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Thomas P. Sterry, MD

Summer Sun Damage Recovery

How To Remove Summer Sun Damage

How To Clear Up Sun Damaged Skin

A nice tan can make your skin glow in the summertime, but as the golden color fades our skin is left a little more damaged and we enter fall looking a little older than last year.  As we age, these factors take an increasingly greater toll on our skin, and the effects are especially noticeable on our faces.

That’s why fall is a good time to assess your current skin care regimen. As temperatures drop and the air becomes drier, your skin naturally loses more moisture, especially when the central heat kicks on.

As the days grow shorter, more and more patients come to my office with concerns about looking older and they aren’t quite sure why.  They want to try botox and juvederm to fix the problems, but they don’t seem to realize that the problem is not with their facial structure, it’s with their facial cover.  They present with dry, wrinkled, uneven and sun-damaged skin. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take—and simple procedures available—to protect your skin, correct issues resulting from summer damage, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The following products and procedures will help boost your skin’s health and appearance and carry you with confidence into the winter months.

Problem: Uneven Skin Tone & Discoloration

This is a fairly common problem that is often exacerbated by summer elements. Dark spots and freckles from too much sun and even hyperpigmentation caused by hormones or aging can leave your skin looking lackluster and uneven.  Translation: you look older.

Try This:

Perhaps the best anti aging products available today are those that contain some kind of retinoid.  This is a class of vitamin A derivatives that really do help to improve the appearance of your skin.  They can even out skin tones, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and are clinically proven to thicken the dermis making patients look younger.  Different strengths are available and you can certainly start with an over the counter brand of your choosing, but for more profound results prescription strength creams are available.

You can also treat mild cases at home by using facial cleansers and creams containing miniscule “grains” to exfoliate and mimic the effects of microdermabrasion. Look for glycolic acid in cleansers and peels to help smooth out your complexion.

You might also consider an IPL Photofacial. This virtually painless, non-invasive treatment addresses a variety of skin issues from sun damage and uneven skin tone to hyperpigmentation.  The limiting issue here is that darker skin types may not be as suitable for IPL treatments as lighter skin individuals.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation is a very effective procedure for evening out skin tone and reducing signs of sun damage such as brown spots and freckles. The treatment takes about 20 minutes and is performed in your surgeon’s office. Most patients typically see the greatest results after three laser treatment sessions.

Problem:  Flaky Skin 

The combination of summer elements and autumn air can leave your skin flaky and your entire face dull and dry.

Try This:

  • ● This is a good time to switch to a cream-based cleanser with gentle exfoliants to help your skin slough off dead cells.
  • ● Use a rich, hydrating skin cream that contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and/or retinoids to help improve skin’s texture.

Unlike ablative facial procedures that remove the top layer of skin and result in swelling, oozing skin that requires a long recovery period, IPL photofacial treatments cause no visible disruption to the skin’s outer layer. This means little to no recovery time and less pain. IPL photofacial treatments are performed in the office in under 30 minutes and require no anesthesia.

Problem: Dry, Sunken Appearance

A combination of aging, sun exposure and lack of hydration can result in dry skin that makes fine lines, wrinkles and other imperfections more noticeable. Over time, the skin tends to visibly lack fullness and elasticity.

Try This:

Start by switching from a lotion to a rich, hydrating cream. Creams contain a higher oil content and will help provide hydration and retain moisture in the skin’s outer layer.

  • ● Look for skin creams containing phytoestrogens which can help your skin retain moisture.
  • ● Anti-aging serums containing peptides help stimulate your skin cells to increase collagen production, resulting in slightly more elastic skin.

While over-the-counter products are great for maintenance and fine for minor issues, injectable dermal fillers offer a more intensive treatment. There are quite a few options available, some more effective than others and each offering a slightly different result.

  • JUVÉDERM® is an injectable filler that smooths out wrinkles and facial folds. Patients typically enjoy results for up to a full year with just a single treatment.
  • RADIESSE® is a dermal filler that smooths out fine lines, adds dimension and fullness to skin, and helps smooth acne scars.
  • VOLUMA® is the newest injectable filler on the market that adds fullness to areas of the face and temples that have lost volume, sunken cheeks, and deep wrinkles. Results last for up to two years.

All of these non-surgical procedures have short recovery times and very noticeable results. Your surgeon can go over the best options to help you achieve your specific goals.

If you are in the Manhattan area and would like to schedule a consultation, contact me today at (212) 249-4020.

 

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Dr. Thomas P. Sterry

Thomas Sterry, MD, is a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience. At his inviting, boutique-style practice in Manhattan, he focuses on each patient's unique needs and aesthetic goals so that he can provide the most attractive and natural-looking outcomes possible.

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