Posts for tag: sun damage
As we age our skin changes. Perhaps the most important factor causing these changes is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. When these UV rays hit the skin they produce harmful free radicals. Free radicals are certain molecules that damage the skin in a number of ways. They cause the breakdown of collagen, the protein in the skin that holds it together, giving it a youthful and tight appearance. This leads to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and enlarged pores. It also thins out the deeper layer of the skin called the dermis. This makes the skin looks and feel thinner. UV rays also produces broken capillaries which become visible to the naked eye. Additionally, UV rays lead to formeation of sun spots by causing certain cells in the skin called melanocytes to produce a molecule called melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color. This is what happens when we get a tan. Also excess melanin is seen in freckles, age spots, and melasma.
There are many of things we can do to protect ourselves from and correct this damage. Using suncreen every day is the most basic way to prevent sun damage. Dr. Alex recommend using a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 with broad spectrum (or UVA and UVB) protection. Our most popular sunscreens are the Elta MD UV Clear sunscreen and the Alastin Hydratint sunscreen. Other skin care products to use include antioxidants (such as vitamin C and green teat extract) to block the harmful free radicals, retinoids (such as retinol and retin-A) to stimulate collagen production and a firm appearance, and brightening creams (such as the A E Skin Brightening Cream) to remove the dark discolorations. Brightening products include ingredients wuch as hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, licorice extract, and many more. Treatments include facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and various laser treatments. These are designed to exfoliate or target specific things in the skin such as dark discolorations and broken capillaries. Dr. Alex recommends a combination approach by using products at home and getting treatments that focus on your specific concern. This combination approach provides the best results and a continued youthful appearance.