We may love the sun and its warmth, but the sun, unfortunately, is the main cause of damage to our skin. From wrinkles to dark spots, spending too much time outside can cause UV rays to speed up the aging process that we try so desperately to avoid. On the bright side, there are various treatments and procedures that you can undergo to prevent and reduce signs of sun damage.
“In a medical esthetics practice, our patient base usually hast two primary goals–prevention and correction,” says Paul Stanislaw, Ph.D., and founder of Stanislaw Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Avon, CT. “Some patients are seeking out services to slow down the signs of aging, while others are looking to reverse what’s already set into motion.”
While a proponent of non-invasive treatments, Stanislaw also warns that not all solutions and procedures are created equal. Studies have found that up to 10 percent of all drugs–including anti-aging solutions and skin fillers–are counterfeit. The FDA doesn’t fully regulate cosmetic products, meaning that solutions and fillers found online or outside of board-certified medical centers put patients at risk of scarring, deformity, and in extreme cases, death. In the beginning of March, beauty superstore Ulta was sued for claims of repackaging returned cosmetics and claiming that it was new. It is situations like these that inspired Stanislaw to provide safe, non-invasive procedures that are proven to be successful.
Stanislaw suggests trying one of the non-invasive treatments below to reverse signs of aging before the summer starts to put your best skin forward:
- Try a chemical peel, one of the least invasive skin procedures to undergo. It treats uneven skin tones, wrinkles, spots or scars caused by acne, aging, and sun exposure. It has also had success with combating facial and back acne making it a great choice for both teens and adults.
- There’s also a Retin-A, which aims to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It addresses hyper-pigmentation by accelerating cellular turnover, and also is known to convert pre-cancerous skin cells to normal skin cells. It comes in non-prescription and prescription strengths under a variety of names, such as Tretinoin, Retinol, Renova, Avage, and Tazorac.
- IPL (Intense Pulse Light) is another option to choose. It is a form of laser light therapy and uses heat to destroy visible blood vessels and lesions on the skin. There are four broadband filters that can be applied to the laser to target specific areas, such as acne, brown spots, red spots, and rosacea. The procedure allows the you to repeat it at specific intervals until a desired appearance is gained.
- CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy), also known as micro-needling, is another FDA approved method that patients can do. Microneedles penetrate the skins surface creating a tiny wound that is not noticeable to the naked eye. This stimulates the natural healing process and causes fibroblasts to produce more collagen in the skin. Overall, it tightens and restores the skin making it look healthy and new.
While each of these treatments are certain to reduce sun damage and signs of aging, it's important to check with your doctor the recovery time for each treatment. Most of the aforementioned treatments require the avoidance of sun for some time, so be sure to get them done well before you head to the beach, and be sure to wear sunscreen when you're spending time outdoors.
“There is no one right skin-rejuvenating treatment for everyone at any age,” says Stanislaw. “When administered by a medically board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon, these treatments can enhance quality of life without risk. The key is seeking treatments from medical professionals with extensive knowledge of the regulated and proven solutions, and how these products will interact with your skin.”