My Laser Girl

Archive for January, 2010

PIGMENTED LESION TREATMENT

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Pigmented Lesion Treatment, Services

Laser treatment can remove the imperfections caused by a wide variety of benign pigmented lesions.

Pigmented Lesion Treatment - BEFORE and AFTER

Pigmented Lesion Treatment - BEFORE and AFTER

Take this opportunity to discover the positive effects laser therapy can have on your physical appearance… as well as on your state of mind.

Also known as solar lentigines or liver spots, age spots are dark brown marks that appear on the surface of the skin. As we age, age spots appear in the most sun-exposed parts of our skin due to the activation of pigment-producing cells by ultraviolet rays. Age spots that appear on the face are a common occurrence in both men and women and can be effectively treated here at Image by Design. 

Image by Design offers Pigmented Lesion Treatment laser therapy for the treatment of age spots. Pigmented Lesion Treatment laser therapy is a breakthrough in skin care technology and has quickly become the industry standard for efficiently removing age spots and imperfections caused by a wide variety of benign pigmented lesions.

Symptoms

Pigmented Lesion Treatment - BEFORE and AFTER

Age spots are flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation — usually brown, black, or gray. They typically develop in people with a fair complexion but can be seen even in those with darker skin. Age spots occur on skin that has had the most sun exposure over the years, such as the backs of hands, tops of feet, face, shoulders, and upper back. 

Age spots range from freckle-size to more than a centimeter across and can group together, making them more prominent. Often, age spots are accompanied by other signs of sun damage, including deep wrinkles; dry, rough skin; fine red veins on your cheeks, nose and ears; and thinner, more translucent-looking skin.

Causes

Pigmented Lesion Treatment - BEFORE and AFTER

Pigmented Lesion Treatment - BEFORE and AFTER

Ultraviolet (UV) light accelerates the production of melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment in the epidermis that gives your skin its normal color. The extra melanin, which is produced to protect the deeper layers of your skin, creates the darker color of a tan. Age spots develop when the extra melanin becomes “clumped” or is produced in higher concentrations than normal. 

Most often, it takes years of sun exposure for these dark spots to occur since they typically develop very slowly over time. Using commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can eventually result in the same changes. 

In addition to sun exposure, simply growing older can cause the extra production of melanin and subsequent age spots. Genetics also plays a role in how susceptible you are to the development of age spots

When to Seek Medical Advice

You may not like the way they look, but age spots are usually harmless and don’t require medical care. However, your doctor should evaluate spots that are dark or have changed appearance because these can be signs of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. 

It’s best to have any new skin changes evaluated by a doctor, especially if a spot or lesion:

  • Is darkly pigmented
  • Is rapidly increasing in size
  • Has an irregular border
  • Has an unusual combination of colors

Frequently Asked Questions

Laser treatment can remove the imperfections caused by a wide variety of benign pigmented lesions. Below are answers to some of the most common patient questions.

How does laser treatment work?

Selective absorption of laser light pulses by melanin-containing skin cells causes the targeted cells to scatter and degenerate while significantly decreasing potential damage to surrounding tissues. The dead cells are then removed from the skin by the body’s immune or lymphatic system.

Are there any side effects to treatment?

Overall, treatments are gentle and mild, causing only slight discomfort with minimal side effects.

How many treatments are required to achieve the desired results?

The number of required treatments is dependent on such factors as lesion depth and size. However, most people with dermal lesions need five to six treatments and begin seeing results after only one or two sessions.

Is any recovery time needed between treatment sessions?

Although treatment sessions are scheduled approximately four to six weeks apart, no rest or recuperation time is required after each visit. You will immediately be able to resume normal activities without restriction.

Am I a candidate for pigmented lesion treatment?

Typically found on the face, shoulders, and other exposed parts of the body, benign pigmented lesions include everything from bluish/purplish, black, or otherwise discolored spots to freckles and sun-damaged skin areas. If you have any such benign conditions, chances are you’re a candidate for treatment.

Does it hurt?

When being treated, you may experience a slight prickly sensation or snap of a rubber band. If our patient seems concerned, there are ways to enhance the comfort of the experience with air cooling, ice packs, etc. Most people are able to tolerate the treatment just fine.

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT MAINTAIN TREATMENT RESULTS WITH DAILY ATTENTION

Your face and body need daily attention to maintain your new look. Custom programs can be designed that suit your skin type, combining a number of treatments that will heal, correct, rejuvenate, and replenish your skin. We will create a personalized skin regimen for you before and after your treatment.

Call for a complimentary skin assessment and begin your skin renewal process today. 702.875.1518

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VEIN TREATMENT

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Services, Vein Treatment

The days of living with unsightly veins on your legs or face are finally over.

Facial and Leg Vein Treatment - BEFORE & AFTER

Facial and Leg Vein Treatment - BEFORE & AFTER

Blue, red, purple-—no matter what color they are—leg and facial veins are just plain unattractive. Exciting new advances in cosmetic laser treatment can virtually eliminate those veins for good!

