Winterpeel

Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson explains why winter is the best time of year for skin resurfacing.

Winter is the best time for skin resurfacing, whether by laser, chemical peel or dermabrasion. This is because no matter what technique is used for resurfacing skin, the new tender skin which is exposed will be pink and/or red for a varying amount of time and this fresh skin when exposed to the sun especially in the summer months can become brown or hyperpigmented. There are three types of resurfacing: Laser Resurfacing (laserbrasion), Peel Resurfacing (chemical peels) and Dermabrasion. At the Double Bay Day Surgery and the Cosmetic and Restorative Surgery Clinic, we use all of these techniques, in order to improve skin which has usually been damaged by the sun. In fact, with expertise all these techniques can be combined and when used appropriately can address a myriad of problems. For example, fine wrinkles such as those around the eyes can be improved with laserbrasion; deeper wrinkles around the mouth such as ‘smokers lines’ might best be addressed with dermabrasion and the hyperpigmentation and browny splotchiness of the skin and a sallow complexion are best reinvigorated by chemical peeling. For people with less severe pigmentation or who do not have the time to recover from a complete skin resurfacing, lighter forms of peeling are available which include low percentage trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or alpha-hydroxy acid peels. These are appropriate for more minor pigmentation and when used in conjunction with Microdermabrasion can give the skin a fresher, cleaner look. For those small red veins on the face the KTP laser is available to get rid of these broken capilliaries. Again, for the best results, a combination of procedures can be used. Shown is quite a dramatic case of a patient I had who required a full face resurfacing for severe damage from the sun. At the same time I performed an upper eyelid blepharoplasty giving an overall refreshed and more youthful appearance.