Patient question:
I want to freshen and rejuvenate my face and perhaps reverse some of the damage that was done by the sun over all of my summers. What should be my approach?

Gregory Branham, MD answer:
Even with the use of sunscreens, we get more UV exposure during the summer months. The heat and elements take their toll on the skin and can leave it with a dry, dull finish — not to mention fine lines, wrinkles and splotchy pigmentation. Skin texture and pigment problems are underestimated when it comes to adding years to your appearance, and both can be reversed quite easily.

Fall and winter are the perfect times to freshen and rejuvenate skin with a peel or laser treatment as sun exposure (which can affect healing and appearance) is less of a factor.

Resurfacing the skin is usually done best by a physician-directed laser treatment or chemical peel, which strips away the superficial skin layers. In a matter of a few days, you have smoother skin and more even skin tones.

Depending on the treatment, the down time can range from several days to a week. As a rule, the more aggressive your treatment, the greater the down time. A full face fractionated laser treatment or a medium depth peel offer the best results when it comes to making an impact on the fine lines and age spots. The results of a laser treatment, even at one week, can be very dramatic. It should be noted that these procedures are not micro-dermabrasion or light peels, which have a role in skin care, but do little to impact wrinkles and dyschromias (splotchy pigmentation or age spots).

Of course, if you have more advanced aging changes, a surgical procedure such as a facelift, brow-lift or eyelid tuck (blepharoplasty) might be in order. To maximize results, these procedures can be done in conjunction with the skin resurfacing procedures.

Discuss your goals with Dr. Branham or Dr. Chi. A rejuvenation plan tailored to your needs is your best approach. For a consultation at the Facial Plastic Surgery Center, call 314-996-3880.

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