Refreshed and Rejuvenated: Laser Treatments for a Glowing Summer
Are you looking for a way to look better? Surgical procedures often require you to take time off. Nowadays, there are numerous non-invasive and non-surgical options to quickly refresh your look—without the down time and without the hassle. Some of the procedures take less time than your lunch break! Try our MedSpa—at Will Surgical Arts in Maryland, we offer a variety of quick treatments that will leave you looking and feeling refreshed.
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3 SURGERY-FREE PROCEDURES TO GET YOU READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
With everything that we have to do during the holidays – from running around for presents for the kids to preparing the Thanksgiving turkey – it may seem like there is not enough time to refresh your appearance before putting yourself out in front of friends and family at the next big holiday party. With just a few weeks until the holidays begin, a non-surgical procedure is a great way to achieve the look you want without missing out on any of the festivities
Here are three surgery-free facial procedures to consider this holiday season.
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IPL Therapy for Facial Flushing
Are you suffering with symptoms of rosacea? You’re not alone.
More than 14 million American have rosacea according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness around the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. Some of the most common symptoms of rosacea include:
- A flushed, red face
- Visible blood vessels
- Sensitive, dry skin
- Small bumps or acne-like breakouts
- Red, irritated eyes
If left untreated, these symptoms tend to get worse. And though there is no cure for rosacea, with adequate treatment, most people can control their symptoms and prevent rosacea from getting worse.
Popular Treatments for Rosacea
Facial redness and visible blood vessels can be treated with:
Acne-like breakouts and bumps can be treated with:
- Low-dose antibiotics like doxycycline
- Topical creams like metronizadole or azelaic acid
Dry, sensitive skin can be treated with:
- High quality moisturizer
- Broad spectrum sunscreen
- Clothing protection (scarves or ski masks) during the winter
- Avoiding skin products that contain alcohol
- Avoid irritating skin by touching it too much
Red, irritated eyes can be treated with:
- Artificial tears or prescription eye drops
Know Your Rosacea Triggers
In addition proper treatment, it’s possible to minimize symptoms by identifying lifestyle and environmental factors that may be causing your rosacea to flare up. Though triggers can vary significantly from individual to individual, some of the most common triggers include:
- Temperature changes
- Dairy products
- Spicy foods
- Sun exposure
Learn More About Rosacea Treatment
Do you still have questions about IPL photofacial, pulsed dye laser resurfacing or other cosmetic treatments for rosacea? Contact us to set up a one-on-one consultation today.
Micro Laser Peel vs. Chemical Peel
Both a micro laser peel and a chemical peel are used to treat skin conditions associated with aging and active lifestyles such as:
- Mild wrinkles
- Smile lines
- Keratosis (pre-cancerous legions)
- Sun damage
- Uneven pigmentation
They work by removing damaged outer layers of skin to improve skin texture to give the complexion a more youthful, vibrant glow. Both procedures are ideal for patients who want lasting results, with minimal downtime or post-treatment care.
Micro Laser Peel: A micro laser peel uses laser technology to resurface the skin. During treatment, a laser hand piece is used to scan over the treatment areas. A very thin layer of skin is removed and damaged cells are destroyed. The entire procedure generally lasts 15 to 30 minutes and most patients experience little or no discomfort.
The healing process varies from patient to patient, but generally lasts between two and four days. During recovery, it’s common to feel as though your skin has been sunburned. It will appear pink or red, and it’s likely that you will experience some minor peeling.
Your laser peel before and after results will depend on the depth of your laser peel. Results are immediate, but multiple micro laser peels are usually needed to achieve desired results. They can be performed four to six weeks apart.
Chemical Peel: A chemical peel uses a chemical solution (usually acid-based) to remove outer layers of skin. Chemical peels are divided into superficial, medium, and deep peels. Deep phenol chemical peels (which usually require significant downtime) have almost entirely been replaced by laser resurfacing. While light-to-medium peels remain a popular way to refresh the skin.
Once the chemical solution has been applied to the face, treatment usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Light chemical peels essentially have zero downtime, but as a result require multiple treatments to see dramatic improvements.
Heavier chemical peels will cause your skin to appear red and swollen for a few days. Over the course of a week, the skin will become crusty and eventually start to flake and peel. Significant improvements are noticeable after a single treatment, but more than one may be necessary to achieve desired results.
Which is better?
The best procedure for you will ultimately depend on your skin type and tone, as well as your cosmetic goals. Scheduling a consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist is the best way to find out.
Should I get ablative or non-ablative laser resurfacing?
When used correctly, ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing are both effective rejuvenation tools for the skin. That being said, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before settling on any particular treatment.
Skin rejuvenation is known by many names: laser resurfacing, laser surgery, laser peel and more. But no matter what it’s called, all laser treatments use energy to penetrate through various layers of the skin to repair the appearance of wrinkles, discolorations, acne scars and other signs of aging.
