Sun Exposure (a.k.a. the devil) Interview with Lisa Topham, R.N., B.S.N.

20 May 2013

Sun Exposure (a.k.a. the devil) Interview with Lisa Topham, R.N., B.S.N.


(Welcome to my first interview post! Expect a series . . .I’m gathering information from my favorite colleagues in the beauty industry to get the 411 on their respective specialties be it Medical Skin Care, Hair Styling or Fitness or anything else I deem fabulous!)


I decided to do a little sun damage Q & A with my nurse pal, injector EXTRORDINAIRE and all around queen of beauty Lisa Topham at Split Rock Institute in Wilton. Lisa knows oh so much about the damaging effects of the sun – because she’s always working to reverse it for her patients (a.k.a. lucky ladies) who have spent too much time soaking up rays. And oh, hey how fun . . .Lisa decided to surprise me (read: scare the crap out of me) by using 1960’s bombshell Brigitte Bardot as a “what not to do” exmaple. Here’s the skinny:

SarahGMUA: I feel like I’ve heard it all before, but let’s re-cap. What is so bad about sun exposure?

LisaT: What does the sun do to the skin? There are two types of ultraviolet radiation that bombard our skin daily. Both UVA and UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system, reducing your ability to fight off these and other maladies. UVB causes sun burns. Repeated exposure to UVB rays damage collagen production resulting in fine and deep wrinkles. Skin cell DNA is progressively altered causing the development of skin cancers. Pigment remains after burns in the form of sunspots. The immune system cells in the skin are essentially stunned by UV radiation, again increasing the risk of skin cancer and precipitating flares of cold sores and fungus infections. Other medical conditions such as acne rosacea are also worsened by sun exposure.

SarahGMUA: You had me at premature aging! Tell me what to do! I don’t want to look like the crypt keeper!!

LisaT: There are so many things you can start doing to protect yourself, both indoors and out! As much as possible, seek the shade outdoors, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM. And since UVA penetrates glass, consider adding flat, tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and rear windows as well as to house and business windows. Then there is sunscreen, of course! Since both UVA and UVB are harmful, you need protection from both kinds of rays so look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, plus titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Out staff favorites here at Split Rock are by MDSolar Science and Obagi.

SarahGMUA: I understand you have made an example out of my long time favorite vintage beauty Ms. Bardot. I’m a little ascared.

LisaT: Actress Brigitte Bardot offers an example of the long-term effects sun exposure. This saucy French actress starred in many films in the 1960’s. The photo on the bottom from the mid-1980’s shows the wrinkling from sun exposure that many mistakenly assume is a natural part of aging.



. . . .Hey anyone recall my old vintage beauty post on Brigitte?!



SarahGMUA: Oh.My.Gawd. So obviously prevention is key. What can be done for someone who hasn’t been preventative? Please tell me there is something.

LisaT: Unlike many American actresses, Bardot has opted not to undergo face-lifts and other less invasive facial rejuvenating treatments, most of which are offered at my Wilton office at  Split Rock Aesthetic Institute. Skin smoothing chemical peels and laser treatments are essential to retexturizing and evening the skin tone, and injectable fillers can replump sagging and damaged areas. Ulthera Laser is a phenomenal skin tightener. There are many extremely effective methods of reversal, but prevention remains most important!

 SarahGMUA: Thank you for all this information – I think I needed a little scare! Oh, and I most definitely see a chemical peel in my immediate future!

LisaT: Anytime!


And so ends my (frightening, but with a glimmer of hope) little chat with Lisa Topham. I don’t know about you but I’m already stocking up on SPF, hats (super cute of course) . . . and a bottle of whiskey to help me recover from the shock of the Brigitte Bardot before/after.



Have a Beautiful Day!



Psssssst!!! Visit my pal Lisa for the best injections, skin resurfacing and age spot removal in Fairfield County!  

Visit Lisa’s Facebook Page and Blog for on-going education about Aging!