Are scars the reason why you wear long-sleeved clothes, caps, and jackets all the time? Well, a scar at the wrong body part, like severe acne on the face, is likely to lower your self-esteem. Some good news for you is that dermatologists can help you to alleviate the effects of scars. Please keep reading to know how dermatologists will return your skin to its glorious self.
Why You Should Visit a Dermatologist
If you have a scar visiting a dermatologist is the safest way of getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. Scars can be complex; that is why you need a qualified doctor to assess your health and the spot on your body. Each type of scar requires specific treatment. Age and the scar duration influence the kind of treatment to be used on the fault.
A certified dermatologist will give you the following information:
The type of scar that you have
The probability of the scar fading away with time
The ideal treatment procedure for the scar
The ideal time to treat the scar to garner good results
It is essential to undergo an examination under a dermatologist because some types of cancer appear like scars. If you experience any scars which are not injury-related, book an appointment with a certified dermatologist immediately.
Types of Scars
There are many types of scars; determining the one you are suffering from helps dermatologists formulate a suitable treatment. The scars occur in various sizes and shapes. Here are some of the common types:
Keloid scar: it’s the most common scar, usually occurs when you suffer from an injury. The scar is firm, and it’s either dark red or pink. Keloid is a result of the secretion of excess collagen by your skin. Scars may extend further from the area of injury.
Contracture scar: the scar is a result of a severe burn. It runs deep in the skin and can cause skin tightness. In extreme cases, the scar inhibits movement.
Hypertrophic scar: it shares similar traits with the keloid scar, but it does not extend beyond the first point of injury. Many people confuse it with a keloid scar; ensure your doctor takes a keen look at the scar to eliminate the wrong diagnosis.
Acne scar: severe acne leads to acne scarring, which leaves permanent marks on your face. Laser resurfacing and dermabrasion can be used to water down the acne appearance.
How Does a Dermatologist Prevent and Treat scars?
Dermatologists employ various means to injuries to lower the odds of occurrence of scars. Below are some methods.
Pressure Therapy: the doctor applies pressure on the wound as it heals to prevent a scar, pressure also wades off a keloid from recurring after surgery. Elastic stockings, earrings, and bandages are used to apply pressure.
Silicone Gel: you can apply gel to reduce the size, swelling, hardness, and stiffness of scars. Gel sheets are self-adhesive and thin; they are ideal for use after your wound has healed.
Corticosteroid Injections: dermatologists inject the scar to reduce its size and ease itching and pain. The injection can reduce the size of the scar by up to 50%.
Laser treatment: it’s a type of treatment where focused light treats damaged skin cells without damaging the surrounding tissues.
Preparation for Scar Treatment Using laser
When you settle down for laser treatment to remove your scars, the doctor will supply you with guidelines to follow in the build-up to the procedure. Here are some of the policies:
Quit smoking for at least two weeks before undergoing treatment
Do not take supplements, aspirin, or medication that can stall the healing process
Wear sunscreen and stay away from sunbaths
Avoid skincare products made up of glycolic acid and retinol for up to four weeks before your treatment.
How Treatment of Scars Using Laser Works
Laser treatment reduces the severity of a scar; it does not make the scar disappear completely. When you suffer an injury, a scab forms covering the loose skin; this is a protective move that protects the body from germs. Eventually, the scab falls off, leaving behind a scar. With time the scar also fades, but it leaves an indelible mark.
Lasers work by removing the exposed skin surface to smoothen the skin’s appearance and tone. The lasers can also reduce skin redness by targeting blood vessels found in the scar tissue. A dermatologist can spark the release of new skin cells by penetrating the skin surface using a laser.
Types of laser treatment
A chat with your dermatologist will reveal several laser treatment options. Some of the most notable ones include:
Laser resurfacing: also known as ablative resurfacing, this treatment option clears wrinkles and upgrades the state of warts and scars. It works by eliminating damaged skin cells from the skin surface. The operating dermatologist may use an erbium laser to remove surface scars and a carbon dioxide-based laser to eliminate deeper spots. The laser clears the top damaged skin layer while tightening the middle level making the skin smoother. Treatment may take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size and shape of the scar. A doctor administers anesthesia before commencing the procedure. The average healing time ranges from 4 to 10 days.
Fractional laser resurfacing: in this treatment option, the doctor penetrates a deeper skin layer using a laser. The aim is to stimulate skin cell renewal and collagen production, which make the scars less prominent. Fractional resurfacing has a shorter healing period because the laser does not damage the skin’s top layer.
Non- ablative laser therapy: your doctor uses an infrared heat laser to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The procedure stimulates the manufacture of collagen and skin cell renewal to restore the damaged skin.
Morpheus 8: approved by the FDA as a Subdermal Adipose Remodeling Device because, at its most powerful settings, it sculpts the fat under the skin. When used at lower settings, it can significantly decrease the appearance of scars.
Dermatology Institute of Southern California can help you get rid of that scar that is causing you sleepless nights. We have a highly skilled group of dermatologists who will diagnose the type of scar you have and make a treatment plan. Contact us today to start your journey towards smoother skin.
For individuals struggling with severe acne, they’re not just struggling with the effects of blemished skin. Severe acne can take an emotional toll on people who are anxious or embarrassed about how they look. Over-the-counter lotions, rinses and creams may not be sufficient either to effectively manage breakouts. Because acne is genetic, there isn’t any definitive cure. Dermatologists, however, can effectively manage the condition with a variety of prescription treatment options.
While adults can struggle with acne, it’s often found in teenagers due to hormonal changes. This condition can not only wreak havoc on your skin, it can also damage your self-esteem when you’re dealing with:
This dermatological condition can also become progressively worse if you leave it untreated. It’s best to treat acne when you first notice an outbreak. Below are some acne treatments a dermatologist would prescribe.
Dermatologist-Prescribed Acne Treatments
Treatments for acne that a dermatologist would prescribe include:
Topicals are medication you apply to your skin. A few include:
Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex) is a naturally occurring acid a certain yeast produces. It offers antibacterial properties. Applying a 20% azelaic acid gel or cream used twice daily can be as effective as various standard acne treatments. You can also use it to manage certain types of acne-related discoloration. It’s prescribed to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dapsone: Dermatologists recommend using Dapsone 5% gel (Aczone) twice a day for inflammatory acne, particularly in women struggling with acne.
Retin A is a topical antibiotic cream made to reduce inflammation and how many pimples you develop. Retin A falls in the “Retinoids’ class of antibiotics. Topical retinoid gels or creams are often first line acne treatments. Retinoids are a synthetic vitamin A derivative. They stimulate collagen production, helping to reduce dark spots and wrinkles.
