Dear Dr. Irwin, I have recently retired after being an RN in Iowa for 45 years – my husband and I are thoroughly enjoying caring for our infant grandson. We recently took a trip to Florida to celebrate and I had the time and space to really take a good look at my 66 year old body and face! I have fair skin with red hair and freckles, and recently had knee replacement surgery – I have noticed my arms and legs look older than I would like. A lifetime of sun damage and some poor leg circulation issues. I heard of your site and have been trying to educate myself more about skin care. I have devoted myself to caring for others I think to the detriment of self-care, and I wonder if you could advise me how to move forward. I thank you in advance. Take care, Diane
This is the last part of Part 1 just as a reminder. 🙂 Every year it seems like the technology gets safer and better for all sorts of skin problems. First thing is to really look at your skin. What is bothering you the most and in which areas? Write it down. Think SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. The below are just some of the ways to improve your skin and your feelings of confidence. For all the below, please work with a reputable, board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is on-site at least 2 days a week.
For example, your list might look something like this:
- Forearms – blotchy/discolored sun damage and precancerous spots in past and skin looks creepy.
- Chest – brown spots and bumpy texture.
- Upper arms – skin too saggy and shoulders sun damaged.
So, using the SMART goal intentions, here’s more to consider.
- Neck. Remember that the face and neck are connected. A “neck lift” is really just a lower facelift. Same is true for non surgical. For example, any radiofrequency like Profound (deeper) or Exilis or Thermage (more superficial), helps most done on both face and neck at the same time. If the neck is red, Vbeam or IPL/BBL help that. If it’s brown and blotchy, consider Fraxel or similar technology. If it’s wrinkly, consider a CO2 which both tightens some and helps with wrinkles.
- Chest. The chest is very different skin than the neck; much tighter, prone to keloid like scars, and sun damage. Consider, with your physician, Fraxel or similar skin tech for the blotchiness. Even then some brown spots will be too deep for that and may need expertly done liquid nitrogen or a hyfrecator and curette used with a laser to finish the process. Wrinkles, especially for sleep lines from side sleeping, may need collagen support, for example, body dilution Sculptra. Also, if you have breast implants, no needles should be introduced into the “pocket” where the implant is. Sleeping with a mildly support bra on may be helpful, if you are busty.
- Arms. See chest above because there are similarities. But also, fat pads on the upper arm may be appropriate for CoolSculpting. Fraxel and similar systems can be particularly nice for sun damage on the arms because it has a “roller” system head. This takes multiple treatments, usually with progress seen at each treatment; also helps with fine wrinkles. Use a salicylic acid 2% body lotion nightly to help with skin cell turnover. And work out! 🙂 You gotta firm those triceps and biceps.
- Legs. Similar to arms, but often the wrinkling and texture above the knees bothers patients the most. Consider skin tightening systems in addition to correcting fine wrinkling and blotchiness with Fraxel like lasers. CoolSculpting can be quite effective for fat pads around the knees in some. Body dilution Sculptra may also be used. Experts only please. Also, good to add some leg presses, squats, etc. to firm the muscle underneath. 🙂
If you have more questions, please send them through Instagram or the Q & A here.
Hope this helps!
Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD
Founder of SkinTour & MadisonMD Skincare
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!