By Genet Finnegan, MHS, PA-C
Ah, summer! Endless sunny days lounging on the beach and warm sultry nights out on the town. Or, if you’re like the rest of us New Yorkers, oppressive heat radiating from the sidewalks, stifling close-quartered subway commutes, and profuse unabating perspiration.
However you’ve chosen to spend your summer, it’s a time when most of us increase our sun exposure and daily sweat quota, do some (or a lot of) traveling, and relax our routines. All of these things can eventually wreak havoc on our skin, leading to dark spots, uneven or rough skin tone and texture, prominent pores, acne breakouts, and an overall dull complexion.
As fall rapidly approaches, it’s the perfect time to start getting your back-to-beautiful skin routine in place. Good skin care starts with a solid daily routine at home. It doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming to be effective. I am continuously surprised by the number of products patients have previously tried or are currently applying to their skin before they finally make it into the office for a consultation. Not only can the number and variety of skin care products available in stores be overwhelming for both you and your wallet, they may even be contributing to some skin problems.
For most patients, a basic routine of twice daily cleansing and moisturizing, along with the use of a good sunscreen, are all that is needed to achieve optimal skin health. In addition, the gradual incorporation of a retinoid in the evenings will address acne breakouts in the short term, as well as fight fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, even skin tone and minimize the appearance of pores over the long term. An in-office consultation will determine your skin type and allow you to develop a daily skin care routine to address your specific concerns.
In addition to daily at-home skin care, there are also some in-office procedures that can be used to speed results and tackle more stubborn skin concerns. A few of my favorite options to kickstart your post-summer skin plan include:
A chemical peel uses a solution, typically comprised of one or a combination of acids, applied to the skin to achieve resurfacing of the upper layer of skin (epidermis). Through shedding of this upper layer of skin, a chemical peel can improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, redness, and uneven skin tone. Most patients will experience redness immediately following the procedure, which can last for one to two days. This is followed by mild shedding of the skin around days three to five, revealing smoother, softer, more even skin after day seven. For best results, patients should have multiple treatments, typically spaced three to four weeks apart.
One of the best things about this laser treatment is its versatility. Laser genesis can address a number of skin issues, including fading hyperpigmentation and redness, as well as improving skin texture and minimizing the appearance of pores. The treatment uses a gentle heating action to achieve results, which is comfortable, pain free, and safe for all skin types. Following the procedure, the skin may appear slightly flushed, but this side effect is fleeting. With virtually no downtime, most patients return immediately to work or school following the procedure. Multiple treatments are needed to achieve optimal results.
Titan is a non-invasive treatment which uses infrared energy to heat the deeper levels of the skin, stimulating collagen deposition and tightening. Titan is most commonly used as a non-surgical option to address sagging skin over the brow, mid and lower face, “jowls”, or loose skin beneath the chin and neck to create a more youthful, refreshed appearance. (It can also be used to address skin laxity over the décolletage, arms, stomach, and even on the thighs.) The procedure has minimal to no downtime, with some mild redness noted for up to a few hours post-procedurally. Patients can apply moisturizer and makeup and return to normal activities immediately following the procedure.