Summer is a beautiful time of year to be outdoors, however with this comes increased sun exposure. UVA/UVB rays cause brown spots, melasma, wrinkles, texture irregularities, and red blotchy skin. What can we do to help repair the damage? Besides a high-quality skin care regimen at home, in office treatments are also necessary for improvement.
For a reduction of brown spots and broken blood vessels, the gold standard is BBL or IPL Photofacial. This is a light-based device with minimal downtime, meaning mild swelling, and a pink skin tone for 1-2 days. Brown spots initially turn a bit darker, similar to a “coffee ground” appearance, then shed within several days. This treatment involves a series of 3-4 sessions spaced approximately every 3 weeks. Photofacials are safest for lighter skin tones. For darker skin tones, the safest option for improvement of brown spots is a series of chemical peels.
Melasma presents as brown to grey patches, typically seen on the forehead, cheeks, and/or upper lip. It’s triggered by sun exposure, hormonal fluctuation, and certain medications. This condition can be improved with a series of chemical peels which involves several days of skin peeling. Melasma can be managed or improved, however doesn’t disappear.
For concerns with fine lines, wrinkles, texture irregularities and brown spots, laser resurfacing is the best option. My recommendation is a combination of MicrolaserPeel and Profractional laser. This treatment involves approximately 5-7 days of downtime of swelling and a red skin tone. A heavy ointment is applied for the initial 4-5 days of healing. Laser resurfacing is safest for lighter skin tones.
It’s important to be diligent with application of sunscreen to prevent sun damage, especially with in office treatments. Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with a minimum spf 30. Sunscreen only lasts 2-3 hours so be sure re apply to fully protect your skin and stay safe from the sun’s rays, even in the Winter.