Enjoy the sunshine - not sun-spots

Treatment of sun spots at Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates. Photo provided.

by Courtney Caplin
Trans Surgical Columnist

With beautiful weather and summer sunshine here, I have many patients asking about their skin. When discussing skincare with my patients, I like to break it into two main categories: prevention and correction.

We currently use SkinMedica by Allergan at our office, so I will mention their products by name, but there are many other great brands that have similar products. Most importantly, just ensure that any product you purchase for correction are at a medical quality - both percentage of the active ingredient and knowing what is actually inside the bottle. Although department store products can feel and smell wonderful, the most active ingredients are typically perfumes.


1. Sunscreen: Everyone should wear sunscreen everyday - SPF 30 or higher. We are exposed to UV rays at small points in our daily life - even after parking and walking into the grocery store or work. What is nice is that so many makeup products have figured this out. Now with all the BB creams and CC creams on the market, wearing sunscreen does not have to be an added step to a daily beauty routine but can be easily incorporated.

2. Antioxidants: There is a lot of hype about anti-oxidants in the news. Although many of my patients are familiar with the term, they do not understand how it can help their skin. I like to use the example of how you can put orange juice on apple slices to stop them from browning. A very similar oxidative reaction is causing the pigmented brown spots on the skin. Using a topical Vitamin C will help prevent this reaction on your skin. Topical Vitamin E helps build up the outer protective layer of your cells to help them maintain moisture and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Botox: Botox as prevention is one of the latest trends for patients under 35 years of age. Botox is a safe toxin used to paralyze the muscles that form wrinkles. If you can prevent the wrinkles from forming in the first place, then you will not have to treat them in the future. Many patients are concerned that they will not be able to continue the treatment as regularly as they would like and fearful that they may make their wrinkles worse. This is a complete myth and not true. Any treatment, when performed correctly, will help with prevention.


1. Retinol: I am often asked, "Who should use a retinol?" That is an easy answer: "Everybody." Here is why: it is one of the most powerful anti-aging creams, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Tretinoin (Retin-A), a derivative of Vitamin A, was previously used to treat acne because it helps cells turn over - exfoliating your skin. But it can be very harsh, causing severe redness and flaking. Retinol, also a derivative of Vitamin A, is converted to its active ingredient Tretinoin (Retin-A) by your skin, so it does not over-dry, but reduces fine lines and wrinkles and helps treat acne.

2. Lytera: If you have had your fun in the sun, especially in your childhood, you may have already collected a few "sun spots" or "wisdom spots". Do not worry, it is not too late. You can still get rid of those brown spots with Lytera which reduces skin discoloration and corrects hyper-pigmentation. Lytera is a non-hydroquinone product, but clinical studies have shown efficacy similar to four percent hydroquinone.

3. Chemical peels: Although skincare needs to be a part of your everyday routine, many people want to have a treatment to get their skin regimen jump-started. There are many chemical peels available that vary in strength and depth of penetration in the skin. At the strongest level, patients are sedated for comfort and due to the invasiveness have a longer recovery process. However, there are in-office treatments that combine salicylic acid, lactic acid, resorcinol and retinol and are effective but do not slow down your daily life.

4. Botox: Yes, Botox can prevent and correct. If you already have strong "11's" between your eyebrows or crow's feet around your eyes, Botox can soften and often eliminate these lines. Each treatment lasts approximately three months and with regular use, patients can often stretch out time between injections even longer.

With summer and sunshine right around the corner, make sure you are not only treating your current sun spots and wrinkles but preventing them too. Dr. Caplin offers complimentary consultations to discuss your individual needs and concerns at Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – July 8, 2017 @ 1:05 p.m.