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Can a Dermatologist Remove a Cyst?

You work hard to take care of your skin. When you go outside, you put on sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and each day, you carefully wash and moisturize your skin. This can make it a little frightening when you notice a new lump or bump. It might be a skin cyst that can appear anywhere on your skin from your face to your back. When you find one, you have questions. This guide can help you learn more about a cyst and help you make an informed decision about its removal by your dermatologist.

What Is a Cyst?

When you visit your dermatologist, you may hear them refer to it as an epidermal inclusion cyst or sebaceous cyst. Either way, a cyst is an enclosed capsule filled with keratin inside the layers of skin. It’s most common to find a cyst on the neck, shoulders, back, or scalp, although they can appear anywhere on the body. Most cysts are simply unsightly but not life-threatening. Depending on the location of the cyst, they can cause you pain and discomfort. For example, a cyst on the scalp can become irritated and painful when you brush your hair. A cyst on your back or shoulder might interfere with your daily routine, such as causing pain when you put on your seatbelt. A cyst can become infected and abscess. It might begin leaking keratin or pus, creating an unpleasant odor, and it also might appear red and inflamed. When this happens, it’s a good idea to let your dermatologist access the cyst and remove it if necessary. Also, there is a cosmetic component to a cyst. If it’s in a place that’s noticeable, you might want it removed for cosmetic purposes even if it hasn’t become infected. Here’s a closer look at the types of skin cysts:

Epidermal Inclusion Cystscyst on face

This type of cyst is extremely common. It’s typically caused by a damaged oil gland or hair follicle. An epidermal inclusion cyst is almost always benign and is a build of Keratin under the skin. If they appear in an exposed site or become irritated, your dermatologist can easily remove them.

Pilar Cysts

A pilar cyst is an epidermal inclusion cyst that forms due to the damage to a hair follicle.  More than 90% of pillar cysts appear on the scalp. This can cause pain and discomfort when you brush, wash, and comb your hair. It’s common to find multiple pilar cysts at one time.

Dermoid Cysts

This type of cyst is a build-up of residual embryonic cells that become trapped during fetal development. These cysts are present at birth and remain until they’re removed. Due to their slow growth, these cysts might not become noticeable until childhood or the early teen years.

Sebaceous Cysts

These cysts are a buildup of sebum in the sebaceous glands, and they aren’t nearly as common as an epidermal inclusion cyst.  It’s common for them to form in a group known as a steatocystoma multiplex, but there might also be instances of a single cyst referred to as a steatocystoma simplex. Sebaceous cysts typically form in an oil gland or a hair follicle. They most likely appear on the back, face, or scalp. With their composition of sebum and location, these cysts can grow to enormous sizes and become quite painful, leading to removal.

Acne Cysts

These cysts generally form in groups on the face, neck, or back. These cysts are generally formed due to inflamed and clogged oil ducts. Since these cysts are typically filled with pus instead of sebum or keratin, they are considered abscesses. These aren’t normal pimples. You shouldn’t attempt to pop them as they’ll just refill with pus and continue to hurt. There are a few treatment methods available to eliminate them.

What Are the Causes of Cysts?

One of the first questions that come up when you find a cyst is: what caused it. There are a few causes of cysts, and in some cases, the cause depends on the type of cyst. The most common causes include:
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Genetics
  • Infections
  • Blockage of ducts in the body
  • Parasites
  • Injuries
  • Errors in embryonic development
  • Blocked sebaceous glands
  • High levels of testosterone
  • Androgenic anabolic steroids usage
In most cases, there isn’t a lot that you can do to stop the formation of a cyst. However, if it’s in an easily noticeable location, or the cyst causes pain, your dermatologist can treat or remove it for you.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cyst? cyst

When a cyst appears, it’s easy to wonder if it’s a cyst or something else. An untreated cyst can leave create permanent scarring and skin discoloration and needs to be removed. Also, if the cyst breaks open or begins to leak fluid, it can easily become infected and painful. Some cysts are asymptomatic and need to be located through the use of ultrasound, x-ray, medical scans, or a biopsy. Some common signs and symptoms include:
  • Swelling in the skin
  • Redness along with the swelling
  • Painful bump
  • Mass moves easily in the skin
  • A pustule
  • A swollen area that leaks pus or other substance
Anytime, there’s a new lump or bump on the skin, it’s always a good idea to have your dermatologist take a look at it. They can determine if it’s a cyst or some other type of formation and recommend a treatment plan.

