Even though many people once thought that a glowing complexion was a sign of good health, most now know that skin color obtained from being in the sun – or in a tanning booth – significantly increases the risk for developing skin cancer. However, exposure to the sun also does a good deal more. It can cause areas of uneven pigmentation or even a yellowish discoloration of the skin and can cause the small blood vessels under the skin to dilate, creating the appearance of spider veins on the face. Perhaps most significantly, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can also, over time, damage the skin’s elastin, an elastic, fibrous glycoprotein found in connective tissue. When the elastin breaks down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. This is the single factor that contributes most to the development of the fine lines, wrinkles, and folds that are considered the most common facial aging concerns.
Of course, the best way to treat sun damage is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place, which is why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. However, there are also many non-surgical facial rejuvenation techniques that can help alleviate the damage that has accumulated over time, restoring the skin to a younger and more vital appearance. For example, one of the best ways to treat existing sun damage is through Sciton® laser skin resurfacing. This minimally invasive method uses an Erbium laser to remove dead and damaged surface skin while simultaneously stimulating collagen production in the deeper skin layers to encourage the body to regenerate healthy new skin cells. Because the depth and treatment levels of the Sciton® laser can be customized to suit each individual patient’s skin type, it can provide optimal results to patients of all different skin tones. Similarly, the Ultherapy® non-surgical skin tightening system uses ultrasonic vibrations to gently stimulate the same deep layers of tissue, lifting and firming the skin around the face and neck to give the entire area a refreshed and revitalized appearance.
Moreover, the skin can be given additional lift and fullness by adding volume with facial fillers, like Juvéderm®. Using hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in young and healthy skin, these dermal fillers not only give the facial features a more plump and youthful appearance, but they also add moisture to help reverse some of the long term damage caused by sun exposure. Finally, Botox® treatments can also temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines and crow’s feet for up to four months with a single 10-minute treatment.
If you are interested in learning more details about facial rejuvenation procedures or about any one of the other procedures we perform at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C., contact us at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices to schedule a consultation. Additionally, we are proud to provide a variety of options, including CareCreditSM and Alphaeon®, in order to make financing your plastic surgery procedure more convenient. Please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery with any questions you may have and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news.