Revitalize Your Skin With Our Help
Every day we're shown television and print advertisements that are full of sales pitches for the latest and greatest skin care products that will take years off our appearances. Elegant pictures of young women who've never so much as opened the door of a plastic surgeon's office are shown while voiceovers describe all types of products with sophisticated, European names.
How do we make heads or tails of all this hype, and is there really anything to "skin care"? Let Lappert Plastic Surgery explain a bit about skin care and how we can help you.
Please note that none of the topical treatments for younger skin are permanent. Just like brushing your teeth, these are things we can do a couple times per day to maintain a healthier appearance. Talk to us
about any issues you have so your particular concerns can be addressed without a lot of wasted time and money.
Why Does Our Skin Look Older as We Age?
Over time, several things happen to our skin.
1. Cell turnover: New cells are constantly being born in the lowest layers of our skin. As this process continues, older cells are pushed to the surface. As they rise to higher layers and age, they make a substance called keratin. Keratin is a tough substance that makes calluses and mechanically protects our skin.
Ultimately, they get old and die, flaking off of our skin. In our teens, these cells go through this cycle in about 14 days. As we get older, that turnover time increases. In later years, more old, flaky, dull cells stick to our skin surface, giving our skin a duller and chalkier appearance.
2. Collagen content: Collagen is a protein that special cells spin out like yarn. It's the tough, elastic material that gives skin much of its thickness and most of its elasticity. Collagen layers also hold a lot of moisture in the skin. As we age, those special cells make less collagen, causing our skin to get thinner and dryer.
This explains why you can see through the skin on your grandmother's hand and why older people can easily suffer trauma to their skin.
3. Skin pigment: chronic long-term irritation to the skin, such as sun exposure and chemical exposure (like Dr. Lappert's constant scrubbing with antiseptic soaps for surgery) causes splotchy pigmentation. People often refer to this as "age spots." This pigment is different from the normal pigment that gives your skin its basic color.
This pigment is produced by cells that are more superficial in your skin.
Select the Right Product to Manage Aging Skin
Our skin care strategy revolves around the 3 basic issues listed above. By understanding the issues, we can figure out effective ways of breathing new life into your skin.
1. Cell turnover: By aggressively stripping away old, dead skin that's stuck to the surface layers, we can polish the surface and remove that old, chalky look. This method can also stimulate cell turnover, speeding up the cycle from new cells to dead cells.
This can be done mechanically through buffing pads, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. The most effective process is to use laser peels.
2. Collagen: The cells that make collagen respond to anything that wounds or irritates the skin. Collagen is also the chief ingredient in scars. If we do things to uniformly irritate or wound the skin, those cells will make collagen. Chemical peels and laser peels are very effective at stimulating collagen production.
If we treat the skin afterward with products containing ceramides, we can increase the moisture content of your skin, making it thicker, more elastic, and younger. Your skin improves not just in appearance but in its overall behavior.
3. Pigment: Pigment issues are the toughest to deal with. Since "age spot" pigment is superficial, we can reduce it by applying ingredients that suppress pigment production and strip the pigment away with microdermabrasion and laser peels. Ingredients that suppress the production of pigment include hydroquinone and some newer soy-based substances.
This process can be very slow, sometimes requiring many months of work. Aggressive treatments tend to irritate the skin, causing more pigment rather than less.