Living in Oklahoma, summers are long on sun…and sun damage to your skin. It’s not the brightness, but the sun’s ultraviolet rays that are the problem, penetrating the skin and damaging its cells, leading to skin aging and wrinkling, and various skin cancers.
Of course, we could all stay inside, but puhleeze. There’s work and fun to do under the summer sun. At least you need to put on sunscreen and some protective clothing where possible. Since Dr. Jones constantly deals with the consequences of sun exposure in the form of aging, sagging, wrinkling skin, here’s a little primer on sunscreen as we enter a hot OK summer.
Sun protection factor (SPF) and UV radiation
Since the advent of modern sunscreens (this doesn’t count Pre-Sun, for those of you over age 50!), a sunscreen’s efficacy has been measured by its sun protection factor, now commonly known by its acronym, SPF. Most people have no idea what SPF means. It’s not really a measure of protection, it is a measure of how long it will take for ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to redden your skin compared to having no sunscreen on. For instance, SPF 15 means that it will take 15 times longer to get burned at the lake with sunscreen on than without. Why does it use the UVB rays? Those are the rays that cause sunburn because they penetrate only the epidermis, the surface layer of the skin.
As for amount of UVB protection, an SPF 15 sunscreen screens 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent; and SPF 50 protects against 98 percent. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends only SPF 15 and higher for providing adequate protection.
In the last decade, scientists have also turned their eye to UVA rays. These rays penetrate the skin far more deeply, down past the epidermis into the dermis. Since they didn’t burn the skin, originally the thinking was that they weren’t doing any harm. But research has shown that UVA rays cause skin damage and skin cancer, too. They just don’t burn the surface. So, you need a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. To do this, look for a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, plus some combination of the following UVA-screening ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. When you see a label that says broad spectrum or multi spectrum or UVA/UVB these indicate that some UVA protection is provided. However, there isn’t a measure of how much protection these terms denote.
How do sunscreens work?
The name sunscreen is a bit of a misnomer. They aren’t really a “screen” blocking out the sun’s rays. Sunscreens really act more like a mirror. The ingredients in sunscreens form a thin, protective film on the surface of the skin and absorb the UV radiation before it penetrates the skin. The “sunscreens” are actually physically rejecting the sun, meaning that their insoluble particles reflect the UV rays back off the skin. The FDA has approved 17 active ingredients for use in sunscreens.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you know about UV rays and sunscreen, your skin will still suffer sun damage. That’s where Dr. Jones comes in. He has extensive experience treating sun damaged skin and turning back the clock where possible. Be sure to have your skin checked at least yearly because where we live the sun just keeps on keeping on. Call us for an appointment, 405.418.5400.
This time of year, it seems like everywhere you turn another road is being torn up and resurfaced. Dr. Jones wants to shift some of that resurfacing attention to your skin. Skin resurfacing is a set of cosmetic treatments to rejuvenate the skin of our patients. We combine the benefits of natural skin products, medical creams and peels, and laser technology to help correct skin conditions such as lines and wrinkles, pigmentation problems, color, texture, loss of elasticity, acne, large pores, rosacea, and spider veins.
These are the resurfacing treatments and procedures we perform:
Home skin care — Our skin care program uses the Obagi Nu-Derm system for skin resurfacing and is all done at home.
Laser skin treatments — We have a variety of lasers to remove lesions, unwanted veins, skin tightening, and pigmentation correction. Each laser has its own benefits and works best for certain skin problems.
Peels — Chemical peels are effective for removing old tired skin cells to trigger the production of new skin cells. Peels rejuvenate the skin, but also can be used to treat acne, lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, sun damage, as well as pre-cancerous skin lesions.
Crystal-free microdermabrasion — We use a microdermabrasion system that doesn’t use microcrystals. It gently removes the top layer of the skin and encourages new collagen and elastin production. Microdermabrasion is effective for treating fine lines and wrinkles, acne and acne scars, sun damage, and enlarged pores. We combine microdermabrasion with Obagi skin products for the best results.
