Smooth skin is highly sought after. This post will discuss how to get and maintain smooth skin.
To get smooth skin, it is easiest to talk about what makes skin not smooth and how to correct it. There are many reasons why skin may not be smooth. I will discuss the main ones.
There are many types of bumps that can grow on the skin making it rough. I’ll highlight the ones I encounter most commonly and the methods used to treat them.
Sebaceous hyperplasia – these are little mounds of oil glands that usually appear on the forehead, temples, and cheeks.
It is easy to flatten them using electrocautery.
Skin tags – these are small, skin color to tan growths that often appear on the eyelids and cheeks.
Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) – these small, brown growths occur on the cheeks in some patients.
Both skin tags and DPN can be treated with electrocautery.
Warts – these can usually be treated by freezing.
Milia – these are little white bumps and are plugged pores. They can usually be extracted or cauterized.
Skin that has received more UV exposure than it can handle can develop pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses. These appear as rough, pink bumps. Some can be very small, and some patients can have very many. Treating these with 5-fluorouracil cream or photodynamic therapy often improves them significantly. Both of these treatments have been shown to also be rejuvenating. Of course, it’s critical to protect your skin from future damage.
Proper cleansing and moisturizing habits are essential for maintaining hydration. Some cleansers can be harsh and dry your skin leaving it rough and dull.
Dry skin affecting the nasolabial folds and/or the glabella may be a type of dermatitis requiring treatment.
Enlarged Pores and Scars
Shrinking pores is very difficult, but several treatments may help. One is using a retinoid nightly like prescription Renova cream. Another is doing salicylic acid peels. Salicylic acid likes oil, so it tracks down the pores.
For scars and enlarged pores, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is the new standard.
Good skin care is a must (which I’ll discuss in a moment). To treat fine lines, we can use fillers and/or fractional resurfacing.
Maintaining Smooth Skin with Good Skin Care
The fundamentals of skin care include cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting. For cleansing, it is essential not to over-dry your skin. A moisturizer should be sufficient to rehydrate dry skin but not cause pimples in acne prone skin.
Protecting is the most important part of all skin care. Most damage comes from repeated UV exposure. A sunscreen should be at least an SPF 30, block UVA and UVB, and be applied daily and in sufficient quantity. I feel sunscreens that use Zinc or Titanium provide the best protection.
The next most important item to include in your daily skin care routine is a retinoid like retinol or prescription tretinoin. This should be used nightly. Retinoids increase cell turnover, smooth skin, and build collagen.
Other items to consider are antioxidants, peptides, salicylic or glycolic acid, and growth factors. Antioxidants help protect against damage. Acids exfoliate, and peptides and growth factors build collagen.