How we treat sun damage

Cutaneous signs of sun damaged skin become visible from as early as the twenties, especially with excessive sun or environmental exposure. However, between the ages of 35 to 49 years there is a sharp increase in prevalence of skin changes clearly ascribable to photo-aging, such as pigmented spots, fine lines and wrinkles (particularly around the eyes and mouth). Characteristics of facial sun damaged skin include fine and coarse wrinkle formation, pigmentation changes, sallow colour, dry texture, loss of elasticity, loss of skin tone, sagging subcutaneous tissues, and volume loss in the face.

Sun damaged skin is associated with a range of cosmetic concerns – from pigmentation problems and splotchy skin to redness due to enlarged vessels or capillaries, all of which cause discoloration of the skin. Photo-aging caused by ultraviolet light exposure, tends to act more on the surface of the skin. This is what causes sun freckles, irregular pigmentation, and dilated blood vessels (often referred to as “broken” blood vessels) that lead to an overall uneven tone and discoloration.

How does sun exposure age our skin?

The skin ages when the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) begins to thin, causing the junction with the dermis (outer layer) to flatten. Sun damaged skin has a thicker epidermis, which is “dead” and irregular. There is increased water loss from the skin and a decrease of the sebaceous glands, which provides natural moisture to the skin. More abnormal cells accumulate in aged skin, especially if there is chronic sun damage, which can lead to pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. Collagen decreases as we age and the bundles of collagen, which gives the skin turgor, become looser and lose strength.

People with fair skin who have a history of sun exposure typically develop more signs of sun damage than those individuals with darker skin.

The degree of sun damage as classified by Glogau:

1. Mild (age 28-35 years): Few wrinkles, no actinic keratosis (tender red dry spots), requires little or no make-up.

2. Moderate (age 35-50 years): Early wrinkling, sallow complexion with early actinic keratosis( tender red dry spots), requires little make-up.

3. Advanced (age 50-60 years): Persistent wrinkling, discoloration of the skin with telangiectasia and actinic keratosis( tender red dry spots), always wears make-up.

4. Severe (age 65-70 years): Severe wrinkling, photo ageing, gravitational and dynamic forces affecting skin, actinic keratosis ( tender red dry spots) with or without skin cancer, wears makeup with poor coverage.

How we treat the concerns resulting from sun damage:

Forever Young broad band light therapy:

Forever Young BBL is an innovative treatment that treats the signs of aging now and “stops the clock” on facial aging. The treatment uses photothermal energy to eliminate physical signs of aging (including red and brown discoloration in the skin). This therapy has been shown to actually change the expression of DNA at the cellular level of the skin, making the skin cells act decades younger. This process helps restore the skin to its natural, youthful state without any harsh chemicals or downtime.  For more information about Forever Young BBL, click here.

IPL/BBL Photorejuventation:

Photorejuvenation utilizes the power of pulsed light to deliver excellent and rejuvenating results by gently heating the upper layers of the skin. The photothermal energy targets and eliminates many of the fine vessels that cause redness and the unwanted melanin responsible age spots. Photorejuvenation is effective at treating rosacea, broken capillaries, freckles, age spots, and sun damaged skin for a healthier and younger complexion. For more information about IPL photorejuvenation, click here.

Chemical Peels:

-Lactic Acid Peel: a thorough exfoliator, this peel removes the outer layers of thickened or damaged skin leaving a smoother and healthier appearance. Lactic Acid has been found to be beneficial in improving dry skin, treating age spots, improving oily and acne prone skin and decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. Recommended for patients with sensitive skin.

-Salicylic Acid Peel: Works by gently removing old cells from the skin allowing it to be replaced with healthy skin. Benefits of this peel include collagen production and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (May cause visible peeling for up to 3 days.)

-Glycolic Acid Peel reduces the amount of surface skin oil, which aids in the removal of blackheads and other impurities. This peel allows dead cells to gradually be removed, leaving behind a layer of healthy smooth skin.

-CPRX: A deep rejuvenating TCA peel for deep exfoliation and correction of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, and acne scars.

ProFractional Therapy:

ProFractional Therapy goes deep into the dermis to stimulate new collagen growth, dramatically improving the skin’s tone, texture, fine lines, deeper wrinkles, and the appearance of scars. This treatment requires a few days of social downtime, depending on the depth of the treatment, and full results can be seen in 6 months. For more information, click here.

NEW! Halo Hybrid Laser from Sciton

Sciton’s Halo is an innovative, hybrid fractional laser; it is the only one of its kind available to patients today. Using concentrated laser energy, the Halo gently creates microscopic ‘holes’ in the surface of the skin. As the tissues heal, glowing, new skin appears. This mild injury to the skin encourages the body’s natural collagen production, continuing to improve the appearance over the months to come. Benefits of the Halo Fractional Laser:

  • Improves the skin’s tone and laxity
  • Smooth’s and softens skin texture
  • Addresses sun damaged areas
  • Smoothes and softens the skin’s texture
  • Eliminates epidermal dark spots
  • Diminishes the look of large pores
  • Eases fine lines and wrinkles
  • Requires less downtime than similar laser treatments
  • The laser energy level can be adjusted for each individual patient

Find out more about Halo, currently ONLY available in the state at our facility, by clicking here.

MicroLaser Peel

A MicroLaser Peel utilizes a scanning erbium laser to remove the outer layers of your skin in a safe and precise manner. After professional skin evaluation, we will choose the depth of the peel based on your specific skin and how much downtime you can tolerate. We can perform MicroLaser Peels in various levels from very gentle to very aggressive. This MicroLaser Peel can be used on the full face, neck, chest, hands, etc. We can also treat smaller areas of need such as the eyes and mouth without the risk of changing the color of your skin. This was not possible with earlier laser technology.