We have a remarkable piece of high-tech equipment in our office that will allow us to treat these vascular conditions with more dramatic results than ever before!

You owe it to yourself to discover how Image by Design will have you saying, “Now you see them, now you don’t.”

This comfortable procedure uses a prescribed dose of energy to virtually eliminate unattractive vascular lesions. Each treatment session lasts only ten to twenty minutes. After all the treatments are completed, the targeted vessel will slowly and naturally disappear.

After just a few treatments, you’ll be saying, “Now you see them, now you don’t.”

Facial Vein Treatment - BEFORE & AFTER

Facial Vein Treatment - BEFORE & AFTER

FAQs

Cosmetic laser treatment helps remove leg and facial veins. Below are answers to some of the most common patient questions.

What causes unwanted veins?

Red veins, blue veins, or purple veins on the leg and face can be a result of sun exposure, use of oral contraception, hormone therapy, age, or genetics.

How does laser treatment work?

A cosmetic laser emits a prescribed dose of energy to the vein. The laser “selectively” targets the problem veins while sparing surrounding areas. After treatment, the vessel will naturally disappear.

How many treatments are required?

Typically, only one or two laser treatments are required and results can be seen in 3-4 weeks. Treatment time usually varies between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the area treated.

Does it hurt?

The laser treatment causes only minimal discomfort. Any redness or swelling should be gone within a day and you’ll be able to resume normal activities immediately.

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MEDICALLY MANAGED WEIGHT LOSS

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Medically Managed Weight Loss, Services

MEDICALLY MANAGED WEIGHT LOSS

Medically Managed Weight, Non-Surgical Options for Weight Loss

A weight loss program blending the best of traditional (allopathic medicine) with alternative medications in a scientifically designed manner and delivered in a medically supervised facility.

Given society’s current interest in the use of alternative medications for health related problems, we have expanded the program to include weekly

A prescription for the results you want

injections of Dr. Bararia’s own patented concentrated vitamins and amino acids that work effectively with the weight loss medications to burn fat and help you lose weight. The unique combination of medications is used in conjunction with diet and exercise for patients who have failed previous weight loss programs.

The medications used in the Weight loss program work in the brain in four ways:

  1. Enhance satiety (sense of feeling full)
  2. Reduce appetite
  3. Increase glucose metabolism
  4. Burn fat

Get started today by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Bararia at Image By Design. You are only a phone call away from your own custom treatment plan and the results you desire.

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XPL FotoFacial

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Services, XPL FotoFacial

XPL CAN BE USED TO ADDRESS MANY COMMON CONDITIONS.

Did you grow up loving your tan? Was baby oil your “sunblock?”

Though the sun feels good and is important in maintaining our vitamin D levels, it can present us with many skin problems. Image by Design can reverse a variety of sun-induced aging changes.

XPL FotoFacial

Brown spots due sun or hormones

Sun damage

Skin discoloration

Redness and visible vessels (acne, rosacea and other conditions)

XENON Pulsed Light (XPL)

XPL FotoFacial is a gentle pulsed light treatment.  it improves improves the appearance of photo aged skin, removes age spots (sun-induced freckles), most benign brown pigments, and redness caused by broken capillaries through a process called photorejuvenation for face and body. The process is ideal for patients with active lifestyles because the procedure requires no downtime and has a low risk of side effects using patented, state-of-the-art xenon pulsed light (XPL), commonly known as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).
XPL is a comfortable and extremely effective breakthrough in skin care technology. There are a million ways to try and change the appearance of your skin.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How does it work?

XPL gently draws the brown spots onto the surface of your skin with a special range of wavelengths. These areas will exfoliate painlessly in seven to ten days. Redness associated with rosacea is dramatically reversed by XPL.

How does this treatment differ from chemical peels and dermabrasion?

Unlike other treatments that remove an outer layer of skin and require significant healing time, XPL works by gently penetrating the skin to destroy the underlying vessels and pigment that are the cause of the problem. The outer skin itself is not damaged. TREATMENT IN LESS THAN AN HOUR WITH ALMOST NO DOWNTIME

How many treatments are required?

XPL is an advanced technology that uses a broad spectrum of light and a variety of filters to safely treat skin discolorations. Typically several sessions are required for full-face treatment. The average treatment takes about 15 – 20 minutes per area. Results may be seen after the first few treatments. Following your XPL, you can resume your normal activities immediately; a little sunblock and you are set to go. Results can vary, but three to six treatments are usually needed to achieve the desired look. Remember, XPL is not just for faces; this clinical tool can also be used on the neck, chest, back, arms and legs to combat age spots and other unsightly skin conditions.

Is the treatment painful?

The laser skin treatment causes only minimal discomfort and any initial soreness is easily alleviated with a cold air cooling system.

