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!

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.