How Does a Dermatologist Remove a Cyst?

Most cysts are fairly easy to remove, and your dermatologist can remove them in their office in around 10 minutes. The procedure starts with a little local anesthetic to number the area. The dermatologist next excises the cyst by cutting into the skin around it and removing the entire cyst, including the sac that surrounds it and holds the fluids inside. If the sac isn’t removed, it can fill again, forming a new cyst. If the site is large enough, your dermatologist might put in a couple of stitches. At the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, we understand how important it is to safely and as painlessly as possible remove a cyst. Please call us with any additional questions or to schedule an appointment.

How Does Fraxel Laser Work?

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.dermatololgy acne scars 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.

Fraxel Dual

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.

dermatololgy clear skin from fraxel laserThe 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.

How Effective Is Fraxel Laser for Acne Scars

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?dermatology acne scars

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

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

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

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?dermatology acne scar removal

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

Are You Exfoliating the WRONG Way?

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.

6 Winter Skin Care Factors To Keep An Eye On

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

During the winter time, keeping the skin well moisturized is key in combating the effects of the cold, dry air

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.

Eating too many refined carbs can lead to oiler skin, which can contribute 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

Gentle fabrics such as silk pillowcases are less abrasive against the skin and can help retain moisture during the winter

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 showers that are too hot can dry out the skin even more during the winter

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.

Vita-CE serum contains Vitamin C to help strengthen the skin barrier, and is available at Dr. Behroozan's practice

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!

The Gift Buyer’s Guide for Holiday Skin Care

Holiday season approaches fast – blink your eyes, and before you know it, it’s here! As holiday season draws closer, the time to finalize those gift ideas for your friends and family gets shorter. 🎄🎄🎁🎁

Skin care gifts are great choices since they have a functional purpose. Around this time, providers have discounts on certain skin procedures that may sound like a great idea for a loved one. However, these kinds of gifts may leave a lot of room for misinterpretation depending on the circumstances.

Eg 1:
“Merry Christmas my dear mother! You need Botox.”

Eg 2:
Person 1: “What did you get as your Secret Santa gift from work?”
Person 2: “I didn’t know my acne was *that* noticeable, but one of my coworkers did, so they got me acne cream.”

Eg 3:
To significant other: “I got you a CoolSculpting voucher for your lovehandles.” Extra points if there are friends and family around with you to witness this exchange.

Some people may have a great bond in which the above scenarios would cause no problem, which is great! Others may be imagining a totally different reaction to their good intentions.

Still, everyone can benefit from receiving a gift that assists with caring for their skin. These kinds of gifts will see a lot more use compared to yet another sweater or a trinket that will just sit and collect dust.

Here are 6 gift ideas that can help facilitate good skin care:

#1: Sleep Mask

Good skin care starts before you even wake up in the morning, and doesn’t stop even after you’ve winded down and called it a night. Receiving enough sleep plays a pivotal role in good skin care. However, the quality of sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep you are receiving. One way to help facilitate that is with a sleep mask.

Sleep masks cover the eyes to block out all light. They help you fall asleep quicker, regulate body temperature, and improve the quality of sleep. A sleep mask also protects against blue light exposure, such as your phone receiving messages in the middle of the night. All of these factors contribute to a more restful sleep, which in turn improves the look of the skin.

Getting a good night’s sleep helps limit the formation of puffy eyelids in the morning and dark undereye circles that may form due to the pooling of blood in this area. The enhanced quality of sleep also helps slow down the signs of aging, as the body feels more refreshed and well rested in the morning. The end result is that you and your skin both look bright and energized as opposed to tired and weary.

Sleep masks are good, inexpensive stocking stuffers, and are also great for those who do a lot of traveling. They come in all kinds of creative styles and designs, so you will no doubt find one that is perfect for the lucky person you’re shopping for.

Sleep masks can improve sleep quality, which improves the quality of your skin

#2: Room Humidifier

Humidifiers can keep the skin moisturized Photo source: Target

A humidifier adds moisture to the air to increase the humidity and reduce the effects of dry air. They also help combat dry skin by keeping skin well moisturized. Dry skin can cause the skin to look flaky, itchy, and discolored. Skin that is not well hydrated can look aged, as fine lines, and wrinkles become exaggerated and less elastic.

