There is no doubt that spending time soaking up the sunshine with family and friends is the perfect way to pass time during the summer. However, the exposure to UV radiation damages our skin barrier, and can lead to several undesirable effects. Luckily, there are several treatments that can be done both at home and in the office to remedy the damage.
Hyperpigmentation, or an increase in pigment in the skin, can present in many ways. The highest risk factor for increasing pigment in the skin is exposure to sunlight. This is why several conditions related to hyperpigmentation tend to be aggravated over the summer. A few examples include sun spots, freckles, melasma, and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). While certain types of pigmentation such as PIH can possibly fade over a prolonged period of time, others are not so easy to get rid of. The most important step in your skin care routine is to prevent worsening of hyperpigmentation. This can be achieved by applying sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 30. Unfortunately, applying sunscreen once daily is not enough, and it is important to reapply several times throughout the day. This is a vital step in your routine (for so many reasons) and sets up a great foundation. So what’s next? Addressing the hyperpigmentation through a variety of treatments to fade pigment. Options include both prescription and non-prescription topical creams/serums, lasers (i.e. Fraxel, Permea, Pico-toning), and other procedures.
Erythema, or redness, in the skin can be a result of several different factors including chronic sun damage, tiny blood vessels (telangiectasias), birthmarks, rosacea, or irritants to name a few. Regardless of the underlying condition, UV radiation not only leads to cellular damage leading to erythema, but also contributes to its exacerbation. Again, the most important step is prevention through applying (and reapplying) sunscreen. The use of photo-protective clothing and hats is also important for added protection. Additionally, there are topical agents that work through various mechanisms to improve the appearance of erythema. But how can we treat the discoloration and blotchy appearance that results from erythema? Once the underlying cause of erythema is identified by your provider, the best treatments to reduce erythema are laser and light treatments. This is because the technology of these treatments target blood vessels and the cellular components that contribute to erythema.
Premature Aging and Dryness
Exposure to UV rays can lead to dehydration through direct damage to skin cells. This damage can also result in the production of free radicals which breaks down elastin in the skin and causes wrinkles. Aside from (you guessed it) sunscreen, it is important to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. The change in weather to cooler temperatures is also a great reason to optimize your skin care routine. A few key ingredients to look out for to tackle dry skin include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, and many more! These products can be applied topically via creams/serums or through assisted delivery (i.e. microneedling) to penetrate the skin barrier. There are also procedures and injectables that target boosting your own elastin and collagen to replenish lost volume.
While navigating ingredients and treatment options can be overwhelming, we have trained medical professionals and aestheticians who are devoted to creating the perfect treatment regimen for you!