To sun or not to sun?
That is the question! Getting a good dose of Vitamin D the sunshine vitamin, is essential for the body but how can we be safe in the sun? First of all being responsible in the sun is key and as Coloradoans we know better than most that the altitude makes the sun even more harsh. Daily use of sunscreen is a must and my preference is for physical barrier sunscreens which create a protective layer on the skin and stop harmful UVA/UVB rays entering and damaging the skin’s DNA.
So in short you can still enjoy the sun but must be responsible. So what happens when the damage has already been done, can we reverse it? First of all we identify the damage, is it sun spots, freckling, melasma, dryness and thinning of skin or broken capillaries?
Pigmentation usually arises from the melanin causing dark patches in response to damaging rays, melasma is exacerbated by the sun but is often hormonal in origin, dryness and thinning come from dehydration and free radical damage from the UVA/UVB and broken capillaries are often related to changes in temperature from excessive heat and cold. Our climate varies so dramatically even in the same day so it can be hard to tackle the many issues our skin can face.
Clearing away sun damage is actually easier than you think. IPL can treat large areas in one go and is particularly good at grabbing hold of dark pigments and redness. Many people see results after a single session and others might need a few more. The downtime is relatively low and the result is a clearer skin palate. Chemical peels such as the VI Peel are another favorite of mine as they can be tailor made for the skin concern or even tackle a few issues at once. But the most satisfying thing about both IPL and chemical peels is seeing the new skin emerge from underneath the old, dead flaking skin! Some of my patients have likened it to shedding a cocoon, I like that analogy because aren’t we all just butterflies waiting to break free?