As a family nurse practitioner at Riverside Medical Arts, one of the questions I am asked most often is, “What can I do to improve my skin’s tone and texture as I age?” Living in the desert sun as we do, it’s difficult to avoid developing some sun damage and wrinkling over the years.
My favorite treatment for reducing sun spots or hyperpigmentation is a fotofacial or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). IPL is a laser treatment that very efficiently targets sun spots, pores, acne and vascular lesions of the face and body. It typically only takes two to three treatments to achieve beautiful results, but it’s important to make sure they are run by qualified, licensed technicians.
Skin Tone & Texture
Besides targeting sun spots, IPL is an effective treatment for wrinkles, pores and scarring. Micro-needling is another method that offers improvement in the skin’s tone and texture. The Dermapen is one popular method of micro-needling. You can use dermal rollers for at home use to boost results as well.
BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers are the most effective treatment I have found to reduce or soften lines. BOTOX® Cosmetic works to soften crow’s feet around the eyes or scowl lines between the brows, by relaxing muscle movement. It is often used to improve horizontal forehead lines, lines around the mouth, neck chords or banding, frowning of the mouth, and more. It is a very safe procedure with no down-time. It is often referred to as the “lunch time treatment” because patients sneak in on their lunch break for BOTOX® then can return to work looking fine within minutes. BOTOX® usually lasts between three and six months. Price typically ranges from $100 to $500 per treatment and is priced per unit.
Fillers can be used to restore or add volume to areas that have lost volume with aging or never had volume to begin with (like small lips or flat cheeks). Fillers work immediately and can last from six months to several years, depending on the filler used. Prices range from $300 to around $800 per session or syringe. One of my favorite treatments is a “liquid facelift,” which lifts the face through replacing volume that is lost naturally over the years. We typically lose around 5ml of volume in our faces per year beyond the age of 25, and most static facial lines (wrinkles you can see when the face is at rest) start around 25-27 years of age.
The foundation to good skin is great skin care. I typically recommend a good sunscreen for daily use to all my patients. I also frequently recommend a retinol (vitamin A based treatment like Retin-A or tretinoin) that fights sun damage, wrinkling and acne. It’s relatively inexpensive and is usually very effective.
The skin needs proper hydration, nutrition, and protection to look good and age well. You can offer your skin great antioxidants, peptides, growth factors, stem cells and more in your skin care to help with sun damage and wrinkling. I frequently place my patients on nutritional supplements or natural bioidentical hormone replacement, when appropriate, to help the skin from the inside out.
There are so many different skin care lines and products to choose from that the choices can get overwhelming. I suggest sitting down with a licensed aesthetician to help customize a regime that is suitable for your specific skin care needs.
For more information on Riverside Medical Arts contact us online or call (435) 628-6466. We are located at 1068 East Riverside Drive in St. George, Utah.