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Winterizing Your Skin

The summer is coming to an end, and with that, another year of school, social events and the advent of cooler weather. Just like you change your clothing to reflect the weather, your skin requires the same attention to the elements. There are numerous treatments to revitalize, repair and restore your skin. As with all medical procedures, it is important to select a professional that has experience in the procedure you choose and to determine which treatment is correct for your specific needs.Prepping Skin for Winter Treatments Exposure to summer’s elements can play havoc with your skin. To put on a fresher face and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots, and other common skin conditions, a variety of in-office treatments are available. But first, it is important that the skin be “prepped” so that the prescribed treatment is optimally delivered.Exfoliation Exfoliation involves the removal of (mostly) dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. The process exposes a fresher layer of skin which can better enhance penetration of nutrients and help your skin appear younger. Exfoliation can be achieved with the use of a special ultrasonic skin care brush and should not be performed more than once daily. There are many exfoliation products on the market-- from commercial scrubs to more abrasive treatments-- but the use of abrasive exfoliants are discouraged because of their tendency to irritate the skin. Professional procedures include Microdermabrasion, which can be performed in a doctor’s office in about an hour or so and requires no healing time. This not only will help diminish fine wrinkles and skin discoloration, but also prepare the skin to better accept topical nutrients. Another option is a series of chemical peels which are offered in varying strengths. Many peels are minimally invasive and can leave the skin looking younger and refreshed.Hydration Daily and nightly hydration is one of the keys to minimizing lines and keeping the skin fresh. As your body begins to lose water, the first place that it pulls it from is your skin. Be sure to drink enough water each day to provide not only enough hydration for your body, but your skin as well. Do not over cleanse the skin, as that can strip the skin of its essential oils. Be sure to cover the skin to protect it from harsh winds, cold or extreme sunlight. Eat well. Diets that are balanced and include enough natural fatty acids help to keep the skin hydrated and elastic. Of course, the face is the first thing we think of when it comes to skin care, but the skin covering the rest of the body is just as important. There are many good commercial moisturizers as well as premium doctor-recommended products that can help the skin retain its moisture. Anti- Agers & Fading Creams The newest anti-aging treatments include growth factors and youth protein activators which stimulate cell reproduction and regeneration. The best therapeutic creams tend to be those available through physician offices, but can sometimes be found in milder formulations over-the-counter. When used regularly, these specialized formulations have been shown to reduce the appearance of skin blotchiness, wrinkles, and scars. When used in combination with in-office treatments (see below), they tend to further enhance and maintain the clinical results obtained. In-Office Therapeutics Chemical Peels have long been used to rejuvenate skin. Depending on the severity of the problem, clinical results are often observed in a short period of time with little or no recovery necessary. Another treatment option is Laser Skin Resurfacing, which can diminish the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage, providing a younger, fresher appearance. Visible veins of the face and legs can be treated with a variety of laser and light treatments as well as Sclerotherapy – the latter involving the injection of specialized solutions that irritate the blood vessels in order to cause their destruction. These treatments are best performed in the Fall and Winter months when less risk of undesirable sun exposure is anticipated. In addition, it’s easier to cover arms and legs (after chemical peels or sclerotherapy) with clothing in the cooler seasons.