Top Skin Treatments to Counter Damaging Summer Sun

When you’re soaking up the sun in one of Fredericksburg’s beautiful parks, sun damage is the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, even when you’re not thinking about it, the damage is occurring. The sun’s rays can take a toll on the skin, contributing to premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Fortunately, there are several minimally invasive cosmetic procedures available to counter this sun damage and revitalize our skin after too much fun in the sun.

Here, the elite team of surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg describes the ideal skin treatments to bring out the healthy shine of your natural skin. 

How Is the Skin Damaged by the Sun?

As the sun shines it emits ultraviolet (UV) energy. When our skin is exposed for prolonged periods to UV energy, it slowly begins to damage our skin cells. What follows are age spots, lines, discoloration, and sunburnt skin.

Proper precautions must be taken when spending time in Fredericksburg’s sun – precautions like applying sunscreen every ninety minutes, trying to avoid the sun when it is highest in the sky (between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M.) and wearing a broad-brimmed hat.

Even with careful sun habits, inevitably, many of us will get too much sun at some point during summer. If you have sun damage, we can help you treat it. Come in for a personalized consultation or try one of the following treatments.

Chemical Peels

The accumulation of dead skin cells on the out layer of our skin results in a rough, haggard overall appearance.

Chemical peels are an ideal treatment for more general symptoms of sun-damaged skin, such as dull and uneven skin tone. The peel improves the skin by removing the entire outer layer of dead skin cells, which reveals the healthier, new skin underneath.

What peel should you choose? Chemical peels come in varying strengths. Stronger peels remove more skin and work at deeper depths. A light, superficial peel works on the outermost layers of the skin. How much damage you have and your lifestyle will determine your peel options. Talk with one of our plastic surgeons if you need a recommendation. 

Superficial peels are ideal for revamping moderately sun-damaged skin, whereas skin that is beginning to wrinkle or that has deeper hyperpigmentation will respond better to a deeper VI peel or Obagi Blue peel.

Laser Skin Treatments

In some cases, the sun will cause areas of the skin to develop discoloration, such as age spots and freckles. These unwanted spots can be treated with laser therapy.

Often used to combat the aging process, laser skin treatment has also long been used to mend sun-damaged skin.

At the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, an effective laser technology called Fraxel laser is used to alleviate numerous skin problems. 

Targeted light energy is focused on the desired location to remove the damaged skin cells in each treated area. If you have age spots, ask us about Fraxel. 

Skincare Products

A range of products are available to treat sun-damaged skin, but one that stands out from the rest is the Obagi Nu-Derm system. Explicitly designed for moderately to severely sun-damaged skin, this treatment has proven to be the best available prescription-based method to treat weathered skin.

Acting on a cellular level, the Obagi Nu-Derm system removes dead skin cells, repairs skin damage, encourages collagen production, new skin cell generation, and protects the new skin. 

Over several weeks, this system impressively counteracts sun damage done to your skin during the summer.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Your skin is the first and most significant barrier that protects you and your body from the harsh elements – you must care for it!

To learn more about the highly effective Obagi Nu-Derm skin care system, or any of the other treatments recommended by the surgeons of Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, call our plastic surgery office at 540-371-7730 or fill out our online form to arrange a consultation.

The Best Dermal Fillers & Injectables for Darker Skin

Facial rejuvenation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States. Traditionally, middle-aged females were the biggest buyers of facial treatments. Anymore, however, dermatologists and plastic surgeons are getting more bookings from patients with darker skin, too.      

Last year, over 10 million Americans used noninvasive fillers or injectables to eliminate facial lines and wrinkling. Twenty percent of these patients had darker skin. 

With this in mind, as you consider a facial rejuvenation in Fredericksburg, you can better understand how the procedure will benefit you according to your skin type. 

How Does Skin Color Affect Aging?

Skin aging depends on two primary factors. The first, intrinsic aging, equally affects all skin types. Intrinsic, or biological skin aging, is influenced by gravity and manifests as a loss of skin volume and elasticity over time. Biological aging becomes particularly noticeable in the mid-lower facial regions, around the cheeks, nose, and mouth.   

The second aspect of skin aging is photodamage; damage caused by sunlight. The susceptibility of our skin to photodamage is chiefly a result of melanin concentration.

By absorbing UV energy, melanin diverts radiation away from skin cells and reduces the adverse effects that sunlight has on the skin. As such, the higher melanin concentrations in those with darker skin protects them from sun radiation. Accordingly, these lucky men and women have lower incidences of skin cancer and skin damage.

This interaction between sun, time, and skin type leads to people experiencing skin aging differently. Facial rejuvenation procedures should be closely correlated with skin color and condition.     

