The Buff and Shine Treatment, a term coined by us here at Skin Physicians and Surgeons, is ideal for the individual that struggles with acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, brown spots or skin laxity (saggy or loose skin). This procedure combines skin blading to remove unwanted peach fuzz on the face along with a fractionated mixto laser resurfacing treatment. Due to this new technology, in as little as one treatment, the Buff and Shine Treatment can give you healthy, younger, more vibrant looking skin.
First we “buff” the skin by preforming skin blading. This part of the procedure utilizes a sharp blade to shave off peach fuzz and dead skin cells covering the surface of the face. After that a numbing cream is applied to the face for about 20 minutes. After the face is numbed we preform a treatment with the a fractionated CO2 laser. This procedure is fractional meaning that it is only exposing a part of the skin at a time to the laser. This means less downtime and less risk of scaring. The procedure is very tolerable.
The Mixto laser works by using tiny beams of light penetrating into the top layers of the skin. When the procedure is finished you will see these tiny little dots on the skin. Those little dots will flake off and reveal rejuvenated skin. The flaking process takes about 3-5 days. During that time you can continue your normal skin care routine and wear make-up. There is essentially zero downtime to this procedure. To see the best results, a series of treatments are needed.
Buff and Shine is a suitable treatment for almost anyone: the combination of removing the dead skin layer then using a laser to rejuvenate can help achieve beautifully textured and evened-out skin! Add it to your skin care repetoire.
Is anyone else ready for summer time? I sure am. When we start thinking about summer time and hair removal it’s often too late to start treatments. Most laser treatments require you to avoid the sun or be very careful about avoiding the sun after the treatment. Patients must also wait until their tan has faded from the previous summer before receiving most laser treatments. Now is a great time to get started. Another advantage of undergoing laser treatments during this time of year is that most lasers require a series of applications to yield optimal results. For example, laser hair removal typically requires 5-7 treatments, while vein reduction with sclerotherapy usually requires 2-3 treatments, etc. Therefore, it’s wise to give yourself a little extra lead time if you want to be able to show off your results on that beach vacation you’re planning this summer.
Laser hair removal is the best way to permanently reduce unwanted hair. Laser Hair Removal will not remove 100% of your hair. Typically it removes 70-85% of the hair, but the hair that is left is thinner, finer and grows in slower. Laser hair removal involves a beam of highly concentrated pulses of light penetrating through the skin being absorbed by hair follicles. The heat that is generated will ultimately destroy the hair and it’s potential for regrowth. Learn more about laser hair removal in the above video.
I discussed how lasers can work to treat acne in this previous post. Below is a video of the laser in action. First, a lotion is applied to the face that contains very small carbon particles, small enough in size to settle into the pores. With the first pass of the Tri-Beam laser, heat is generated within these particles, which destroy the bacteria, called P.acnes, which resides within our pores and cause acne. The second pass removes the carbon lotion on the surface of the skin by disrupting these tiny carbon particles, thereby superficially peeling the skin and efficiently cleaning out and shrinking the pores. It’s pretty neat to watch the carbon lotion being removed. Enjoy!
Do you have a tattoo that once seemed to be a good idea, but now you want removed? You’re not alone. Over 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. I’ve seen a statistic that says 20% of people regret their tattoo within one week of getting it. Laser tattoo removal has proven to be the safest and most effective form of tattoo removal.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
The laser light is delivered to the tattoo so rapidly that the ink is broken up into tiny particles. These fragmented ink particles are safely cleared by the body through its own processes. The tattoo will fade after each treatment.
Will the tattoo completely disappear?
In some cases, the tattoo will disappear completely, while in others it will usually be lightened significantly. The ability to completely remove a tattoo depends on several factors, including size, location, type of ink and depth of ink.
Does it hurt?
In so many words: yes. However, the use of topical numbing medicine greatly reduces the discomfort and for most tattoos the treatment only takes a few minutes.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Every patient and tattoo is different. Homemade tattoos with dark ink can be removed in just a few sessions spread 6-8 weeks apart. Professional tattoos are usually deeper, larger and vary in color. These usually require more sessions.
Are there any side effects?
There is a low risk of scarring. Redness and/or discoloration can occur, but is typically temporary.
Melasma is a condition that causes brown to grey-brown patches to form on the face, it is thought to be related to hormones so women are far more likely than men to get this condition. Since hormones are also a trigger factor, melasma is common during pregnancy and often called “the mask of pregnancy”. Melasma can sometimes fade on its own after giving birth or when a women stops birth control pills, but when Melasma does not fade on it’s own it can be very difficult to treat. Treatment options for Melasma include bleaching creams, chemical peels and laser treatments. In the above video you can see how I treat Melasma with the TriBeam Laser, an effective and painless treatment for this frustrating condition.
Acne treatments are not one size fits all. If topical treatments are not working for you or if you are looking to accelerate your results laser treatments may be an option to consider.
There are many different lasers that may be used to treat acne, but typically they work in one of three ways:
The laser will heat overactive sebaceous (oil) glands causing them to shrink so they produce less oil.
Some acne is caused by bacteria that are normally found on your skin. The laser can destroy bacteria by creating oxygen within the trapped pore which destroys the bacteria causing the inflammation.
Lastly, some lasers shrink and clear out pores by exfoliating the superficial outer layer of dead skin cells.
In addition to helping prevent new acne from forming, some laser treatments can also help diminish the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. These laser treatments accelerate the healing process and stimulate collagen remodeling, an important step in the long-term treatment of acne.
