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Sun Blocked


Article by Julie Burton

Photography by Julie Burton

Humans can’t survive without the sun. Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock.

The sun warms our oceans. It generates weather patterns. It feeds our plants. It brings happiness to most people. Waking up to the sun peeking through the window. Or watching a sunset on a beach. Even a ray of sunshine can burst into a million sparkles on the cold snow. Ask any kid why they drew sunglasses on the sun. The sun is happy.

But that giant ball of fire in the sky is the devil in disguise. We can't live with it and we can't live without it. The worst thing the sun can do? Well, you know - it can kill you. Melanoma is a deadly skin cancer caused by ultraviolet light. Luckily, melanoma is also one of the most preventable cancers.

But the sun is the devil is other ways and we’ve all felt it. A sunburn is the when the ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun reach your inner skin layers. Sun damage can cause darkened spots on your skin called sunspots. It causes freckles to darken. Wrinkles appear faster. UV rays can also trigger hormone-based melasma to worsen. The tricky thing with sun damage is you’ve most likely damaged your skin years ago and if you’re middle-aged, the damage is starting to show up.

Meredith Keller is a registered nurse at Aestheti.Care Medspa in Leawood. She explains ways Aestheti.Care treats sun damage. Every person is different and not one treatment will be best for everyone. It is highly encouraged to book a consult before any treatment plan. The consult includes photos which reveal skin damage from sunspots to wrinkles to hormonal abnormalities.

I promise you, it will be the worst picture you've ever taken in your life -- worse than the DMV.

Just keep scrolling.

But worth it.

From there, you will be give a treatment plan with different treatment options based off your skin.

Wear a high-SPF sunscreen and avoid the sun as much as possible. A strong warning for a business dedicated to fixing sun damage.

Medical-grade products. Medical-grade products will not achieve laser results but they can lighten the spots with the right treatments. The end result will take a lot longer to achieve than a laser. If doing one of the more aggressive treatments isn’t your thing, then Aesthetic.Care can help with aggressive at home care using The Perfect Peel Bleaching Cream (4% medical-grade) hydroquinone. Aestheti.Care can also order a higher dose from their pharmacy if a client needs. If hydroquinone is not for you then there are hydroquinone-free options. A good hydroquinone-free option is the AC Skin Brightening System.

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Broad Band Light. Also known as BBL. The light-therapy works by targeting chromophores (pigmented reds and browns) in your skin by heating up the target so the browns will eventually darken and then flake off in approximately three days. The reds will absorb into the tissue. It’s recommend to do a series of three treatments, one month apart, for optimal results. There is minimal downtime. This is best for age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and freckles.

Halo Laser. The laser uses a combination of wavelengths to resurface and repair the signs of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, sun damage, poor texture, and uneven skin tone – including hormone-based melasma. The downtime is greater than BBL, around four to six days of peeling, and there may be some slight swelling post treatment.

Melasma Peel (AMP). You will never be able to “remove” Melasma. Melasma penetrates deep into the skin layers and is created intrinsically (hormonally). Melasma will always come back due to triggers such as medications, dehydration, body temperatures. The heat and sun are melasma’s worst enemies. There are treatments that can decrease the pigment on the surface of the skin such as chemical peels and certain lasers. The Melasma Peel is a mask that stays on six to eight hours at home. Once the mask is removed, the treated skin will be red for the next four to five days and then peeling is expected. There should be a decrease in melasma and sun damage in a short period of time. 

Aestheti.Care is located in Leawood. More information on all procedures and products can be found at

Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Always see a dermatologist yearly to be assessed for skin cancer. Only a physician or nurse practitioner can diagnose and biopsy spots to check for cancer. Once you get the clear, BBL or Halo are two great treatments for pesky age spots.

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