There is evidence pointing to retinoids’ ability to tackle inflammatory acne (i.e. pustules, papules and zits). It helps quickly shed skin cells that clog your pores.
Minocycline: Minocycline stops bacteria and decreases inflammation. People have been using this oral acne alternative for years.
Doxycycline: This is an antibiotic commonly prescribed for acne and rosacea. It treats inflammatory acne (mild to severe). Dermatologists recommend it for individuals who have tried other unsuccessful treatments. It is not effective for milia or blackheads.
Isotretinoin: Isotretinoin is an oral medicine frequently used for severe acne as a last resort. It’s not for all people. It’s best for those who have tried other treatments without success and for those with severe nodulocystic acne scarring.
Birth Control Pill: This treatment is used in females only. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a birth control pill can be incorporated effectively into an acne treatment regimen. You could use a birth control pill along with a medication called spironolactone or an antibiotic to control your acne better.
Microdermabrasion: With microdermabrasion, the aesthetician uses a device to exfoliate your skin, eliminate dead skin cells and eliminate debris from the surface of your skin. It improves whiteheads, acne scars and blackheads. Your skin feels refreshed and soft after this treatment.
Chemical Peels: These can consist of natural and/or high grade chemical ingredients that help to transform and revitalize your skin. A chemical peel will help eliminate your dull skin cells, creating smoother, firmer skin while tightening up your pores.
Extractions: Sometimes, the aesthetician might have to extract fluid from one of your clogged pores using a certain tool. This helps to treat inflamed pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.
HydraFacial: The aesthetician performs a HydraFacial to clean, exfoliate and infuse your skin with hydration. They can customize this treatment to improve your acne-prone skin.
Clarifying Acne Facial: This treatment combines extractions, glycolic exfoliation, essential nourishment and a purification masque to remove impurities in your skin and restore your skin back to its natural balance. It helps reduce inflammation and controls flare-ups, preventing future breakouts.
Other Acne Treatments
Fraxel Laser Treatment: This treatment digs beneath the deepest layers of your skin, fading acne scars, repairing your deeper dermal levels and boosting collagen. The dermatologist stimulates cell renewal with this laser procedure which leaves you with smoother skin and improvement of your acne scars in about three to four sessions.
Photodynamic Acne Treatment (PDT) using Levulan: The dermatologist applies a high-grade serum (Amino-Levulinic Acid) to the areas of your face that are prone to acne. You’re then positioned beneath a Blu-U Blue Light after an hour. The light goes to work destroying acne that causes bacteria and shrinks your pores. The dermatologist can administer these medical grade treatments by themselves or together with one another. PDT quickly starts treating a wide range of acne like whiteheads, blackheads, pustular and cystic and papular without the need for surgical excision and without scarring.
Microneedling: Microneedling generates a sequence of microscopic holes in your skin, helping to fade scars, boost the growth of collagen, stimulate elastin and reduce pore size. After the growth of new collagen, your face is firmer and smoother looking.
Maintain Clear Skin with an Acne Maintenance Plan
Once your skin is clear, following treatment, you’ll still need to adhere to an acne maintenance plan. Many individuals can stay acne-free by properly caring for and applying medicine to their skin. Acne can quickly return without this acne maintenance plan.
By gaining an understanding of your skin type, it will allow you to determine which ingredients will work best for your skin. It will also allow you to create an effective daily skin care regimen. This regimen can be as simple as cleansing your face daily with a gentle cleanser to eliminate dirt in your skin and keep your skin refreshed and clean. Then you’d apply a good cream or lotion to keep your skin moist, help keep acne at bay and prevent age-related fine lines and wrinkles.
If this acne maintenance plan doesn’t keep acne away, your dermatologist will need to prescribe one of the above treatments again, customized for your individual acne problem.
The main goals when treating acne is to prevent it or manage it. If acne does persist, then the goal is to keep it from becoming severe enough where it will leave scars. At Dermatology Institute of Southern California, our acne professionals offer various customized acne treatments that will tackle acne at any stage, including scarring, and leave you with clear, smooth skin. Contact us to set up your appointment with one of our expert dermatologists.
No one is happy to have acne on their face. If you’re like most people, you wish it would go away and quickly. The good news is that acne can be treated, as long as you seek the right treatment for your type of acne.
The following information will help you understand your acne and how it can be treated by an experienced dermatologist.
What causes acne?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. When this happens, individuals will experience issues such as whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
While teenagers are often the ones who suffer from this condition the most, it can happen to people of all ages.
Getting rid of acne is often difficult because most people don’t understand why it’s happening. Therefore, they can’t identify an effective solution. Here are the main four causes of acne.
Excess oil production
Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Acne can occur in various places of the body. It typically appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders. This is because these areas of the skin have the most oil glands. Attached to the oil glands are hair follicles. Sometimes, the follicle wall will bulge, thus creating a whitehead. Other times, the clog is open at the surface and darkens, creating a blackhead. When someone has a blackhead, this means that the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, causing the infected area to turn brown and darken once exposed to oxygen.
Is there anything that can worsen acne?
Yes. There are certain situations and lifestyles that can trigger or worsen your acne. Understanding what can affect your skin is the first step to improving it. Here are a few triggers to watch out for.
Hormonal Changes: One of the biggest influencers of acne is hormonal changes. Androgens are hormones that increase in both boys and girls during puberty. As a result, the sebaceous (oil) glands become enlarged and make more sebum. It’s important to also note that hormone changes, especially for women, during midlife can lead to increased breakouts.
Medications: Certain medications that contain corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium can lead to acne. If you are taking medication with any of these ingredients and find that you are having excessive acne, be sure to talk to your medical doctor about potentially switching medications.
Diet: Eating carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread and chips can increase your acne risk or worsen current acne.
Stress: While stress doesn’t directly cause acne, it can worsen if you already have it.
What are the symptoms of acne?
Individuals with acne may experience a variety of symptoms. The number of symptoms you experience will depend on the severity of your acne and what’s causing it. Acne symptoms may include the following:
Closed clogged pores (whiteheads)
Open clogged pores (blackheads)
Small, red, tender bumps
Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin
Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin
How a Dermatologist can Help with Acne
There are various treatment options available for individuals living with acne. An expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Behroozan, will identify your skin type, the underlying cause of your acne, and develop the best course of action. At The Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we pride ourselves on providing the latest acne treatment options for our patients.
We offer seven services that can reduce the appearance of existing acne and prevent new breakouts:
This is a minimally invasive skin treatment that involves the insertion of fine, short needles into the skin. The small wounds cause your body to produce more collagen and elastin, which helps your skin look more rejuvenated. Microneedling is an effective, relatively inexpensive cosmetic treatment that’s great for combating acne scars.
