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With the warm weather finally here, you’re probably going to be spending a lot more time outdoors—at the beach, by the pool, playing sports, having backyard BBQs, going to picnics at the park, and even doing yard work and gardening. Your skin will be getting a lot of exposure to the sun.

You probably know it’s important to protect your skin from sun damage. Besides causing skin cancer, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin, aging you before your time. In fact, most characteristics associated with aging, such as wrinkles, deep skin furrows, mottled pigmentation, loss of elasticity, brown spots and thick or leathery skin are actually caused by years of sun exposure—not the natural aging process.

Preventing Sun Damage

There are steps you can—and should—take to prevent sun damage. Most importantly, you should:

Use Sunscreen
When going outdoors, always apply sunscreen, ideally with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 25. Spread it on thickly, about 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply it at least every two hours after that. If you will be swimming, use waterproof sunscreen. Women who wear foundation should apply a sunscreen under their makeup, even if it contains an SPF.

Watch the Clock
If at all possible, avoid direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest. If you must be outdoors during these hours, stay under the shade, or sit under a large umbrella if you’re on the beach.

Cover Up
Wear clothing that covers your shoulders, arms and legs. Put on long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants if you can stand it in the heat. Clothing made from dark colored, tightly-woven fabrics provides more protection than light-colored clothing made out of loosely-woven fabric. The tighter the weave, the more protective the garment.

You can also buy special “sun protective clothing” that blocks UV rays, available at sporting good stores and other retailers. The clothes are rated using the same SPF system for sunscreen, with 50 UPF being the highest.

Wear a Hat
Wear a sun hat or visor with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all to keep the sun’s rays from your face, ears, and neck.

Avoid Sun Lamps and Tanning Beds
Indoor tanning equipment, including laps, beds and booths, produce UV radiation and should be avoided. Studies have shown that just15 -30 minutes at a tanning salon is the equivalent of a full day in the direct sun.

Repairing Sun Damage

What if you’ve already got a lot of sun-induced skin imperfections? Obviously you should take the precautions just mentioned, to prevent any further harm to your skin. There are also steps you can take to repair or reverse sun damage.

The first thing you should do is make an appointment for a skin evaluation. If you live in the Atlanta area, the place to go for skin rejuvenation is the Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery. Founded by Dr. Sinha, this practice is one of the Southeast’s leaders in facial aesthetic enhancement, including all aspects of facial plastic surgery as well as nonsurgical rejuvenation.

During an office consultation, Dr. Sinha will evaluate your sun-damaged skin and recommend a treatment course that will give you the best results. Treatments can include laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, fillers, microdermabrasion, or wrinkle removal with injectables such as Radiesse®, Restylane & Perlane®, or Sculptra®.

The consultation includes an assessment of your skin using the Visia Skin Analysis technology. This system takes high quality digital images of various layers and views of your facial skin, showing where there are particular skin concerns. The VISIA analyses and measures skin conditions in six areas affecting skin complexion: wrinkles, spots, pores, tone, porphyrins (evidence of bacteria in pores), and UV spots (sun damage), producing a multi-dimensional portrait of your skin complexion. Using this vital information, Dr. Sinha will then make customized treatment recommendations based on your personal preferences and desires.

Products for Beautiful Skin

The Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery carries several lines of physician-prescribed skin care products which can help revitalize and repair sun-damaged skin. During an office consultation, Dr. Sinha and his staff will offer suggestions for skincare products to help meet your skin challenges. Patients may decide to use these products in lieu of or in conjunction with another treatment procedure.

Dr. Sinha recommends the following skincare products, all of which can be purchased at the Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery:

Obagi Skincare Products
Obagi skincare products are excellent cosmetic agents designed to minimize premature aging and skin damage, and improve hyper-pigmentation acne, sun damage and the signs and symptoms of rosacea.
This physician-prescribed skin care line works well on all skin types. The Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery carries Obagi’s Nu-Derm System, including the Obagi-C® Rx System, the Condition & Enhance® System, the ELASTIderm® family of products, the CLENZIderm M.D.™ Systems, Blue Peel®, Blue Peel RADIANCE®, and the Rosaclear® System.

Revision Skincare Products
The Revision skincare product line focuses on restoring, protecting and hydrating your skin. This robust physician-prescribed skincare line has products for all types of skincare challenges, including products focused on hyper-pigmentation for pre-mature aging. Revision’s “No More Wrinkles” plan is perfect for the patient looking to repair sun damaged skin.

SkinMedica’s Clinical Skincare Collection
SkinMedica’s clinical skin care collection includes creams, lotions, cleansers, moisturizers, toners, sunscreens and more, all designed to enhance skin appearance, reduce signs of aging, and provide other skin care benefits.

Latisse
Latisse is the first and only prescription treatment approved by the FDA for hypotrichosis (inadequate or not enough lashes) to grow eyelashes longer, fuller and darker. The treatment is applied once daily to the base of the upper eyelashes with a sterile, single-use-per-eye disposable applicator. Users may see darker, fuller eyelashes a soon as eight weeks after starting the treatment program, with full results in 16 weeks.

To schedule a skin care consultation that includes a VISIA skin care analysis and skincare product recommendations, please call the Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery at 404-256-5428. This is the first step in having beautiful and healthy skin, not just for the summer swimsuit season, but for the rest of your life!