Room humidifiers are especially useful during the winter season since the air becomes drier. In addition to keeping skin moisturized, they can also help you feel warmer in the cold winter air.

Humidifiers make an excellent gift for those who spend a lot of time in the same room everyday, such as offices and classrooms. They come in all shapes and sizes as well. Some are even portable and can plug into your laptop or your car for those who are on the go a lot.

#3: Fancy Water Bottle

There is very little doubt that you know of the numerous benefits that water and adequate hydration provide. Staying well hydrated can combat undereye circles, limit dry looking skin that can appear ashy and tired, and keep the body full and energized just to name a few.

Knowing is half the battle, but the other, more challenging half is doing.

Fancy water bottles can serve as a reminder to stay hydrated

Water bottles are gifts that can help with the doing part. Receiving a fancy one can serve as a convenient visual reminder to ensure that your recipient stays on top of their hydration. As the saying goes – out of sight, out of mind. Plus, they are great for the environment due to being reuseable compared to disposable plastic bottles, and many of them offer unique benefits that disposable ones don’t.

Staying hydrated is excellent for the body and the skin

For instance, insulated water bottles can help keep water cold later on in the day when they would have otherwise warmed up to room temperature or above. Some water bottles are collapsible to save space for hikes and bike rides, and others just have great designs that will catch the eye quickly and serve as a neat reminder to take a few sips.

These are a great choice for co-workers, Secret Santas, and gift exchanges. No matter which kind you choose, both your recipient and their skin will thank you.

Photo sources: Amazon
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#4: Sunglasses

It is a common saying that clothing usually doesn’t make for a good gift. Fortunately, accessories are not considered clothing, and so they successfully avoid the label of “lame Christmas gifts”. Besides, who doesn’t love wearing a pair of awesome sunglasses?

A stylish looking pair of sunglasses not only looks awesome, but helps protect your eye region from UV rays

Sun radiation is one of the worst things to expose your skin to. In addition to the risk of skin cancer, the UV rays can also cause sun damage, and speed up the development of wrinkles, age spots, and skin discoloration.

The skin around the eyes is especially susceptible to this, as the skin is looser around this region and can be one of the first areas that begins to show signs of sun damage. Sunglasses are not only fashionable, but provide protection to this delicate area by limiting UV exposure and blocking the deleterious effects of the sun’s rays.

In addition, you can attach a note to the stylish sunglasses to remind your recipient to also apply sunscreen before they leave the house with their fancy new sunglasses. These two simple steps of wearing sunglasses and sunscreen can go a very long way of limiting the sun’s effects and keeping skin well guarded.

#5: Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers not only help keep you active, but also provide reminders to benefit skin Photo source: Best Buy

At first glance one might think that fitness trackers are only to help people stay more physically active. While this is definitely a strong plus of fitness trackers, they usually also come with a partner app for your smartphone that can complement skin care as well.

The accompanying apps often contain reminders to not only get your body moving (which is also good for the skin by the way), but also to do other beneficial tasks such as drinking water consistently, tracking your sleep, and setting customized alarms for personal tasks, such as reapplying sunscreen or starting your nighttime skin care routine before you get too tired at bedtime.

While these benefits can be done on a smartphone regardless, a fitness tracker has the benefit of limiting distraction. How many times have you picked up your phone to check one thing, and then inadvertently get distracted by a different notification – only to end up checking even more things? Before you know it, you’ve spent much more time on your phone than you initially expected.

These reminders to drink water, get sleep, and perform other tasks without the constant need to check your phone are all useful benefits that can help the body and the skin remain healthy.

#6: Skin Care Products

We knew this was coming. There’s no better gift idea to take care of skin than actual skin care products! That being said, not all skin care products are created equal.

First, not everything that is sold is medical grade, which makes all the difference when it comes to these items. Medical grade products matter for a variety of reasons. The ingredients in medical grade products are of superior quality as opposed to regular over-the-counter items. There’s also adequate research, testing, and safety standards in place with medical grade products. Most importantly, medical grade items are suited towards specific goals and types of skin, whereas over the counter (OTC) items are intended to be used generally for all types of skin and try to treat many things at once. Because of this, OTC items can claim lots of things through elaborate marketing campaigns, but they may not have the results to back them up.