This is another minimally invasive procedure used to renew your skin tone and texture. Microdermabrasion uses a special applicator with an abrasive surface to gently remove the thick outer layer of the skin and rejuvenate it. This is an effective treatment option for those with skin issues including sun damage, scarring, and acne just to name a few.
Photodynamic Acne Treatment (PDT) Using Laevulin
Amino-Levuilinic is a high-grade serum applied to acne-prone areas of the face. After an hour, patients are positioned under a Blu-U Blue Light, which destroys acne-causing bacteria and shrinks pores. PDT is a highly effective treatment that rapidly treats a wide variety of acne such as whiteheads, blackheads, papular, and more.
This is a facial treatment that uses a patented device to provide exfoliation, cleansing, extraction, and hydration to the face. A hydrafacial relies on a vortex swirling action to effectively remove dead skin, dirt, debris, and ultimately deliver hydration to the skin. These treatments are great for all skin types and can help improve skin that is prone to acne.
If you’re looking for an oral solution, Doxycycline is a great option. This is a commonly prescribed antibiotic that works great for acne-prone skin. Inflammation is a common cause of acne. This antibiotic works by killing off P.acnes (a result of extra oil), which helps to reduce inflammation.
This is another oral solution that is effective in treating mild and severe acne. Minocycline works by stopping bacteria and reduces inflammation.
This is a topical treatment, which is a form of vitamin A. Retin A is a cream designed to decrease the number of pimples you develop and reduce acne-causing inflammation.
Acne can be a concerning issue for many, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have acne-prone skin or are currently suffering from an acne breakout, don’t rely on DIY methods to combat your condition. Instead, reach out to an expert dermatologist with experience and advanced tools available to help you experience your best skin yet.
The Dermatology Institute of Southern California offers a variety of treatment services to help patients combat acne. Contact us today if you’re ready to schedule an appointment and get your skin on the road to recovery.
Acne scars can take a huge hit out of anyone’s self-esteem. If you suffer from acne scars, you are not alone. Around 80% of 11 to 30 year-olds deal with some degree of scarring in their lifetime. While acne scarring can be tough to deal with, the good news is that there is an efficient solution. One of the latest and most effective acne scar treatments to come out is Fraxel laser. Read on to learn how Fraxel laser works and how the treatment may be able to help you rebuild your self-confidence.
What is Fraxel Laser?
There are a number of different treatments available for healing acne scars, from Microneedling, Morpheus 8, Microdermabrasion, Photodynamic Therapy to Fraxel laser. While each treatment has its own set of pros and cons, Fraxel laser is one of the most advanced treatment options available. So, how does the Fraxel laser process actually work? Well, Fraxel laser treatment is the ideal method for patients that have mild to medium-depth acne scarring. Fraxel is actually the trademark name for a skin-resurfacing tool that uses fractional laser technology. The basic premise of the Fraxel treatment is that it uses a laser to damage scarred skin, encouraging new healthy tissue growth. Essentially, the laser gently damages the skin to gently stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
Looking a little deeper, the Fraxel device makes microscopic injuries to specific skin areas to treat acne scars. The lasers of the Fraxel devise delve into the skin’s deepest layers, delivering advanced waves of laser energy. The skin then reacts to this process by producing new healthy cells through collagen production to heal the damage. The healthy cells end up replacing the old damaged tissues of the acne-scarred skin. Fraxel laser treatment is an FDA-approved laser procedure that stimulates cell renewal from the inside out. Most patients see excellent results within just three to four sessions. Ultimately, Fraxel laser treatment has proven itself as an effective treatment for those looking to heal their acne scars and rebuild their self-confidence.
Fraxel laser treatment is a great choice for most people looking to heal their acne scars and regain their self-confidence.
In Fraxel laser treatments, a laser is used to heat the scarred area of the skin, stimulating collagen production. For individuals with acne scarring, Fraxel is an ideal treatment to use. However, for patients with deep or extensive acne scarring, multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve optimal results. Because the procedure is minimaly invasive, the recovery time for most patients receiving Fraxel restore is just a couple of days.
The type of Fraxel laser treatment is known as Fraxel dual. This type of Fraxel laser treatment is relatively new. In Fraxel dual, two different wavelengths are generated. One of the wavelengths is used to treat superficial scarring and pigmentation. The second wavelength is used to treat deeper scars and wrinkles. The recovery time for most patients receiving Fraxel dual is about three days. However, recovery can take up to a week after receiving a Fraxel dual treatment.
How to Prepare for Fraxel Laser Treatment
If you do decide to go through the Fraxel laser treatment to obtain the skin you’ve been dreaming of, there are some preparation steps you should take to ensure the procedure goes off seamlessly. At the same time, there are no intensive preparation steps. However, it’s best to follow the following guidelines before your Fraxel laser treatment.
Stop all other acne treatments at least three weeks before treatment, especially topical retinoids (Retin-A and derivatives)
Ensure that you don’t have any major breakouts, open sores, or infections on your face
Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the day of the treatment
Eat a light and healthy meal on the day of the treatment
Don’t have a treatment if your skin is recently tanned
The procedure will be mildly uncomfortable, but it will be worth it once you have that glowing skin you’ve been after. A topical numbing cream will be used on your skin prior to your treatment to minimize discomfort. Your dermatologist should go over any additional preparations measures during your consultation.
The Takeaway: How Does Fraxel Laser Work?
At the end of the day, if your goal is to diminish your acne scars and rebuild your confidence, Fraxel laser treatment is a great option. Fraxel laser treatments are a very straight-forward process. The Fraxel laser treatments work by manipulating laser rays to produce the growth of healthy skin tissue that replaces the damaged cells of acne-scarred skin. Fraxel laser treatments are a treatment option for anyone experiencing mild to medium-depth acne scars. To promote the growth of new skin cells, the Fraxel laser treatments do wound your existing skin, but in a controlled method using laser energy. However, the damage to the skin is minor, and the recovery process lasts about a week at most. Fraxel laser treatments can help heal your acne-scarred skin, helping you rebuild healthy self-esteem. For more information about Fraxel laser treatments, please give us a call. One of our experienced dermatologists is always available to consult with you and will be more than happy to talk with you about any lingering acne scar questions or concerns you may have.
With acne affecting 80% of people ages 11 to 30 years, millions end up dealing with at least some degree of scarring. While acne scars aren’t dangerous for your health, they tend to cause tremendous discomfort due to their appearance.
People of all ages struggle to find an efficient solution to the problem. From peels and microneedling to fillers and microsurgery, the variety of treatments is impressive. Unfortunately, only a few of them can provide the desired result.
