We all want to achieve a healthy tan. It makes us look and feel better, but that bronzed glow may not be as healthy as you think. A tan is your skin’s reaction to ultraviolet (UV) light. This darkening of the skin cells is the skin's natural defense against further damage from UV radiation.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), nearly 28 million people tan in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Many people believe the UV rays of tanning beds are harmless, but this is far from true. Tanning beds emit UVA and usually UVB rays as well. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause long-term skin damage and premature aging (i.e. wrinkles, spots and sagging skin), and can contribute to skin cancer.
The AAD states that the risk of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—is 75% higher among people who used tanning beds in their teens and 20s. Despite the known risks associated with indoor tanning these numbers continue to increase, as do the incidences of cancer.
Visit your dermatologist immediately if you detect any unusual changes in your skin’s appearance, such as:
- A change or an increase in the size or thickness of a mole or spot
- Change in color or texture of the mole
- Irregularity in the border of a mole
Protecting yourself from UV exposure is the best defense against premature aging and skin cancer. In addition to avoiding indoor tanning beds, you should also always wear sunscreen outdoors to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Remember to self-examine your own skin as well as have your skin checked regularly by your dermatologist.
Whether you acquire your tan from the beach or a lamp, it’s not safe and it’s not healthy. If you’re a regular tanner, it may be time to rethink your current stance on the standards of beauty. There are safe alternatives to a bronzed glow without risking your health.
If you’re bothered by fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring or an uneven skin tone, or if you are looking for a simple way to rejuvenate your skin, chemical peels may be a good option for you.
A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure performed by your dermatologist. This in-office treatment involves applying an acid solution to remove damaged outer layers of skin, erasing imperfections and improving skin tone and texture. As the old, outer layer of skin is exfoliated and removed, it stimulates the growth of new, healthy skin cells that are smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
This time-tested, non-invasive procedure is quick—in most cases less than an hour—and yields fast results. It can drastically improve the appearance of skin marked by wrinkles, scars and other signs of aging or sun damage.
Chemical peels can improve the appearance of:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Uneven skin pigmentation
- Acne scarring
- Sun-damaged skin
- Age spots
Chemical peels can be applied to many parts of the body including the face, neck, chest and hands and are available in several different strengths. Our office can help you determine the type of chemical used depending on your skin type and desired results. The best candidate for a chemical peel is a person with fair skin and light hair, although darker skin types can also achieve good results depending on their specific problem and treatment goals.
How many treatments are necessary depends on the severity of skin damage and the patient’s goals. With each treatment, scarring and other imperfections typically diminish more and more.
At your dermatologist's office, we can help you achieve your most radiant, youthful skin. Visit to learn more about cosmetic dermatology and to find out if you are a candidate for chemical peels.
While the face may be the first to show signs of aging, a person’s hands can make someone appear older than they feel. In a person’s lifetime, the hands are exposed to sunlight, extreme temperatures and a lot of wear and tear. It’s no wonder the skin on our hands becomes thinner, develops wrinkles and sun spots and loses its radiance over time.
The good news is that you can reduce signs of aging on your hands with improved care at home and the help of your dermatologist.
Basic tips for improved hand care include:
- Keep your hands moisturized. Dry, cracked hands appear dull and older. Applying a cream periodically throughout the day will give your hands a healthy glow and a more youthful appearance.
- Protect your hands from the sun. The back of the hands are extremely vulnerable to UV damage because they are almost always exposed to sun light. Take extra precautions by applying sunscreen.
- Wear gloves. Do this during household chores or yard work to protect your hands. Also wear gloves in the winter to protect hands from cold, harsh temperatures.
- Avoid frequent hand washing. When you do wash, use a mild soap with warm water.
In some cases, a dermatologist may recommend rejuvenation techniques that have long been successful in treating the face.These procedures add volume to the hand and remove discoloration, wrinkles and damage to reverse telltale signs of aging. Visit your dermatologist to find out if these treatments are offered and recommended options for you.
Because we put so much emphasis on our facial skin care, the hands are often overlooked. The hands can be even more susceptible to the effects of aging, which means they need extra care and attention. Today, there are many procedures available to minimize the appearance of an aging hand. Prevention is the best medicine, but your dermatologist is also an excellent source for advice and professional treatment options.
Forehead wrinkles. Crows feet. Frown lines. Dynamic wrinkles often develop from repetitive facial expression, causing these fine lines to appear visible even when the face is totally relaxed.
Wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process. The most common contributors to premature aging of the skin include genetics, spending too much time in the sun, smoking and poor diet. Avoiding or limiting these activities can help prevent and lessen the effects of wrinkles.
Not all wrinkles can be avoided, and when quick, dramatic results are desired, Botox® may be a viable solution for removing wrinkles on the face caused by daily muscle contraction of your natural facial expressions. Botox® works by temporarily blocking nerve impulses, which reduces the movement of those particular muscles. With less movement, the skin surface is gradually smoothed, the lines begin to fade, and your natural vibrant skin strengthens and returns.
During treatment, very low doses of Botox® are administered by way of small injections. FDA-approved, Botox® is a safe and minimally invasive treatment. It takes just a few minutes and can last about 3-4 months. The effects are not permanent and may need to be repeated as directed by your dermatologist.
If you are interested in learning more about Botox ® cosmetic treatments, contact our office and we will be happy to answer your questions. Younger looking skin is easily attainable with the help of your dermatologist!
Scars left behind from acne, surgery, chicken pox, burns or other injuries, especially when they appear on your face, can be disfiguring physically and emotionally.
Scars are a natural part of the skin’s healing process, and most small scars fade over time to become nearly invisible. The larger and more severe the skin damage and the longer it takes to heal, however, the more prominent the scar will be. If the appearance of a scar bothers you, a visit to your dermatologist may be in order.
Today, dermatologists offer many cosmetic treatment options that can significantly reduce the appearance of large, raised scars. Although scars cannot be eliminated entirely, modern cosmetic techniques can significantly minimize their visibility for an improved appearance.
Leading cosmetic dermatology options include:
- Dermabrasion: A technique that involves removing the upper layer of the skin, allowing new skin to regenerate.
- Laser scar removal: Using a high-energy light, a dermatologist can remove or reshape disfigured scar tissue. Different types of laser scar removal are used for different types of scarring.
- Microdermabrasion: A non-chemical, non-invasive procedure that applies microscopic crystals. This gently exfoliates and smooths the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing younger, healthier looking skin.
- Chemical peels: Typically administered as a facial peel, this treatment involves applying an acid solution to remove and smooth the scarred outer layers of skin.
- Topical cream, gel or ointment: Special creams can be applied directly to a scar to soften the tissue and promote healing.
In some cases, more than one treatment, or a combination of procedures, may be recommended to attain your optimal results. Your dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment for your specific goals and degree of scarring.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your scars, visit your dermatologist. Most scarring is highly treatable by an expert. We can assess the scar, review treatment options, and help you select the most effective therapy for significantly reducing your scars’ visibility.
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