Friday, January 30, 2009

Most valuable skin treatment? Try sunscreen.

This article from U.S. News & World Report by Lindsay Lyon gives away the biggest secret in dermatology: patients wouldn't need us so much if they would just protect their skin!

Aging of the skin comes in 2 kinds: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is genetic and cannot be changed. The apple does not fall too far from the tree. So if your parents have great skin you may be lucky as well.

Extrinsic skin aging has nothing to do with genetics. It is related to environmental exposure. Such exposure includes wind, the elements and most importantly ultraviolet exposure from the sun. The more sun you get, the quicker your skin will age. The answer is easy. The most important thing we can all do is to protect our skin with sunscreens. Topical antioxidants and retinols also can help. Sunscreens at any age are a great idea. The problem is that over 90% of our sun exposure has occurred by the time we are 20 years old.

What happens in our 30s, 40s 50s and beyond? What do we do about the wrinkles, red spots and sunspots we have accumulated during the years beyond our teens? Yes, it is wise to use sunscreens at any age, but unfortunately ultraviolet protection does not reverse any of the sun damage we already have. Thankfully today we have a whole variety of non-surgical lasers that can rejuvenate the skin and reverse a lot of the damage: Fraxel, ProFractional, Titan, Accent, and Thermage treatments. You can easily erase so much cosmetic extrinsic skin aging.

Today’s laser technology has revolutionized the treatment of extrinsic aging of the skin. But don’t even think about such treatments unless you combine them with the simplest of all cosmetic treatments – a sunscreen.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. David J. Goldberg
Skin Laser Surgery Specialists of NY/NJ
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center

Dr. Jason Pozner
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center

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