How does XPL help Rosacea?

XPL, which is also known sometimes as intense pulsed light therapy, can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It is typically used on the face, neck, and/or chest to treat facial erythema (redness) and flushing, and remedy damage caused by sun overexposure. XPL can also help eliminate the redness and flushing of rosacea. Treatment only takes 15 to 30 minutes.

So what happens after XPL?

You will first see a gradual decrease in redness. The treated skin will feel softer and vary less in tone. Fine lines and wrinkles will also improve, along with fading of pigmentation and age spots and a reduction in pore size.

Rosacea sufferers will see a marked reduction in breakouts and in some cases may be able to decrease or discontinue their medication. Results improve with each treatment and improve gradually over time. Most people require about 5 treatments. Those with more complicated conditions may need more.

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Latisse™

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Latisse, Services

Introducing Latisse™

LATISSE™ is the first and only FDA-approved, science-based treatment to enhance eyelash prominence as measured by increases in length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes. 

In the clinical study, 78% had a significant increase in overall eyelash prominence (including elements of length, fullness, and darkness) at week 16.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is in LATISSE™?

The active ingredient in LATISSE™ is bimatoprost, a prostaglandin which prolongs the growth cycle of the eyelash. By extending the hair growth cycle, lashes grow longer, more lashes remain present, and the result is a fuller, lusher eyelash that’s natural, not coated with sticky mascara or glued on with extensions or false lashes.

Latisse BEFORE & AFTER

How long does it take LATISSE™ to work?

LATISSE™ shows lash improvements after a full growth cycle, usually beginning around 4 weeks. By weeks 8 to 10, most users have a growth “pop,” and by 16 weeks, the full effects are in place.

How is LATISSE™ different from other products like Revitalash?

LATISSE™ has FDA approval. Plus, you’ll know what’s in the product as the ingredients are right on the package label. Results are proven with scientific studies. LATISSE™ is a product of Allergan with the identical active ingredient in use for many years in the ophthalmologic sector. That means there is industry-leader research, safety testing, and established safe use directives.

How do I use LATISSE™?

A once daily application is all that is required. This is done at night after cleaning the face, removing any eye makeup, and removing contacts. The solution is applied only to the upper lash line and the excess solution is blotted. Because the active ingredient affects all hair, it is important to wipe away any solution that drips beyond the lash line to prevent unwanted hair growth. Jena will give you all the necessary application instructions.

How long do I have to use LATISSE™?

Latisse™ Results Timeline

Ongoing use of LATISSE™ is required to maintain full results. If you stop using LATISSE™, your lashes will return to their original condition. Although, after a full 16 week cycle, some users notice that they can skip 2-3 nights per week and still see satisfactory lash fullness and length. Official product use instructions call for every day application. Individual results will vary.

Are there possible side effects?

Throughout clinical trials, some users did experience itchy eyes and eye redness. However, some users found that these irritations went away once they became accustomed to the product or began applying it properly. As with any prescription treatment, always consult with your doctor for information and proper usage of the LATISSE™ solution. 

Once you know how to apply LATISSE™, it’s important to understand a few simple tips to help you make your treatment as effective as possible. 

Follow these guidelines for best results:

  • Think routine 
Try to incorporate LATISSE™ into your nightly routine. For example, apply it after you’ve washed your face and brushed your teeth.
  • Keep it handy 
Store the LATISSE™ bottle near your other skin care products or toothbrush, so you won’t forget to apply it each night.
  • Have patience 
LATISSE™ (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% takes time to work. Only use it once a night and don’t overuse it as this may increase the chance of experiencing eye redness or itchiness.
  • Start fresh 
If your eye makeup remover leaves an oily residue on your eyelids, wipe off any excess oils with soap and water to ensure a clean surface before you apply LATISSE™.
  • Follow the rules 
Always use the sterile, disposable FDA-approved applicator provided in the kit. Don’t try to apply LATISSE™ with a cotton swab. The LATISSE™ applicator is specially designed to hold a drop and release a drop as well as ensure safety and maximize effectiveness.
  • Don’t play catch up 
If you miss a dose one night, don’t apply more just to catch up. Simply apply LATISSE™ the next evening and stay on schedule.
  • Beware of germs 
Don’t let the tip of the bottle or applicator come in contact with your fingers or any other unintended surface in order to avoid contamination.
  • Chart your progress 
When you start using LATISSE™ solution, be sure to mark your calendar and take pictures throughout weeks (week 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16), so you can have your own “Before and After Gallery.”
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JUVéDERM®

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Juvederm, Services

Juvederm® Cosmetic

As we age, our skin changes. Over time, the natural volume of youthful skin begins to diminish as wrinkles and folds form. But, with Juvéderm® injectable gel, you do not have to just sit back and let it happen!

