medical attention. If you develop a fever as a result of sunburn, it is recommended that you see a dermatologist.
Unfortunately, there is no quick cure for minor sunburn. However, aloe vera gel, wet compresses, cool baths, and lotions may provide some relief. In more severe cases, Dr. Abrams can prescribe medicine to help reduce swelling, pain, and prevent infection. Prevention is the key to protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
The following guidelines are recommended by our office and the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on all exposed skin (including the lips) even on cloudy days.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours when outdoors, and more frequently if swimming or perspiring heavily.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Take advantage of the shade whenever possible.
- Plan outdoor activities earlier than 10 a.m. or later than 4 p.m. when possible.
By using common sense and taking the above precautions, you can enjoy the sunny days without worrying about skin cancer or wrinkles. Sun protective products are available at our office or in the products section of this web site. Protect your skin
- Protect your skin from the sun. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and seek shade when outdoors.
- Shave carefully. Use a cream, lotion or gel to protect and lubricate the skin. Pat dry after bathing to allow some moisture to remain in your skin, and apply a moisturizer that works for your skin type.
- Eat a healthy diet. Make sure it includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
- Make sure you get a full night’s sleep. Avoid stress. Try exercising, meditating or other forms of relaxing to help stay stress-free.
- Yearly skin exam. Make sure to get check by a dermatologist on a yearly basis. If you notice any mole changing color, shape or anything suspicious, schedule an appointment to get it check as soon as possible.
- Over-cleanse. Avoid taking long hot showers or baths, which remove essential oils from the skin. Likewise, try to stay away from strong soaps and harsh cleansers.
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Put your skin at risk. Avoid coming into contact with strong chemicals or toxins.
We offer a variety of the best and latest techniques, and can evaluate and select the best treatment choice based on your individual needs.
Brown Spots and Skin Discoloration
Pigmentation problems, such as brown spots or splotchy skin, are due to many reasons and can occur in all skin types. A variety of effective skin-lightening methods are available over the counter and as prescription. Depending on the severity and extent of the pigmentation problem, our providers can tailor a patient’s treatment based on his or her individual skin tone, and the treatment may include a single therapy or a combination of one to two therapies.
The main cause of dark spots is sun damage. Years of sun exposure can result in hyperpigmentation, a condition marked by increased pigment production that results in patchy skin color or a blotchy complexion. The extent of sun damage depends largely on a person’s skin color and his or her history of long-term or intense sun exposure.
- Dark spots from early sun damage. We commonly recommend topical hydroquinone or retinol (an over-the-counter form of vitamin A) as the treatment of choice.
- When topical therapy fails, superficial chemical peels containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid may be used in combination with topical therapies to enhance results and improve the skin’s appearance.
- CO2 Fractional Laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices and Q-switched lasers also may be used alone or in combination with topical therapies to selectively target dark spots.
- Daily sun protection with a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays and has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater is essential in preventing further sun damage and resulting dark spots.
Hyper-pigmentation Clarifying Aesthetic Treatments
Microdermabrasion Face or Face, neck, and chest
This skin-refreshing technique repairs the skin as it diminishes sun damage, brown spots, fine lines, & enlarged pores. It is a mechanical exfoliation that removes the uppermost layer of dead skin cells from the face and improves the overall texture & appearance of the skin. Read more about Microdermabrasion
PCA Skin Jessner’ Peel
Jessner’s peel is a blend of 3 acids that help to lighten brown spits, soften fine lines and wrinkles, even out the texture and tone of the skin and even reduce breakouts. Read more about Chemical Peels
Demaplaning addresses sun-damaged, dehydrated, rough textured skin. It is a physical exfoliation of the outermost layers of skin that rids of dead skin cells, impurities and debris leaving the skin smooth, soft and glowing. Ideal as it allows optimum product penetration and removes “peach fuzz”. Read more about Dermaplaning