Good skin care involves a few simple steps, the most important being daily sun protection that includes use of a broad-spectrum SPF every day, all year long. A minimum SPF of 30 is advised for daily use, with a higher number of 50 for more intense exposures, such as a beach day. Use of protective clothing, such as long sleeves and a hat, offers further benefit.
Additionally, use of a topical Vitamin C in the morning is advised, as it functions as an antioxidant. This helps protect the cells from damage from ultraviolet rays.
At bedtime, the goal is to try to reverse ongoing sun damage with use of a topical retinoid. A good retinoid will help improve the appearance of fine lines, even out age spots and mottled brown discoloration of the skin, and improve skin texture. There is an added benefit of unclogging pores and improving acne. While there are over-the-counter products containing similar chemicals, my preference is for use of the strongest retinoid tolerated for optimal results. A prescription tretinoin such as Renova® has been formulated to minimize the irritation this type of product can cause. Most people will be able to tolerate a topical retinoid with instructions on proper use. Topical retinoids are best applied at bedtime, as they may lose stability in the presence of sunlight. They can be used throughout life, with the exception of times of pregnancy and nursing.
If uneven pigmentation or age spots are a primary concern, application of Tri-Luma® is particularly effective. Some age spots can also be treated with cryotherapy to improve their appearance.
The supplement Heliocare® functions as an anti-oxidant and decreases cellular markers of photodamage, such as sunburn cells. It may lessen sunburning when used in conjunction with a good SPF. It can also be helpful in some disorders of photosensitivity.
Regular use of Botox® Cosmetic may prevent the development of imprinted facial lines at rest. This has been shown with Botox® treatment in the forehead and crow's feet areas. Once lines have developed, they may not always reverse with Botox®, so treatment when lines first make their appearance is advised.
All of these products and services are available in our office. Please ask what may be most appropriate for you.
Call (215) 230-4592 to learn more about the skin care treatments offered by Dr. Elizabeth Spiers in Doylestown.