Juvéderm® is a smooth consistency gel made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your skin that helps to add volume and hydration. Your healthcare professional eases Juvéderm injectable gel under the skin to instantly restore your skin’s volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, such as your “smile lines” or “parentheses” (nasolabial folds—the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth).

Juvederm BEFORE & AFTER

Benefits of JUVéDERM® Injectable Gel

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers like Juvéderm® injectable gel offer a safe and effective non-surgical option for smoothing facial wrinkles and folds. In fact, they are the fastest growing nonsurgical aesthetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. But, all dermal fillers are not the same.

Juvéderm® is a smooth consistency gel made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your skin that helps to add volume and hydration. We ease Juvéderm® injectable gel under the skin to instantly restore your skin’s volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, such as your “smile lines” or “parentheses” (nasolabial folds—the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth).

Juvéderm® provides a smooth, natural look and feel, so everyone will notice but no one will kno)! In fact, studies show superior results of Juvéderm compared to a collagen-based dermal filler.

Almost 90% of all study volunteers who were treated with both Juvéderm injectable gel and another dermal filler† preferred Juvéderm.®

Juvéderm® injectable gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that is proven to be safe and effective for persons of color.

Choosing JUVéDERM® injectable gel makes a difference:

JUVéDERM® is the ONLY hyaluronic acid (HA) filler FDA-approved* to last up to one year. Our unique manufacturing process provides a high concentration of cross-linked hyaluronic acid for long-lasting results. It also creates a smooth consistency gel that flows easily into the skin and provides a smooth, natural look and feel, so everyone willl notice but no one will know! Only Juvéderm is so smooth; other hyaluronic acid fillers currently on the market are made of granular consistency gels.**

A “next-generation” filler: JUVéDERM® is a “next-generation,” non-animal dermal filler that is made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance that plays a vital role in hydrating your skin and replenishing its natural volume. No allergy skin tests are needed prior to receiving treatment.

JUVéDERM® injectable gel RESTYLANE

**Dry test, extrusion of a small amount (.025 mL) of JUVéDERM® and RESTYLANE onto a glass surface at 9x magnification.

†RESTYLANE is a registered trademark of Q-Med AB.

Proven safety and effectiveness: JUVéDERM® injectable gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler proven safe and effective in persons of color.

Quick and easy procedure: JUVéDERM® injectable gel is a non-surgical physician-administered treatment that requires no allergy skin test and minimal recovery or downtime.

Personalized treatment: JUVéDERM® injectable gel is available in two formulations— JUVéDERM® Ultra for versatility in contouring and volumizing facial wrinkles and folds, and JUVéDERM Ultra Plus, a more robust formulation for volumizing and correcting deeper folds and wrinkles. This allows your healthcare professional to tailor treatment to meet your unique needs.

Talk to your healthcare professional about Juvéderm® today so you can start seeing results!

*Juvéderm® is indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.

What is JUVéDERM®?

Juvéderm® is the only HA filler with FDA approval to last up to one year. You can get long-lasting results with Juvéderm. Juvéderm injectable gel is a “next-generation” smooth consistency gel dermal filler that helps to instantly restore your skin’s volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds, such as your “smile lines” or “parentheses” (nasolabial folds—the creases that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth). *Juvéderm is indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds.

What does JUVéDERM® do?

Juvéderm® injectable gel temporarily adds volume to facial tissue and restores a smoother appearance to the face.

What is JUVéDERM® indicated for?

Juvéderm® Ultra and Juvéderm® Ultra Plus injectable gels are indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis (below the outer layer of skin) for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds (the creases running from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth, also known as smile lines or parentheses).

Why does JUVéDERM® come in two formulations?

Juvéderm® injectable gel is available in two formulations to allow your healthcare professional to tailor treatment to your unique needs. Juvéderm Ultra provides versatility in contouring and volumizing facial wrinkles and folds. Juvéderm Ultra Plus is a more robust formulation for volumizing and correcting deeper folds and wrinkles.

What makes JUVéDERM® different from other dermal fillers?

JUVéDERM® is the ONLY hyaluronic acid (HA) filler FDA-approved to last up to one year.* Our unique manufacturing process provides a high concentration of cross-linked hyaluronic acid for long-lasting results. It also works to create a smooth consistency gel that flows easily into the skin and provides a smooth, natural look and feel. All other hyaluronic acid dermal fillers currently on the market are made of granular consistency gels. And, Juvéderm is the first hyaluronic acid dermal filler that has demonstrated its safety and effectiveness in persons of color.

*Juvéderm® is indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds..

How is JUVéDERM® injectable gel different from BOTOX® Cosmetic?