One of the latest solutions to the acne scar problem is Fraxel laser. Let’s take a closer look at how effective it might be.
What Is Fraxel Laser?
Fraxel is a trademark name for a skin-resurfacing tool that uses fractional laser technology. The Fraxel device makes microscopic injuries to the skin in specific areas. The skin reacts by producing new healthy cells to heal the damage and replace the old tissue.
In short, Fraxel laser damages the skin gently to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and boost collagen production.
This technique works for a variety of skin issues, from unwanted pigmentation (sunspots, brown spots, age spots) to such imperfections as scars (acne, post-op, etc.). Some patients take advantage of this laser treatment to shrink pores and improve the skin tone.
The major advantage of Fraxel laser over other efficient acne scar solutions is that it’s minimally invasive. Without surgery, it’s possible to achieve both skin repair and rejuvenation effects.
Fraxel laser is FDA-approved for treating acne scars.
3 Types of Fraxel Laser
If you decide to take advantage of Fraxel laser for acne scar treatment, you have a choice of three different laser types.
Fraxel Repair (also called Fraxel Re:pair) is the most aggressive of all Fraxel laser options. This ablative laser delivers an intense stream of light to the scarred area and vaporizes columns of skin, so they can be replaced with healthy cells.
Fraxel Repair works well on acne scars but can also be used for sun damage, deep wrinkles, and other skin texture issues.
For five to seven days after the treatment, you can experience redness, swelling, bleeding, oozing, and crusting. This usually means taking at least a week off work.
Fraxel Restore (or Re:store) is much gentler than Re:pair. It uses a non-ablative laser to heat the skin and stimulate collagen production. It doesn’t work on deep acne scars or severe skin damage. However, it may be efficient for slight scarring, pigmentation, and moderate texture issues.
While you may experience some swelling and redness after the treatment, the total downtime usually doesn’t exceed a couple of days.
Fraxel Dual is the new generation Fraxel laser that’s a combination of the above two types. It generates two different wavelengths (1550 and 1927) — one for superficial scarring and pigmentation, the other for deeper scars and wrinkles.
The recovery time after using Fraxel Dual is about three days. While the treated areas can become red or swollen, there isn’t any bleeding. In some cases, the downtime may last up to a week.
How Many Fraxel Laser Treatments Do I Need?
Many acne sufferers are turning to laser treatments because they hope for an immediate effect. However, when it comes to acne scars, it’s impossible to remove them quickly.
Unless the issue is truly minor, you need to get ready for at least three Fraxel laser sessions. Patients with deep acne scars require as many as six to eight visits to achieve optimal results. The time between treatments is usually 4 to 6 weeks.
One Fraxel laser session lasts from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the area you want to cover.
Are the Results of Fraxel Laser Permanent?
When it comes to removing acne scars, the effect of Fraxel laser treatments is long-lasting but not permanent. Depending on the depth and severity of initial scars, the effect can last for several years.
While Fraxel is far from being a miracle treatment, it can address acne scar issues that other treatments can’t handle. Follow-up sessions spaced 3 to 7 years apart may be necessary.
Younger patients can expect to enjoy better outcomes than people older than 50. The fresher acne scars are, the easier they are to defeat. For long-established and extremely deep acne scars, you may want to consider a fractional CO2 laser.
How Do I Prepare for a Fraxel Laster Treatment?
While the Fraxel treatment doesn’t require any serious preparations, there are a few important steps to take:
Stop all other skin and acne treatments several weeks before the first Fraxel session (you can continue with other cosmetic treatments a couple of weeks after the procedure).
Don’t use any active products (Retinols, abrasive scrubs, peels, etc.) for at least a week before the treatment.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the day of the treatment.
Eat a healthy meal two hours before the treatment.
Your dermatologist will go over the preparation steps once you schedule the first Fraxel session. It’s important to share all information about acne scar treatments you are currently doing or have done in the past.
What Are the Side Effects of Fraxel Treatment for Acne Scarring?
Since the damage to your skin is minor, Fraxel laser treatment has minimal side effects. After the session, you are likely to experience swelling, redness, and crusting. If you choose the aggressive Re:pair option, some bleeding and oozing are possible.
The Takeaway: Is Fraxel Laser Effective for Acne Scars?
The Fraxel laser technology is based on the body’s ability to heal itself, producing healthy skin tissue to replace damaged cells. Studies show that Fraxel laser is an effective treatment for mild to medium-depth acne scars. While the procedure damages the skin, injuries are minor, and so is the downtime.
If you are unhappy with your acne scars, Fraxel could become an excellent solution. With its high efficiency and minimal side effects, this laser treatment can make a significant difference in your appearance.
For more information, please give us a call. One of our experienced dermatologists is ready to consult you about acne scar solutions at any convenient time
Exfoliation is a pivotal step in effective skin care, but is often an overlooked component of many people’s skin care routines.
There are so many different forms of exfoliating that it can be intimidating for someone who is just getting started. Due to the number of treatments available, even those who do exfoliate may end up performing it incorrectly a lot of the time.
How are you able to tell if you’re exfoliating the right way? Below are the 4 of the most common ways that you may be doing this wrong:
#1: Not exfoliating at all
The most basic exfoliation error that is so common is that most people never exfoliate at all.
Our skin naturally has a buildup of dead skin cells over time. As we get older, the skin loses elasticity and this buildup of dead cells does not slough off the skin as well as it used to. Too much build up of these dead cells makes the skin look dull, and exaggerates the appearance of wrinkles. Properly removing this layer of dead skin requires intervention on our end in order to maintain healthy looking skin.
Regular exfoliation has many upsides, including:
Unclogging of pores
Prevention of blackheads, blemishes, and acne breakouts
Better efficacy of skin care products
Improved cell turnover and collagen synthesis
A more even and brighter skin complexion & smoother texture
There are many different kinds of exfoliation available – chemical peels, facials, scrubs and brushes, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion – the list goes on!
#2: Exfoliating way too often
Exfoliation should be an integral part of every skin care routine; however, it is possible for there to be too much of a good thing.
As we know by now, the main goal of exfoliation is to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. In order to do this effectively, the treatment temporarily needs to remove the protective barrier around the skin as a direct result.
Depending on the type of exfoliation you are using, as well as the level of strength of your selected method, doing this too often or too harshly can cause microtears on the skin’s surface which strip the protective layer away too much. The overly damaged barrier leads to a loss of moisture which causes dried out, flaky skin. Irritation and itchiness are also a sign of excessive exfoliation. If this does happen, be sure to stop any further exfoliation for a bit and focus on skin hydration.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more aggressive the treatment is, the less often you need to do it.
