By Tiffany M. Darnold, MMS, PA-C, Couture Med Spa Oviedo
This season, let’s Spring into sun safety!
Spring is in the air, and summer is fast approaching, which means more and more Floridians will be out enjoying the lovely weather, walking the dog, gardening, and trying to get that radiant glow a tan can provide. Unfortunately, even the slightest bit of sun exposure can leave damage that never fades despite a fading tan.
Sun exposure over time can significantly impact your skin more than you think; it’s more than just a sunburn, which can cause a lifetime of regrets. The sun’s damaging ultraviolet radiation, UVB, and UVA exposure, can cause burning, wrinkles, unsightly sunspots, contribute to broken capillaries, thick leathery dry skin, and skin cancer! YUCK!!! In fact, the UV exposure also breaks down collagen, which gives us that flawless, smooth structure to our skin that keeps us appearing young and radiant.
NOT SO FUN FACTS: 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to your internal organs and kill you, 1 in 50 people will develop a melanoma in their lifetime, and one person dies from melanoma every hour.
But don’t give up! There are many ways to help improve your sun-damaged skin and prevent further damage so that you can feel and look younger while continuing to take safe selfies in the glistening sun.
Damage Control- Prevention is Key
How safe is your sunscreen?
- The best way to care for your sunkissed skin is to first always use prevention with an excellent medical-grade sunblock with 7-10% zinc or titanium and at least SPF 40. Zinc and titanium are different from most store-bought sunscreens because they offer more than just skin cancer and sunburn protection from UVB rays. Since it is a physical sunscreen, it can also protect you against the broadest spectrum of UV rays, including UVA rays, which contribute the most to aging skin damage. Reapply as directed by your provider for the best protection.
- Hats and UV protective clothing are another extra added measure but should not be the first. Many times in our medical facility, I have seen clients who have used solely UV protective clothing and still have presented with sunburns. In addition to the sunburns, they showed melanin levels way higher than can be expected when proper UV preventative measures are in place. Instead, it is essential to always apply sunscreen before getting dressed, then you can safely head out to enjoy your new fun adventures this season.
Keep it simple but do it forever!
- Sun protection does not need to be complicated; it needs to be consistent.
Now you see me, Now you don’t- How to Avoid Cataracts
More Than Just a Fashion Statement!
- Sunglasses are a MUST this season! Did you know that UV sun damage can contribute to aging cataracts? Sunglasses prevent cataract-causing sun damage. As we age, allow yourself to SEE your beauty the same way others see you!
’C’ a Brighter More Youthful You- How Vit C can Reverse and Prevent Damage
Brighten Your Day and Your Face!
- Couture Vitamin C Serum is a natural brightener for the skin and helps prevent damaging free radicals from aging the skin. Fade away your spots and get a more even tone to your skin! It also helps support healthy collagen production giving more support to the skin, keeping it moist to combat dryness and wrinkles. Apply a few drops to freshly cleansed skin day and night for more radiant skin!
- Remember to cleanse twice, exfoliate, tone, apply vitamin c serum, moisturize, and then use sunblock daily.
Get Your Vitamin A- Everything You Need to Know About Retinol
Make Your Face as Smooth as Your Day
- Fountain of Youth Retinol Serum is excellent for everyone from the most experienced client to the newbie!
- I always tell my clients to wear sunscreen and then try retinoids.
5 Fun Facts About Retinol:
- Not all retinols are created equal. Couture’s Fountain of Youth Retinol Serum is made from all-trans-retinol, the purest most active form of vitamin A which helps smooth, firm, plump, strengthen, and evenly tone skin.
- Retinol increases collagen production, therefore, slowing down the aging process. Starting in our 20’s we lose about 1-2% of collagen per year. That equals about 20-40% loss of collagen by the age of 40 years old… OUCH!
- Fountain of Youth Retinol Serum has a slow-release delivery system, which is ideal because it slowly releases the retinol over time, causing less irritation to sensitive skin.
- Unlike traditional retinols, Fountain of Youth Retinol Serum is specially formulated with green tea polyphenols and hyaluronic acid to help calm and hydrate the skin to prevent the temporary irritation, redness, and peeling which use to occur commonly with other retinols.
- Retinol is more than just for wrinkle correction and prevention. Since retinol exfoliates at the cellular level, it can also brighten your skin so that you get that desired dewy look.