How Does Aging of the Skin Differ Between Skin Shades?

Lighter-skinned individuals tend to develop signs of aging earlier than those with darker skin. Lighter skin is more susceptible to photodamage. As such, fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss due to sun exposure occur higher on the face, earlier in life.

With darker skin, signs of aging occur later on and are characterized more by an overall loss of facial volume. The best options for skin of color are often volumizing procedures. That means fillers.  

Areas such as the cheeks, around the mouth (marionette lines) and the nose are all areas that respond well to filling using products such as Juvéderm® and Restylane®. These products, once injected under the skin, add subsurface volume and fill out folds, sunken cheeks, and hollow lips.

An area of caution for skin of color, however, is its susceptibility to scarring. The melanin that protects darker skin from the sun also means that the skin is more prone to discoloration from wounds. At Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, however, we virtually eliminate this risk by using a DermaSculpt Microcannula injection technique.

This flexible microcannula allows our expert doctors to fill a wider area using a single, almost pain-free injection. It creates close to zero bruising and as such is an ideal technique for administering Juvéderm® or Restylane® to an area that needs more volume.

Our team at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg have all the tools and expertise to gauge select the appropriate skin treatments for a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Skin type, age, and expectations all influence the suitability of any technique for you. Reach out to our board-certified team for a consultation via a phone call at 540-371-7730 or by filling in our online form

We look forward to meeting you!

3 Low Downtime Cosmetic Treatments to Get You Back In The Summer Sun Fast

Customers who are considering cosmetic treatment are frequently concerned with recovery time, especially in the summer when parties and outdoor activities beckon. Of the 17.7 million cosmetic procedures conducted last year in the U.S., almost 90% were minimally invasive treatments with low to no downtime.  

Understandably, the importance of returning to one’s routine and enjoying the summer sun as soon as possible after any treatment is of paramount importance.   

Today, dermatologists perform dozens of cosmetic treatments that require little to no recovery time. Following are three low downtime spa services offered at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, which will ensure you look radiant in the summer sun in no time at all.  

Chemical Peels

When conducted by a board-certified professional, chemical peels are exceptionally safe procedures that use chemical solutions to exfoliate damaged outer layers of facial skin. Chosen by almost 1.5 million Americans last year, chemical peels remove damaged layers of facial skin to reveal underlying healthy, smooth skin cells.  Chemical peels can be done at superficial, medium, and deep intensities, each intensity addressing deeper, more stubborn skin issues.  

Wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and uneven skin tone can all be addressed using chemical peels. This procedure provides instant rejuvenation with no downtime. 

Light chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution such as salicylic acid using a cotton ball or gauze. The outer layers of skin will start to whiten, and once completed, the chemical solution will be neutralized and removed. All evidence of the peel is removed before you leave. 

Light chemical peels, such as the AHA Peel or Obagi Radiance Peel offered at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, are generally completed within 30 minutes, and allow you to walk straight out of the clinic and resume your day. 

BOTOX®

Likely the most well-known cosmetic treatment and opted for by 7.5 million U.S. citizens in 2018, BOTOX® is truly one of the safest, fastest and most affordable options available to anyone looking for a restored youthful appearance. A non-surgical treatment that requires zero recovery time, a BOTOX® reveals its effects within days.

BOTOX® works by reducing muscle contractions responsible for creating furrowed brows and wrinkles. Using a tiny needle, a small quantity of the BOTOX® substance is injected into the treatment area, resulting in the relaxation of the muscles in that vicinity.

Frequently used to treat anti-aging, BOTOX® treatments allow customers at Plastic Surgery of Fredericksburg to leave our clinic immediately after the procedure and resume their regular routines.  

Dermal Fillers

An increasingly popular cosmetic treatment, dermal fillers, when conducted by board-certified professionals, are a safe and highly effective method of restoring fullness and vitality to your face. 

The doctors at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg apply dermal fillers to many areas, including the mid-cheek, smile lines, lips, tear trough, marionette lines, or elsewhere. These injections fill out sunken areas of the face and lift the skin to create a more youthful setting. 

If done correctly using proper injection technique, friends and family won’t even recognize you’ve had a specific procedure. Because patients walk in and out of our clinic with minimal interruption to their day, they don’t need to arrange pick up or drop-offs, a convenience that keeps friends and family on a “need-to-know” basis. 

At Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, we use a revolutionary injection technique which minimizes any swelling or bruising associated with dermal filling. Contact us to find out more about our DermaSculpt Microcannula dermal filling procedure

Need Answers to Your Specific Issues?

Cosmetic treatments are often associated with long rehabilitation periods and costly in-house stays. While this is true for some more drastic treatments, the procedures outlined above are minimally invasive, highly effective methods for restoring your youth, vitality, and confidence with little to no downtime.

