Medical-Aesthetics-for-Sun-Damage-300x195The sun makes life on Earth possible, but exposure to sunlight takes a toll on our skin. The sun’s ultraviolet rays – the wavelengths of sunlight that are just beyond the human capacity to see – can wreak havoc on skin, causing sunburn or even skin cancer.

If you manage to avoid either of those problems, and even if you tan well or are naturally dark skinned, exposure to the sun over the years will still damage your skin and affect its appearance. Sun damage makes your skin look older, an effect called photoaging. Countering the effects of photoaging and returning the skin to a more youthful look is one of the goals of medical aesthetics.

Parts of the body that are normally uncovered on a daily basis are most likely to suffer from photoaging, such as your neck, ears, hands and face, especially prominent regions like the forehead, bridge of the nose, cheeks and lower lip. Other areas of the body can be affected as well, especially if you deliberately expose yourself to ultraviolet rays for long periods in order to get a tan, either from the sun or at a tanning salon.

Photoaging accelerates some of the processes that occur with intrinsic aging of the skin and can make you look years older than you really are. Some of its unwanted consequences include:

  • Uneven skin tone, blemishes and dark spots
  • Wrinkles, especially around the eyes, mouth and forehead, that deepen over time
  • Spider veins on the face and neck
  • Loss of color and fullness in lips
  • Leathery look and feel to the skin
  • Inelasticity of the skin – looseness, sagging and folding
  • Age spots on the face and hands
  • Red, scaly spots

Fortunately, modern skin care science offers treatments that can mitigate the damage done by the sun:

  • Medical peels that exfoliate the damaged skin using acids such as salicylic acid.
  • Hyaluronic acid (a compound that occurs naturally in skin, cartilage and the fluid found in some human joints) injected into the skin; brand names include Juvéderm®, Restylane® and Perlane®.
  • Injections of derivatives of botulinum toxin type A, commonly known for cosmetic uses under the names BOTOX® and Dysport®
  • Topical tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin A

If you’re concerned about the effects that the intense sun of Arizona is having on your skin, even if you don’t yet see the visible signs of photoaging, contact the Scottsdale medical office of Dr. Paul Stallone. Dr. Stallone is an experienced and respected Phoenix natural medicine practitioner and founder of the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, which offers holistic anti-aging medicine as well as health care and medical treatments for the whole family. Advanced Skin Solutions, the medical aesthetics spa at the AIM Center, can help keep you looking your best. Call today at (480) 214-3922 to discuss treatment options and to schedule your appointment.

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