With winter months up ahead, days are getting shorter, darker and colder. And while there may be less light, for many people this time of year is a great opportunity to reflect upon the year that has passed and look towards the new year coming, and set some plans for change and improvement in 2018.
Winter months are some of the busiest months for us, and can be an optimal time for dermatology treatments. For one, you can keep things under wraps for a bit longer, plus with some treatments a certain amount of recovery and healing time is needed. As a result, bulky winter clothing can help hide this from view. Another reason is that with holiday seasons such as Thanksgiving and Christmas taking place towards the end of the year, some people have more vacation time available, and can take some extra time off.
Finally, many treatments require that the patient avoids sun-exposure and at the height of summer, even travelling to and from work can cause issues with the sun. Since the effects from the sun are less prominent in the winter months, this offers another good opportunity for individuals to fit treatments in their daily lives. Here are some of the more common treatments our patients inquire about in the colder months of the year.
There are a number of treatments that are designed for areas of the body, which make great candidates for scheduling in the winter months.
CoolSculpting – Our number one treatment that we’re asked about during the winter months is CoolSculpting. The reason CoolSculpting makes a great winter treatment is that you can gradually go through the treatments in the winter, months in which you are more covered up – and then can show that difference when the weather gets nicer. Thighs and the abdomen make great candidates and bulky sweaters and clothing can hide the treatment area, until you are ready to reveal the new you in the spring.
CoolSculpting is also known as ‘Fat Freezing’, and as the name suggests, it works by cooling the fat cells in the body, so that they naturally breakdown over time and are extracted by the body. We also use a range of CoolSculpting applicators such as the CoolAdvantage for treating the abdomen, thighs and even the double chin.
Sclerotherapy and Leg Vein treatments – Other popular treatments for the winter months are treatments such as Sclerotherapy and leg vein treatments to treat varicose veins and spider veins. It is easy to cover up the legs in the autumn and winter and nobody will know that you’ve even had the treatment until the process has completely healed. Since these treatments can take a little bit of time to be effective, and more than one treatment is usually required, this sort of procedure makes a great option across the winter months.
Treatments for the Face
It is worth noting that sun exposure is still a risk in the wintertime, which individuals need to be mindful for. This is especially the case if you plan on taking a winter vacation, not only in hot areas, but also in mountainous areas such as Ski trips which can bring higher levels of sun exposure than expected. Sun exposure risk in NYC overall is reduced in the winter months, and there is typically less of a risk of scheduling a treatment close to a summer vacation where you may have more sun exposure than normal. This means that for individuals looking to target areas of the face, the winter months can help with post-treatment recovery. For example, when it comes to laser treatments most require that the patient avoids sun-exposure after the treatment has taken place.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy – which also goes by the name photofacial, is a treatment that is designed to help even out the skin tone. It can also work at reducing sun damage and redness from rosacea. IPL is a great treatment candidate for the winter months, since post treatment sun-exposure is an issue for this particular procedure.
Generally, the recommendation is to have six IPL treatments spaced a month apart, so that you will need to schedule some down time for this treatment. Across the summer months, it can be a lot harder to keep your schedule sun-free, whereas in the winter, it can be a bit easier to manage. In addition to this sun-exposure can increase the risk of unwanted side effects such hyperpigmentation if care is not taken.
Chemical peels – For individuals who are exploring the idea of having a chemical peel, depending how deep the peel is will dictate how important it will be to remain out of the sun. Generally, it is recommended to remain out of the sun for a few days after this procedure, to allow the treatment area to heal correctly. This is a reason why Chemical peels tend to be more popular in the winter.
Before & after photo of female patient treated with Cosmelan and Chemical peels
Chemical peels are used to treat fine lines and to improve skin tone and blemishes that may be caused by sun spots, age spots or excessive sun exposure (actinic keratoses). Peels can also treat acne scars and can be performed on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms or legs, all of which are likely to get less exposure to the sun in the winter months and therefore lesser risk.
The winter months can be a great time of year to target problem areas, and schedule some personal down time for some treatments. If you are interested in discussing treatment options that you can have over the winter period, contact us online today or call 212-535-3088 to learn more about the treatments that may be right for you.