If time is of the essence, contact us at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg to discuss the best options for you. Calling our experienced staff at 540-371-7730 with your questions will help you understand all of our options, or you can fill in our online form. We look forward to your visit!

Cooler Weather & Lasers: The Perfect Combination

When we think of autumn, we conjure up images of colorful leaves, pumpkins, fresh corn, and frosty nights. Rarely do we think about the effects of colder weather on our skin. Luckily, our skincare experts always have your best interest in mind and recommend adding something else to your picture of the perfect fall: Lasers. Autumn is the ideal time of year to give laser skin resurfacing a try, for all of the following reasons:

1. Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage will be Easier During the Fall

Laser skin resurfacing makes the skin temporarily more sensitive to sun damage—A side effect that’s much more difficult to work around during the summer months. In the fall, you’ll be able to benefit from the reduction of UVB rays that occurs as the earth tilts away from the sun (provided you live at a higher latitude). You’ll also be able to use the shorter days to your advantage by engaging in outdoor activities after the sun has set.

Just be aware that the lack of UVB radiation doesn’t mean you can skip sun protection altogether: We’re exposed to UVA radiation all year long, so you’ll still need to use sunscreen and cover up after having a laser skin treatment in the fall. You just won’t have to worry about damage occurring as easily with mild to moderate sun exposure.

2. You’ll be Able to “Reset” Your Skin After Summer

Even if you’re a disciplined sunscreen user, it’s not uncommon for some degree of sun damage to occur over the summer months. Consumer-grade sunscreens are not always as effective as they should be (up to 40% of drugstore brands don’t live up to their advertised SPF value), leaving our skin more vulnerable than we realize. Likewise, sunscreen may wash or rub off when we swim or exercise.

Even mild sun damage heavily contributes to the formation of new wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and areas of flaky or rough skin. If you start seeing more of these problems during the fall, it’s not your imagination playing tricks on you: You’ve sustained some degree of UV damage over the summer, but our Fraxel laser can help. By gently dissolving the uppermost layer of the epidermis (where most UV damage occurs), Fraxel laser treatment can erase many of the signs of photoaging. Laser skin treatments also increase collagen production, making the skin firmer, smoother, and stronger.

3. Your Skin Will be Glowing by Christmas

Having several laser treatments in succession can produce striking results, taking up to five years off the appearance of your skin. However, these treatments need to be spaced several weeks apart in order to give your skin a chance to regenerate between each session. Starting laser treatment in the fall is, therefore, the best way to ensure your skin is completely rejuvenated in time for the holiday season.

 4. You’ll Banish Breakouts

Fall is officially breakout season: During early autumn, our skin continues to produce excess oil, just like it does over the summer months. At the same time, the sudden influx of cooler air causes dryness and irritation. This leads to the development of breakout-prone “combination skin” that doesn’t respond well to topical treatments. Laser treatments, on the other hand, can control even severe breakouts by dissolving dead skin cells, opening the pores, and reducing the number of harmful bacteria on the skin. These treatments can also smooth out acne scars and tame redness and inflammation.

Autumn is already well underway, so if you want to enjoy these benefits, you should act soon: Contact the skincare experts at PSSF to book your laser treatment today.

Top 10 Beauty Tips to Stay Glowing in the Winter

Hydrating and moisturizing your skin can do wonders during the cold and dry winter season. Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg created this infographic that includes ten winter beauty tips to stay glowing in the winter. By following these tips, you can maintain your healthy glow all season long!

  1. Gently massage your face once a day to increase blood circulation. Oxygen flowing to your face will make the skin look radiant and glowing.
  2. Use a hydrating facial mask at least two to three times a week to increase the moisture content in your skin while nourishing it with nutrients.
  3. Invest in a humidifier to replenish the moisture level in the dry winter and HVAC air every night, relieving you of dry skin and sinus irritation.
  4. Sleep on silk pillowcases and sheets to minimize friction on your skin, as eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis can be worse in the winter.
  5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday to give your body a vitamin boost, which can make you look and feel healthy.
  6. Take daily flaxseed oil supplements, which can help prevent wrinkles and can hydrate and smooth out your skin.
  7. Dry skin can lead to the appearance of more fine lines, so remember to apply eye cream to moisturize your under-eye area every single day.
  8. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake during the winter to keep your body from dehydrating further, which can be unforgiving on your skin.
  9. Keep lips soft by dabbing on lip balm rich in castor oil, vitamin E, cocoa butter, or olive oil each night before going to bed.
  10. Use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup instead of your regular makeup remove wipes, which can be harsh in the winter.

For more skincare tips, contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.

