Comparing Skin Resurfacing Treatments

skine careSoaking up the sun is something of a year-round activity in Southern California. But all those rays can take their toll. Fortunately, even if you were a bit too lenient with sunscreen application in days gone by, you can recapture the youthful glow of smooth, vibrant skin with a range of skin resurfacing treatments that unclog pores and remove the dead cells that cause a dull, tired-looking complexion.

Depending on your goals and your skin’s condition, resurfacing treatments vary from home exfoliation to the latest in laser procedures. Freckles, sun spots, or other darkened patches of skin, as well as general tone and texture concerns, can all be alleviated with skin resurfacing. Here’s a look at some of the most popular treatments:


Scrubbing Away Dead Skin at Home

There are some great DIY skin rejuvenation treatments to clear up clogged pores and promote even tone and texture. At-home exfoliating treatments include scrubs, creams, lotions, and masks. The Pulsaderm “Buddy” is a handy device that fits nicely in a travel bag. It comes with an array of brush heads for exfoliation of virtually all skin types. Over-the-counter exfoliating creams and masks are designed to be used regularly to help prevent breakouts and prepare the skin for makeup application.

A Gentle Polish With Microdermabrasion

The popularity of microdermabrasion rests in part with the fact that it gently exfoliates the skin, priming it to absorb moisturizers, creams, and lotions that are part of a typical skin care regimen. Done at a dermatologist’s office or medical spa, it’s painless and poses little to no risk of side effects, resulting in healthy, clear skin. Unlike chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin without penetrating beneath the skin’s surface.

Peel Away Dull Skin With Chemicals

A light or medium chemical peel steps up skin rejuvenation a notch above at-home treatments and microdermabrasion. A skin care specialist can customize your treatment using a chemical solution to address specific skin conditions. Peels are ideal for sun-damaged skin, uneven tone, and brown spots. Remember we’re talking about light or medium peels. A deep peel is reserved for more severe wrinkling and skin damage and requires significant downtime to recover.

A Laser Skin Resurfacing Breakthrough

Exposure to the sun and pollution, along with the natural aging process, breaks down collagen — the building block of connective tissue that keeps skin smooth and youthful. One of the best methods for rebuilding collagen is laser resurfacing, and today’s advanced treatments are better than ever.

For years, laser skin treatments vaporized the skin’s outer layer. Even though this was effective, the downside included extended downtime and pain, along with the risk of complications such as infection and discoloration. With the introduction of CO2 fractional laser therapy, which WebMD called one of the top anti-aging breakthroughs of the past decade, laser skin resurfacing entered a new era.

“Think of your aging skin much like a masterpiece that’s been weathered and worn,” says the website of Dr. Susan M. Stuart, a board-certified dermatologist who uses the Fraxel laser at her San Diego practice. “The colors on the canvas, once brilliant and vibrant, are now faded and indistinct. Restoring a valuable masterpiece requires precision and skill. Much like an art restorer, the Fraxel laser gently and safely restores our skin’s youthful appearance. It rejuvenates your skin without causing visible damage by vaporizing the damaged skin cells below the surface.”

All of these treatments can make a noticeable improvement in skin quality, but with differences in price, downtime, and overall effectiveness. If you’d like learn more about any of the treatments or about the best choice for your skin, visit a qualified, experienced dermatologist.

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