Keeping the Holiday Weight Off

The holiday season is quickly approaching with Thanksgiving preparations and holiday gift shopping. While this season is typically focused on giving to others, don’t let yourself and your goals fall by the wayside. If you have wanted to get rid of unwanted fat, tone your muscles, or simply shape up before the holiday card photos are taken, SkinDC has the right treatments for you! 

 

CoolSculpting 

What is CoolSculpting? 

CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing technology offering long-term results that will make your ‘trouble spots’ much less troubling. CoolSculpting uses cool temperatures to selectively target fat cells in your body. The cold temperatures signal your fat cells to enter apoptosis, also known as irreversible cell death. These dead fat cells get eaten up by macrophages, which are your body’s cleanup cells, and are ultimately excreted by your lymphatic system. Your body will naturally eliminate the dead cells for two to six months, sometimes more, resulting in up to 20-25 percent reduction of fat in the treated area. The fat cells are not regenerated over time so CoolSculpting is a permanent reduction of fat cells. As we leave adolescence and enter adulthood, we have a fixed number of fat cells. This means that we do not continue to produce more fat cells during our lifetime. 

What Areas Can I Treat? 

The CoolSculpting treatment is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, inner thighs, outer tights, above the knee, abdomen, and flank, which includes bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks, and the upper arms. Not everyone is eligible for treatment in all areas, but with a consultation with our Body Contouring Specialist, Ragan Lake, she can draw out a treatment plan that is individualized and customized for your body. 

What Should I Expect During the Treatment?

CoolSculpting is a completely non-invasive treatment. This means that you can drive yourself to and from the treatment, resume all of your normal activities, and you can even work out on the same day. While the treatment is non-invasive, it can be uncomfortable at times. The first ten minutes of treatment can feel as though an ice pack has been left on your skin. After about ten minutes, the area being treated typically goes numb and the cold feeling subsides. Once the applicator has been removed, the provider will perform a brief two-minute massage on the treated area to break up the frozen fat cells and enhance the fat reduction. 

What is the Timeline of This Treatment? 

After you have received the treatment, the earliest you will notice changes is four to six weeks. Eight weeks is the typical time that a patient will notice a change from the treatment, with three months or twelve weeks being the point when our providers will evaluate the results of the treatment. At SkinDC, we typically recommend patients get at least two rounds of CoolSculpting to their desired treatment area. Schedule a FREE CoolSculpting Consultation today to get a customized treatment plan for your body goals. 

To learn more about CoolSculpting, listen to our Body Contouring Specialist, Ragan Lake, talk about the treatment here: CoolSculpting at SkinDC

 

CoolTone 

What is CoolTone? 

CoolTone is an amazing way to strengthen and tone your muscles. CoolTone uses Magnetic Muscle Stimulation or MMS technology to penetrate through the skin and fat layers to target only the muscle layer. MMS induces involuntary muscle contractions. The body’s response to these contractions is to strengthen its muscle fibers, resulting in improved muscle conditioning. After the treatment(s), the treated area is firmer and has a more defined and toned appearance. One 30-minute CoolTone treatment is equivalent to completing 30,000 sit-ups.  Not only will CoolTone help you reach your body’s aesthetic goals, but it will also help improve your physical strength. Your workouts will be more efficient and patients will find their previous workouts less difficult.  

What Areas Can I Treat?

The CoolTone treatment is FDA-cleared for the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. The ideal candidate for CoolTone are patients who wish to improve muscle tone and the firmness of their abdomen, buttocks, and/or thighs and do not have a contraindication to the CoolTone treatment. To find out if you are a good candidate and get a customized CoolTone treatment plan, schedule a consultation with our Body Contouring Specialist, Ragan Lake. 

What Should I Expect During the Treatment? 

During the treatment, one to two applicators will be placed on the patient’s treatment area. Throughout the treatment, the provider will slowly increase the intensity of the magnetic muscle stimulation, ensuring that the patient is never too uncomfortable with the intensity level. One great thing about CoolTone is that it has a built-in mechanism that will tap the patient’s treatment area after each contraction. This tapping allows for the breakup of lactic acid and therefore decreases the patient’s discomfort in the days following their CoolTone treatment session. 

What is the Timeline of this Treatment? 

At SkinDC we use a pretty aggressive initial plan with our patients to give them the best results. We like to see our patients nine times over the course of around three weeks. There is a minimum wait time of 24 hours between treatments. You can wear gym clothes to your treatment and walk out immediately after, with little to no downtime. You may have some soreness the day or two after receiving the treatment, but typically this feels as though you have just completed a workout at the gym. The progression of CoolTone results is fast and by the end of the initial treatment package, patients see, on average, a 30 percent improvement. Unlike with CoolSculpting, there is a maintenance component to CoolTone. At SkinDC, we recommend our patients schedule a single maintenance CoolTone treatment every one to two months after their initial treatment package.  Schedule a FREE CoolTone Consultation today to get a customized treatment plan for your body goals. 

To learn more about CoolSculpting, listen to our Body Contouring Specialist, Ragan Lake, talk about the treatment here: CoolTone at SkinDC

 

Kybella 

What is Kybella? 

Kybella is the only FDA-approved injectable treatment that destroys fat cells in the treatment area, under the chin, to improve your profile. Kybella’s active ingredient, deoxycholic acid, is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids the breakdown and elimination of dietary fat in the digestive system. When injected into the fat layer beneath the chin, Kybella causes the fat cells to die. Once these fat cells are naturally removed by the body, they are permanently gone. 

Is There Any Downtime? 

Following a Kybella injection treatment, the treated area will be swollen for three to four days. There is a risk of developing a bruise at the injection site as well. The submentum, or double chin, will have the most significant and noticeable swelling. For most patients the recovery time from swelling and bruising commonly lasts several days with the first treatment. However, the severity of the side effects typically decreases with subsequent Kybella treatments. 

What is the Treatment Timeline? 

Patients will have an initial consultation with one of our providers to receive a customized Kybella treatment plan. You can schedule a cosmetic consultation at SkinDC to get started on your Kybella journey today! At SkinDC, we see that most patients will need three to six treatments to receive their desired results. Re-treatment of the desired area is completed every two months. You will see the full benefit of the treatment around four to six weeks after the last treatment in a series of three or more treatments. 

To learn more about Kybella, listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga, talk about the treatment here: Kybella Treatment at SkinDC

 

Vanquish 

What is Vanquish? 

Vanquish is a good alternative for CoolSculpting for individuals who have a severe reaction to intense cold. Vanquish is a state-of-the-art body contouring device that permanently removes fat and tightens skin without surgery or downtime. Vanquish uses radio frequency energy to target and kill fat cells without harming the overlying skin or deeper tissues. This treatment is used to reduce the circumference of the abdomen, love handles, lower back, bra bulge, and/or thighs. Vanquish is safe for individuals with all skin types. This treatment is not safe for children, pregnant or nursing mothers. Patients with implanted metal devices, such as pacemakers, in the abdomen or other treatment areas, are not candidates for Vanquish. 

What Should I Expect During the Treatment? 

Being well-hydrated is very important to achieving the best results. We recommend that you drink at least eight to ten glasses of water before and after the treatment. Hydration is important because it helps optimize the radio frequency energy’s ability to target maximum fat reduction. During the treatment, most patients feel like they are wearing a large heating pad over the treatment area. Although your skin may become warm and pink, pain is unusual. If a hot spot forms, the device can easily be adjusted to decrease any discomfort the patient may feel. Each treatment lasts approximately 45 minutes long. Vanquish is a noninvasive procedure meaning there is no surgery, stitches, or scars resulting from the treatment. You may immediately return to normal activities following each session. In addition, because Vanquish uses heat energy, it also helps tighten the skin as well as destroy fat cells. 

What is the Timeline for the Treatment? 

Most often, our patients see a two to a four-inch reduction in fat after having four to six treatments, with treatments being performed once per week. The patient will likely notice an improvement during the treatment interval, but as fat cells continue to be eliminated from your body, the final results are typically seen one to two months after your last treatment. 

Aging Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Aging Doesn’t Have to Be Scary 

Aging for anyone may seem scary, and getting started with an anti-aging regimen may seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be with the right skincare and treatment plan. Save the scariness for the costumes this fall and take care of your skin so it can stay BOO-tiful regardless of the season. 

 

What Causes Our Skin to Age? 

Skin aging is natural and something every person will experience sooner or later. There are two types of skin aging: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is an inevitable, genetically determined process that occurs naturally and is affected by the weakened fiber network and slowed production of collagen in the dermis layer of our skin. The signs of intrinsic aging include the loss of underlying fat and bone, leading to hollowed cheeks and eye sockets, as well as loss of firmness and sagging skin. 

Extrinsic aging stems from preventable environmental factors that magnify intrinsic aging. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure, though other factors include sleeping positions, smoking, alcohol use, and lack of hydration. Signs of extrinsic aging include skin thinning, laxity, fragility, and wrinkles. In addition, sun exposure can lead to melasma, brown spots, and actinic keratosis. 

 

When Does Our Skin Begin to Age?

Experts have found that skin aging typically begins around the age of 25. After age 25, our bodies start producing less collagen at a rate of approximately one percent less per year. The existing collagen then becomes broken down, fragmented, and overall weaker. With reduced collagen production, our skin loses elasticity and can cause changes such as enlarged pores, frown lines, and wrinkles. 

Typically, the first fine lines appear in your twenties in your forehead. In your thirties, an increase in skin laxity begins. Our face becomes drier and wrinkles are more pronounced in our forties. While these timelines are general, everyone’s aging process occurs in different ways and throughout different times in their lives. At a cellular level, individuals may begin to age, but if we factor in the external influences, you may develop aging signs much earlier than expected. 

 

Aging in Males versus Females

Everyone ages differently and this fact is even more evident when comparing the aging of males and females. There are three major biological differences between male and female skin when it comes to the aging process. 

Sebum (Oil) Production 

Not only do males have larger pores than females, but they also have higher sebum (oil) production than women. This is because males have a higher amount of testosterone in the body. While this may cause more frequent acne breakouts, there is a benefit to higher oil production. Sebum keeps the skin healthy, supple, and hydrated, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. 

Skin Texture and Thickness 

Estrogen and testosterone have an important impact on the skin’s texture and thickness. These hormones help protect aging skin by slowing the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which are both fibers that keep our skin looking firm and youthful. In females, the reduction of estrogen is associated with dry skin and wrinkles. Testosterone is what causes males’ skin to be thicker and more oily compared to that of females. Although males also see testosterone levels dip around age 30, this reduction is much more gradual compared to females’ sudden loss of estrogen during menopause.

Wrinkles

Both males and females will develop wrinkles as they age, but wrinkles begin earlier in men. However, they will develop in different areas with varying degrees of severity. For example, males generally get deeper forehead wrinkles and more prominent wrinkles underneath their eyes compared to females. Females see wrinkles appear first near the mouth and then in their lower cheeks. 

 

When Should I Begin Anti-Aging Treatments?

Most individuals do not start using anti-aging products until they notice moderate signs of aging. Prevention is key when it comes to anti-aging measures, both with cosmetic treatments and skincare. Prevention simply stops something from happening, whereas a cure is trying to undo the damage that has already been done. Therefore, if you can prevent your skin from showing signs of aging, not only will you keep your youthful look for many more years to come, but your skin will respond better to treatment in the future. In short, the earlier you begin taking preventative steps, the better off your skin will be.

 

Anti-Aging Skincare 

Anti-Aging skincare products, such as moisturizers and various serums, will never be able to completely stop the aging process. However, skincare with active ingredients, such as retinol and growth factors, may slow down the signs of aging and improve the skin’s overall appearance. The following are some of the best skincare products and ingredients to use for anti-aging purposes. 

Sunscreen 

Diligently using a sunscreen every day has been proven to help slow down the skin’s aging process. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, individuals who used a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily experienced 24 percent less skin aging than those individuals who only used sunscreen immediately. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a 9broad-spectrum sunscreen every day that you plan on being outdoors. The sun emits harmful rays year round, even on cloudy days. 

Retinoids 

Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives and are largely considered to be the gold standard of anti-aging skincare ingredients. Retinoids can not only help reduce the signs of natural aging, but they can also help repair sun damage to the skin. They stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

SkinDC recommends using retinoids every other day at first and then gradually working up to nightly applications because they can cause dry skin and irritation. Retinoids should only be used at night because they will increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. If you are not seeing any results after a few months of using an over-the-counter retinoid, it may be time to schedule an appointment with SkinDC to see if a prescription strength retinoid would be right for you. 

Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan found throughout the body’s connective tissue. Around 50 percent of the body’s total hyaluronic acid is present in the skin. Changes in the body’s level of hyaluronic acid, caused by aging or other external factors such as UV exposure, can lead to the formation of wrinkles. A study in 2014 showed that individuals who applied hyaluronic acid topically, twice daily, for 8 weeks, reported up to a 40 percent decrease in the depth of wrinkles and up to a 55 percent increase in skin firmness and elasticity. 

Growth Factors – SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum

Growth factors, such as SkinDC’s favorite SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum (which you can purchase here), are a great addition to your anti-aging skincare routine. SkinMedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum is a skin rejuvenating formula that visibly improves the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. Powered by TNS®– MR and Renessensce (RSC) Advanced, this combination encourages skin cell renewal and supports collagen and elastin levels revealing a smoother, more radiant and youthful complexion. In a clinical study performed with 45 male and female subjects, ages 37 to 70, that received TNS Advanced+ Serum twice daily for 24 weeks, subjects saw benefits such as smoother visible coarse wrinkles and fine lines, visibly lifted sagging skin, evened out appearance of skin tone and texture. 

 

Anti-Aging Non-Surgical Treatments 

The key to anti-aging is taking preventative measures and sometimes skincare doesn’t give the results that you may desire. At SkinDC, we have a variety of non-surgical treatments available to reduce the visible signs of aging. 

Chemical Peels 

Vitalize Peel 

The Vitalize Peel combines resorcinol, lactic, salicylic, and retinoic acid (at the aesthetician’s discretion) to offer dramatic improvement in texture and tone. The renewal process stimulates collagen production and improves pigmentation, acne, and melasma. The skin will appear healthier and more youthful with minimal downtime. 

Vi Peel 

The Vi Peel provides a gentle, yet potent, medical-grade chemical peel that removes the damaged, dull outer layer of the skin and allows the fresh, smooth underlying layer to emerge. The Vi Peel treats conditions such as fine lines and wrinkles, age and sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and enlarged pores. 

Laser Treatments 

Halo Resurfacing Laser 

The Halo Resurfacing Laser is a fractional resurfacing laser. Resurfacing refers to the category of laser treatments that involve an injury to the skin followed by skin healing. During the healing process, collagen and elastin develop in the skin which will improve texture, scars, pore size, and fine lines.

BroadBand Light Treatment 

Dermatologists use the BroadBand Light Treatment to treat several different skin conditions and patient concerns. At SkinDC, we find that BBL® is best at treating the discoloration that develops with chronic sun damage.  It minimizes the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, freckles, and diffuses background redness to even out skin tone. Pairing BBL® with a resurfacing laser that builds collagen is SkinDC’s favorite combination to address both aspects (discoloration and collagen loss) of chronic sun damage.

Injectables 

Botulinum Toxin Injections 

Botulinum toxin injections, such as Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport, are used for the treatment of facial wrinkles and are the most frequently performed cosmetic procedure in the United States. Injections of small quantities of botulinum toxin into specific overactive muscles cause localized muscle relaxation that smooths the overlying skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. The most common areas of treatment with botulinum toxin are horizontal forehead lines (frontalis), frown lines (glabellar complex), crow’s feet (orbicularis oculi), and laugh lines (nasolabial folds).

Dermal Fillers

Over time, there is bone resorption and fat loss resulting in a change in facial volume and shape. This leads to the classic signs of aging such as folds, wrinkles, bags under the eyes, and hollowed cheeks and temples. Dermal filler injections are a non-invasive procedure that fills out your wrinkles and rejuvenates lost volume in your face. 

Dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid to help restore volume beneath the surface of the skin in your cheeks, lips, under the eyes, around your nose, and mouth. 

Skin Tightening

FaceTite 

FaceTite is comparable to a surgical facelift, without large scars. The treatment provides a dramatic improvement in skin laxity on the face and neck, which was previously only attainable through a surgical procedure such as a face or neck lift. FaceTite utilizes minimally invasive radio-frequency energy to melt fat and tighten skin for a younger-looking complexion. 

Listen to SkinDC’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Cabin talk about the FaceTite treatment here: FaceTite at SkinDC

Ultherapy 

Ultherapy is another treatment used to help lift and tighten the skin without surgery; helping you achieve a more youthful look. Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen production in the lower levels of the skin. The safety and efficacy of Ultherapy have been established through multiple clinical studies and over 1 million treatments have been performed worldwide. Ultherapy is an FDA-cleared treatment on the neck, under the chin, and the brow. It is also used to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the chest. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk about Ultherapy here: Ultherapy at SkinDC

Exilis 

Exilis combines radiofrequency energy with ultrasound technology and it is the only device of its kind. One of the differences with the Exilis design in the handpiece can be used in many places on the body and is not limited to one or two areas as with many other systems. During the treatment, subsurface skin tissue gets heated to the point of coagulation. When this occurs, the coagulated collagen starts flushing out of the body and new tissue will replace it. The new collagen takes up the slack under the outer skin layers while other new tissue attracts and absorbs moisture to the treatment areas, generally creating optimal conditions for healthy skin. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk about Exilis here: Exilis at SkinDC

Microneedling 

Microneedling 

Microneedling uses very fine needles to create equally fine channels through the surface layer of the skin. Even though the body loses collagen at a rate of around one percent per year after a person reaches their mid-20s, the body’s ability to create new collagen remains. However, this ability stays dormant until an injury causes an automatic healing response in the body. Microneedling triggers the healing response, although it creates little to no damage due to the fine, solid needles that are used. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga, talk about the Halo Resurfacing Laser here: Microneedling at SkinDC

Morpheus8

Morpheus8 by InMode is a revolutionary technology that combines microneedling with radio frequency. The microneedles penetrate the skin to stimulate your body’s natural healing process, returning a fresh, youthful look to your skin. The radio frequency heats the deeper layers of the skin to precise temperatures that cause the fibro septal network to contract and pull your skin tighter. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk about Morpheus8 here: Morpheus8 Microneedling with RF by InMode at SkinDC

 

Anti-Aging Surgical Treatments 

For patients seeking more drastic and long-lasting results from their anti-aging treatments, there are many surgical options to receive the youthful look that you desire. At SkinDC we have a variety of facial plastic surgery options for patients. 

Facelift 

A facelift is the most effective way to restore youthfulness and treat the most obvious signs of aging in the face. Facelift surgery is one of the best ways to fight the signs of age, giving patients a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. A facelift procedure tightens the skin around the face, helping to get rid of unsightly skin folds, drooping jowls, loose skin, and excess fat. By eliminating loose skin and folds around the face, the elegant contours of the patient’s face are revealed. A facelift surgery leaves patients feeling more beautiful and youthful. 

Listen to SkinDC’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Cabin talk about the Face Lift procedure here: Facelift by Dr. Jonathan Cabin at SkinDC

Neck Lift 

A neck lift surgery is a cosmetic procedure that helps improve the appearance of the neck, helping create a more overall youthful appearance. As you age, drooping skin and excess fat around the neck can create jowl lines, excessive wrinkling, and a “turkey neck” that can detract from your natural beauty. Any excess or loose skin is pulled tight to the deep recesses of the neck, resulting in smoother and ticker skin around the neck.

Facial Fat Transfer 

Facial aging is classically thought to involve the sagging of skin, related to the cumulative effects of gravity. One of the major signs of aging is the loss of volume in various facial areas, leading to hollowness. A permanent solution is the use of fat, transferred from other areas of the body such as the stomach or legs. When transferred to the face, this fat can replace the lost volume, resulting in a more youthful appearance.

Listen to SkinDC’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Cabin, talk about facial fat transfer here: Fat Grafting by Dr. Jonathan Cabin at SkinDC

 

Say Hello to Laser Season!

Say Hello to Laser Season

As the leaves start changing and you break out your coziest sweater, it can only mean one thing: it’s Laser Season! Although we are sad to see summer go, healthier skin is right around the corner. Fall is the perfect time to discover which laser treatments are right for you, repair the damage the sun may have caused over the summer, and get your skin prepped and glowing for the holiday season. 

Why is Fall called “Laser Season”?

Fall is the ideal time for laser treatments for a multitude of reasons. Most laser treatments have strict after-care instructions to avoid sun exposure, which can be difficult during the summer months. Laser-treated skin is more sensitive than normal skin, thereby increasing the risk of hyperpigmentation. This hyperpigmentation can last more than one month after the laser treatment, depending on which treatment you receive and how intense the treatment is on your skin. By delaying laser treatments to the fall and winter, the risk of hyperpigmentation is significantly reduced. While laser treatments are cosmetic procedures, it is important to remember that they are still medical procedures.  All after-care instructions must be followed and proper precaution needs to be taken. 

Why Do We Not Recommend Laser Treatments in the Summer?

Due to the post-care regime of a laser treatment, which includes staying out of the sun, summer is not an ideal time to start laser treatments. During the summer months, the sun is more direct, the UV radiation is higher, and the days are longer. Summer is also warmer which increases blood flow to the skin that may affect healing after lasers. This means the summer sun increases melanin production in the skin. Additionally, since laser-treated skin is more sensitive to the sun, it can be difficult to prevent skin damage in the summer even when taking the proper precautions, including wearing sunscreen. 

Laser hair removal is an excellent example of why laser treatments during summer months are not advised. During a laser hair removal treatment, the laser is heating up the melanin in the patient’s hair follicle in order to destroy the cells that make the hair and keep it from re-growing. If there is more melanin in the skin due to sun exposure, the laser might not be able to accurately distinguish the melanin in the hair versus the melanin in the skin. This can result in the laser heating the pigment in the skin creating a burn which can lead to hyperpigmentation or even scarring. 

Can I Start my Laser Treatments in the Winter or Spring? 

While it is safe to begin your laser treatments in the winter or spring months, we recommend beginning treatments in the fall. Many laser treatments require several visits – ranging from one to six sessions.  A one-month period between each session is typically advised, which will be specified in your consultation with one of our providers depending on your skin goals. Starting in the fall is also recommended so that the patient can begin targeting damage that may have occurred over the previous summer and see results before the holiday parties begin.

What Laser Treatments are Offered at SkinDC? 

Laser treatments can address a multitude of skin concerns and cosmetic skin conditions, such as wrinkles, scars, acne, redness, tattoos, or unwanted hair. Not one laser treatment can fix all of your skin’s problems, so you must find the best laser treatment for your cosmetic needs. At SkinDC, we have eight types of laser treatments in total that work on repairing and revitalizing your skin. Not all lasers are perfect for everyone but our team of Board-Certified Dermatologists can create a customized treatment plan to help meet your skin goals.

BBL® BroadBand Light Treatment

The BBL® BroadBand Light Treatment uses broadband light to reduce background redness and the appearance of brown spots on the skin. Developed by Sciton, the BBL® device emits broad-spectrum photothermal energy, which absorbs brown pigment (melanin) in the skin and the hemoglobin in blood vessels that cause redness. 

Dermatologists use the BroadBand Light Treatment to treat several different skin conditions and patient concerns. While the BBL® can treat skin conditions such as rosacea, spider veins, and acne; we have the VBeam vascular laser that is more selective at removing unwanted red spots on the skin.  At SkinDC, we find that BBL® is best at treating the discoloration that develops with chronic sun damage.  It minimizes the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, freckles, and background diffuse redness in order to even out skin tone. Pairing BBL® with a resurfacing laser that builds collagen is SkinDC’s favorite combination in order to address both aspects (discoloration and collagen loss) of chronic sun damage.

