Ageless Skin – Dr. Anna Karp

Our skin ages by forming wrinkles and losing volume due to loss of collagen and elastin over time.  Many preventable factors can help slow this process down.   Smoking, environmental pollution, sunlight and stress are factors that contribute to skin aging.

Sunscreen used daily is most important step to combat aging and protect your skin against skin cancer.  An SPF of 30 or above is recommended and often sheer mineral based sunscreens are tolerated best on the face.  Mineral based ingredients include Zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  In addition, a vitamin C serum under the sunscreen makes it 10x more effective.  Sunscreen should always be the last product to go on your face.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals caused by the sun that damage skin.

Often recommended for use at night, retinol creams lessen the shedding of dead skin cells into the pore/hair follicle and decrease inflammation in our skin.  They are a topical form of vitamin A.  They are one of the most effective topicals to increase cell turnover and help improve the appearance of wrinkles.  Tretinoin and adapalene are two ingredients that are synonymous with retinol.  Retinol must be converted into tretinoin in the skin to work.  Adapalene is a different type of retinol.

In addition to topicals, there are other anti-aging technologies in the form of medical devices and treatments that help our skin.

Microneedling devices use tiny needles to create microscopically small holes in the skin that heal quickly and produce new collagen in the process.  Lasers employ a similar technology that uses heat instead of needles to create these same tiny holes that heal with increased collagen.

There is a treatment called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that specifically targets sun spots.

Chemical peels are another treatment that uses different acid to exfoliate the top layers of our skin leaving the skin more rejuvenated and lightening dark spots.  Glycolic acid in particular is a key ingredient for lightening dark spots.

LED light therapy is another treatment that uses red light directed onto the skin.  Red light reduces inflammation, promotes healing and stimulates collagen synthesis.   LED light therapy can be done in an office or at home but often the lights aren’t as strong as in-office.

Botox treatment is an injection of a purified protein that weakens targeted facial muscles  temporarily preventing wrinkles of the overlying skin.  This causes the existing wrinkles to soften and often disappear.  The most common areas treated are the forehead lines, lines between the eyebrows in an area termed the glabella region, and lines around the eyes often referred to as “crows feet.”

Dr. Anna Karp is a native New Yorker who grew up on Long Island’s South Shore. Dr. Karp attended medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. After receiving her medical degree, she completed dual residencies in Family Medicine and Dermatology at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, New York. Dr. Karp specializes in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology and treats both adults and children. She is a fellow and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Karp is also an advisor to Opu Labs.

Featured Image by Alex Pasarelu on Unsplash