The second important factor when selecting skin care items for gift purposes is that you’ll want to consider the kinds of items you’re giving. For instance – wrinkle removers, creams for undereye bags, and products for certain conditions such as acne and cellulite may not be the best items to give out during the holidays. Even if you’ve been using the BEST wrinkle remover you’ve ever tried and are eager to share it with a friend, products like these may not be considered to be in good taste by some recipients, especially when they’re unwrapping gifts in front of large groups of friends/family.

Good skin care products to consider are ones that “add” rather than “fix” or “remove”. Products that hydrate, moisturize, brighten, and protect are safe bets, and are features that everyone can benefit from. Glow serums, sunscreens, brightening complexes, and hydration formulas are examples of products that can add great & desirable skin benefits without raising any eyebrows or having misinterpreted messages.

Skin care products can make excellent gifts for close friends and family, and can complement an existing skin care regimen, or spark the development of a new one.

This holiday season, our Capsule Collection is available for a limited time at our Beverly Hills and Santa Monica offices.

This includes three of our best-selling items – Hydrating Serum, Vita-CE, & Glow Serum – all in one package for a special price! Contact us to learn more about this holiday-exclusive bundle!

Prevent Skin WOES with These 5 Halloween Makeup Tips

It is Halloween season, the favorite time of year for many people. Along with munching on candy, binge watching horror movies, and getting a Blood Facial to get into the scary spirit, dressing up in costumes is one of the staple traditions of this holiday. The use of Halloween makeup can be a great way to amplify your costume and make it stand out! Applying Halloween makeup is an art, and there are countless articles and videos available that can help you get your Halloween look to the next level – however, taking care of your skin during Halloween is just as important, and starts before you even open the new pack of face paints.

Year after year, many people apply Halloween makeup on their night out only to wake up November 1 with dried out skin, acne breakouts, allergic reactions, or other side effects that can be scarier than the actual costume they wore. To help prevent this situation from happening to you, here are 5 tips that can help you with applying your Halloween makeup:

Tip #1: Get creative with your costume

Halloween is a time of high creativity, as people come up with all kinds of extravagant ideas for costumes. Figuring out how to implement your intended costume is a whole extra skill on its own, too. Once you’ve settled on a look, don’t forget to experiment with ways to implement your costume, and consider alternative ways you can achieve your imagined look that can limit the use of full-faced Halloween makeup.

Using props with your costume can be more creative than using full faced makeup

For instance, if you plan on wearing a costume more than once this season, or will be wearing it for an entire day, perhaps masks, hats, and accessories can obtain your same look without needing to wear as much heavy paints and makeup as you initially planned for a full day.

Some other examples include:

  • Wearing fancy shades instead of adding and removing makeup around the eyes, which has thinner, more delicate skin compared to the rest of the face
  • Adding Halloween makeup to only a small portion of your face or around the outside edges of your face, which can amplify the effect of certain looks
  • Using a different shade of your regular routinely used makeup instead of applying brand new face paint you’ve never tried out before
  • Sometimes less is more. Maybe adding bright neon lipstick or just drawing a small design can create a noticeable contrast without the need to paint the whole face
  • Adding adhesives and scarring effects to an external masquerade mask rather than needing to apply them directly on the skin can limit the risk of having an allergic reaction to the ingredients, and is also not aggressive on the epidermis. It also allows you to freely add and remove the look to your face at will

There is no limit to how creative you can get with your design. You might even come up with a brand new idea altogether once you start to think outside of the box a little bit!

There are many creative Halloween makeup styles available that can be applied to a portion of the face instead of needing to cover the entire face. Here, makeup artist @AlyshiaJoness demonstrates a stitched face effect where the costume products are used only around the outside edge of the face.

Tip #2: Do not reuse old makeup

While it may be tempting to re-use makeup and paints left over from the year before, it is good practice to resist the urge and TOSS IT OUT. For your skin’s safety, you will want to be sure that the products you are using are new, fresh, and uncontaminated. Used makeup that has been closed for a long period of time and stored in an overtly warm or cold location can serve as a breeding ground for all kinds of various germs and bacteria – which you definitely do not want to add to your face! These seasonal products usually come with an expiration date for this very reason, and disregarding these labels just to save a couple of dollars is not worth the risk.

