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This Is What I Did to Undo the Years of Sun Damage on My Cleavage

This Is What I Did to Undo the Years of Sun Damage on My Cleavage


When I was in my 20s, I liked doing what a lot of young people did: lie out by the pool for hours, my body slathered in Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil with the hope that I’d be my ultimate shade of bronze by the time I was done. To make matters worse, I skipped daily sun protection. That beauty commandment was not drilled into our brains back then as it is today. Now, I’m paying for the sins of the 20-year-old me. Sigh. In the past 10 years or so, I began noticing changes in my décolletage. Texture, wrinkles, red spots, and tiny, raised white bumps were now evident on my once soft, smooth chest. I figured it was a result of the carelessness I had with sun protection, and my habit of sleeping on my side contributed to my “sleep lines” and wrinkles. I tried everything from chemical and physical exfoliants, to wearing a silicone pad between my boobs at night. These types of treatments were effective but temporary.

There’s a line in I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, Nora Ephron’s 2010 book of essays in which she describes some of the physical changes that can happen as we age: “Spots appear. Your cleavage looks like a peach pit.” Umm, not if I can help it, Nora! We’ve got fancy treatments these days! I booked a consultation with Jason Emer, MD a cosmetic dermatologist in Beverly Hills. He confirmed that I had redness, discoloration, and some scarring in my chest, all due to sun damage. “This is an area a lot of people used to neglect,” said Emer. “Their faces looked amazing because they treated that area, but everywhere else ended up looking older.” Lesson learned! A laser would help, he said, but a newer combination treatment, which had minimal downtime and was safe for my mixed Asian skin, would be a great option.

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