Most importantly, in addition to not exfoliating too frequently, it is important to remain consistent with the selected treatment as well. Constantly jumping around from one kind of exfoliation to the other is not recommended. Consistency with a set exfoliation routine is key, and limits the damage to the protective layers on the outer levels on the skin.
#3: Not selecting the correct kind of exfoliation for your needs
Selecting an exfoliation method depends on many factors – your skin type, usage frequency, your existing skin care routine, and most importantly, what your goals are.
For those with sensitive skin or conditions such as rosacea, most physical exfoliation techniques may not be the best option.
Chemical exfoliation also requires consideration beforehand. Most chemical exfoliation methods can be classified as either alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, and which one to select depends on your skin type and needs. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble, which makes them great for those with normal, dry, sensitive, or redness prone skin. Those with oily and acne prone skin are usually good candidates for beta hydroxy acids, which are oil soluble.
One note to keep in mind is that many chemical exfoliants will increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. However, as a frequent reader of our blog, you are aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday, so this shouldn’t be news to you 🙂
When it comes to exfoliation, simply listen to your skin. If you notice that your skin starts to get irritated when you do a particular method 3 times a week, cut back to once a week and see what happens. If you are using a chemical method and aren’t seeing results, you can then begin to consider other versions that have a bit more strength.
#4: Never getting any professional exfoliation treatments
There’s no shortage of exfoliation treatments available for use at home – and with proper research, you can find a good at home option that keeps the amount of dead skin cells manageable; however, this doesn’t mean that professional exfoliation treatments should be ignored.
At home exfoliation tools are designed to be gentle, which means that their effectiveness is lower compared to professional treatments. Physical exfoliation (also known as mechanical) especially has a lot of room for incorrect use. Additionally, at home physical tools used to treat certain concerns such as blackheads can be harsh on the skin, and because the room for error is much higher, it can cause even more damage if used incorrectly.
Chemical exfoliation has the same issue for at home use. They are intentionally designed to be more gentle on the skin, and so the results are not nearly as potent as the treatments designed to be used by a trained professional. The strength of professional chemical peels and facials, are made to be stronger and more effective than the OTC scrubs and masques you purchase at your local store.
The best exfoliation routines use a combination of at-home tools, as well as professional medical treatments. Professional treatments involve more time between sessions. Thus, at-home exfoliation should be used to maintain the results you receive from professional treatments, rather than being used as the end-all answer.
BRAND NEW at Dermatology Institute of Southern California
We are proud to now offer a new exfoliation treatment as one of our Medical Spa services – DERMAPLANING!!
To learn more about how this non-invasive treatment can benefit your skin, click here.
The beginning of the year also means the beginning of winter. This season can be particularly harsh in many areas – weather, finances due to all the holiday shopping, time, and that initial phase of getting started with your new year’s resolutions.
Winter is particularly harsh on the skin too.
During the winter, dry skin is the biggest culprit to look out for. Cold air and central heating units strip moisture from the skin, and also tighten the pores and reduce the blood circulation. All these factors combined dry out the skin very easily, and reduce the potency of the protective barrier that your body naturally produces. The result is less flexible skin that leads to redness, cracking, peeling, and even more.
Those with existing conditions such as acne and eczema can also see a heightened risk of new breakouts and flare-ups if proper measures are not taken beforehand.
Here are 6 factors to keep your eye on to protect your skin against the winter’s harshness:
1) Stronger Moisturizers
When seasons change, you don’t keep wearing the same clothing. Chances are you dress down or up depending on the temperature, weather, location, etc. The same thought process should apply to your skin care routine as well.
The colder, drier weather of winter means that it is time to upgrade from your standard moisturizer. Switching from a regular lotion to a cream during this time allows more moisture to stay locked into the skin, as creams are a bit thicker and contain less water than lotions.
The lips are an especially sensitive location that is very prone to dryness and cracking. It can be tempting to lick the lips to keep them moist, but this actually has the opposite effect and dries them out even more. Instead, lip balm or petroleum jelly should be used to keep to keep the lips hydrated and protected.
Most importantly, drinking lots of water should also be a big priority. Colder air and temperatures drain a lot of moisture from the skin, and many are surprised to learn how quickly they can become underhydrated even if they consume water throughout the day. The more water the better!
2) Refined Carbs
Everywhere you look, there are refined carbs everywhere! Baked goods, starchy dinners, sweet seasonal beverages – you name it. Despite the prevalence of all the comfort foods, avoid going overboard with them. In addition to the health risks and high calorie count that most of these products contain, refined carbs can also be a contributing factor to acne.
Refined carbs increase the production of sebum and certain hormones. The end result is oilier skin. In addition, many of these seasonal winter foods also contain a lot of other ingredients such as caffeine or alcohol that dehydrate the skin. This causes the skin to dry out even more, which can exacerbate other potential problems.
The solution? Simply keep an eye on the amount of refined carbs you are consuming. Completely avoiding all these seasonal items is both unreasonable and unnecessary. It’s perfectly fine to treat yourself during this time of the year – but remember to set limits and know when enough is enough.
3) Sudden Temperature Changes
Broken capillaries are possible anytime of the year, but the low temperatures of winter increases the likelihood of these by quite a bit. While this condition is cosmetic only, broken capillaries are usually permanent once they appear unless they are treated.
Going from the cold outdoors into warm heated buildings, and vice versa, can take its toll on your blood vessels and skin. This large difference in temperature causes the blood vessels to expand and contract a lot in a short amount of time. When these contractions and expansions occur too fast, the vessels can become overstretched and are unable to shrink back down to their smaller sizes. This can then lead to the appearance of red, splotchy skin with an uneven complexion.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to minimize these large temperature changes. Wrapping up with an extra layer or two while outdoors can keep the body warmer and limit the skin’s exposure to the harsh winter air. When going back indoors, avoid staying directly in front of heaters or fireplaces for extended periods of time. Central heating, especially when used for extended periods of time, is a very big source of dry skin, which is important to keep in mind due to how common these units are.
Instead, a good workaround is to set these units a few degrees lower and throw on warmer clothing. If it is not possible to control the temperature of the heater in a location, removing a layer of clothing or two can keep the body heat from going up too high.
4) Skin Irritants
Cold air reduces blood circulation throughout the body which tightens the pores. This leads to the skin feeling a bit more tight, as well as a reduction in the protective layer that normally guards the skin. During this state, the skin is prone even further to dryness, cracking, and flaking on its own.
However, many of the everyday products and items our skin is exposed to can aggravate the skin’s increased sensitivity even more. Those with existing conditions such as eczema and psoriasis will also want to take note of such items during this time.