Laser Away- From sunspots and wrinkles to smoother, clearer skin
Get that Flawless Photoshopped Look with Photofacials (IPL)
- Photofacials are done with a light therapy machine called IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). Get that flawless filtered look with just a quick few sessions! IPLs help lighten unwanted sunspots and freckles to get a more even tone for that porcelain look. It can even rid you of bothersome broken capillaries, red cherry angiomas, and help your rosacea.
Bring Back that Baby Face with Fractionals
- Fractionals stimulate collagen production at the deep dermal layer to help improve wrinkles as well as other aging changes to help you look years younger. Minimal downtime due to the newest nonablative technology, so you now get that smooth, wrinkle-free look without the wait! Also try a specialized nonablative fractional laser specifically developed to treat hyperpigmentation such as melasma AKA pregnancy mask.
Don’t think you have sun damage? A specialized VISA analysis using an ultraviolet camera makes it possible to see the underlying skin damage done by the sun which, if not apparent yet on the surface, will eventually surface as new skin cells are emerging, causing an undesired aesthetic appearance.
Be proud to be pale and embrace your beauty… your friends are going to be jealous one day.
By Mary Brooks APRN, Couture Med Spa Winter Park
How to Avoid Scarring After an Injury or Procedure
Scars are tattoos with better stories.
If you’re anything like me – clumsy, fearless, spontaneous, or an adrenaline junkie – this post is for you! Most people aren’t going to make it through life without experiencing a few scars, some more than others, but we all have them. That doesn’t mean you have to live with them! You can treat your scars to diminish the appearance of them. There are many different types of scar treatments out there, but I’m going to go over some of my faves.
At Home Scar Treatments
Immediately after an injury occurs, there are some things you can do to help to decrease the appearance of scars, including:
- Avoiding unnecessary tension and strain on a scar
- Protecting it from excessive sunlight
- Massaging the area for a few minutes twice a day
You can also use special dressings known as silicon dressings, which are good at trapping moisture as well as using scar creams containing silicone. Biocorneum is my absolute favorite and must-have for everyone and anyone who is injury prone!
Biocorneum is an advanced scar treatment that incorporates medical-grade silicone and SPF 30 that prevents and minimizes the formation of hypertrophic scars. It also decreases the appearance of old scars and protects scars from darkening effects due to sun exposure.
Biocorneum dries quickly and adheres to skin for 12 to 24 hours. It can be used on scars resulting from surgical and cosmetic procedures, trauma, wounds, and burns. It can be effective on old scars too! You will get the most benefit in the first 12 weeks of use, although in some cases it may be recommended to use it for six to 12 months.
I was prescribed Biocorneum by a dermatologist several years ago after experiencing a facial laceration. I can’t tell you how much of a believer I am in this product! After using Biocorneum for a few weeks I could tell a huge difference in the color and feel of my scars. The redness was gone, and my scars were much less noticeable (which I am so thankful for because the nickname ScarFace doesn’t really suit me.)
CMS Scar Treatments
Depending on the type of scar, depth, age, and the healing capacity of the individual, there are certain treatments that might work better for different people. At CMS, this is why we have multiple treatment options for scar therapy that best suits each client, including:
Fractional laser: A non-wounding laser is used to stimulate collagen growth and tighten skin.
Chemical Peels: Improve the appearance of mild scarring by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less irregular in appearance.
Dermal fillers: Chemical fillers are injected into the skin to decrease the depth of scars.
Personal Experience Pearl
Unfortunately, I am no stranger to the ER, especially for accidental injuries, including facial lacerations! I’m not going to bore you with the details, but if you ever find yourself in the ER needing sutures or treatment for a facial injury, make sure you see a plastic surgeon! Just like you wouldn’t want a podiatrist (foot doctor) performing heart surgery, you don’t want an ER doc stitching up your face. You may end up waiting longer because plastic surgeons may not be readily available at the time you need them, but they are worth the wait.
I mean, it’s your face, and you can’t trust just anyone!
If you are unhappy about a scar’s redness, bumpiness, or thickness we would be happy to consult you to discuss possible options such as an appropriate laser source, a facial peel, or injectable treatment.
Never be ashamed of your scars, they simply mean you are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you