These type of laser treatments typically have very little downtime. The Tribeam Laser that I use in my office will make the skin slightly pink for a few hours but things are back to normal the next day.
So what’s the downside to this treatment? The cost. Insurance companies usually will not cover this procedure. Expect to fork over anywhere between $200-$400 per treatment.
It typically takes a series of treatments to see the best results. Laser treatments are by no means the end all be all as far as acne treatments go. Acne can be a very difficult condition to treat and you have to find out what treatment is best for you. If you are considering laser treatments for acne make sure your provider goes over all of your acne treatment options to ensure you are making an informed decision.
Burns secondary to Laser Hair Removal Treatment. Courtesy of Dr. Sandra Lee
When done properly Laser Hair Removal is an amazing procedure for permanent hair removal (no more ingrowns, yeah!). However, when preformed by someone untrained or on the wrong setting the treatment can cause painful burns in sensitive areas. Laser hair removal is an immensely popular procedure. Nearly half a million treatments were preformed by dermatological surgeons in 2011, according to The American Society for Dermatological Surgery. There are an unknown number of procedures preformed by untrained professionals with minimal training. Laws vary from state to state on who can legally preform laser treatments. Only 26 states require on-site medical supervision and 11 states do not have any laws regulating it. The danger of this treatments lies in the hands of the operator. The operator is the one who chooses the settings for the laser which varies patient to patient depending on skin coloring, hair thickness and area of the body being treated. If an untrained provider chooses a setting too high for a particular patient this can lead to painful, permanent scarring.
Here are factors for you to consider for those considering laser hair removal:
Is the facility owned by a medical doctor and are they on-site during the procedure? Physician Assistants are the ones who preform the Laser Hair Removal treatments in my office, however there is always a physician on site.
Interview the person who is doing the treatment. Ask how long they’ve been doing the procedure, how often they perform the procedure and if they have experience with treating your skin color and the desired area.
Have a test spot preformed with the laser. If a small patch is tested with the laser at least 24 hours prior to the treatment we can observe if the skin has any side effects such as burning or blistering prior to treating an entire area.
Stay out of the sun. Having the procedure preformed while the skin is tan increases chances for burning and blistering.
Stay away from bargain Laser Hair Removal. That $99 groupon seems pretty tempting, huh? Bargain laser hair removal is usually too good to be true. Most of these deals are at medspas where there can be a lack of physician supervision. Choosing a board-certified dermatologist office will ensure a greater level of training.
This shouldn’t scare you away from this great treatment, only empower you to make an educated decision on who you choose to preform your treatments.
Join me next week for my “All About Acne” Lecture. I will be discussing different causes of acne, various treatments, separating acne fact from fiction and everything else you’d want to know about this annoying condition that can pop up during any point in our lives. Gift bags and raffle prizes for all attendants!
So many patients will ask me, “When should I start worrying about my face?. My answer: “It’s never too early to start.” But WHERE do you start? You would not believe some of the BS my patients are told by the sales girl at their local beauty store/cosmetic counter about skin care and procedures. I will be separating fact from fiction for you.
I’m doing two beauty seminars soon to teach you everything you need to know about various cosmeceutical products, sunscreens, chemical peels, Botox, Fillers, Micropen Treatments, Dermaplaning, leg vein treatments, pore size treatment, wrinkle treatments, laser treatments for brown spots, acne, blood vessels and much more!
I’ve broken up my beauty seminars into age groups (because someone in their 20’s is going to be focused on different treatments than someone in their 50’s.)
Beauty maintenance can be so time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice to “shave” off a few minutes of your morning routine? Some things like brushing your teeth are a twice a day must, but what if I told you there is a permanent solution to one of women’s most despised maintenance woes? Laser hair removal is in short, AMAZING. Can you imagine shaving only 2 times a month as opposed to every other day? Let’s talk about no more ingrown hairs too (dream!) Here are 7 informational tips on deciding if laser hair removal is right for you.
1. Dark Hair Only. The laser is attracted to the color in the hair, not the hair itself, so this procedure does not work on blonde or grey hairs.
2. The Thicker The Better. Laser Hair Removal works better on thick course hairs vs fine/peach fuzz hair. While you can see improvement to fine hair you will get much better results with course hair, like armpit and bikini hair.
3. Put Down The Tweezers. You have to stop waxing/plucking/threading the area for 4 weeks prior to getting treated. You need the root of the hair present and in full force in order to get the most effective treatment.
4. Have Realistic Expectations. Laser Hair Removal will not remove 100% of the hair, it will remove about 80-85% of the hair but the hair that is left is much finer and grows in slower. Daily shaving is no longer necessary, about 2 times a month will do the trick.
5. Plan Ahead. Have a Cabo trip planned next month? Well you’re a little late to start your laser hair removal process. Laser hair removal can take anywhere from 5-12 sessions depending on the type of laser being used and your skin tone. The sessions are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Winter is really the best time to start working on getting bikini ready.
6. Follow Through On Treatments. Did you see great results after one treatment? If you don’t finish out your treatments that hair can start to grow right back. Laser Hair Removal is kind of like attacking an army when they’re down. If you let them re-gain their strength they’ll come at you full force. You need the full set of recommended treatments to see permanent results.
7. Find Someone Reputable. Lasers are powerful medical devices. You should do your research on the medical office and have a pre-treatment consultation with the provider doing the treatments. Any laser can potentially cause damage to your skin and permanent scaring. Don’t skimp on these kinds of treatments. If the price is too good to be true there is usually a reason why.