By Kimberly Naugle Long
If you have spent anytime outside here in Georgia, then your skin more than likely has sun damage. A few freckles, sunspots, faint lines around the eyes, or uneven skin tone, the bright shining sun is responsible. The main cause of pigmented lesions, commonly known as “freckles,” “sun spots,” or “age spots,” is exposure to UV rays from the sun and age. The telangiectasia, “red vessels,” occur with age, pregnancy hormones, Rosacea, and other skin/vascular diseases; the red vessels can also be hereditary. It is hard to control our age and our genes, but the one thing we can control is our sun exposure. The hard part about the sun and our skin is being diligent with our sunblock every day, all day long.
Let’s face it, the only way to truly avoid sun damage is to stay inside, and who doesn’t want to enjoy the beautiful weather? From anti-aging creams to microdermabrasion to chemical peels, there are all kinds of beauty regimens we can try to reduce the damaging effects of the sun. But to truly conquer the sun spots and fine lines that accumulate over time, something more advanced is required.
Laser ablative resurfacing and Cryotherapy are effective ways of removing the pigmented spots and resurfacing the skin. Laser ablative resurfacing is an expensive procedure producing significant down-time. During this procedure, a laser is used to ablate or remove several layers of damaged skin so new, healthier skin can shine through. Oozing, crusting, and bleeding along with significant swelling may occur lasting up to 2 weeks. Plus, it’s recommended to rest and stay home during this time. This process costs upwards of $4,000 and repeat treatments may be needed. The results can be impressive if you are able to tolerate the discomfort and 1-2 weeks inside your house. Cryotherapy is another invasive option, but it will treat only pigmented spots. During this treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied to damaged portions of the skin so it will scab. After a week or so these spots fall off, leaving a clear spot on the skin. This process is not only painful but can require multiple visits year after year as new areas of pigment are revealed.
The Intense Pulsed Light or IPL works by using specialized pulses of light that target pigment spots and red vessels without harming the surrounding skin. The light delivered to the skin will stimulate collagen and improve skin tone. After a facial, pigmented spots that you did not even know were there will come to the surface, fade and disappear after a week or two. While the pulse of light can sting, the new IPL’s have a cool touch surface which helps reduce discomfort. Treatments normally last less than 30 minutes with no downtime leaving your face feeling warm and you can leave the office and proceed with your day. The warm sunburn feeling will fade and you will notice changes within about two hours. The results after the first session truly turn back the hands of time.
Skin Revitalization at Georgia Center for Sight now includes less invasive treatments that improves your skin’s appearance, quickly and easily. We bring you the most advanced technology in all areas of our services and are pleased to bring the ICON treatment system to Athens. Your clinician will determine the best method for you. Whether it’s an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment or one of our other treatment modalities, your younger, clearer, smoother skin will shine through. We offer a free consultation to customize your skin revitalization.
After moving to Athens to attend UGA for Anthropolgy and Spanish, Kimberly fell in love with the area and found a job in the medical field with Georgia Center for Sight. She loves working with patients and helping to educate and counsel them on how to best meet their needs. Being able to speak Spanish has been a huge help for many of her patients. Kimberly has been working as a Laser Technician in Aesthetics since 2009 and Certified Ophthalmic Assistant since 2005.