Dermabrasion and CO2 laser — These more aggressive treatments go beyond the surface layer to penetrate more deeply into the skin. These treatments are effective for deeper wrinkles, creases, and scars. They require more recovery time
Facials — We offer a variety of facials with different degrees of skin renewal.
Summer isn’t for road resurfacing; resurface your skin with Dr. Jones. Call us at 405.418.5400 and let’s talk about what may work best for you.
Skin pigmentation problems such as age spots or blotchiness have many different causes and can occur in all skin types. Because we only address issues with the face, Dr. Jones likes his patients to be well informed about the facial skin problems such as pigmentation.
Sun damage is behind most pigmentation problems in light-skinned people
For patients with lighter skin tones, the main cause of pigmentation issues is the sun. Years of exposure to the sun’s UV rays can result in spotted hyperpigmentation, a condition marked by an increase in pigment production that results in patchy skin color or a blotchy complexion. The extent of the issues, obviously, is influenced by the amount of long-term exposure, and also its intensity.
These are the typical treatments for patients with lighter skin tones
Dark spots from early sun damage in these cases tend to be more superficial. These spots can be treated with products containing hydroquinone.
Superficial peels, typically glycolic acid, can be used when topical options don’t have much effect.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can be used to make these dark spots peel off.
Dark-skinned patients are prone to more difficult pigmentation issues
In patients with darker skin tones, the two most common pigmentation problems are melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma is a patchy brown discoloration that shows itself on exposed areas of the face. It often occurs during pregnancy and is known as “the mask of pregnancy.” Because melasma often affects the dermis (the skin layer beneath the epidermis), it can be more difficult to treat.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an injury or inflammation that causes the skin to increase pigment production. The most common cause is acne, but the condition can also arise from psoriasis, a burn, or injury.
Beyond topical treatments, these are the other options for patients with darker skin
Microdermabrasion and medium-strength chemical peels (peels using salicylic acid, lactic acid, and other ingredients)
Non-ablative fractional laser treatments, which are more aggressive than the IPL treatments used for lighter-skinned patients
Because he only deals with facial issues, Dr. Jones is well versed in all treatments of facial pigmentation problems. Call us at 405.418.5400 to make an appointment.
Sun protection is the most important step anyone can do to delay or reduce the signs of premature aging. Nothing else you can do even comes close.
Although the message to wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine, is already clear, many are still unaware of the damaging effects if they choose to skip a day here or there. In fact, there is no such thing as a safe tan. Below are fast facts about how sun exposure accelerates skin aging.
Ultraviolet radiation is broken into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA and UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere and influence the occurrence of premature skin aging and skin cancer. UVA rays account for 95 percent of the ultraviolet radiation (always present in all times of the day) that penetrates the earth. However, they are less intense than UVB rays, which cause sunburn.
Altitude increases the damage from sun exposure. A 4 percent increase of the sun’s potency occurs for every 1,000-foot increase in altitude. All the more reason to lather on sunscreen before skiing or climbing!
A sunscreen’s SPF (sun protection factor) indicates how long you can stay in the sun without being burned when using the product, not how long it would take your skin to redden without using the product.
Applying sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going outdoors is generally recommended.
Sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are ideal for individuals with sensitive skin issues such as rosacea.
Do you have issues with sun-damaged skin? Call 405.418.5400to set up an appointment today!
You’ve probably read or heard about collagen every time you look for information about anti-aging products and treatments. Here’s an overview of collagen and its role in skin aging.
What is collagen?
Generally, collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body found primarily in the skin, muscles, and the rest of the connective tissues. In terms of skin health, collagen provides support structure to the skin. It is primarily responsible for keeping the skin taut, firm, and smooth — the indicators of youthful and healthy skin.
What triggers a decline in the skin’s collagen levels?