Certain fabrics that are commonly used for winter clothing can catch and rub against the skin excessively, which can irritate dry skin. Cotton articles in particular can drain moisture from the skin which dries out the skin even more. Pillow cases and undergarments made of silk are gentle against the skin, and allow the skin to retain moisture rather than draining it out.
Using soaps, fragrances, and other products that are unscented and free from dyes and excess chemicals are also recommended, as some ingredients can be a bit harsh on the already compromised skin. Even the simple act of drying off the skin after a shower can be a source of irritation. Instead, patting the skin dry is much less abrasive.
5) Hot Showers
Taking a nice hot shower or bath after a long, cold day is one of the biggest culprits that contributes to dry skin; yet, many don’t even realize it.
While it can feel good at the time, hot water strips the skin of the protective oils that help keep moisture sealed in. In addition, the high water temperature causes the skin to become even drier as the water evaporates. Hot showers can also cause an overdilation of the blood vessels that need to quickly contract once you step out into the cold winter air. Temperatures that are too hot can even contribute to skin inflammation and peeling if you aren’t careful.
The solution is very easy – limit your shower-bath time to about 10 minutes max, and use warm water as opposed to a full on hot shower. Immediately after the warm shower has been finished, moisturize the body with a body cream to help the skin retain as much moisture as possible.
6) Hot Tip: Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C has numerous benefits that can enhance the skin during the winter, especially for those who are prone to conditions like acne or eczema. If you’ve been considering trying something new to enhance your existing regimen, this is the time to start.
Vitamin C contains antioxidants that helps strengthen the protective skin barrier, which as you now know, gets weaker during the winter. Strengthening this protective barrier allows the skin to retain more moisture while keeping the skin guarded against the outside elements. It can also make your sunscreen more effective. Those who are in snowy areas will especially need to be concerned about proper sunscreen use, as the UV rays from the sun reflect off of the snow, which means your skin gets twice the exposure.
Long-term, Vitamin C boosts collagen production. In turn, this can counteract some of the sagginess and lines/wrinkles that develop due to the winter air stripping away the beneficial oils, and the increased dryness that comes with the season.
The enzymes and antioxidants contained in Vitamin C help brighten dull skin and target discoloration from any hyperpigmentation, as well as reduce inflammation. This antiinflammatory property helps soothe the redness and cracking that are common with dry skin, as well as any current breakouts or flareups. With normal use and integration into a proper winter skin care regimen, the end result is brighter, well-hydrated, and ultimately healthier looking skin during a season known for gloomy weather and skin difficulties.
For your convenience, Dr. Behroozan has his own personal Vita-CE serum available at both practice locations, as well as on our website via our Product Store! Click here to view our Vita-CE serum!
As we prepare to enter the final stretch of the year, the weather begins to cool down, the streets become covered in leaves, and we start to see lots of pumpkin themed products all around. Fall has arrived!
With the change in the environment, certain cosmetic procedures begin to increase in popularity. Treatments that otherwise may have required a bit of extra planning and moving things around schedule-wise now become much easier to accommodate thanks to longer nights, cooler temperatures, and warmer clothing. Additionally, other treatments see a surge in numbers to ensure that our skin heals and looks its absolute best just in time for the holiday season, the beginning of the new year, and other big events composed of large gatherings and constant photo taking and video recordings.
No matter what the reason is, here are the top 4 procedures that are the most popular during the season of Autumn:
No matter what the concern you may have, odds are that there will be a laser available for you that can help. A consultation with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Daniel Behroozan, will allow you to determine which laser will best help you achieve your skin care goals.
Why treat your skin at this time of year?
Depending on the laser used or the condition treated, the healing process may vary between a couple of days to a couple weeks. One of the most important aspects of the healing phase is to limit sun exposure as much as possible. During the fall, days become shorter while night starts to set in earlier, which makes it a lot easier for some people to keep an eye on the amount of sun exposure they are getting. For example, since the sun starts to set a lot earlier, you may encounter a lot less sunshine while you are driving home from work as opposed to the summer, when the sun stays out quite late and can shine directly on you when you’re in the car. Sunscreen with SPF 30+ should always be worn no matter the time of the year that you receive a laser treatment.
Regardless of the laser or treated condition, the best results require no tanning. Skin should be at its normal complexion, and this is generally more feasible to obtain after the summer is over, as tanning is less prevalent in the fall.
Additionally, some lasers or conditions may require a series of treatments every couple of weeks instead of just one session. Many patients opt to start this process during autumn in order to ensure that the full series has enough time to be performed and healed before the later stages of winter and the holiday season.
Scars and stretch marks are some of the most difficult skin conditions to treat, and thus there are many options available. Lasers, microneedling, and injectable fillers are only some examples of treatment options that can address scars and stretch marks. It is very common for more than one treatment option to be combined in order to obtain the best cosmetic outcome for treating a scar/stretch marks. Multiple sessions over a long period of time are usually needed as well. The treatment plan that is selected varies depending on the kind of scar, the size, location, and how old the scar is. A board-certified physician like Dr. Daniel Behroozan will assist you in selecting the right treatment for you.
Why treat your skin at this time of year?
The earlier scars and stretch marks are treated, the better the results will be in reducing their appearance. As a result, treatment should be started as soon as possible. That being said, fall does have certain benefits that can assist with this. Like lasers, limiting sun exposure is critical – arguably even more so with scars. The decrease in sunlight during the fall and winter helps manage the amount of sun exposure you receive, which is especially important since the healing period can be lengthy depending on the scar/treatment used.
In addition, scars need to stay moisturized as well. It is a common belief that scars should be allowed to air out, but this is not the case. Dried out wounds can cause scabbing which can result in even more scarring. Moisturizing the scar ensures that the skin heals better, and the lower temperatures of the autumn time facilitate this as the skin does not dry out as fast. The warmer clothing that is common in the fall, such as tops with long sleeves and thicker fabrics, also help retain moisture, limit sun exposure, and avoid any outside irritation to the treated area, such as accidental bumping or scratching from objects.
Laser Hair Removal is composed of heat from a laser’s light being targeted onto the region that has unwanted body hair. The hair follicles in this area absorb the light, and the follicles are then destroyed in order to prevent hair from growing. Laser Hair Removal can be performed on almost any part of the body that has unwanted body hair you wish to address.
Why treat your skin at this time of year?
Laser Hair removal requires a series of treatments that will need to spaced out every few weeks. On the average, 4-6 treatments will be needed, but this varies depending on the treated area, amount of hair, skin tone, and other factors. Lots of patients prefer to start the treatment after summer in order to ensure that the entire session is completed in its entirety in time for the next spring season, and before shorter clothing starts to come back around.
