Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Even Skin Tone for the Tone Deaf

Because beautiful skin is so fundamental to creating the perfect canvas for your look, finding a good skin care system or program that works well for you warrants some time and attention. This is a 6-part series that will include common skin problems and some common, some not-so common and, some cutting-edge solutions that will give you your best skin yet.

Discovering your best looking skin is not as difficult as you might think. Beautiful skin or your best skin is not a one size fits all. But your skin can look its best with some objective expert information, a little discipline and products or procedures that work for you. A good skin care regime is your second step to your best complexion. The first step is knowledge. Before putting together a good skin care regime, you should first know what you’re working with. Specifically, there is no other skin like yours and so you should treat it as such. But, there are common skin types and common skin problems.
Hyperpigmentation and Excess Sun Exposure

The Problem

One culprit of uneven skin tone is hyperpigmentation or a mass of clusters of melanin in skin creating an uneven appearance. Age spots, melasma, and freckles (which are inherited) are examples of hyperpigmentation. UV rays can cause excess melanin to form deposits in the skin resulting in hyperpigmentation. Darkened skin patches can become darker or more pronounced when skin is exposed to the sun. This happens because melanin absorbs the energy of the sun's harmful UV rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure. The usual result of this process is tanning, which tends to darken areas that are already hyperpigmented.

The first and most important rule of thumb is to protect your skin against UV rays. Sun overexposure is a leading cause of skin damage. UV rays can damage all skin tones and skin types. If you think you’re safe because you have dark skin, think again. Dark skin is not your get out of jail free card. UV rays penetrate the skin (all races, all skin tones) and causes free radicals that damage skin cells and cause skin to repair itself more slowly which leads to premature aging.
You can’t shun the sun and become a vampire because you need the sun for your body to manufacture vitamin D which is actually a hormone that that regulates and helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus, but that is a whole other story. Bottom line is you still need the sun, but over exposure can cause potentially serious health problems such as skin cancer. The happy or satisfactory medium – broad-spectrum sun screen.

If you already have superficial damage changing your habits may help to offset the damages of sun exposure. Whatever your skin type, a regularly applied broad-spectrum sunscreen is good protection against blotchy, blemished skin and photo-aging. The recommendation is 15 SPF. Some dermatologists recommend at least 30 SPF.

The Fix

There’s more than one cause of skin discoloration. Fortunately, bleaching remains the same regardless of source of the darkness. There are products and procedures on the market that can reverse the effects of damaging UV rays. Topical solutions such as fade creams with hydroquinone work well and are inexpensive. DERMAdoctor.com has articles that provide detail on bleaching or fade creams with hydroquinone and a wide variety of other bleaching solutions that may work for your skin.

Trichloro Acetic Acid
Can erase superficial discoloration and fine lines. Trichloro acetic acid is the most common chemical peel . TCA peels provide an intermediate solution that can last from six months to two years. It is a chemical so it will burn. Your dermatologist will apply iced saline and burns for two to ten minutes. It takes 15 to 60 minutes for the dermatologist to perform the procedure. Chemical peels cannot correct deep sun damage. For more detailed information on chemical peels go to http://www.infoplasticsurgery.com/facial/peels/TCApeels.html

Microdermabrasion uses mechanical abrasion from jets of zinc oxide or aluminum oxide crystals, fine organic particles, or a roughened surface. Particles and removed material are vacuumed off through the wand through which the abrasive particles come. It is also effective in removing sun-damaged skin and dark spots on the skin and scars left from moderate to severe acne. The procedure is not very painful and requires no anaesthetic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not bad.
I told you before I like your postings.
This one hit home, ive been wanting to go to the dermatologist just to kinda get a skin check up.
Its time since summer is coming up, i havent been that nice to my skin this winter.