Summer is fading fast, and with that our sun-kissed skin. Unfortunately, our summer days in the sun may leave us with new wrinkles and more brown spots. We asked Dr. Norris at Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa what she recommends for clearing up summer sun damage.
Dr. Norris explains, “There is always an influx of sun lovers who come to see us in September feeling not so sun loving. These patients want to know if their sun damage is reversible and what their options are to treat it. Sun-damaged skin is often heavily pigmented with brown spots, is thin, has loss of elasticity and fine lines are apparent. There is not one treatment to address all these concerns, so I recommend a series of three different procedures to get them started, each separated by about one month. In my office, we call this series of procedures ‘The Flight.’ It is not a flight of wine or beer, but a flight of three popular medical spa procedures! Even better!”
Dr. Norris goes on to explain each procedure of “The Flight,” “The three procedures of ‘The Flight’ may be done in any order, but often patients start with microneedling. Microneedling is also referred to as collagen-induction therapy. We use an FDA-cleared microneedling device to make .5-1.75 perpendicular perforations in numb skin. The body responds to the injured skin by sending in healing forces to make brand-new skin. This means new collagen (fewer wrinkles), improved elastin (tighter skin), and less pigment (lighter brown spots). Patients realize the results of microneedling 1-3 months after their treatment. Often a series of microneedling treatments are needed, but it is still beneficial to do one. There is little or no pain or downtime with microneedling. Another procedure that is part of ‘The Flight’ is IPL (Intense Pulse Light). IPL is a light energy treatment with multiple wavelengths of laser energy. The light energy from this laser destroys tiny red vessels and brown pigment on the face. The tiny vessels collapse and disappear immediately, and the large molecules of pigment are broken into microscopic particles that work their way out of the skin over two weeks. I explain to patients that an IPL treatment makes skin all more one color and is best done when they are not at all tan and will not be in the hot sun a few weeks before or after the treatment. IPL feels like warm rubber band snaps. You can expect to be a little red and slightly swollen after the treatment. The third procedure that is part of ‘The Flight’ is a medical-grade chemical peel customized for your specific sun damage and skin issues. When peels are done correctly, they are not painful but can provide extraordinary results with an average of three days of micropeeling. Think eraser shavings! Our patients all receive a post-procedure kit of products to use after the peel for 10 days, so their deeper skin layer heals well. We do not expect patients to be red or peeling in sheets with these peels. We do expect their skin to be glowing, with fewer fine lines and less pigment after a few weeks. It is not necessary that the peel be done last, but if done three weeks after an IPL, removal of brown spots/pigment is maximized.”
Dr. Norris concludes, “Especially if you are new to medical spa procedures, ‘The Flight’ is a perfect way to try three results-driven procedures and see what you like best. If there is one treatment that your skin responds best to, you can go on to do more of those. Many of our long-standing patients do ‘The Flight’ every Fall/Winter to clean up their summer sun damage, and some of them do two Flights back-to-back when they have more significant sun damage!”
If you are interested in treating your summer sun damage with medical-grade treatments, contact Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa for a consultation with Dr. Norris to see if “The Flight” is right for you and get fabulous Flight promotional pricing! 815-780-8264