Park city summer 2013 health and wellness sunny side up matthew newton illustration b07827

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. Unfortunately, the sunshine and high altitude of Park City can speed up time’s unkind effects on your skin, leaving you seeing more lines in the mirror than on our local trail maps. Beyond using a wide-brimmed hat, moisturizer, and sunscreen every day, finding a skin-care specialist you trust can be an important step toward preventing and repairing sun damage.

“Today, we start with a matrix of very effective noninvasive treatments, ranging from creams to lasers, that can restore skin to its youthful health,” says Salt Lake City–based plastic surgeon Dr. Renato Saltz (saltzplasticsurgery.com). “We view surgery as just one option. A one-hour consultation with my team provides clients with personalized, usable information that would be difficult for them to find on their own.”

When it comes to choosing a course of treatment for sun damage, dermatologist Dr. David Teasley (drteasley.com) of Park City emphasizes that patients need to answer three fundamental questions for themselves: 1) What results do they expect? 2) How much do they want to spend? 3) How long do they expect the results to last? The answers will help a skin-care professional narrow his or her recommendations by focusing on the outcomes a client desires.

Products containing the active ingredient tretinoin (Retin-A is the best-known brand name) can often improve superficial sun damage. They’re economical but may cause temporary skin irritation, and results take considerable time. Injectable fillers (Juvéderm) or botulinum toxins (Botox) are effective at quickly relieving wrinkles, but they cost more and need to be repeated every few months. IPL lasers (Foto-facial) have proven to be successful in remedying discolorations of the skin and minor wrinkles, but take several weeks to show results. Radiofrequency treatment (Thermage) is great for tightening saggy skin and entails little downtime, but it’s generally not the best choice for deep wrinkles. CO2 lasers are highly effective on wrinkles, discoloration, and scarring but require considerable downtime for healing.

Park City local and plastic surgeon Dr. David S. Thomas (davidsthomasmd.com) points out that surgical options to repair sun damage have never been more effective. “If a patient wants to take 10 or 20 years off his/her appearance permanently, a face-lift is the best option. Today’s surgical techniques have minimal downtime and often prove to be less expensive in the long run than the total cost of noninvasive options that need to be repeated every few years.”

Whatever approach may suit you best, ongoing advances in treatment offer hope that all of the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle in Park City may not have to cost you your beautiful skin. Consult a local skin-care professional if you’re looking for more guidance. And at the very least, invest in that big hat. 

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