Saturday, August 27, 2011

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a common procedure for permanent hair reduction. A Laser or light-based device, sometimes combined with radiofrequency, is used to target the base of the hair and destroy it. Anywhere from six to ten treatments are required in 4-8 week intervals and results are usually fantastic. Little or no discomfort is experienced during the procedure because of various types of cooling mechanisms used. The procedure can be performed on anywhere there is hair except around the eyes. Commonly treated areas include sideburns, upper lip, chin, underarms, and legs for women and chest and back for men. Settings are adjusted based on skin type. Laser hair removal can be less effective or ineffective if you have a tan in the area. It also does not work well for red, blond, grey, and white hairs. It should not be done on patients who are pregnant or breast feeding.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Laser Skin Tightening

Laser skin tightening is a great procedure for those interested in a non-invasive approach to improving skin laxity. The modalities are numerous, including laser or light based devices, radiofrequency, ultrasound, and cooling. Many of these methods work by heating the deep layer of the skin called the dermis, serving to denature the collagen and causing it to snap, leading to tightening of the skin. Other methods work by destroying or decreasing fat cells. Either way impressive results can be seen in areas such as the chin, neck, jawline, and cheeks. Multiple treatments are generally required and results improve over time. Combining such treatments with fillers, Botox, topical creams, chemical peels, and other laser treatments can lead to outstanding results.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proper sunscreen application

Proper sunscreen application begins with choosing the right sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 with UVA and UVB protection. This should be evident on the label. As long as these criteria are met, use any such sunscreen that is comfortable.

Sunscreen should be the last step in a skin care regimen in the morning before any makeup (if any). The amount required for an appropriate application to the face is approximately the size of a quarter. It should cover all exposed surfaces of the skin. Common areas that are missed include the ears, front and back of the neck, and upper chest. Sunscreen should also be applied to all exposed areas of the body, including the trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Spray on sunscreens work well for these areas.

Makeup or moisturizers that contain sunscreen should not be used as a substitute for sunscreen or part of the SPF. For example if a moisturizer contains SPF 15, adding a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will not necessarily bring the total SPF to 30. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to going outside so it can be completely absorbed for a full effect. It should be applied whether the forecast calls for overcast or sunny skies. It should be applied year round. If outside for long periods of time, it should be re-applied every couple of hours.

In the event of water exposure such as when at the pool or the beach, sunscreen should be re-applied more often. Sunscreens are not waterproof. Some sunscreens claim to be water resistant, meaning that they are still active after water exposure. However, re-application after water exposure is highly recommended.

With proper sunscreen application and sun protective behavior, risks of wrinkles, discolorations, and skin cancer can be minimized.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Alternate Uses for Botox

Most people are aware of the common uses for Botox: forehead lines, frown lines, and crow's feet. Other cosmetic uses include injections on the bridge of the nose for bunny lines, around the eyes to open up the eyes. In the lower face, injection sites include the edge of the nose to help lower the lips when people smile. This is particularly useful for people who show a lot of their gums above their teeth when they smile. At the same time, such injections decrease the depth of laugh lines. Injections in the chin can improve lines and bumps that occur in those areas. Injections just beside the chin can elevate the edge of the lips, leading to a less angry appearance.

Non-cosmetic uses for Botox include various areas for migraine headaches and in the underarms and palms for excessive sweating.

Distant spread of toxin effect
Postmarketing reports indicate that the effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic and all botulinum toxin products may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms consistent with botunilum toxin effects. These may include asthenia, generalized muscle weakness, diplopia, blurred vision, ptosis, dysphagia, dysphonia, dysarthria, urinary incontinence, and breathing difficulties. These symptoms have been reported hours to weeks after injection. Swallowing and breathing difficulties can be life threatening, and there have been reports of death. The risk of symptoms is probably greatest in children treated for spacticity, but symptoms can also occur in adults treated for spacticity and other conditions, particularly in those patients who have underlying conditions that would predispose them to these symptoms. In unapproved uses, including spacticity in children and adults, cases of spread of effect have occured at doses comparable to those used to treat cervical dystonia at lower doses.