Fighting Sun Damage in the Sunshine State
02/26/2016 11:28AM ● Published by Nancy Babin
Gallery: Florida sun - enjoy but protect yourself! [2 Images] Click any image to expand.
Fighting Sun Damage in the Sunshine State: It's Not a Losing Battle
Whether you're a lifelong resident of Florida or a newcomer lured by low-maintenance living, you may have already experienced what too much fun in the sun can do to your skin. If you're seeing spots (or laxity, blotchiness, or rough texture), you've got a lot of options beyond just hitting the cosmetics counter. Instead of just covering up your concerns, consider some of these ways to treat them at the source:
Peels tend to be a common introduction to the world of clinical skincare for a lot of people. During a peel, an aesthetician applies a blend of ingredients — often alpha-hydroxy acids and other familiar materials — that penetrate the skin to encourage cell turnover. Depending on the intensity of the peel, the treated skin may slough away over the course of several days, revealing fresh, radiant skin beneath. Different chemical peels generate different results, and only a dermatologist, aesthetician, or other skincare professional can determine which is right for you. While some peels are available for home use, more powerful peels are safest and most effective in the hands of an experienced professional.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Yes, it has "intense" in the name, but that's no reason to shy away from IPL. This approach is actually quite gentle, using pulses of broadband light to break up irregular pigment. Some people describe the procedure as creating a "prickly" or "tingly" sensation on the skin, but the feeling is not painful. Areas of hyperpigmentation (dark spots) in the skin absorb the light, which breaks the pigment into very small particles that are then flushed away by the body. The result is a more even complexion without those telltale age spots. Keep in mind, however, that IPL usually requires a series of multiple treatments in order to achieve the best results.
Laser resurfacing is a bit different from IPL, but the idea is the same. Powerful, directed light energy is administered to the skin, improving its overall quality. Lasers for the skin come in many versions to suit a variety of skin concerns, from general skin enhancement to more intense resurfacing that can treat significant sun damage. Guided laser energy works by stimulating skin to heal itself, generating an excess of soft, resilient collagen that improves both the texture and firmness of skin. Resurfacing treatments, as their name implies, cause the damaged top layers of skin to slough away.
Facelift surgery is often the best option for treating significant sun damage, especially when it manifests as skin sagginess and laxity. Today's facelift surgery doesn't rely on stretching and pulling skin taut as old approaches did. Instead, people in cities like Fort Walton Beach and Panama City who are thinking of going the plastic surgery route can get results that are significant and still natural looking from the doctors at Destin Plastic Surgery. According to their website, these doctors use a technique called the SMAS facelift, or "deep plane" facelift. This technique targets the underlying muscles and other supportive structures of the face, elevating them to their younger positions for an improvement that goes deeper than just the skin. This results in an impressive improvement that respects the unique structures of the patient's face and doesn't look overly stretched. Although a facelift is typically more expensive and requires more downtime than non-surgical treatments, the results really can't be matched.