Juvéderm® injectable gel is a “next-generation” hyaluronic acid dermal filler that provides volume and is used to treat wrinkles and folds resulting from a loss of volume beneath the surface of the skin, such as perioral lines and nasolabial folds (lines around your mouth and nose). Juvéderm restores your skin’s volume for a smooth, natural look and feel. BOTOX Cosmetic is not a filler. BOTOX Cosmetic relaxes muscle activity and is used to treat moderate to severe lines caused by the dominant frown muscles between the eyebrows (the glabellar area). This allows the two vertical lines between the brows, often referred to as the “11,” to temporarily diminish for a smoother appearance. For important safety information about BOTOX Cosmetic, see below.

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in all mammals that helps to hydrate and add volume to your skin. In addition to its use as an aesthetic treatment, hyaluronic acid has also been used for more than 20 years for injection into arthritic joints to aid movement as well as for eye surgeries and wound repair.

What is cross-linked hyaluronic acid?

“Uncross-linked” hyaluronic acid in its natural form is in a liquid state. “Cross-linking” is the process through which hyaluronic acid is made into a gel product that can be injected into the skin for long-lasting results.

How is JUVéDERM® injectable gel used in treatment?

At Image by Design, we ease Juvéderm® injectable gel into the skin, using a fine needle to temporarily fill in and augment the treatment area and smooth moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as “smile lines” or “parentheses” (nasolabial folds) and “marionette lines” (oral commissures). Juvéderm temporarily adds volume to the skin and may give the appearance of a smoother surface.

What will treatment with JUVéDERM® injectable gel accomplish?

Juvéderm injectable gel will help to smooth moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Most patients need one treatment to achieve optimal wrinkle smoothing. And, one treatment could smooth your lines and wrinkles for up to one year. Ask your doctor what you should expect from your initial treatment and when they would recommend rescheduling another appointment.

Is treatment with JUVéDERM® injectable gel painful?

Injections may cause some discomfort during and after the injection. The smooth consistency gel of Juvéderm® allows us to administer it easily and smoothly. And, Juvéderm® is injected directly into the skin, using a fine needle to reduce injection discomfort. If you choose to numb (anesthetize) the treatment area to further minimize discomfort, we will do so at time of your appointment.

How long does treatment usually take?

The injection process takes only about 15 minutes. You will also need to allow time to consult with your doctor prior to treatment.

Does the correction last forever?

No. Correction is temporary; therefore, touch-up injections as well as repeat injections are usually needed to maintain optimal corrections.

How long do results last?

JUVéDERM® is the ONLY hyaluronic acid (HA) filler FDA-approved to last up to one year.* Talk to Jena, about Juvéderm® today so you can start seeing results!

*Juvéderm® is indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.

What are the possible side effects of JUVéDERM® injectable gel?

Most side effects are mild or moderate in nature, and their duration is short lasting (7 days or less). The most common side effects include, but are not limited to, temporary injections site reactions, such as redness, pain/tenderness, firmness, swelling, lumps/bumps, bruising, itching and discoloration. As with all skin injection procedures, there is a risk of infection.

Can people with different skin tones/colors be treated with JUVéDERM®?

Yes. In fact, Juvéderm® injectable gel is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that has proven its safety and effectiveness in persons of color. Studies with Juvéderm® showed no increased risk of hyperpigmentation or hypertrophic scarring in patients of color.

Important JUVéDERM® Treatment Considerations

Juvéderm® Ultra and Juvéderm® Ultra Plus are indicated for injection into the mid to deep dermis for correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds. Side effects were usually mild to moderate, lasting 7 days or less, and included temporary injection site reactions, such as redness, pain, firmness, swelling and bumps.

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SUN DAMAGE

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Conditions, Sun Damage

Skin on the face may become damaged as a result of over-exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When this occurs, patches of skin may become discolored and rough in texture. 

Although most people love the warmth and light of the sun, too much sun exposure can significantly damage human skin. The sun’s heat dries out areas of unprotected skin and to deplete the skin’s supply of natural lubricating oils. In addition, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause burning and long-term changes in the skin’s structure. 

Over a lifetime, repeated episodes of sunburn and unprotected sun exposure can increase a person’s risk of malignant melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. As a rule, if you have fair skin and light eyes, you are at greater risk of sun-related skin damage and skin cancers. This is because your skin contains less of a brown pigment called melanin, which helps to protect the skin from the effects of UV radiation.

Symptoms

Sun-damaged skin shows the following symptoms:

  • Dry skin – the skin appears dry, flaky and slightly more wrinkled than skin on other parts of your body that have not been exposed to the sun. Dry skin is also one of the most common causes of itching.
  • Sunburn – Mild sunburn causes pain and redness on sun-exposed skin. In most cases, there are clear boundary lines where the skin has been protected from the sun by shirt sleeves, shorts, a bathing suit or other clothing. More severe cases of sunburn produce painful blisters, sometimes together with nausea and dizziness.
  • Actinic keratosis – An actinic keratosis appears as a persistent patch of scaly (peeling) skin that may have a jagged or even sharp surface and that has a pink, yellow, red or brownish tint. At first, an actinic keratosis is the size of a pimple. Rarely, an actinic keratosis may itch or be slightly tender.