Additionally, older products tend to work less efficiently than new ones. The ingredients may harden over time and become clunkier, while others can get separated and dry out. When this happens, this usually requires you to add on even more makeup than you would have used otherwise, which can not only increase the risk of an unfavorable reaction, but can negatively impact the look of your costume as well. The last thing you want to do is compromise the look of your skin and your costume with old products.

Tip #3: Thoroughly research products before purchase

Part of the preparation process should be not only researching what designs you want, but also researching exactly what products you’re going to be applying to your skin. When selecting what products you use, this is not the time to skimp out on the pricing. You will frequently see tons of low-priced paints and makeup by the registers at different stores, but these are often leftover products from years before that were stored and placed back on the shelves this year. Additionally, the ingredients in these products are often not FDA approved or contain metal impurities. These are not items you will want to leave on for long periods of time, if at all.

You will want to check the ingredients of prospective items carefully to ensure you aren’t allergic to anything contained within. If you sweat a lot, you may have heard that oil-based paint works better so that you don’t sweat off your makeup – which is fine, but some of these can contain waxes and oils that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Be sure that the products are noncomedogenic to prevent clogged pores. If possible, be sure to check reviews for the products you are considering to get a sense of what you can expect before purchasing them. Some items may have minor side effects that you will want to be prepared for, such as drying out skin or requiring an additional item for removal. It is best to know this information ahead of time so that you can make the appropriate preparations required.

Tip #4: Plan out your removal routine ahead of time

Some forms of Halloween makeup will require more removal techniques besides simply washing it off

Many people spend a lot of time carefully crafting their Halloween makeup and taking the time to ensure that everything looks just right – only to rush through the removal process and not take the time to take address their skin afterwards. A well planned Halloween makeup routine continues even after you’ve removed all the paint and fake blood from your face, and the removal process of your makeup requires just as much consideration as applying them. Some products may require additional items for removal in order to ensure that you aren’t abrasively rubbing away at your face in order to get all the paint and makeup off. While makeup remover can work for most products, it doesn’t work with everything. Oil-based products for instance will require other methods for removal. Certain products may dry out your face, which should be followed up with moisturizer. Toner and cleanser are also recommended to be included in your aftercare routine.

And finally, do be sure that at the end of your festivities, you wash your makeup off COMPLETELY and that you do not sleep with any on. This tip may seem like a common sense one that most people already know – however, the number of celebrators who still do this is surprisingly high. Halloween makeup can be a bit stubborn to remove, and after a long night when you are tired and worn out, the last thing you may want to do is spend time removing every last bit.

But it needs to be done. It is *very* important to make sure that you remove it all thoroughly, and take the time to properly maintain your face afterwards. If you are purchasing new moisturizers or toners, be sure to read the directions and get comfortable with them ahead of time before the big evening. Having your removal items lined up, easily accessible, and ready to go before you head out can limit the amount of time you spend looking for things, and makes the removal process more efficient.

Tip #5: Stay hydrated!

Halloween beverages are great, but can cause dehydration if they aren't limited

One of the perks of the Halloween season is the abundance of all kinds of sugary snacks and various seasonal beverages that make their appearance only at this time of the year. It can be a joy for many people to indulge in these sugary goodies before they disappear for another year – but overindulging in these can mean bad news for your skin.

When sugar enters the bloodstream, the sugar depletes the water from the rest of your cells, which can lead to dehydration. In addition, both sugar and alcohol can cause diuretic effects as the body attempts to remove these products from the body, which can contribute to dehydration even more.

Dehydrated skin appears dry, itchy, and can have an uneven skin tone/complexion that can last all day and leave you looking tired and weary. Fine lines and wrinkles that you may have never noticed otherwise become exaggerated, and can become visible all of a sudden. Overconsumption of sugary snacks and beverages can also cause water retention, which results in swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes. In addition, dehydration can also cause other bodily side effects such as headaches, muscle cramps, and a lack of energy.

The good news is that combatting dehydration is very simple. First, setting limits on the amount of sugary snacks and beverages you consume is a great start. Keeping limits on your sugar intake is beneficial not only for your skin, but for your body overall. Even though there is a wide availability of candy everywhere, and hearing drinks with all kinds of spooky names can get your taste buds excited, don’t forget to keep an eye on your consumption of these items and know when to stop. Drinking plenty of water is another great habit to follow as well. Drinking adequate amounts of water consistently not only ensures that your body and skin are well hydrated, but the water can also help you feel fuller. This can assist you with limiting your candy consumption, and controlling the dehydrating effects of alcoholic beverages.

