We all know at this point how important it is to protect our skin from the sun. The skin is an amazing organ that takes a beating on a daily basis from both internal and external influences, and needs special care to stay healthy and beautiful. While most of the time, sun protection is recommended for overall skin health, it is especially important after skin treatments for anti-aging and refreshment purposes. So why is skin so sensitive after cosmetic treatments, and what are some steps you can take to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep your skin safe from the sun’s rays?
How Sun Affects the Skin
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of energy given out by the sun, and our skin absorbs these rays readily. There are different wavelengths of UV rays, and these affect the skin in different ways, depending on how deeply they penetrate the dermis. These rays cause sunburn and tanning short-term, and many negative effects long-term, including skin cancer, wrinkles, discoloration (hyperpigmentation), blood vessel dilation, and dull skin. With premature aging and skin cancer such common side effects of sun exposure, it’s no wonder the directives to protect yourself from the sun and avoid tanning are so common.
Additional Sensitivity From Treatments
During treatments such as laser procedures, chemical peels, and other skin-focused procedures, there is a certain amount of controlled trauma that occurs. Old, damaged skin is destroyed and left to peel off, revealing bright new skin underneath. However, during the healing process, the skin is very sensitive from the treatments, and is more prone to problems such as hyperpigmentation, which is in response to a combination of the trauma from the procedure and the sun’s rays. The last thing patients want after a peel or other treatment is to have brown discoloration in the treated area, so it’s important to care for the skin properly and keep it protected. This period of additional caution can vary by procedure, but typically lasts weeks or months.
Tips for Skin Protection
When it comes to taking care of your facial skin following treatment, common sense rules. Use sunscreen whenever you are outside—SPF 30 or higher, and make sure to reapply when necessary. Remember, just because the sun is not shining, does not mean you can ease up on sun protection. Your doctor can give you recommendations on which sunscreen to use.
Avoid the sun when at all possible during your recovery period, and while your skin is still sensitive for a few months after treatment. Consider using a hat when you are outside to help prevent accidental UV exposure. Remember, even sitting near windows at home and in the car can expose you to the harmful effects of UV rays.
Choosing Your Treatment
If you’re struggling with dull, aging, or otherwise less-vibrant skin, it can be difficult to decide which treatment is right for you. There are many different procedures available, and some are better suited to your problems than others. The best way to know you are choosing a procedure that is likely to get you a beautiful outcome is to speak with a board certified facial plastic surgeon about your options. Only an expert can assess your skin and make recommendations that will work for you. Because of this, it is important to choose your provider carefully. If you are looking for skin refreshment, it’s a good idea to talk to doctors who offer procedures such as:
- Chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Injectable treatments
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light treatments)
You may even want to consider a combination of treatments for more comprehensive results.
Talk to a Specialist
When it comes to cosmetic treatments, you don’t want to take any chances on your provider’s skill and knowledge. Even if you’re only interested in a simple treatment such as a chemical peel, it is best to seek help from a board certified facial plastic surgeon, to help ensure your safety and results are of the highest caliber. The right surgeon can give you advice on how to care for your skin and help you get the outcome you’re hoping for.
If you would like to meet with a talented, board certified facial plastic surgeon in Austin, TX, come to Buckingham Center and meet with Dr. Edward Buckingham to discuss your needs for cosmetic treatments. Dr. Buckingham offers a range of skin procedures and surgeries to meet the goals of many patients. Call today at 512-401-2500 to schedule your consultation.