Long-term changes in the skin’s collagen – Symptoms of collagen changes include fine lines, deeper wrinkles, a thickened skin texture and easy bruising on sun-exposed areas, especially the back of the hands and forearms.

Causes

Ninety percent of all skin cancers are caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and can be prevented by taking the proper precautions against sun damage. Fair-haired, pale-skinned people are the most vulnerable to sun damage but all skin types are at risk. It also accumulates, so that damage to the skin from one year is added to the damage done in previous years. This explains why the elderly are more prone to skin cancer. 

But how exactly does exposure to the sun accelerate skin ageing? Even low or moderate exposure to UV radiation damages collagen fibres, which are the primary structural protein in the skin. Such exposure also causes the accumulation of abnormal elastin, which is the protein that allows tissue to stretch. During sun damage, large amounts of enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced. The job of these enzymes is to remodel the sun-injured tissue by synthesizing and reforming collagen. But this process appears not to work the way it should and some of these enzymes actually degrade collagen. As a result, an uneven formation of disorganized collagen fibres develop, called solar scars. As this process is repeated, wrinkles appear. 

There are other factors that contribute to skin ageing, including:

  • cigarettes
  • pollution (particularly ozone)
  • rapid weight loss
  • tanning studios (there is no such thing as a “safe” tan; use of tanning beds is no safer than lying out in the sun, and dermatologist would love to see them outlawed)

When to seek medical advice

Call your primary care physician or a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin problems) if you have any of the following problems:

  • Dry skin that doesn’t respond to nonprescription treatments
  • A severe case of blistering sunburn
  • A milder sunburn over a very large portion of your skin, especially if your painful skin makes it hard for you to sleep or to wear clothing
  • An abnormal scaly patch or nodule anywhere on your skin, or a skin ulcer that does not heal
  • Abnormal bleeding under the skin, or skin that bruises very easily
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STRETCH MARKS

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Conditions, Stretch Marks

The amazing thing about stretch marks is that they’re not really caused by the skin “stretching.”  People associate stretch marks with weight gain or pregnancy and assume that stretch marks are caused by our skin stretching to fit around this new, larger body.  The association is so strong that the name ‘stretch mark’ was given; only further adding to the misconception.

Treatment is Available

Solutions

There are treatments available, particularly with lasers, which can help improve stretch marks, however, no treatment can yet make a stretch mark go all the way back to looking like totally normal skin. We can reduce red stretch marks, diminish white marks, we can improve the texture and make them look better, even in some cases make it so that you can’t see them very easily, but stretch marks are still an area where we improve the problem but don’t remove it. There are no ‘perfect’ treatments for stretch marks.

New Affirm® Laser Treatment

Stretch Marks May Be Improved with Laser

Lasers work by reducing the redness in the red stretch marks and by improving some of the inflammation causing the stretch marks in the first place. Lasers also induce collagen growth and remodeling, as well as some elastin remodeling which improves the look of the skin.

The latest development in the treatment of stretch marks is fractional laser therapy. Cynosure Affirm® lasers, utilize this technology. The idea of the laser is to create a number of vertical injuries to the patient’s skin with non-treated, uninjured skin in between the treated areas. Imagine a lawn that’s been aerated. A similar process, on a microscopic scale, is done to the skin with fractional laser treatment. The laser makes small injuries the diameter of a hair shaft in the skin leaving normal, untreated skin in between. The untreated skin helps heal the wound quite quickly, replacing the area with new, healthy skin. During each treatment only a fraction of the skin is treated. Some patients have improvement of stretch marks of 30% to 40%.

A variety of stretch marks may be improved with laser treatment. Generally stretch marks which are red in color are the most responsive to laser therapy, though in many cases white stretch marks may also be improved with treatment. A series of treatment sessions are usually needed to obtain the best results. We perform a series of treatments and can get between a 20-40% improvement in the appearance of these stretch marks. Generally we are getting good results with minimal downtime. There are some risks that some patients may not be responsive to the therapy, as well as some risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in darker individuals that takes some time to fade away. I usually do a test-patch for these patients to be sure we can safely treat them

Hormones are the Cause

The true cause of stretch marks is hormones. That’s right, hormonal influences are the cause. How can I support this fact? Well, when people gain weight, our hormones are produced and metabolized by fat cells. Hormones resemble fat and cholesterol, so when we gain and lose weight it affects the hormones in our body, and also the hormones in our skin.

Gaining Weight & Pregnancy Changes Hormones

So why do people who gain weight or are pregnant often get stretch marks? During the times we are growing, certainly when women are pregnant, when guys are lifting weights, or growth during puberty, its true that your skin is expanding as your body is expanding. But these life changes are accompanied by a serious change in our hormones and a change in the metabolism in our skin. It is this, not the ‘stretching’, that is the cause of stretch marks.

