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Solar Elastosis

Solar elastosis is a condition where the collagen has been destroyed and there is an abnormal accumulation of elastic tissue in the skin. The skin can appear as yellowish, thickened and rough skin. It is most common in the areas of prolonged sun exposure. UVA and UVB rays from the sun and even tanning beds destroy the collagen in the skin and the skin becomes more wrinkled and dry.

Early stages of solar elastosis are often seen in the cheeks. It is the lines that remain in your cheeks even when you are not smiling. The early stages are the fine lines that then over time develop into the deeper lines with the over growth of elastic tissues and the destruction of collagen. If you are seeing the fine lines in your cheeks it is time to start protecting your skin and seek help from someone with significant knowledge of the skin and its treatment.

Prevention:

  • Don’t Smoke – smoking increases the speed at which we lose collagen in our skin.
  • Sun Avoidance – it is best to avoid sun exposure when the sun’s rays are the strongest. This is between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Cover Up – wearing a broad brimmed hat, long sleeved shirt and long pants.
  • Sunblock – It is important to wear a good sunblock of greater than SPF 30. We recommend the use of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the primary ingredients for sunblocks as found in EltaMD sunblocks.

Treatment:

  • Topicals – Vitamin A derivative topicals like retinols and tretinoin have been beneficial for the appearance of solar elastosis. Other products containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) have also been shown to be beneficial.
  • Chemical Peels – light chemical peels will have little benefit on solar elastosis and medium are deep peels are required.
  • Microneedling with RF – Vivace Microneedling with Radiofrequency can show significant improvement in the skin tone and texture. It will induce new collagen production in the skin.
  • Fractional Lasers – fractional lasers like the FraxelDeepFX, Active FX, TotalFX and Halo laser have the ability to improve the skin tone and texture related to solar elastosis. Fractional lasers only treat a percentage of the skin at a time and require a series of treatments but have less downtime and risk than full resurfacing.
  • Laser Resurfacing – the Sciton Erbium and Lumenis Ultrapulse CO2 can be used for full resurfacing of the face. These will give the best results but will have the longest downtime.

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