Do you remember when you were little our moms and dads would shoo us outside to play all day? They would tell us the fresh air and sunshine was good for us. They would send us off and tell us to be home for dinner or before it got dark. Times have definitely changed! Our parents didn’t know that we needed to be protected from the sun, and of course back then the sun wasn’t nearly as strong as our now receding ozone layer has made it.
The results of that lack of sun protection is now starting to show up on adults in the form of freckles, melasma, fine lines, wrinkles, leathery skin, mottled or discoloured skin, pre-cancers (called “actinic keratoses”) and skin cancers. We are aging before our time. And we all wonder how this could be, because a lot of us have been very good at wearing our sunscreen every morning for the last 10-15 years. Unfortunately the damage has already been done. By all means, protecting our skin now is helping to reduce the damage that could accumulate if we hadn’t been wearing sunscreen for the last 10-15 years, but what can we do about the past?
There is not one perfect solution. However, at Toronto Dermatology Centre we have come up with a cocktail combination of treatment options plus home care that works incredibly well for our patients. Although each patient is individual and their solution may vary, let me tell you about a wonderful treatment plan that is sure to help reverse the signs of photo-damaged skin.
To start, I make sure my patient is using appropriate medical grade home care to get their skin into optimal performance mode. Hydration to the skin is needed for the skin to recover after any service. A serum or moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid will help retain the integrity of the moisture barrier on the skin. Reparative tools such as growth factors, retinol or collagen along with antioxidants increase the healing process and aid in creating new skin that is healthy and rejuvenated.
Once the skin is ready to begin the treatment, my patient will come in to the clinic to have both the BBL (broadband light) and a Profractional laser resurfacing treatment performed on the same day. The BBL will achieve a lifting of the pigmented lesions on the face as well as alleviate broken blood vessels. Immediately after this is done, I will either go straight into a light pass of Profractional over the entire face, getting close up under the eyes as well, or I will apply a numbing cream to the face if the Profractional needs to be treated a little deeper. The Profractional laser eliminates older cells in the dermis of the skin and stimulates new cell creation to replace the old ones.
There are about two days that I consider downtime; however skin may be pink afterwards for up to a week for some patients. Makeup can be worn from day 3 on. The healthier the skin is to start with, the better the results will be. Skin will appear less pigmented, smoother, more glowing and fine lines will be less visible, even after 1 treatment. At this point, it may be advisable for the patient who also has loose or sagging skin to consider a volumizer for the cheek area, such as Juvederm or Restylane, if appropriate.
Although it may take 2-3 BBL/ Profractional treatments for optimal results, it will only take 1 treatment before friends and family members start to see the new you. For those we have treated with this amazing combo therapy so far, the results are undeniable. For minimal downtime, there is no other service that I have seen with such drastic results.
Maybe we can’t change the past, but we can certainly reverse the effects it has had on us! If you grew up at a time when I did, come into Toronto Dermatology Centre and let us help you kick sun damage to the curb!
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre