Anti-Aging Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Getting started with an anti-aging regimen may seem tricky, but it does not have to be with the right skincare and treatment plan. Save the scariness for the costumes, and take care of your skin so it is smooth and BOO-tiful regardless of the holiday.

 

The first step in an effective anti-aging regimen is developing a good skincare routine. Some staple anti-aging products are retinol, sunscreen, and products that contain vitamin C, peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. Retinol/Retinoids increase cell turnover, improving the complexion of the skin and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Sunscreen is great for preventing visible aging from sun damage, and antioxidants are perfect for improving brightness in the skin, providing extra sun protection, and reducing pigmentation issues. 

 

Although good skincare is essential for anti-aging, aesthetic procedures can really correct and provide a more dramatic improvement in skin quality.. Botulinum toxin injections (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, and Juveau) relax muscles in the face to soften fine lines and wrinkles. It is helpful to start as a preventative measure so as to decrease ans prevent the depth of wrinkles and fine lines over time. Dermal fillers restore volume loss in the face that leads to deep folds. Fillers make up for lost volume that naturally occurs with aging, resulting in a more youthful appearance and facial contour. 

Facial laser treatments are another great option to achieve your best looking skin. Treatments like Halo and BBL work to reduce the appearance of sun damage while increasing the production of collagen. Lasers also address a variety of age-related skin concerns, such as wrinkles, sun spots, and skin tone.  These treatments help reven the skin tone and complexion while improving and preventing fine lines. At SkinDC, our board certified dermatologists and board certified plastic surgeon can come up with an anti-aging treatment plan that works for you. While the theme of Halloween is to be scary, anti-aging shouldn’t be. There are no tricks to our treatments, just great results!

The Perfect Laser Treatments for Fall

Fall is approaching, which means one of the best times for laser treatments is almost here! Although we are sad to see summer go, healthier skin is right around the corner. Since recovery from most lasers requires strict sun protection, fall is an ideal time to have these treatments performed. Laser treated skin is more sensitive than normal skin, so there is an increased risk of hyperpigmentation for up to 1 month post-treatment depending on treatment intensity. 

Why is it important to be careful with laser treatments in the summer?

During the summer months, the sun is more direct and the UV radiation is higher.  This increases melanin production in the skin. Laser hair removal is a great example of why this can be an issue. During the laser hair removal treatment, the laser is heating up the melanin in the hair follicle to destroy it and prevent regrowth. If there is more melanin in the skin due to sun exposure, the laser might not be able to accurately distinguish from the melanin in the hair versus the melanin in the skin.This can result in hyperpigmentation or even scarring. Additionally, since laser treated skin makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, it can be difficult to prevent skin damage even when taking the proper precautions during the summer months. 

What laser treatments are great for the fall?

Whether you are trying to even out your skin tone, reverse sun damage, even out fine lines and wrinkles, or remove hair, there is a treatment for you.

Laser treatments, such as Broad Band Light (BBL) and Halo, are terrific options for patients looking for anti-aging solutions. The BBL treatment uses broad band light to reduce background discoloration, especially stubborn brown sunspots. The BBL device emits a broad spectrum of light, which targets both melanin and hemoglobin in the skin that lead to skin discoloration. The energy absorbed by the targeted chromophores results in their destruction. The final result is clearer, smoother, and more youthful looking skin. 

Halo is a laser skin resurfacing treatment that uses 2 simultaneous lasers to treat the full thickness of the skin.  The Halo system triggers deep tissue rejuvenation with one laser wavelength while also treating the upper layers of the skin with an additional laser treatment. This unique hybrid resurfacing technology has similar downtime to other non ablative resurfacing lasers but with better improvement in fine lines and skin coloration.  

Why start in the fall?

While lasers are also encouraged in the winter and spring, starting in the fall is a great time to target any damage that may have developed in the summer. Most of these laser treatments require a series of treatments for optimal results, so the sooner you start, the quicker you will see the full results. 

Interested in laser treatments this fall? Schedule a cosmetic consultation with us at SkinDC to find out which lasers are best for you and your skin.

The Growth of Male Aesthetics

 

It is a common misconception that cosmetic treatments are solely meant for women. In the last few years, an increase in the number of men getting aesthetic treatments, including toxin injections, fillers, and hair restoration, indicates a huge market potential for male aesthetics. Although men remain a minority compared to women in the industry, the market growth of male aesthetics is currently keeping pace with growth of the female market.

The doctors at SkinDC suggest that awareness may be the biggest obstacle preventing male aesthetics from being as socially accepted as female aesthetics. With the aesthetic medical industry having been mainly marketed to women, men are less likely to be aware of the breadth – and acceptability – of the treatments available to them. As a result of being historically geared towards women, there is a common viewpoint that aesthetic treatments serve to increase femininity and beauty. This is flawed, as treatments can be used to address different aesthetic concerns among both men and women. The top three cosmetic concerns we see in men are hair loss and age-related changes to the jawline and periocular areas. Injections with neurotoxins and dermal fillers can reduce tired and aged appearance without the feminization of facial features. Body contouring can also help men achieve desired body goals.

Every cosmetic treatment/procedure is available to women and men. The first step is getting male patients into the office so the doctors can educate them and provide them the opportunity to consider available options. At SkinDC, our board-certified dermatologists and facial plastic surgeon create unique and individualized treatment plans that cater to the needs and desires of the patient while giving natural yet effective results.

Another large component in the growth of male aesthetics is accessibility. It has only been until recently that the stigma surrounding female aesthetic treatments and procedures has been reduced. With education and awareness perpetuated through social media and marketing, treatments are more accessible than ever. With greater accessibility often comes greater affordability. Treatments that were once considered prohibitively expensive and unnatural to many individuals are now seen as a staple. There is greater acceptance as the industry has grown, techniques have improved, and more options have become available. Similarly to the growth and acceptance of the female aesthetic market, the male aesthetic market seems to be following that pattern.

What was once thought to be out of reach for many women has now become within reach for many men. As the accessibility and acceptance of male aesthetics continue to grow, so does the market. Every person, regardless of their gender, deserves to feel confident. Aesthetic medical treatments allow for this confidence to be achieved without sacrificing masculinity.

Summertime Safe Cosmetic Treatments

Summer is the time to look good and feel even better! At SkinDC, we have all the treatments to help accomplish this. With the sun stronger and the temperatures higher, your safety is our number one priority, and some of our treatments are best suited for the cooler months. Treatments involving lasers and chemical peels may make the skin temporarily more sensitive to the sun and heat. To prevent skin damage and discoloration, we recommend significantly limiting sun exposure for two weeks before and after laser treatments OR waiting until after summer to treat areas regularly exposed to sunlight. In the meantime, here are six of our summer-safe treatments to help you feel your best!

 

CoolTone 

CoolTone is a great option for those looking to achieve more toned and tightened muscles in a number of areas. Unlike CoolSculpting, CoolTone does not use freezing technology. Rather, it uses magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS) to improve muscle strength, tone, and firmness in the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. This treatment does not dramatically increase the size of muscles but tightens and tones them instead.  It is a great treatment to help maintain your figure in bathing suit weather.

 

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is the perfect treatment to get your body summer ready! CoolSculpting’s fat-freezing technology gives long-term results that reduce the size of stubborn bulges. While not a solution for weight loss, this treatment aids in getting rid of unwanted fat in areas that do not respond to healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. The CoolSculpting procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges under the chin, under the jawline, thigh, abdomen, and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks, and upper arm. Coolsculpting is a great way to contour and sculpt your body to feel more confident this summer.

 

Dermal Fillers

Unlike chemical peels and other facial laser treatments, dermal fillers do not have any negative interactions with the sun or heat. It is the perfect summertime treatment to refresh the face and restore a youthful facial shape. Dermal fillers support overlying skin to restore volume loss, smooth out lines and wrinkles, and reduce signs of aging. It is a terrific option for flat, sunken cheeks, dark circles, shrinking lips, and defining the jawline.

 

Microneedling

Microneedling is a great substitute for laser resurfacing treatments as it can be done on any skin type. Microneedling uses very fine needles to create equally fine channels through the surface layer of the skin. These micro-injuries trigger a healing response which forms new collagen in the treatment area, propping up skin and attracting proteins such as elastin and hyaluronic acid to the area. This rejuvenation process is created naturally by the body and induced by the microneedling treatment. Although this treatment is possible during the summer, it is critical to limit sun exposure after the treatment.

 

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botulinum toxin is the most popular year-round aesthetic treatment.  Careful injection of botulinum toxin causes relaxation of facial muscles in order to reduce dynamic wrinkles. This treatment not only reduces wrinkles, but also has a variety of other uses in the expert hands of SkinDC physicians. It can be used to slim the lower face when placed along the jaw or help with a sagging neck.  Lastly, botulinum toxin can also be injected in the underarms to stop excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis. 

 

Hydrafacials

Hydrafacials serve as a great alternative to chemical peels in the summer months. It is the only procedure that is able to combine cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, brighter and smoother skin. This treatment requires no downtime and has instant results, making it the perfect treatment to achieve that summer glow!

 

Summer Skin Conditions

With nice weather and sunny days, spending more time outside is a given during the summer months. More time spent outside means more exposure to the sun, however sunburn is not the only problem you might run into. Spending significantly more time outside, especially when it is hot, has the potential to cause several uncomfortable skin conditions.

 

Increased sunlight can cause a host of issues when it comes to acne. High temperatures lead to more sweat which, when mixed with bacteria and the natural oils produced by your skin, can lead to acne comedones (aka “clogged pores”). To prevent acne, it is important to have a good skincare regimen, which includes a topical retinoid.

 

Even in the summer humidity, dry skin can still be a problem for many people. Spending time in the sun, swimming pool, and air conditioning can lead to dry and irritated skin. Taking care to moisturize your skin, take cooler showers, and reach for gentle products can aid in relieving some of the discomfort. Often in the summer, it is a good idea to switch from a heavy moisturizer to a lighter hydrator that contains hyaluronic acid. If small changes do not result in improvement, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

 

Melasma is another condition that is aggravated by increased sun exposure. Melasma is a common skin condition that causes dark, discolored patches due to heat, hormones, and sun exposure. These patches most commonly appear on the central face. While this condition is not adverse to your health, there are both topical and laser/light-based treatments to lighten and prevent worsening of discoloration.

 

Finally, one of the most common skin conditions to affect people during the summer months is sunburn. Sunburn is caused by overexposure to the sun that damages the outer layers of skin. Sunburn not only increases your risk of developing melanoma and skin cancer, but also causes skin aging and the development of wrinkles. Taking care to regularly apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30+) and avoid direct sun exposure especially during midday hours.

 

Why are skin exams so important?

One out of five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer within their lifetime. Although skin cancer is
the most common type of cancer, it also has the highest cure rate. Scheduling regular skin exams is the best way for early detection, which improves the odds of a successful treatment. Yearly, full-body skin exams should be supplemented with monthly self-skin exams and monitoring certain moles/spots with the ABCDE guide.The ABCDE guide is an acronym that can help determine if a mole or brown spot may be a melanoma. It stands for
Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolution.

Skin examinations involve a SkinDC expert doing a thorough check of your skin from head to toe, paying close attention to spots you can’t necessarily see during a self exam. They may utilize a small handheld magnifying device called a dermatoscope, that visualizes the outer surface of the skin (the epidermis) and the layers just beneath it. During the exam your doctor may biopsy a suspicious spot and send it for analysis. In addition to the traditional biopsy method, we offer a Dermtech – sticker biopsy – method to easily and more accurately detect RNA and DNA  from skin tissue samples to find genomic markers of melanoma without cutting the skin. If a sample happens to be cancerous, your doctor will call you to discuss treatment options. Skin exams are incredibly important and useful in detecting skin cancer and treating it early. Scheduling a skin exam may just save your life. The expert team at SkinDC are here to make this process as easy as possible for you.

 

Staying Sunscreen Safe: The Sunscreen Debacle (Benzene)

With the summer months upon us, it is critical now more than ever to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays. SPF should be a part of your daily routine – all year round – to prevent skin cancer and premature aging. It is essential to ensure that the sunscreen protection you are using is safe not only in function, but in application. This is especially important this summer surrounding the news that Benzene, an organic compound known to be a carcinogen, has been detected in over 78 sunscreen and after-sun care products. 

 

At the end of May, Valisure, a pharmacy group that conducts routine audits on consumer goods, released data that concluded 78 of 294 tested batches of sunscreen and after-sun care products had detectable amounts of Benzene in their formulas. Research shows that repeated exposure to amounts of Benzene at concentrations of less than 1one part per million (ppm) have been associated with the development of cancers affecting the blood, specifically leukemia. Valisure’s report found that 40 batches of sunscreen contained .11-6.26 ppm of benzene. Absorption of Benzene through the skin and blood is especially concerning because if contaminated sunscreen is properly applied: full application all over the body and reapplication every two hours,  – there is an even greater risk for increased exposure to this harmful carcinogen. Take a look at Valisures published list of contaminated sunscreens to cross-reference your products with the recalled ones.

 

It is important to note that the presence of Benzene in these sunscreens is due to contamination. Benzene is not an ingredient that is supposed to be in sunscreen. Its presence is due to issues in the American consumer product supply chain. There are plenty of other sunscreen products that were tested by Valisure in this study that do not contain Benzene. The findings of this report aren’ not to discourage people from using SPF, but it should inform people of the products that may have been contaminated and are not to be used. Sun protection products that are free from this harmful chemical are more than safe, and should be applied regularly to prevent skin damage and sunburns. The large amount of sunscreen products that are presumably safe and free of Benzene should be used in conjunction with other sun protection measures like wearing hats, sunglasses, covering up when outdoors, and avoiding direct sunlight between 10:00AM and 2:00PM. 

 

At SkinDC we recommend mineral/physical sun protection over chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays whereas mineral sunscreens reflect the harmful UV rays. Mineral/physical sunscreens are preferred as they work immediately after application, don’t contain harmful ingredients, are safe for the environment, and tend to be less harsh on the skin. Check out SkinDC’s online skin care store to purchase the dermatologist’s approved picks for sun protection, free from Benzene.