As mentioned in Tip #3, also be sure to keep your face hydrated by regular use of a moisturizer as well. This is especially important during this time of the year as the weather begins to cool down, which can contribute to the drying out of skin even faster.

After your Halloween activities have concluded for the year, treating your face with a HydraFacial is an excellent way to reward your skin and give it reinvigorating hydration after enduring those October nights. Click here to learn more about the HydraFacial procedure

Top 4 Treatments for Autumn

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:

1) Laser Skin Rejuvenation

What Is It?

Fraxel, V-Beam, and Clear + Brilliant are 3 examples of some of the most popular devices used for Laser Skin Rejuvenation, which is an extremely versatile procedure. Lasers can be used to treat a multitude of conditions – from acne, to acne scars, wrinkles, skin redness, sun damage, undereye circles – you name it!

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.

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

2) Scar/Stretch Mark Removal

What Is It?

 
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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.

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

3) Laser Hair Removal

What is it?

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!

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

4) Blood Facial

What Is It?

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!)

To learn more about this procedure, click here.


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!

9 Ways to Combat Undereye Circles

As we get older, undereye circles are an extremely common occurrence among most people. This scenario is one that we all wish to correct, and is one of the main focal points of any skin care routine. However, the term “undereye circles” is often used as a catch-all phrase that is used to refer to specific variations that appear under the eyes. Those variations include:

  1. Natural Pigmentation: Extra pigmentation around the eyes is very common, and is often a result of genetics and the natural aging process. This is especially common among individuals with darker skin tones compared to those with more fair complexions. One way to determine if dark circles are due to naturally occurring pigmentation is to take a finger and move the skin below the eye. If the color stays the same while the skin is moving, this is a sign of natural pigmentation. Inflammatory conditions such as rosacea and eczema can also cause extra pigmentation around the eyes even when these conditions are under control.
  2. Puffy Eyelids: At times, the eyelids can get puffy and swollen, which then leads to the appearance of shadows under the eyes as a result. Reducing the swelling of the eyelids restores them to their natural size and thus diminishes the appearance of shadows. Structural puffiness can be a combination of fat herniation and skin laxity.
  3. Bags Under Eyes: Sagging skin under the eyes can be often mistaken for skin pigmentation or puffy eyes. As we approach our late 20’s and early 30’s the production of collagen begins to slow down and the skin elasticity starts to diminish; as a result, the skin becomes looser and begins to hang. Certain treatments can tighten the skin in this area and restore some of the lost elasticity over time.
  4. Sunken Skin: The skin located around the eyes is the thinnest on the body. As we get older, the skin gets thinner and causes the blood vessels in the area to become more visible, which can lead to blue and purple veins showing. Additionally, the volume loss can create a noticeable discrepancy between the skin connecting the eyes and the cheeks. Treatments that restore lose volume can create a more uniform appearance of the skin in this region.

Being able to address the main causes of this appearance is the key to treating it effectively. Otherwise, this can lead to actions that are counterproductive, and can be a waste of time, money, and energy. One example is using too much makeup to cover it, which leads to a caked on appearance, looks fake, and does very little to address the root of the problem. Here are 9 tips you can use to combat the appearance of undereye circles.

#1: Get Enough Sleep

One of the most common complaints about undereye circles is having a fatigued look and comments that you may look tired. This is because we actually ARE tired due to a lack of sleep. Not receiving enough sleep can cause venous congestion – or a collection of pooled up blood in the blood vessels around the eyes – and causes a puffy appearance. External factors such as times of stress, smoking, and natural genetics can exacerbate this even more. Ensuring that enough sleep is received the night before prevents the blood from pooling up in these areas, thus reducing the appearance of puffy eyes. They do call it “beauty sleep” for a reason!

One thing to note is that oversleeping can cause the appearance of puffy eyes as well. Achieving between 7-9 hours of sleep a night is recommended.

#2: No Eye Rubbing!

As tempting as it can be sometimes, rubbing your eyes is one of the worst things you can do. Because the skin in this area is thin, frequent rubbing of the eyes can cause the skin to become thicker and darker due to the body’s natural defense system. In addition to this, constant rubbing can cause other issues affecting this region such as bruising. It can be a tough habit to break, but rubbing eyes should be avoided. In the event of itchy or dry eyes, gentler methods such as eye drops are a less aggressive alternative.

