Skin is your body’s largest organ, meaning that just as you look after your heart and lung health, you should also look after your skin health. It is important to keep your skin as healthy as possible. However, in addition to its functionality, many of us are just as concerned about how our skin appears. Exposed to the environment and profoundly affected by the aging process, our skin is usually the first thing that tends to exhibit signs of aging.
At Clark Plastic & Hand Surgery in McKinney, TX, we are pleased to be able to offer some superior non-surgical skin care treatments that can help your skin retain its healthy and attractive appearance for as long as possible.
Retinols and Retinoids
Retinols and retinoids are important ingredients in skin care products. They are proven to have some serious anti-aging power, including reducing the appearance of wrinkles and imperfections, like acne scarring and pigmentation changes.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that occurs naturally in the skin and is also found in low concentrations in many cosmetic skin care products. If we apply retinol topically, our skin will convert it into retinoic acid, a substance which has been shown to improve the appearance of lines and discoloration. However, this process can take weeks. Therefore, patients may find that they need to use an ointment formulated with retinol daily for three months or more before they notice a discernible difference in the appearance of their skin.
Retinoids are chemical compounds that are related to Vitamin A and work by stimulating the skin to rapidly turnover cells, killing old ones to boost the growth of new ones. Retinol also encourages collagen production and thickens deeper layers of the skin, the area from which wrinkles form. This compound can curb melanin production, which can prevent pigment changes in our skin, include those from sun damage and those that occur naturally with advancing age. Retinoid creams and ointments are only available on prescription, and our cosmetic surgeon will be able to recommend a dosage that is suitable for you. Using our physician-grade retinoid treatment, you can expect to see a difference in the appearance of your skin in as little as four weeks.
Skin color is determined by the amount of melanin that we have in our skin, although sunlight exposure, hormones and coming into contact with certain chemicals can affect melanin production. Skin lightening treatments have evolved a great deal in the last few decades. Popular with patients who have skin problems such as age spots, acne scars, hormone-related discoloration or excessive freckles, skin lightening treatments use bleaching agents to reduce the presence of melanin in our skin.
There are various brands of bleaching agent used in the U.S., but the vast majority contain an ingredient called hydroquinone. While over the counter lightening treatments can legally contain up to 2% of this agent, we are able to provide professional-grade treatment via prescription for bleaching agents that contain up to 6% hydroquinone. As a result, the quality of skin whitening achieved using our prescription products is substantially higher and longer-lasting.
Any good doctor, dermatologist, or cosmetic surgeon will recommend you use sunscreen regularly to prevent UV damage to your skin. Unfortunately, a shocking number of patients still manage to suffer from sunburn at least once each year. This can cause a range of problems for your health, including putting you at very real risk of developing skin cancer.
Sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but with so many on the market, it can be confusing to find the right one for you and your family. To be truly safe from the effects of the sun, you must find a sunscreen that filters both UVA and UVB rays, and the higher the SPF the better. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, SPF 50 sunscreens are around 98% effective at preventing painful skin damage.
If you are still unsure which sunscreen is going to be the most effective for you, Dr. Clark will be happy to make a recommendation.
For further advice on skin care, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly, knowledgeable team today at 469-675-3659.