Much like the eyes are windows to the soul, the skin can paint a picture of a person’s overall health. So it’s always important to find out what our skin is trying to tell us, says Carol Anderson, BCRN, BSN, CANS, a registered nurse and owner of Nouveau MedSpa. Is there dryness, discoloration, irritation or loss of tone? What might these conditions mean, and what can be done about them?
Anderson says her office sees clients with four main areas of skin concern: effects of aging, changes in skin thickness, acne, and other sudden changes in the skin. Many people experience a combination of these. “A lot of health factors can affect your skin, whether they’re related to hormones, aging, nutrition, lifestyle choices, sun exposure or something else,” Anderson notes. “When your skin is ‘talking’ to you, you should listen.”
Aging skin can exhibit any or all of the following: changes in coloration, usually red or brown; wrinkles and lines; and laxity, or loss of volume. “Pigment changes can be a sign of broken capillaries or liver spots resulting from UV exposure, or they may signal rosacea, a condition causing redness and irritation,” Anderson says. She suggests treatment with the Forever Young sciton laser/BBL (broadband light) for some pigmentation problems, and Infini fractionated radiofrequency procedures to correct wrinkles. And volume loss of the skin can be addressed with biostimulator treatments such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and Sculptra, or with injectable fillers, Anderson notes.
Many people notice a change in their skin’s thickness, which can be a normal result of aging and heredity or a sign of something more serious. “Thinning is more common than thickening,” Anderson notes. “Thickening may signal an autoimmune disease like scleroderma, which causes hardening and tightening of the skin. And if there’s thinning not related to aging, it could be a result of medication the person is taking, or another condition. If we think it’s merited, we advise a doctor visit.” Anderson says patients with age-related thinning often benefit from microneedling treatments with PRP to boost the skin’s volume.
She adds that acne isn’t just about teens; it frustrates many adult patients as well. “My adult clients often ask, ‘Why am I getting this now, at my age?’ I ask if the acne has appeared recently, and if there have been diet or lifestyle changes, higher stress levels or symptoms related to hormones.” Some clients see improvement by lessening their dairy intake, she notes. Others benefit from office procedures such as deep cleansing and extraction to reduce pores and soothe the skin. BBL treatments can kill acne bacteria and help shrink sebaceous glands, Anderson says.
She adds that it’s important to consult a doctor about any sudden changes in the skin. These may include dryness or flakiness, which can signal thyroid/hormonal problems; skin tags; and changes in spots or moles that may indicate cancer. Anderson says her office also provides aesthetic services such as facials, chemical peels and salt treatments. “The better care you take with your skin, the better its quality will be,” she explains. “And that will extend the life of other skin services you receive.”
Photo: Bill Barrett
Nouveau MedSpa in Kirkwood offers a range of skin services tailored to clients’ needs. For more information, call 314.394.3314 or visit nouveaumedspa.com.
Cover Design by Allie Bronsky | Cover Photo by Bill Barrett