During the treatment, the light energy delivered by the BBL® will gently heat melanin and hemoglobin in the upper layers of your skin. The heat absorbed by the targeted areas will lead to the removal of excess pigment and blood vessels. At SkinDC, we recommend periodic BBL® treatments to keep your skin clear and glowing over time. The BBL® BroadBand Light Treatment is the key to keeping your natural youthful skin by making it clearer, vibrant, and younger looking. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga, talk about the BBL® BroadBand Light Treatment here: BBL (BroadBand Light) at SkinDC

Halo Resurfacing Laser Treatment 

The Halo Resurfacing Laser, by Sciton, is a fractional resurfacing laser. Resurfacing refers to the category of laser treatments that involve an injury to the skin followed by skin healing. During the healing process, collagen and elastin develop in the skin which will improve texture, scars, pore size, and fine lines. While a conventional laser is a continuous single beam of light energy, a fractional laser takes that single beam and divides it into thousands of very tiny light energy beams or pixels. Since the full power of the laser splits into many fractional streams, the power of the laser spreads and moderates the effects on the treatment area(s) in order to create a controlled injury to the skin.  The skin responds to the injury by healing itself resulting in more collagen and elastin.

The Halo Resurfacing Laser also bridges the gap between ablative and non-ablative skin resurfacing treatments. Ablative resurfacing aggressively stimulates new collagen formation through precise vaporization of the skin. Since a larger injury is created, recovery time is longer than with non-ablative techniques. The Halo Resurfacing Laser is unique in that it delivers both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths of light, delivering the benefits of aggressive treatment with recovery times more in line with non-ablative treatment. The unique hybrid feature of the Halo Resurfacing Laser system simultaneously combines two types of resurfacing treatments within a single session. During the treatment, deep tissue non-ablative injury is combined with mild superficial ablation of the skin surface. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga, talk about the Halo Resurfacing Laser here: Halo Resurfacing Laser at SkinDC

PicoWay Resolve® Resurfacing Laser Treatment 

The PicoWay Resolve® Resurfacing Laser, from Candela, is an effective, non-invasive device that stimulates collagen growth and encourages cell turnover, leaving the patient with younger-looking skin. This laser works differently than a lot of the other lasers. PicoWay Resolve®  uses very targeted and short pulses measured in picoseconds (or trillionth of a second). These ultra-short pulses are focused leading to a “photoacoustic” effect, which avoids heating the skin that most resurfacing technologies cause. The disadvantage of heating the skin is that patients with darker skin tones had to avoid these treatments as the heat can stimulate the pigment cells resulting in hyperpigmentation. With the PicoWay Resolve®’s ultra-short pulses creating a mechanical injury, this treatment can be used on all skin types and skin tones. The PicoWay Resolve® stimulates new collagen which improves the appearance of acne scars, pore size, fine lines, and skin texture overall. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk about the PicoWay Resolve® Resurfacing Laser Treatment here: Pico Resolve Laser at SkinDC

ProFractional Laser Resurfacing Treatment 

Created by Sciton, the ProFractional laser treatment is a unique resurfacing technique that focuses on improving the overall quality of the skin. A ProFractional laser treatment is a fractional ablative resurfacing treatment that improves moderate-to-severe photoaging including severe wrinkles and traumatic, surgical, burn, and acne scars. 

Unlike full-field resurfacing techniques that remove the entire surface area of the treatment site, the ProFactional laser creates channels in the skin that have a more narrow diameter. In addition, ProFactional delivers a highly targeted laser beam into the skin and leaves a portion of the tissue intact, making the recovery from this treatment happen in a shorter time frame. The microscopic channels close in 2-3 days followed by 1-2 weeks of post-treatment redness.  