Get Gorgeous Skin this Spring

Give your skin a springtime tune up. If you’ve got moderate to severe sun damage, come see us and ask about the Obagi Nu-Derm System. Clinically proven to be the best prescription based skin care system available for the treatment of sun damaged, pigmented, or aging skin, this system may be the solution you’ve been seeking for your skin. If you’re hiding your skin’s problems under a thick coat of makeup, come see us. Spring is a time for rejuvenation.

How Does It Work?

Most traditional skin care products treat the surface of the skin. Many do this job very well, but for problems that aren’t surface problems, these products can be ineffective. The Obagi Skin Health Restoration System works at the cellular level. It can correct surface discoloration and blemishes while stimulating cell renewal. This results in brighter, softer, healthier skin, and often a noticeable change in the appearance of age spots, discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, etc.

This program isn’t one you do on your own. It works best when performed under the guidance of our specially trained physicians. We typically recommend using the skin conditioning program for 3 skin cycles (about 18 weeks) and then consider following up with an Obagi Blue Peel done by one of our physicians.

Other Spring Skin Care Tips

The Obagi Nu-Derm System is one of the best options available for total skin renewal and is highly recommended for those with significant sun damage. If your skin isn’t in need of a comprehensive renewal, try some of these other spring skin care tips:

  • Use Sunscreen– The Nu-Derm System is specifically designed for those with significant sun damage. If you don’t yet have moderate to severe sun damage, take the steps to prevent it. Wear a good quality sunscreen every single day. Use SPF 15 or higher for daily use and at least SPF 30 on days when you’ll have extended sun exposure. Reapply often. Sunscreen use is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking its best.
  • Try a Peel– Does your skin need a good “spring cleaning”? Come try one of our chemical peels. They can treat a variety of skin conditions including hyperpigmentation, dull skin, aging skin, and wrinkles. Peels loosen and remove the dead, outer layers of skin and allow fresh, healthy skin to shine through. We offer a variety of peels (from superficial to deep). Many of our peels require no downtime after treatment.

This spring make your skin the best it’s ever been; call us at 540-371-7730 to schedule your appointment.

Skin Care Tips for Gorgeous Winter Skin

Have you ever noticed that as the air gets colder your skin gets drier? Winter’s chilly air might be a welcome break from the heat of summer, but for your skin it is a time of serious adjustment. Cold air is less humid than warm air and when you fire up the heat inside, the problem gets even worse. To keep your skin looking radiant through the holiday season and until spring, try these simple skin care tips. This year make sure the only flakes in your life are snowflakes, not dry, flaky facial skin.

Switch Up Your Products

The transition between summer and winter is the perfect time to reevaluate your skin care products. Don’t just wander aimlessly down the beauty aisle at your local store; come in to Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg and let us help you find the right products for your skin. If you’ve been struggling with dry skin, battling acne that won’t go away, wanting to fade brown spots, or combating fine lines and wrinkles, we can recommend products that will target your problem areas.

Many of our patients love using the Obagi Medical line of skin care products, a unique facial care system that focuses on building a strong foundation for a lifetime of radiant, beautiful skin. Unlike store products, each product in the Obagi line works in synergy with the others for more dramatic results. With the Obagi line you’ll know that your skin care products are working together, not counteracting each other. You won’t find Obagi on the shelves of your local store, but we do carry it here and are certain that you’ll love it just as much as we do if you give it a try.

Moisturize More

One key for combating the dryness of winter is to step up your moisturizing routine. If you’ve only been the occasional moisturizer, make sure you do it every day, preferably after each cleanse. Moisturizing won’t just keep your skin soft; if you choose a moisturizer with an SPF you’ll also be protecting your skin from the sun’s rays and reducing your skin cancer risk. (The Obagi line includes sun protection.)

Exfoliate Less

Exfoliating to strip away dead skin cells is great skin care advice in the warmer months, but in the winter you’ll want to exfoliate less. Exfoliating can dry skin and during the winter you want as much moisture as you can get.

Skip the Hot Showers

A hot shower might warm you up on a chilly morning, but it will also dry your skin. Opt for a warm shower and a cup of hot cocoa instead.

Put the Twinkle Back in Your Eyes

If you want to reward yourself with a real holiday treat, give your eyes a boost this winter. The Elastiderm eye products from Obagi are some of our most popular sellers. They can noticeably tighten the skin around the eyes for a more youthful look. If your eyes have lost their twinkle and found a few wrinkles instead, give yourself the gift of Elastiderm this holiday season.

Winter might be dry skin season, but with a few changes to your skin care routine you can feel moisturized all winter long. Come see us for some personalized skin care advice or to give the highly recommended Obagi line of products a try.