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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!

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