American Academy of Dermatology: Looking Older Before Your Time?

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American Academy of Dermatology: Looking Older Before Your Time? Posted by
American Academy of Dermatology: Looking Older Before Your Time?

Medical and Surgical Solutions for Photoaging

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The healthy glow from a suntan today can
come back to haunt you tomorrow. Photoaging, the premature wrinkling and
damage done to the skin by the sun, affects millions of Americans and is the
impetus behind the search for new ways to recreate and retain a youthful
Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology's Derm Update 2000,
dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD, Professor, Dermatology and Pathology, The
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, discussed the surgical, medical and
cosmetic treatments of photoaging.
"Today, patients are more sensitive to their appearance as they age. They
also have a greater understanding of the types of treatments available for
aging skin," said Dr. Bergfeld. "Dermatologists can create a customized
treatment plan that will address a patient's specific concerns and optimize
the benefits for their skin."
Natural aging is commonly characterized by a thinning of the skin and a
deepening of the normal facial expression lines. As the skin ages, it becomes
more fragile and crinkles (thin fine wrinkles) appear. Unlike natural aging,
photoaging is distinguished by coarse wrinkles, dry and rough skin, abundant
freckling, loss of firmness and skin discoloration. Habitual tanning or
unprotected outdoor activity severely damages the elastic fibers below the
surface of the skin, causing it to appear tight and leathery. At the same
time, the skin loses its ability to bounce back from stretching and deep, dry
wrinkles develop.
"The best prevention for photoaging is a comprehensive sun safety program
that includes the use of sunscreens, wearing protective clothing and hats, and
seeking shade whenever possible," said Dr. Bergfeld. "However, there are also
several medical and surgical treatments that can help individuals turn back
the hands of time."

Medical Skin Rejuvenation
Currently, the only prescription topical treatment for skin manifestations
of photoaging is tretinoin emollient cream. Tretinoin has been shown to
reduce the fine wrinkles, splotchy pigmentation and skin roughness associated
with chronic sun exposure. Other over-the-counter cosmetic moisturizing
products have begun including retinol or anti-oxidants in their ingredients,
which also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In addition, the last decade has seen a marked increase in the cosmetic
industry's use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA's). Of these naturally occurring
compounds derived from fruit and dairy products, glycolic and lactic acids are
the most common. "Although there have been limited studies regarding AHA's,
dermatologists and patients have been impressed with the impact these agents
have on photoaging," said Dr. Bergfeld. "The use of cosmetics with retinoids
or AHA's, combined with gentle skin cleansing, a broad spectrum sunscreen and
a retinoid treatment at night, can mildly improve skin damaged by photoaging."

Surgical Skin Rejuvenation
Patients are more often combining medical treatments with non-invasive
surgical techniques to reverse the signs of aging. Many patients, who want
the results of facial rejuvenation without extended recovery time, are taking
advantage of new "lunch-time" techniques including acid peels,
microdermabrasion, and superficial laser peels. Facial resurfacing
procedures, such as these, physically remove the upper layer of the skin and
new, younger-looking skin replaces damaged skin, reducing wrinkles and fading
pigment spots. "Though these techniques may have less recovery time, often
allowing patients to go back to work immediately, the results are not as long-
lasting," said Dr. Bergfeld.
There are also several soft tissue augmentation which can smooth out
wrinkles making them less noticeable. One of the most popular forms of this
technique is the use of botulinum toxin, which when injected into frown lines,
crows feet or other wrinkles, paralyzes the muscle creating those lines. Not
only does botulinum toxin dramatically soften existing wrinkles, it decreases
the patient's ability to frown or squint which prevents additional damage.
Laser skin resurfacing is also a popular option for treating photoaging.
These high energy lasers work by emitting a beam of light that is absorbed by
the water in the skin cells. CO2 lasers continue to be extremely effective
for treating patients with deep wrinkles and severe sun damage. Erbium or
combination lasers provide a more superficial treatment of wrinkles, sundamage
or irregular pigmentation.
"Lasers require a slightly longer healing time with minimal patient
discomfort and are effective for facial rejuvenation," said Dr. Bergfeld.
"They offer a relatively painless procedure and improved results over
traditional cosmetic surgery."
Dr. Bergfeld added, "With so many options for the treatment of photoaging,
dermatologists and patients can try a combination of medical, surgical and
cosmetic treatments until they create the desired result."
The American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest,
most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations.
With a membership over 12,000 dermatologists worldwide, the Academy is
committed to: advancing the science and art of medicine and surgery related to
the skin; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and
research in dermatology; supporting and enhancing patient care; and promoting
a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails. For more information, contact
the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM or .
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) was founded in 1970
to promote excellence in the field of dermatologic surgery and to foster the
highest standards of patient care. For more information on cosmetic skin
surgery and referrals to doctors in specific geographic areas, please contact
the ASDS Consumer Hotline, 1-800-441-ASDS (2737), during weekday business
hours or visit our Web site at .

SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology

-0- 10/18/2000

/CONTACT: Missy Gough, 847-240-1734, email,, Karen

Klickmann, 847-240-1735, email,, or Jennifer Gale,

847-240-1730, email,, all of the American Academy of


Web Site: / /

Web Site: / /

CO: American Academy of Dermatology

ST: New York




-- CGW008 --

4958 10/18/2000 12:02 EDT

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