While we’re on the subject of clothing – like the previous procedures mentioned above, the recovery process requires limited sun exposure as well. This is even easier to accommodate with Laser Hair Removal thanks to the cooler temperatures bringing about warmer clothing and outfits that expose less skin. A Laser Hair Removal series can be completed in its entirety without anyone ever knowing!
A Blood Facial is a microneedling treatment that has been combined with PRP (platelet rich plasma). This procedure starts off with your own blood being drawn from your body. The platelet rich plasma is then separated from the rest of the drawn blood using a centrifuge, and is then injected into areas of your face. Then, microneedling is performed on your face, which is composed of many tiny needles puncturing the skin. The Blood Facial helps rejuvenate the skin on the face, and can treat a multitude of conditions such fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, age spots, skin tone evenness, and much more. The Blood Facial also has no downtime.
Why treat your skin at this time of year?
Like the other 3 procedures mentioned above, limiting sun exposure is vital during the aftercare of a Blood Facial. The autumn and winter seasons are great times for the Blood Facial due to the change in factors that allow for less sun exposure to the face (eg: most people do not go to the beach as frequently during this time, the sun begins to set by the time you get off work, etc). As always, sunscreen should always be worn no matter what time of year you receive any of these treatments.
Because this procedure is minimally invasive, the Blood Facial is a favorite of many patients since it allows one to obtain great results in a shorter time frame. This treatment becomes very popular right before the holiday season as well, as many patients report their skin having a bright, radiant, and glowing complexion after a Blood Facial. This makes the Blood Facial perfect to receive before the large family gatherings and end of the year work events that frequently take place at this time of year.
Speaking of holidays – there is a certain holiday that takes place in the autumn that is extremely popular. This particular holiday involves lots of pumpkins, candy, and people dressing up in costumes of scary figures like ghosts, zombies, and vampires.
Because of this holiday and its close connections with vampires, numerous patients who enjoy this particular October event LOVE to receive the Blood Facial during autumn to really get in the holiday spirit during this time (in addition to all the benefits this treatment provides, of course!)
All 4 of these procedures are offered by Dr. Behroozan at the Dermatology Institute of Southern California. You can select from one of two convenient locations in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, and our team is always available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have in regards to your skin care goals. We are just a quick message or phone call away!
As we enter the final days of summer, we are slowly entering the home stretch before calling the current year a wrap. We’re right at the point where the leisure time of the summer is about to wind down, but before the chaos of the late autumn and holiday seasons start – making this the PERFECT time to consider a microneedling treatment.
Starting a microneedling treatment in the late summer/early fall allows the effects to show on your skin over the next few months, resulting in you looking your best right when the holiday season hits, and time is scarce. Not only will it also ensure that you can start off your new year with radiant, glowing skin, but you will also have personal first-hand experience with this new tool which you can now incorporate into your skin care arsenal moving forward.
*Note that Microneedling treatments can be performed on their own; however, it is also very common for these treatments to be combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your own blood as well. This combo of Microneedling + PRP is commonly referred to as the Blood Facial.
Here are 6 reasons why you should try out Microneedling (either with or without PRP) before the clock hits midnight for the new year:
1) Microneedling is All Natural
Unlike most treatments, microneedling involves no special formulas being inserted into your skin, and no fancy pieces of technology. This treatment simply consists of a collection of very tiny needles that gently puncture the first layer of your skin, and that’s it. Your body then heals these tiny wounds with its own natural healing process. This process increases collagen and improves the texture and appearance of the skin naturally since it is using your body’s own healing mechanisms that it was designed to do.
Microneedling treatments that have been combined with PRP simply involve the use of your own platelets that are already contained within your blood. Your blood is first drawn, and the platelets are then separated and injected into the face. All that is happening here is that the plasma is merely being moved from one area of your body to the other. Nothing out of the ordinary!
2) Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment with NO downtime
Because the needles being used are so small in size, the punctures caused by these needles are not visible to the naked eye. Even though these wounds are small enough to not be visible, they still trigger the body to activate healing mode on the treated areas, so your skin still reaps the effects. Most patients head right on back to work the same day, and it is very common for others to continue their originally intended weekend plans the first couple days after a treatment. After your treatment has been completed, your physician will provide you with some very simple aftercare steps to take, such as wearing sunscreen (which you are doing anyway after reading our Skin Cancer blog, right?!).
In the case of PRP – even though there are extra injections involved when microneedling and PRP are combined, this does not cause any increase in downtime. In fact, just the opposite! Those who combine microneedling with PRP can expect an even faster recovery time due to the accelerated healing process from the platelets. The initial redness and swelling wears often wears off within 48-72 hours after a blood facial, and results also appear faster as well when combined with PRP.
3) Microneedling can Treat a TON of Conditions
Microneedling is an extremely versatile procedure that can treat practically any concern or condition you have. Studies have shown that patients with acne scars especially are excellent candidates. Acne scars are one of the most difficult conditions to treat, and patients can expect to see good to great results in the improvement of their skin and the appearance of these scars after receiving microneedling.
In addition to acne scars, microneedling can also improve the appearance of:
Hyperpigmentation/Uneven skin tone
Fine lines and wrinkles
PRP is also quite versatile, and has been used in a variety of medical and surgical procedures thanks to its healing effects. It has been very prevalent among professional athletes in rehabilitation, so it comes as no surprise that PRP and microneedling go together like soap and water. In addition to Microneedling, PRP can also be used to slow down the effects of age related hair loss as well.
4) Your Skin Will Absorb Products Better After a Microneedling Session
One of the real joys about microneedling is that not only does it directly fight against conditions on your face such as fine lines and acne scars – but it also has the benefit of increasing the effectiveness of your skin care products.
Topical products applied during your skin care procedure are usually only absorbed by the uppermost layers of skin. Due to the small punctures created by microneedling, the topical products are now able to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus getting absorbed by the lower layers. Patients are often pleasantly surprised to return to their skin care regimens a few days after treatment to find that the same products they’ve been using are amplified in their effects afterwards. You can expect up to 90% increased product absorption after microneedling!
5) No Risk of Adverse Side Effects
One of the biggest perks that many microneedling patients really enjoy about the treatment is how it is so simple and natural. Because of this, the risk of side effects is extremely low with this procedure, especially when compared to other more invasive options like surgery. The punctures inflicted from the needles are so small that the body will enter its natural healing mode without needing to worry about risking prevalent side effects that accompany other treatments, like infection or surgical complications.
After a microneedling treatment, you can expect minor swelling and redness that will disappear on its own after a few days. Dry skin can also happen and is normal, and your physician will let you know what post-procedure measures to follow to limit the effects of this. Moisturizer can, and should be used to reduce this until it resolves on its own.