Ablative vs. Non-Ablative
The basic difference between ablative and non-ablative treatments is that ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, while non-ablative lasers work by heating up the underlying skin tissue (without harming the surface) so that your body will produce new collagen.
Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Ablative lasers are more invasive, making them a great option for treating mild to moderate wrinkles, facial scaring and skin discoloration.
Dramatic improvements can generally be seen after a single treatment, but most patients need two weeks or more of recovery time. During recovery, it’s common to experience some discomfort accompanied by swelling, oozing and crusting of the skin.
Ablative laser resurfacing is the best choice for patients who:
- Show signs of significant facial aging
- Have deep or pitted facial scars
- Want to see significant results fast
- Can take time off from work to recover
Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Meanwhile, non-ablative lasers are best at improving skin texture and tone. In some cases they may also be used to improve the appearance of fine lines, mild wrinkles and pigmentation issues as well.
A number of separate treatments are usually needed to see significant results, but recoveries are generally mild (especially when compared to ablative treatments). Other than some mild redness or swelling, the skin is not visibly affected, and most patients can resume normal routines right away.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing is the best choice for patients who:
- Are relatively young (between 25 and 65 years of age)
- Have mild to moderate signs of aging (with minimal skin sagging)
- Are willing to undergo multiple treatments before seeing results
- Can’t afford to take time off from work
Which laser resurfacing treatment is right for you?
The best way to find out which treatment is right for you is to schedule a personal consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon. He or she will be able to make a recommendation based on your skin type and cosmetic goals.
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Treatments for Men: Back Laser Hair Removal
Back hair. It’s one of the biggest grooming nuisances for men – especially with beach season just around the corner.
Fortunately, back laser hair removal has made the process a whole lot easier.
What is back laser hair removal?
Laser technology is one of the latest trends in hair removal. During treatment, a concentrated beam of light is aimed at the unwanted back hair. The light is then absorbed by the hair’s pigment (color), which damages the hair follicle – delaying future growth.
How Long It Takes: Each treatment session will take less than an hour, but eight treatments or more may be needed to achieve desired results.
Best Candidates: Generally speaking, laser hair removal works best on patients with light skin and dark hair. However, there are certain lasers that may still work regardless of your skin/hair color combination. Your cosmetic surgeon will be able to point you in the right direction.
Final Results: Once a full series of treatments is completed, results will be long-lasting, if not permanent. Annual touch up appointments may be necessary to maintain results.
A few things to keep in mind before treatment
- Multiple treatment sessions will be needed. Hair grows in indeterminate cycles. And for laser hair removal to be effective, hair needs to be caught in the growth phase.
- Treatment may be a little uncomfortable. Depending on your natural pain tolerance, lasers hair removal can feel like a mild pinch or the snap of a hot rubber band. Your cosmetic surgeon may use a numbing agent to minimize discomfort.
- You won’t be beach ready immediately following treatment. Post-laser breakouts are common because laser hair removal leaves the hair follicles open for a few days. Using an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream is a good way to prevent blemishes.
Are you interested in laser hair removal? Contact us today to set up a personal consultation.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Surgical vs. Non-Surgical: The Right Procedure for You
With so many great options available, narrowing down the right cosmetic procedure for your needs and lifestyle can be a challenge. To make the process a little easier, we suggest first considering some of the pros and cons of surgical verses non-surgical cosmetic enhancement.
Generally speaking, most surgical options require a longer period of recovery than non-surgical. If you simply aren’t in a place to take several days off from work, then you’ll probably fare better with a non-surgical procedure that offers minimal recovery time (e.g., Botox injections, dermal fillers or laser skin resurfacing).
Longevity of Results
One of the biggest benefits of cosmetic surgery procedures is that they offer long-term (even somewhat permanent) results. Most patients may never have to go under the knife again – or only several years later to address new age-related changes to their face or body. When it comes to non-surgical procedures, most require regular upkeep (whether it be every few months or every few years) to maintain results long-term.
Type of Results
Are you hoping for a big unveiling of your new look, or would you like improvements to be a little more subtle? Most surgical procedures produce noticeable results, which will most likely be visible to friends, family members and co-workers. If that sounds like too much attention, you might want to consider a non-surgical option that produces gradual results instead.
With its widespread popularity, cosmetic enhancement has become more affordable over the past several years – but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. In most cases, the more invasive a procedure is, the more expensive it will be. The total cost of cosmetic surgery will account for not only the surgeon fees, but also the anesthesia and surgical facility.
It’s important to keep in mind that most non-surgical procedures like Botox are less expensive upfront, but they may actually cost more in the long run as you continue with routine maintenance. It’s best to ask your cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist for advice if you aren’t sure which is best.
