High and Dry — Protecting Your Skin in Colorado’s Semi-Arid Climate

Colorado’s 300+ days of sunshine and crisp, dry air give our state its bracing climate — but take their toll on our complexions.

At a mile or more above sea level, Colorado’s atmosphere is thinner, making the sun’s rays more damaging and leading to earlier and more severe photo-aging. Plus, the lack of humidity in the air compounds the sun’s damaging effects, so even young faces show signs of aging well before their time.

Other environmental factors take their toll, too. Air pollution, poor nutrition, smoking, and other external influences all break down the underlying cellular structure of the skin, leading to wrinkling, blotching, and sagging. And of course, sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.

Never too late
Whether you’re a Colorado newcomer or sport a “Native” bumper sticker, you can start now to protect your skin by using a good sunscreen, at least SPF 30. And not just on your face, slather it on all exposed skin. Products that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are the most effective, and Parsol is another good sunblock. It protects against UV-A and UV-B rays, both of which cause sun damage.

Sunscreen will help prevent further ultraviolet damage, but it can’t reverse harm already done. For that you may want to consider corrective treatments that can actually reverse the ravages of time and environment. Addressing skin damage early with corrective action and regular maintenance can keep skin young, healthy, and vibrant as it continues to age.

What options are available?

Technology has advanced over the past several years to make medical skin treatments more accessible and affordable than ever before. Surgery is no longer the only avenue to a more attractive, youthful appearance, as evidenced by the explosion of medical skin care clinics across the country. And, because nonsurgical treatments are noninvasive, there is no down time and the cost is much lower than surgery.

Available treatments vary with the degree of damage, and your options will be explained by a medical skin care professional. For example, reducing fine lines around the eyes will probably require a different approach than correcting extremely sun-damaged skin, and the careful evaluation of a trained clinician will assure that you get the treatment most appropriate to your specific needs.

From least- to most-damaged skin, treatment options include:

Topical — a good skin-care regimen using products containing Retinol or Vitamin C serum to increase exfoliation and keep skin looking young. In-office microdermabrasion is another topical treatment that removes the top layer of skin and stimulates new cell growth.

Skin peels — chemical peels, using mild fruit-acid-based preparations or stronger chemical-based acids, actually peel off the top layer of skin, allowing healthy, undamaged skin to replace the sun-damaged cells.

Laser and light treatments — for more severely damaged, inelastic skin with dark “age spots” and deep wrinkles, several types of laser and light treatments can produce dramatic improvements in tone, color, and texture.

Whatever type of skin treatment you choose, it is essential that it be provided by a facility that offers highly skilled professionals, supervised by physicians, and FDA-approved technology. Remember, this is your skin. You can’t afford to take a chance with anything less than the best.


What to Look For in a Skin Care Clinic

Flip through a newspaper or magazine, or switch on the radio or TV, and you’ll be bombarded with ads for skin care treatments. Laser treatments, skin resurfacing, Botox injections, chemical peels, and other 21st-century innovations really can restore youth and vitality to sun-damaged and aging skin, remove scars and tattoos, and eliminate unwanted hair. The proliferation of skin care spas and clinics across the country attests to the great demand for these services.

But all skin care clinics are not created equal. You’ll find a wide range of services offered, but the qualifications and training of the people who provide those services is all over the map. Before committing your money — and your skin — to a treatment, here are a few things to look for:

Trained, professional staff
It’s important to remember that these are sophisticated medical treatments that must be supervised by trained and experienced professionals. Look for treatments provided in a medical setting, with qualified physicians in charge. Trained clinicians should take a thorough medical history to provide you with the best possible care and be aware of any potential for adverse reactions. They will also have the experience to recommend the best treatment for your specific skin problems, because they are thoroughly grounded in the skin’s anatomy and physiology and understand the changes that take place with aging and exposure to sun and the environment.