#3: Stay Hydrated

Being dehydrated has multiple effects on the appearance of the skin around the eyes. Because the body is not receiving enough water, it leads to water retention which can cause swelling of the eyelids. This is usually at its worst in the morning after waking up and typically resolves around the afternoon thanks to the fluid draining with gravity and time. Additionally, the lack of hydration causes the skin to appear thinner and more hollow due to the lack of tissue between the skin and bone. This can cause the blood vessels below the skin to become more visible, and lead to a darker appearance in these areas. Hydrated skin is thicker and decreases visibility of the blood vessels, while also limiting swelling from water retention.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day ensures that the skin is adequately hydrated. Eating foods with too much salt or consuming high amounts of alcohol can also cause dehydration. Limiting consumption of salty snacks and alcohol and drinking water before going to bed will help limit water retention in the morning. In the event that there is swelling in the eyes after waking up, applying a cold compress for 10 minutes can reduce the swelling buildup.

#4: Dermal Fillers

Injectable fillers are an excellent way to counteract sagginess. The fillers elevate the surrounding skin to match the skin levels in other areas, thus providing a smooth and uniform appearance. Sunken skin in the undereye region is plumped up, and can last many months to a couple years depending on the type used.

Undereye Circles Treatment with Dermal Fillers

Some fillers such as Restylane contain hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the skin that keeps the eye area hydrated and volumized. They are gradually absorbed by the body over time, but they are also reversible and can be dissolved by a special solution in certain situations. Dermal fillers are frequently used with a numbing agent in order to maximize comfort.

Fillers are not universal, and each person will require different amounts or types. Choosing the right type of filler with the right amount requires a board certified physician with an adequate understanding of the facial anatomy, and proper analysis of your unique facial structure and facial movements. Fillers injected by someone without the adequate experience can lead to unfavorable results, and possibly other serious complications.

Dermal fillers are frequently combined with certain laser procedures, which can help dramatically improve the appearance of visible blood vessels that are showing through the skin. In addition, lasers can help the formation of new collagen, and lighten the skin tone to provide an even complexion across the face.

#5: Sun Protection

Unprotected sun exposure over time not only leads to sun damage, possible skin cancer, and discoloration, but can speed up the formation of wrinkles as well. Because the skin around the eyes is very thin, this area is more susceptible to wrinkles and damage from the sun. Limiting sun exposure to this area by wearing sunglasses is one of the best ways to protect the delicate skin around the eyes. Additionally, the use of sunscreen can help block the harmful effects from the sun’s UV rays as well. Wearing sunscreen with a SPF 30 or higher while outside, especially between the hours of 10AM and 4PM, is critical. Be sure to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours as well.

#6: Chemical Peels

Light chemical peels that contain hydroquinone, retinoic acid, or glycolic acid, can be used to slightly brighten up the dark pigments under the eyes. While natural pigmentation around the eye region is normal, a light chemical peel can diminish the variance in color to provide a more consistent complexion across the face.

#7: Eye Serums & Creams

Overnight skin care is imperative, and must be done consistently on a nightly basis in order to yield results. Applying these before bedtime helps keep eyes moisturized while sleeping. This can minimize the discolorations that are associated with tired eyes. These products are often also mixed with peptides and antioxidants to reduce puffiness and reduce the amount of pooled blood around the eyes.

An effective skin care regimen should include special topical creams specially designed for application around the undereye region. Regular moisturizer for general use around the face is a bit too strong for the undereyes due to the skin’s thinness, and this region can only absorb a certain amount of the product. The excess product then sits and can potentially get into the eye via the blinking of the eyelashes. This can lead to irritation, puffiness, and swelling. Eye moisturizers are lighter and are designed to be absorbed fully.

As you may know, there are tons of products on the market. Many are designed to treat specific issues, and others are simply not as effective as others. It can be overwhelming for those who are new, but is totally manageable as long as you know what types of products you are looking for.

  • Applying products with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides facilitate hydration, and stimulate collagen/elastin production
  • Vasoconstriction from products with caffeine can reduce puffiness, and cooling products can help reduce inflammation and promote blood flow

Finally, how you apply the products is just as important as the kind of products you purchase. To apply these with the least amount of pressure to the eyes – use the ring finger (this finger is the weakest of the others), and dot the product starting from the inner corner of the eye and moving outwards toward the temple area.

