After years of exposure to the sun and the stresses of daily living, your skin may not be as smooth and supple as it once was. Laugh lines may be etched around the corners of your mouth or age spots may be popping up on your face and hands. Luckily, you don’t have to take these signs of aging lying down. Today, there are a wide variety of treatments you can choose from to help eliminate skin damage.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Also known as ascorbic acid, alpha hydroxy acid is used to improve oily skin, prevent acne, and help slough off dead skin cells, making your face look more radiant. You’ll find alpha hydroxy acid in many over-the-counter skin care products that can be used in your home.
Chemical peeling is a technique used to treat fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, as well as age spots, sun-damaged skin, mild scarring, freckles, and skin discoloration. In this treatment, the physician applies a chemical solution to small areas of the skin, which causes it to blister and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. During a peel, patients may experience a warm or hot sensation for about 5 to 10 minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the procedure.
Facials Deep-cleansing facials are used to unclog pores, control oil, reduce blemishes, and normalize the skin. During this treatment, usually administered at spas and salons, the face is cleansed and gently exfoliated to remove dull surface skin cells. Moist steam is directed towards the skin to unclog pores and clear blemishes. The face is usually massaged and then treated with a mask to stimulate circulation and revitalize skin tissue.
Laser treatments work by applying intense heat or light to vaporize skin tissue and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, and blemishes. During this relatively painless procedure, the dermatologist uses a wand-like handpiece to zap the skin. There are several different types of laser methods, including:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers – Are the latest invention in laser technology. This type of laser delivers short bursts of extremely high-energy light to the skin and vaporizes the tissue one layer at a time.
Erbium (ER) Lasers – Penetrate the skin, scattering the light’s heat through water molecules in the body. This type of laser treatment is commonly used on patients who have superficial to moderate facial wrinkles, mild surface scars, or splotchy skin discolorations.
Non-ablative Lasers – Work beneath the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen growth and tighten underlying skin. This technique improves skin tone, removes fine lines, and repairs mild to moderate skin damage.
This resurfacing technique is used to treat age spots, skin lesions, wrinkles, sun damage, and tattoos. During the dermabrasion procedure, the surgeon freezes the patient’s skin with a special spray, then removes or “sands” the skin with a machine that has a high-speed abrasive wheel or brush. Anesthesia may be given to the patient prior to surgery.
With this technique, doctors use a vacuum device to deliver a pressurized stream of fine, sand-like aluminum oxide crystals that exfoliate the skin. The vacuum then sucks up the dead skin cells, which helps smooth fine lines and eliminate age spots. The procedure is noninvasive and lasts about 30 minutes. Microdermabrasion is provided in a series of five sessions, given at one- to two-week intervals.
It can help turn back the clock on your skin’s appearance. It may not stop the clock, but dermatology can sure help restore your skin to a healthier and younger looking appearance. Most of these dermatology procedures require a minimum amount of time and involves a minimal amount of pain. In fact some of the procedures, such as Botox® injections and Collagen treatments, only take a matter of minutes. So patients can go see their dermatologist during their lunch break, and come back looking much better.