As the summer sun burns brighter, we are drawn more and more to favorite outdoor activities. But if we are not careful, all that fun in the sun can exact a toll on our skin. For the latest information and advances in summer skincare, we consulted with local experts: Dr. Rana Mays of Mays Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, board-certified in medical & cosmetic Dermatology, and Dr. Juan L. Quintero of JQ Plastic Surgery, a Cosmetic, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery Specialist.
Mays Dermatology & Cosmetic Center is a full-service center offering services in Medical, Surgical, and Cosmetic Dermatology to patients of all ages. Dr. Mays believes an evaluation by a board-certified Dermatologist is key in early and proper assessment of the skin condition. Every patient is seen by the board-certified dermatologist on every visit. They offer same-day appointments and fit-ins, accessibility to generic prescriptions at a reasonable cost, and targeted customized physician formulated products
Dr. Mays tells her patients, “If you can see, you’re getting UV.” Sunscreen should always read broad-spectrum (meaning protects against both UVA and UVB rays). She recommends wearing the “right” sunscreen daily on the face and neck, preferably one with physical blockers such as zinc and titanium. “Sunscreen is not one size fits all. There is no one right kind or right amount,” says Dr. Mays, “It depends on your skin type/condition, its tolerability, ingredients, and added protective agents such as antioxidants.” She recommends an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 or higher but warns that higher is not necessarily better, “Any higher than 30 and the effectiveness just plateaus.” The formulation should also be water and sweat resistant, reapplied every two hours, and replaced if expired. For the most dependable results, Dr. Mays recommends a physician-formulated, medical-grade sunscreen customized for your skin. But sunscreen is only the first layer of protection. She also advises seeking shade, wearing wide brim sun hats and protective clothing, and avoiding sun exposure during the hours of 11 am to 2 pm.
Annual skin exams and skin cancer screening by a board-certified Dermatologist should be performed, especially during the summer months as severe sunburns increase the risk of melanoma. Sun damage resulting in melasma, sun spots, pigmentation, wrinkles, and dull skin is treated by Dr. Mays with a multi-modality approach including prescription skincare, PRP micro-needling, radiofrequency devices, injectables, and/or chemical peels. Some related recent developments in dermatology are new coral-reef friendly sunscreens, revised FDA guidelines for sunscreen/sunblock product labeling, and research into the presence of chemical sunscreens found in the bloodstream.
JQ Plastic Surgery and Medi Spa is Dr. Juan L. Quintero’s skincare and outpatient plastic surgery center. Dr. Quintero agrees that sunscreen is not enough, advising the use of physical sunblocks like zinc oxide as well. Protective clothing and limiting time in the sun are also helpful. Prevention of sun damage is key. Once sun damage has occurred, Dr. Quintero has a variety of treatment options to offer. “Photodamage manifests in a few ways: pigmentation changes, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkles. Dark spots are areas of melanin overproduction. Wrinkles occur when collagen production and elastin are depleted.” Other more severe changes of photodamage are clearly skin cancer.
Examples of treatment options provided by JQ Plastics are basic medical-grade skincare exfoliants, the pigment clearing and correcting topical hydroquinone, chemical peels, HydraFacials, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), and Morpheus 8 micro-needling with radiofrequency among others. Tinted zinc oxide sunblocks are interesting new alternatives to foundation makeup that are more hydrating and provide a better barrier than sunscreens. Dr. Quintero also recommends VitaMedica anti-aging formula supplements and the use of collagen and hyaluronic acids to mitigate the aging effects of sun damage.
Dr. Quintero cautions us to remember that sun poisoning or a bad sunburn is essentially a second-degree burn and a skin emergency. Dr. Quintero says, we can not and should not completely avoid the sun either, as it is a crucial source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D strengthens bones, teeth, supports our immune systems and neurovascular health, helps regulate insulin, improves heart and lung function, and can boost mood and energy levels. As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation,” Dr. Q says, “You have to try to find that perfect balance that we so much seek in life.”