Tips for Guessing Someone’s Age after Laser Skin Resurfacing
With the rise in cosmetic enhancement procedures like Botox injections, laser skin resurfacing and injectable fillers, it can be near impossible to guess someone’s age these days. So the next time you find yourself a little curious, you’ll have to look beyond traditional signs of aging.
According to Dr. Scott Zevon, a plastic surgeon and clinical instructor at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, “hands often betray our age.”
If you really want to guess someone’s age, keep an eye out for the following signs of hand-related aging:
- Age (liver) spots – When most people think about sun damage, they don’t even consider their hands. For this reason, the hands are particularly vulnerable to discoloration and sunspots.
- Wrinkly skin – Wrinkles are a tell-tale sign of aging. Because the hands are usually drier than many other parts of the body (due to hand washing throughout the day), they’re more prone to wrinkles.
- Translucent skin – The skin on our hands is actually thinner than the skin on our faces. Over time, as our hands naturally lose volume, causing our skin to look paper thin.
- Lost volume – Like the face, decreased collagen production beneath the surface of the skin can cause our hands to lose volume as we age – eventually appearing sunken or hollow.
- Noticeable veins – The veins, tendons and bones on our hands become much more prominent as we age and our skin begins to lose some of its elasticity (tightness).
Though the hands seem to be more of a tell-tale sign of age these days, many of the same procedures used for the face can be used for the hands as well. Retinoids, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are great for treating sun damage, while dermal fillers and laser skin resurfacing can add volume to the hands and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
So really, it may be near impossible to guess someone’s actual age these days.
Source: Herald Online
Photo Credit: Flickr
Caring for Uneven Skin Tone
Caring for your skin involves a lot of work. A variety of factors such as your overall health, age, hormone level and current skin care regimen can affect the way your skin looks. If you’re like millions of Americans, you’re currently suffering with discoloration or uneven skin tone, which can make you look tired, aged or unhealthy.
Your skin tone (as well as eye and hair color) is determined by varying amounts of a pigment called melanin. People with darker skin tones have more melanin than people with pale skin. Melanin serves as a shield against UV radiation. Uneven skin tone is caused by an uneven build-up of melanin in the outer layers of the skin.
The most common causes of uneven skin tone include:
- Sun exposure – Excessive exposure to UV radiation can result in an overproduction of melanin to protect your skin.
- Natural aging – As we age, our skin’s cellular turnover begins to slow down, resulting in a build-up of dead skin cells. The patches of dead skin cells appear as uneven patches of skin tone.
- Hormonal imbalance – Hormonal changes that occur from pregnancy, hormonal contraceptive or even a thyroid imbalance can lead to melasma (patchy brown discoloration of the skin). This condition usually fades once your hormone levels normalize.
- Skin inflammation – Acne, ingrown hairs, shaving and harsh skin care products can stimulate melanin production.
- Vitamin deficiency – A deficiency in calcium, iron, Vitamin A, E, or B complex can all lead to uneven skin tone.
If you have uneven skin tone, there are several treatment options that can help:
- Exfoliate! – Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells from the outer layers of your skin. Ideally, you should exfoliate 2-3 times per week.
- Topical creams – Topical vitamin A or Hydroquinone cream (available by prescription) is essentially a bleaching treatment that works by blocking the production of melanin.
- Cosmetic procedures – A variety of in-office procedures such as a IPL photofacial (Intense Pulsed Light therapy) can even out your skin tone.
Learn more about IPL photofacials and other treatments for uneven skin tone.
Common Types of Sun Damage
Warm sun on your skin is one of the greatest feelings in the world, but unfortunately that feeling often comes with a price – sun damage. Unprotected skin is vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause long-term changes to your skin.
Sun damage comes in many forms, but some of the most common types include:
- Dry skin – When exposed to excessive amounts of sun, your skin can slowly lose natural moisture and essential oils. This can cause your skin to appear dry or flaky – resulting in an aged appearance.
- Sunburn – Sunburn is a skin injury that occurs after the skin is exposed to UV radiation. Mild to moderate sunburn results in skin reddening and discomfort, but more severe cases can result in vesicles (fluid-filled bumps) or large blisters.
- Actinic keratosis – When exposed to the sun for a long period of time, small rough patches may develop on your skin. It is possible for actinic keratosis to eventually turn into skin cancer.
- Premature aging – UV damage to your skin can cause structural changes to the collagen beneath your skin, which ultimately results in fine lines and wrinkles.
Repeated unprotected sun exposure can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. As a general rule, men and women with fair skin and light eyes are at an increased risk. This is due to a lack of melanin in the skin (which shields the skin from UV rays).
Wearing a daily SPF of 30 or greater is the best way to protect your skin from sun damage, but for some of us, the damage has already been done. If you’re unhappy with how sun damage has impacted your appearance, there are a variety of cosmetic treatment options available that can help:
Learn more about laser skin resurfacing and other treatments for sun damage in Urbana.