Those who opt to receive the microneedling + PRP combo can expect to see the swelling and redness disappear even faster! The addition of PRP offers an accelerated healing process without the addition of any other risks or downsides. Because PRP uses the patient’s own blood, there is no cause for concern about issues like allergic reactions.
6) Microneedling treatments have very little to no pain at all
Having numerous small needles puncturing your face all over may sound a bit scary to some people; however, before the procedure is started, a topical anesthetic is applied to the patient’s face and is left to sit for about 30 minutes first. As the skin absorbs this ointment, the patient’s face then goes numb and the procedure is then started afterwards. While some patients do report a slight sensation of the needles being moved across the face, many others report no pain at all. Even patients who receive the deepest level of depth have reported the procedure being very tolerable, and much less than what they initially anticipated.
The addition of PRP may give off the impression that it is painful since there is blood involved. However, due to the anesthetic, the injection of the PRP is also reported to be not very painful – in fact, patients report even less pain than what one may feel from a filler or Botox treatment. Because the needle used for PRP is much smaller than the kinds used for Botox and fillers, patients report simply the feeling of the needle going in with no pain.
As we know, the combination of Microneedling with PRP is referred to as the “Blood Facial”.
The fall season is famous for having a special day in October that you might have heard about at some point. This special day is known for featuring ghosts and other ghoulies like zombies, witches, and coincidentally, vampires. ? ? ? ?
This special day is referred to as…well, we can’t quite remember at the moment…
BUT, for those of you who are fans of this special day, starting this season off with a BLOOD FACIAL is the PERFECT way to get into the spirit for this time of the year
Still have a couple of other questions before scheduling your microneedling treatment? Dr. Behroozan and the team at Dermatology Institute are more than happy to assist you on your mission to achieve healthy, glowing skin. You can choose either one of 2 locations near you in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica. We are available at your convenience via e-mail, or you can call us as well at (310) 392-1111
Lasers are astounding. They are essentially devices that emit beams of light, and have no shortage of applications in the real world. From serving as a harmless toy for cats, to cutting through thick sheets of metal, it comes as no surprise that lasers have many practical applications in the medical field as well.
Some of the medical applications of lasers include correcting vision via eye surgery, destroying cancerous tumors, and breaking up kidney stones. Lasers are also extremely beneficial when it comes to skin care as well, being used to treat conditions such as acne, wrinkles, hair removal, and even body fat reduction. In 2017, laser-based medical procedures grew over 17% according to the ASDS, and have been consistently increasing in popularity for many years. These procedures are clearly in high demand – but there are also a few misconceptions about these procedures that you may not be aware of. Here are 4 common myths about laser treatments:
Myth #1: All Lasers are the Same
The concept of lasers for skin treatments is simple – use the beam of light to improve the skin and remove things we don’t want. You’ve probably heard of many different lasers that all say they can reduce wrinkles or brighten up your skin tone; however, this does not mean that lasers are a “one size fits all” deal.
The laser being used must match your exact skin type, color, and condition. A laser that works for one person does NOT mean that it will work for a second person, even if they are both getting the exact same condition treated. Different lasers must be used in order to treat the huge variety of skin types that are available, as well as the severity of the treated condition. Even if two people are receiving the same exact laser, the settings can differ as well. For instance, one person may require a stronger pulse while the other may require a wider beam that is less aggressive. Looking at many before and after photos of a laser can give you an idea of whether or not that device may be suitable for you.
While it is true that lasers can be used as weaponry, and are a favorite of many comic book superheroes and popular movie villains, a correctly performed laser treatment should not be painful. During treatment, many patients report a slight feeling that is comparable to a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Many of these same patients also report getting used to this feeling within a few minutes and not feeling it as much anymore. Other patients even report that the sensation may feel a bit cool and tingly as well.
For lasers that contain a bit more strength, or when being used on sensitive skin areas, topical anesthetic can be applied, and is also available per patient request as well. Laser procedures from an experienced physician that are being correctly performed should NOT involve any burning or intense levels of pain during treatment. This leads us into the third misconception…
Myth #3: All Laser Providers are Experienced
When it comes to laser treatments, the person behind the device is more important than the laser itself. Lasers are variable, and need to be adjusted to match your exact skin type, texture, and condition that are all unique to you.
Additionally, it is also a matter of patient safety. While medical spas and other locations without a licensed physician on site may offer laser treatments for a lower price, the staff may have less experience with these lasers and/or skin variations. When used incorrectly, lasers can cause lasting harm such as scarring, burning, and permanent nerve damage. Unfortunately, botched laser procedures do happen, and almost always involves a person performing the treatment without the adequate knowledge that’s required.
A licensed physician who has had extensive experience with many different skin variations, and who understands the techniques of the laser being used, will give you the best chance of obtaining your desired result. Receiving your treatment from a properly certified physician also ensures that you are being safely treated at all times. When it comes to your health and safety, would you want to risk permanent damage only to save a small amount of money?
Myth #4: The Latest Device is the Best Device
Lasers have come a long way since their initial conception in 1960. Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, especially during our era, and lasers are no exception. Existing lasers are being improved upon, and brand new ones continue to enter the market. It may be tempting to opt for the latest device that is constantly being advertised your way, but remember that like most new things, it has not had the benefit of time yet.
While it is true that new devices are thoroughly tested and inspected before being publically available, the sample size is much smaller when compared to the mass public. Certain side effects or varied results may appear when applied to public use that did not manifest during testing due to the smaller sample size. On the other hand, a laser that has been available for a longer time has treated hundreds of thousands of patients, and has extensive documentation and reviews available for you to research.
Additionally, because that laser is brand new, this means that the person conducting the treatment is also new to the device. Lasers are NOT universal, and being well experienced in one laser does not necessarily translate to another device. Proper training and experience with using the selected device is still required in order to ensure best results, as well as safety – both of which can only develop after having spent a lot of time with said device.
The purpose of this information is not to scare you away from receiving your desired treatment – but simply to ensure that you are well informed. Knowing what to look for when choosing your provider for your laser treatment helps ensure that you will reach your skin goals easily and to their full potential. Instead of trying to decide which specific laser to get for yourself, try to focus on what your intended goals are, and which laser is the best candidate for you. For even more information about laser skin treatments, click here.
Dr. Behroozan has a number of lasers available to treat many different conditions at the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, and is always available to discuss what your options are to meet your needs. Our dermatology team is excited to help you on your skin care journey, and contacting us is just one click away!
Anyone in search of a safe and effective way to tighten their skin should consider Morpheus. It’s the next generation of micro-needling treatments that can be used on the face and various parts of the body. The procedure is so effective that people...