If you desire to have younger-looking skin and improve scarring, wrinkles, or sun damage while avoiding multiple treatments, then the ProFactional laser resurfacing treatment might be right for you. After the healing process is complete, you can expect your skin to appear tighter and smoother, with wrinkles and other skin imperfections dramatically lessened. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk about the ProFractional Laser Resurfacing Treatment here: Profractional Laser at SkinDC

Vbeam Vascular Laser Treatment 

The Vbeam Vascular Laser, designed by Candela, delivers an intense burst of yellow light to your skin. This light is specifically absorbed by the blood vessels in your skin. When these blood vessels are heated, they coagulate and are then reabsorbed by your body. The laser helps lessen or even eliminate the appearance of pink and red spots and patches on the skin. 

The Vbeam Vascular laser is a pulsed dye laser that is the gold standard for the treatment of many conditions that have an underlying vascular blood vessel cause. These conditions include rosacea, spider veins, new red scars, acne scars, red birthmarks, and port wine stains, angiomas, and uneven coloring of the neck. Vbeam targets hemoglobin, the red protein within blood cells, without damaging the surrounding cells or tissues. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga, talk about the Vbeam Vascular Laser Treatment here: Vascular Laser at SkinDC

Microlaser Peel Treatment 

The Microlaser peel treatment removes a portion of the dead skin layer (stratum corneum) and superficial epidermis to improve skin texture and pigmentation. This treatment by Sciton only removes the outermost layer of skin to help new, rejuvenated skin cells rise to the surface and promote healing. Using advanced erbium laser technology, the thin layer of skin is safely and precisely removed, replacing the dead skin cells in order to improve the texture and clarity of the patient’s skin. It has a similar mechanism of action to chemical peels but takes advantage of laser physics to lead to a precise and more predictable treatment result.

“Visually [the procedure] provides better luminosity to the skin. Light reflects skin better if you don’t have a thick, dead skin layer. Also, [the treatment] allows for increased cellular turnover of the top layers of the skin, known as the epidermis, so it does help indirectly pull off pigmentations,” says Dr. Terrence Keaney. The treatment strips away light and mild wrinkles easily and quickly with automated scanning and large coverage of the treatment area(s). The depth of the treatment is customizable up to 50um depending on the severity and depth of the wrinkle with the addition of coagulation as an independent setting to improve the turgor of the patient’s skin. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk more about the Microlaser Peel Treatment here: Microlaser Peel at SkinDC

PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal 

The PicoWay laser tattoo removal treatment, created by Candela, is the most innovative tattoo removal laser on the market today. Compared with the nanosecond technology of the past, today’s ultra-fast picosecond laser removal technology offers less risk and pain, faster results, a broader range of colors removed, and fewer treatment sessions. 

PicoWay utilizes three laser wavelengths. The first wavelength enables the treatment of shallow lesions and tattoo ink colors such as red, yellow and orange. The second wavelength allows for the treatment of deeper lesions and tattoo ink colors such as black and dark blue.  The third wavelength treats bright green and blue. Treatment is suitable for all skin types and tattoo colors. 

Despite what many think, the PicoWay Laser Tattoo does not get rid of the tattoo ink in your skin, but actually breaks up the ink so that your body is able to more quickly and effectively rid itself of the tattoo ink. Therefore, a patient will typically need six to ten treatments to fully break up the ink depending on the color of the tattoo. Colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges are more difficult to break up than blacks and dark blues. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk more about PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal here: Laser Tattoo Removal at SkinDC

GentleMax Pro™ Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a great option for patients who are looking to get rid of thick, dark, unwanted hair permanently. The GentleMax Pro™ laser hair removal machine from Candela targets the melanin in hair follicles, using single, specific wavelengths that are tuned to match the skin pigmentation of each patient. This means that our laser hair removal treatment will work on all skin types. However, due to the nature of laser hair removal targeting the melanin in the hair follicles, blonde/red hair and peach fuzz are not the targets of laser hair removal. 

Hair follicles grow in a cycle, though not in sync with each other, so several treatments will be necessary to catch follicles at their most vulnerable place in the growth cycle. The melanin in the hair follicles absorbs the energy produced from the laser source and heats up. This heating action destroys the follicle’s ability to grow hair, leading to complete hair removal once all follicles in each area are treated. 

Listen to SkinDC’s co-founder and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, talk more about Laser Hair Removal here: Laser Hair Removal at SkinDC

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.