The gradual decline in collagen with advancing age is a complex process. It has to do with factors that have been associated with chronic oxidative stress and low cellular turnover rate. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation and harsh weather, a poor diet, and chronic sleep deprivation are factors that accelerate oxidative stress
Significant reduction in collagen levels result in the appearance of folds, lines, and wrinkles. The skin tends to be dry, rough, and flaky, too.
What can I do to boost collagen levels?
Boosting collagen levels to improve skin health may be achieved internally and externally. The former is possible through lifestyle changes such as making sure that you get enough sleep, regular use of sunscreen, quitting smoking, and more whole foods in your diet.
Using products containing collagen or undergoing procedures that stimulate collagen production are external methods to help increase collagen levels in the body. Injectables, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and skin resurfacing treatments (laser, chemical peels) are excellent examples of cosmetic treatments that trigger the production of collagen for skin rejuvenation.
Call 405.418.5400to learn more about collagen-boosting treatments and products today!
So let’s say that you’re a regular Botox user and have dutifully adopted a healthy lifestyle. You’ve got great skin and the lines, creases, and wrinkles are not as obvious as your friends’. Is there something else that you need to do keep those forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and laugh lines at bay? You might want to double check your evening routine and incorporate the following:
Pamper your face at bedtime. Your body repairs itself while you’re asleep and the skin is no exception. Use skin cleansers that thoroughly remove dirt, make-up, and excess oils. Such cleansing routines should be complemented with a moisturizer that contains retinol, an antioxidant known to interrupt the release of free radicals and prevent the appearance of the premature signs of aging.
Assume a wrinkle-free position while you’re asleep. Many tend to favor one side when sleeping and are not aware that it can cause sleep lines, similar to laugh lines, smoker’s lines, and squint lines. Lying in the same position for decades can lead to the appearance of creases and folds on just one side of the face. Sleeping on your back avoids this problem and is also a good way to prevent the build-up of fluids in the lower eyelids, which leads to puffiness.
Get enough sleep. So how much is enough? It depends. Certain variables may be taken into consideration such as your age, level of activity, and general health. By and large, adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep for them to feel fully recharged the next day. A recent study even found out that individuals who have fewer hours of sleep have more obvious signs of physical aging — fine lines, reduced skin elasticity, and uneven skin tone — than good quality sleepers.
Visit us at our Leominster clinic to learn more about surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments. Call 405.418.5400or fill out one of our appointment forms!
Having acne-prone skin prevents challenges not just in addressing the outbreaks, but also in finding skin care products that are right for your skin. Many of our patients with acne-prone skin are frustrated to learn the products they thought would work are actually causing problems.
Although there is no foolproof method to figure out if a certain product will trigger a breakout on your end, there are certain things to look for on product labels to help you know if the product will work with acne-prone skin.
Avoid skin care products that have thick, creamy textures. The ingredients that make these products thick in consistency are more likely to clog pores and lead to blackheads/whiteheads. Opt for gels and light serums instead.
Steer clear of products that contain skin irritants such as alcohol, camphor, menthol, grapefruit, and natural/synthetic fragrances. Irritated skin will only stimulate more oil production and lead to noticeable red marks.
Although the oil in oil-based products does not actually clog pores, it can make your skin extra greasy. This should be avoided at all costs because acne-prone skin already produces excess oil.
Experiment with sunscreen products. It may be tempting to avoid them altogether because sunscreens are characteristically greasy, but the benefits outweigh the risks. Despite having acne-prone skin, sunscreen should be applied at all times because sun exposure is the leading cause of premature skin aging. Choose miniature bottles or tubes of sunscreen while testing them out until you’ve found the product that won’t trigger breakouts.
Be patient when it comes to finding the right products for your acne-prone skin. Let us help you choose the right skin care products by calling us at 405.418.5400or by filling out this contact form to schedule a personal consultation today.