Facial aging happens, whether we like it or not! Genetics, sun exposure, smoking and harsh weather are major forces that are responsible for facial aging. There are several causes of facial aging: laxity of the muscles, loosening of the skin, wrinkles, uneven pigment/tone, texture changes including thinning of the skin and dullness of the complexion. But how can we slow down the process or repair the damage? Maintaining a good daily skin care routine is a good start. One’s basic daily routine should include a skin cleanser, moisturizers and most importantly, SUNSCREEN.
Why should we wear sun screen?
Sun exposure causes freckles, irregular pigmentation and can also cause pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions. Ultraviolet or UV rays are invisible energy that comes from the sun. There are two types of damaging UV radiation: UVA and UVB. UVA (aging) rays account for 95% of our sun exposure. These cause skin aging and contribute to skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin layers, damaging collagen and cells which leads to wrinkling, loss of elasticity and hyperpigmentation. UVB (burning) rays usually affect the outer layer of the skin. They can cause tanning and sunburns that increase the risk of skin cancer and other issues. If you’ve had five or more sunburns, your risk of skin cancer doubles. Some sunscreens (Broad-Spectrum SPF) protect us from both of these UV rays. EltaMD sunscreens which are sold at Dermatology and Plastic Surgery of Arizona, provide safe, broad-spectrum UV protection in a natural zinc-based formulation. All EltaMD sunscreens are non-comedogenic, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and fragrance-free.
How can products prevent facial aging?
Revision Skin Care products enhance the skin’s appearance and reduces signs of aging. Intellishade Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 is a tinted moisturizer that gives your skin a healthy color and evens out skin tone. It naturally blends in with the color of your skin while protecting against UVA and UVB rays. Intellishade also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with continued use.
Patients with sun damaged skin can also use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid. Bleaching agents such as hydroquinone can benefit patients with irregular pigmentation. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is a huge benefit to patients because it increases the thickness and health of the skin to treat fine lines and wrinkles.
Patients with excess sun exposure may also experience rough, scaly spots on the skin which may be Actinic Keratosis or pre-skin cancers. These can be treated by freezing with liquid nitrogen, PDT (Photodynamic Therapy) treatments or topical creams. PDT is a treatment that uses Levulan Kerastick along with light to kill precancerous and cancerous cells such as Actinic Keratosis. This treatment is often covered by your health insurance for the face and scalp.
How to treat pre-existing wrinkles?
As skin ages, it loses its elasticity and skin tone. This leads to wrinkles. Chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing are highly recommended to improve skin tone, texture, wrinkles and irregular pigmentation. These remove the sun damaged outer layers of the skin. As the surface skin heals, a healthier and thicker outer skin layer develops and new collagen (skin protein) forms in the deeper layers of the skin. Some fine lines can be treated by Botox or fillers like Juvederm. Wrinkles of the forehead, between the eyes (Glabella) and crow’s feet respond well to Botox. Smile lines, chin lines and marionette lines can be softened by Juvederm. Newer products like Voluma can replace the apples of the cheek or mid-face and lower eye hollowing. Fat deposition under the chin and loose skin, “turkey neck”, can be treated with liposuction of the neck, a neck lift or both a face and neck lift. Skin-care products like Revision Skin Care’s Nectifirm firm the neck and creates a smoother, younger-looking neck. It also lessens the look of fine lines and wrinkles and rough, crepey skin.
As we continue to age, the upper eye skin can become loose and bothersome. The eyes are the focus of the face and a great introduction to facial rejuvenation. This can be smoothed with surgery (blepharoplasty) which removes excess fat and skin from the upper eyelid. Under eye bags are caused by too much volume or the weakening of tissues over fat. This too can also be corrected with a lower blepharoplasty. Under eye hollows are caused by fat or volume loss. Fillers such as Juvederm or Voluma increase the volume under the eyes for a fuller look. Specialized eye creams and gels like Revision Skin Care’s DEJ or EltaMD Eye Gel can soften fine lines, plump thin skin, correct dark circle and tighten loose skin.
There are various treatments available to our patients, but they depend on things such as the degree of sun damage, your natural skin type, your expectations and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to recovery. Drs. Jamie Moenster and Christopher Weyer and Certified Physician Assistant Kyle Koski at Dermatology and Plastic Surgery of Arizona take their time to listen to your questions and needs. We are here to help customize a treatment plan for you.
To learn more about Revision Skin Care products to combat facial aging, or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Moenster or Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Weye, please fill out the form on this page. You can call our Tucson location at 520-207-3100 or our Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787. We look forward to seeing you soon!