Diet Can Effect Weight, Which Effects Hormones

To the extent that your diet can cause you to gain or lose weight rapidly, thereby affecting your hormones, yes diet is important. However no foods are proven to cause stretch marks. So if you eat a lot of ‘x’ food, it will not cause them.

Weight Loss and Gain Impacts Hormones in Skin

Weight gain or loss has a dramatic effect on your body’s hormones and it is those hormones, which are present in the skin, which cause stretch marks to appear. The body’s expansion is not ‘stretching out’ the skin. Its hormones related to weight gain, pregnancy, puberty or other events associated with changing hormones that cause stretch marks.

Why don’t they heal over time?

Stretch marks are a huge problem. The problem is that the elastic fibers in skin with stretch marks are damaged, and elastic fibers are the single hardest thing to repair in skin. When you have a wound that’s healing, our body’s replace the collagen proteins and all the skin structures that are injured, but the elastic fiber is very difficult to repair. The trouble with stretch marks is that it’s a defect in those fibers. So since our body cannot effectively repair those fibers, the stretch marks do not heal.

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ROSACEA

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Conditions, Rosacea

Rosacea is a fairly common condition estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. This condition causes redness and flushing in the central face as well as across the cheeks, nose, and forehead in people with light complexion. 

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness. You may mistake some of its characteristics, such as small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules, for acne. In fact, rosacea has been called adult acne or acne rosacea, but the disease has little to do with the pimples and blackheads that commonly afflict teenagers. It’s also a misconception that this red-faced condition is caused by drinking alcoholic beverages.

ROSACEA BEFORE & AFTER

Rosacea affects mostly adults, usually people with fair skin, between the ages of 30 and 60. About 14 million Americans have this chronic skin condition. Although it’s more common in women, men may develop more apparent signs of the disorder. It’s not life-threatening, but it can affect your appearance and lower your self-esteem. 

Left untreated, rosacea tends to be progressive, which means it gets worse over time. However, in most people, rosacea is cyclic, which means it may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then signs and symptoms lessen for awhile before rosacea flares up again. Besides acne, rosacea can also be mistaken for other skin problems, such as a skin allergy or eczema. Once diagnosed, it’s quite treatable.

Solutions for Rosacea:

  • XPL
  • Affirm
  • LaserFacial
  • Medical Grade Skin Care
  • Education

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Signs and symptoms include:

  • A tendency to blush or flush easily.
  • Persistent redness in the center of the face.
  • Small visible blood vessels (telangiectasia).
  • Bumps and pus-filled pimples on the face (inflammatory papules and pustules).
  • Burning or stinging sensation on the face; the skin also may itch or feel tight.
  • Dry skin on the face.
  • Swelling on the central part of the face.
  • Eye problems, such as burning, itching, or watery eyes; swollen eyelids.
  • Thickening skin on the nose, cheeks, and/or forehead.
  • Rhinophyma—bumps on the nose that may develop if rosacea is left untreated.

Emotional Impact

Rosacea affects the face, so people with this condition can often experience embarrassment, low self-esteem, and depression. Rosacea is a disease that can deeply affect people emotionally as well as physically. 

Knowledge is one of most powerful empowerment tools that people with rosacea have to help them overcome embarrassment related to the visible facial aspects of the disease. 

The best way to gain this knowledge is to talk to a specialist at Image by Design. We can discuss treatment options with you and work with you to find treatments and skin care alternatives that work best for you.

Rosacea usually appears in phases:

  • Pre-rosacea: Rosacea may begin as a simple tendency to flush or blush easily and then progress to a persistent redness in the central portion of your face, particularly your nose. This redness results from the dilation of blood vessels close to your skin’s surface. This phase may sometimes be referred to as pre-rosacea.
  • Vascular rosacea: As signs and symptoms worsen, vascular rosacea may develop — small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks swell and become visible (telangiectasia). Your skin may become overly sensitive. Rosacea may also be accompanied by oily skin and dandruff.
  • Inflammatory rosacea: Small, red bumps or pustules may appear and persist, spreading across your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. This is sometimes known as inflammatory rosacea.

In severe and rare cases, the oil glands (sebaceous glands) in your nose and sometimes your cheeks become enlarged, resulting in a buildup of tissue on and around your nose (rhinophyma). This complication is much more common in men and develops very slowly over a period of years. 
In addition, more than half the people with rosacea experience ocular rosacea — a burning and gritty sensation in the eyes. Rosacea may cause the inner skin of the eyelids to swell.

Causes

The cause of rosacea is unknown, but researchers believe it’s likely due to some combination of hereditary and environmental factors. 

Several theories exist as to what causes rosacea. One theory is that a blood vessel disorder causes vessels in the face to swell. Another is that rosacea is the result of a chronic bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal system caused by a Helicobacter pylori infection. Some researchers have suggested that tiny mites (Demodex folliculorum), living in human hair follicles, may play a role by clogging up sebaceous gland openings. Most people with rosacea have sun-damaged skin, which may also play a contributing role. None of these theories has been conclusively proved, however. 