For your convenience, Dr. Behroozan has eye cream and sunscreen available in our e-store. Click here to visit!

#8: Allergy Medication

Seasonal allergies trigger the release of histamines. These can cause swelling and inflamed blood vessels and can lead to other indirect issues such as rubbing the eyes due to itching and dryness. The simple use of over the counter antihistamine medications can help manage the dark circles that appear under the eyes, in addition to directly treating the allergy symptoms.

#9: Cucumber Slices

Placing cucumber slices over the eyes is a beauty technique that has been used for centuries. Multiple studies have been performed over the years, and they have shown that the juice of the cucumber can reduce swelling, relieve skin that has been damaged, and increase the level of antioxidant activity. In addition, cucumbers are naturally rich in Vitamin C which helps the development of new cells. Due to the high amount of water content in cucumbers, it also helps serve as a moisturizer for the eyes.

Before placing these over the eyes, be sure to chill the cucumbers in the refrigerator ahead of time. The skin should be clean and dry before application. The cucumber slices should be about half an inch thick, and it is advised to peel the skin off of the cucumber first to remove any pesticides.

Skin Cancer Awareness Month 2019 – Preventing Skin Cancer

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a bright sunny day outdoors with family & friends – whether it’s soaking up some rays at the beach, riding roller coasters at an amusement park during the summer, or even just going on a walk with your pet on a nice afternoon. Whatever the activity is, it is crucial to remember that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to adverse effects on our skin. Leaving our skin unprotected against the sun can not only lead to short-term problems such as sunburn, but can also lead to the development of long-term problems later on such as skin cancer. Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, with over 5 million new cases diagnosed each year, and approximately 50% of all new cancer diagnoses. It can take as little as 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to cause lasting damage to the skin. This unprotected exposure is the cause of more than 90% of all skin cancer cases. In addition to the sun, other sources of UV rays such as tanning booths and sun lamps can also lead to the development of skin cancer. UV radiation is normally at its strongest between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. Areas such as the beach are especially important to note, as areas with sand, water, or snow reflect sunlight and increase the amount of UV light you are exposed to. The good news however, is that there are a few easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition in the first place.

Shade

One of the most basic steps to take is to limit the amount of exposure you receive while you are outdoors by staying in shaded areas. UV rays still reach your skin even on days that are cloudy, and some people do receive sunburns due to the assumption that the weather is not hot enough to require skin protection. Wherever possible, opting to shield yourself by remaining in the shade is a good first step to take to limit your exposure to UV rays.

Sunscreen

Behroozan Skin Care SPF 40 Sunscreen Sunscreen is an imperative precaution measure to take when it comes to protecting our skin. Sunscreen comes in many different forms such as lotions, sprays, balms, etc. Using broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of 30+ is highly recommended. A sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30 filters out 97% of UV rays.
  For your convenience, Dr. Behroozan has sunscreen available in our e-store. Our sunscreen is chemical free, PABA free, and noncomedogenic.  

Sunglasses

Wearing adequate clothing during sunshine is another simple, but effective measure to take. Wearing sunglasses not only protects the delicate skin around our eyes, but also reduces your risk of developing certain eye diseases as well. While ordinary sunglasses block around 70% of UV rays, specially marked pairs of sunglasses are also available that are designated as UV Protective. These pairs block 99% of UV light, so it is good to keep a lookout for sunglasses with this designation.

Skin Checks

The earlier skin cancer is detected, the sooner you are able to treat it – and thus, a higher chance of success. Performing a self skin check by looking around your body for any new moles, or changes in existing moles, is a key way to get ahead of any problems. In the event that you notice something new on your skin that may be cause for concern, professional skin checks by dermatologists are also available. A professional skin check is a brief ~15 minute visit that includes a full head-to-toe examination by a licensed physician. Your dermatologist can answer any questions and clear up any concerns you may have, and also has the ability of conducting a biopsy on anything that may be potentially cancerous. It is highly recommended to have a professional skin check at least once every year (for patients with a medical or family history of skin cancer, twice a year is advised). Contact us today and meet with California’s leading dermatologists in the treatment of skin cancer. Find us in your preferred location of either Santa Monica or Beverly Hills, and let our experts conduct a professional skin check to ensure your skin is in outstanding condition!

For even more information about skin cancer, visit our Skin Cancer page.

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