Technology
Above all, seek skin care founded on medical science. Look for a clinic — not a “medical spa” — that employs experienced medically trained professionals on-site to supervise all treatments. Be sure all equipment is FDA-approved and extensively tested before it is used on clients. Assure yourself that the technicians who use the equipment are thoroughly trained and are supervised by medical professionals.

Comfort
Comfort is of course as important in a clinical setting as it is in a spa, but it must also contribute to a successful treatment. While you will feel more comfortable in a clinic that offers welcoming colors and plush treatment chairs, avoid spas or salons that offer services like pedicures or massages — your clinic should focus its energy on medical skin treatments. Also look for high-quality professional lighting — that assures proper administration of skin-saving treatments.
Industry standards.

The medical skin care industry is undergoing explosive growth, but there as yet is no single accrediting or licensing body that assures the qualifications of anyone who claims to offer “medical” skin care. That’s why it’s vitally important to be sure the owners and operators of your skin care clinic be qualified physicians or surgeons, because only they have the medical background and experience to properly select and supervise the estheticians and technicians who administer today’s high-tech skin-care treatments. Then can you feel confident that such clinics won’t just meet industry standards, they’ll set them.

Summing up — it’s your skin
Erasing years is easier and more affordable today than ever before, and advances in laser technology have made it possible to achieve dramatic results without surgery and with no down-time. By doing your homework and checking out the qualifications and background of a medical skin care clinic before you sign up for a treatment plan, you’ll be assured of a good result — and younger, healthier skin for a long time to come.


Options for Skin Care

If you’ve ever been embarrassed by your skin’s appearance, you know that even the most skillful makeup can’t effectively conceal rosacea, broken capillaries, and brown spots. And as we age, those unsightly conditions tend to worsen. Sadly, more and better makeup isn’t the answer.
For many people, the answer may be FotoFacial treatments. FotoFacial can eliminate redness, broken capillaries, and brown spots and reduce fine wrinkles and large pores. After completing a series FotoFacial treatments, you’ll find you’ll need less makeup, not more.

How it works
FotoFacial treatments can be used on any part of the skin. They are especially effective for improving the appearance of the face, neck, and chest, which typically receive greater exposure to the sun and weather than other parts of the body.

This gentle but powerful pulsed-light device offers additional benefits over chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and microdermabrasion, which are ineffective in reducing redness and flushing or dilated capillaries. In fact, FotoFacial treatments can often enhance the results of other skin-treatment technologies.

FotoFacial’s visible light device delivers a series of gentle light pulses to the skin. By emitting a specific wavelength, the pulse targets damaged cells and destroys them without damaging the healthy tissue that surrounds it. The light actually zeroes in on dark pigmentation within the skin – age spots, freckles, capillaries – breaking down the pigment so that it can be absorbed by the body.

Discomfort during treatment is minimal and can be relieved with a mild topical anesthetic. There is no discomfort after treatments. Immediately after a treatment, the skin may appear red and flushed, and tiny capillaries may appear more visible. Brown spots generally appear darker. All of these changes gradually fade over a period of hours to a few days.

After just the first treatment, you will notice smoother skin, with visible improvement in irregular pigmentation, fine wrinkles, and pore size. On the average, flushing, redness, and symptoms of rosacea improve more than seventy-five percent after FotoFacial treatments.

There is no downtime with FotoFacial. A treatment takes just twenty minutes and requires no anesthesia, and clients can return to full activities immediately after treatments. A full series of five or more sessions is performed at three-week intervals.

After the first treatment, the skin feels noticeably smoother and displays a more even tone. Further improvement becomes more visible after each treatment.

Who should use it

The best candidates for FotoFacial are people who suffer from rosacea, with its embarrassing flushing and redness, people with broken facial veins and capillaries, people with pronounced age spots, and anyone with early aging and sun damage. All of those conditions respond dramatically to FotoFacial treatments, returning the skin to a vibrant, youthful appearance.
And, unlike laser resurfacing or chemical peels, FotoFacial lets you return to your active lifestyle immediately — so you won’t have to miss social or outdoor activities.

 

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