One thing is certain — alcohol doesn’t cause rosacea. While the consumption of alcohol can lead to flushing of the skin and may worsen rosacea, people who don’t consume alcohol at all still can get rosacea.

Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of rosacea remains a mystery, a number of factors can aggravate it or make it worse by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. Some of these include:

  • Hot foods or beverages
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Sunlight
  • Stress, anger or embarrassment
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Hot baths, saunas
  • Corticosteroids
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications

When to Seek Medical Advice

Unfortunately, rosacea rarely clears up by itself. Instead, it tends to worsen over time if left untreated. If you experience persistent redness of your face, come see us for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Many over-the-counter skin care products contain ingredients, such as acids, alcohol and other irritants, that may actually worsen rosacea. Because of the progressive nature of rosacea, an early diagnosis is important. Treatments tend to be more effective the earlier they’re started. 

XPL is a comfortable and extremely effective breakthrough in skin care technology. There are a million ways to try and change the appearance of your skin. 

XPL, which is also known as intense pulsed light therapy, can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It is typically used on the face, neck, and/or chest to treat facial erythema (redness) and flushing as well as remedy damage caused by overexposure to the sun. XPL can also help eliminate the redness and flushing of rosacea. Treatment only takes 15-30 minutes.

So, what happens after XPL? You will first see a gradual decrease in redness. The treated skin will feel softer and vary less in tone. Fine lines and wrinkles will also improve along with fading of pigmentation and age spots as well as a reduction in pore size. 

Rosacea sufferers will see a marked reduction in breakouts and, in some cases, may be able to decrease or discontinue their medication. Results occur with each treatment and improve gradually over time. Most people require about 5 treatments. Those with more complicated conditions may need more.

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MELASMA

by on Jan.24, 2010, under Conditions, Melasma

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that mostly affects adult women with ethnic skin tones and is often triggered by a hormonal change. It is estimated that roughly 6 million women suffer from this condition in the United States. Although anyone can be affected by melasma, it is most commonly seen in Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and African women. Melasma usually appears as patchy brown spots, typically on both sides of the face. It appears across the nose, cheeks, forehead and upper lip. Only ten percent of those affected by melasma are men.

Solutions:

  1. Affirm™ Fractional Laser Treatment
  2. Chemical Peel

Although the cause of melasma is still unknown, it seems that persons with a family history of melasma are more susceptible to developing the condition. Melasma is often triggered by a significant hormonal change like pregnancy and is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy.” Other factors that can initiate the onset of melasma include birth control pills, sun exposure, and strong UV light exposure.

From a scientific standpoint, the process that develops melasma comes from the stimulation of pigment-producing cells in the skin called melanocytes. Because people with darker skin naturally have more melanocytes, the occurrence of melasma is much higher for this group. When a person who is already susceptible to melasma is exposed to the sun, the skin reacts by producing an excess amount of pigment.

How is it treated?

It is possible that melasma may disappear over time for some people; however, it can remain for many years after its onset. If the melasma arrived with the beginning of a birth control pill cycle, it may disappear by discontinuing the prescription. Right now, sunscreen is the most important weapon we have for the prevention of melasma. For those who have already developed melasma, it is crucial that sunscreen is worn all the time to prevent any kind of accidental exposure to UV light.

The Affirm laser delivers a series of microscopic, closely spaced laser spots to the skin while simultaneously preserving normal healthy skin between the laser spots. This preservation of healthy skin results in rapid healing following the laser treatment. The entire face can be treated with the laser in approximately 30 minutes.

Aside from the Affirm laser treatment, there are several other types of treatment available for melasma. Assessment by a doctor will help you determine which method will be effective.

Bleaching creams do not technically “bleach” the melanocytes but cause a decrease in activity of these pigment-producing cells. These creams contain low concentrations of hydroquinone, which is a widely used de-pigmenting agent and is often effective for mild melasma.

With any of the creams, it takes about three months to see an improvement in melasma. With more severe cases, we may prescribe creams with higher concentrations of hydroquinone. Other ingredients that may enhance the bleaching effect of the creams are tretinoin, steroids, and glycolic acid. Sunscreen is essential and comes combined with the bleaching cream in some products.

Two other medications that have been found to help melasma are azelaic acid and kojic acid. It is important to follow the direction of Dr. Bararia or Image by Design’s own medical aesthetician, Jena, carefully in order to get the maximum benefit from your treatment regimen and to avoid irritation and other side effects. Other treatments that may or may not help in the treatment of melasma include chemical peels and XPL, but the results have not been consistent.

Only a doctor can help you to manage or eliminate melasma. If you suffer from melasma, help yourself by avoiding the sun and other skin irritants, and come see us at Image by Design.

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