Posts for: September, 2016
A E Skin held our fifth annual Red Carpet Event on Thursday September 22, 2016. This was another outstanding opportunity for new and returning patients to visit our office in a relaxed setting and learn about the many products and services we offer. At this event we featured our new Fractional CO2 laser treatment designed to address multiple aspects of aging including fine and deep wrinkles, dark spots, and acne scars. We had refreshments generously provided by Allergan, makers of Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, and Kybella. Our guests were able to take advantage of our one-night-only exclusive specials on all products and services including Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, and Kybella. Many of these products and treatments are now available on our online store. Each guest received a gift bag with goodies and we raffled off prizes at the end. We received generous support from Allergan (makers of Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, and Kybella), Skin Medica (makers of TNS Essential Serum and Latisse), and Alastin (makers of the Skin Nectar). Our guests had the opportunity to take photographs on the Red Carpet and to do video testimonials. The highlight of the evening was our raffle and best dressed contest. We raffled off prizes including products and services. We also held our popular Botox vial contest; each guest guesses the number of Botox vials in the container and the one with the closest guess wins 20 units of Botox. We had four beautiful contestants in our best dressed contest. The winner, Carmen, will receive a free Ultimate Rejuveantion treatment ($2,300 value). We had such a great time and thank all of our valued patients for their attendance. We look forward to another great time at our Holiday Party in December.
Acne is a common condition in people of all ages. Not only are acne breakouts concerning for people, but so is what is left on the skin after a breakout such as irregular texture and color.
What is the difference between an acne scar and a discoloration?
While both irregular texture and color after acne breakouts are commonly referred to as acne scars, true acne scars are only the textural irregularities in the skin. These are the indentations (atrophic scars) that can be felt on the skin when passing a finger over it. Dark spots left over are called PIH, which stands for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is important to distinguish between acne scars and PIH because they are treated differently.
How do acne scars form?
Acne scars commonly form after acne breakouts. Usually this happens when the pimples are picked at or popped. Proper extraction can remove the pus from the skin, calm down the skin, and make the breakouts go away faster. However, if the pimple (comedone) is popped inside the skin, the pus is not able to come out and it is released into the skin. The skin detects this as an insult and a reaction is formed to address it. This leads to the breakdown of collagen, the protein that keeps the skin firm and tight. This results in the indentations we see called acne, or atrophic, scars.
How does PIH form?
PIH stands for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is when the skin gets darker. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, therefore, is when the skin gets darker after inflammation. And inflammation can occur for various reasons such as sun exposure (which leads to tans), cuts, burns, acne, laser treatments, etc. People with darker skin have more natural pigment and are at an increased risk of developing PIH.
How do you treat acne scars?
Acne scars are best treated with fractional lasers such as the Fractional CO2 laser or the Pro Fractional Therapy. These laser treatments form tiny holes in the skin. This leads to microscopic levels of inflammation in the skin, causing the skin to form new, fresh, and healthy collagen. So the damaged collagen that is in the scars is replaced with normal collagen, which provides a smooth appearance on the skin surface. The areas around the holes are left untreated; this allows for faster recovery times. Often times a series of three to six treatments are required. Treatments can be done every four to eight weeks. It is important to understand that collagen does not form overnight, it forms slowly. So results are not seem immediately and patience is important. It could take up to a year or sometimes more to see full results.
How do you treat PIH?
PIH is best treated by preventing it in the first place. The risk of PIH can be minimized by using a good skin care regimen such as the A E Skin products. The A E Skin Brightening Cream contains hydroquinone and kojic acid, which brighten the skin and prevent PIH. It also contains retin-A which stimulates cell turnover, keeping the surface fresh. The A E Skin Exfoliating Serum removes the dead skin cells from the surface, which allows for any pigment to be exfoliated. The A E Skin Triple Antioxidant Serum contains vitamins C and E to prevent discolorations, provide a glow, and stimulate collagen. The A E Skin Hydrating Serum contains hyaluronic acid which draws water into the skin to counteract dryness that can occur from the other products. It is important to recognize those at risk for PIH and pre-treat such people’s skin with these products for one to two months prior to a treatment. Those with darker skin types are at a higher risk for PIH. PIH can be further treated with chemical peels and laser treatments such as the Forever Young BBL IPL photofacial.
Do you suffer from acne scars and PIH? Contact us for a free consultation with Dr. Alex in our Encino, CA or Beverly Hills, CA offices. Dr. Alex has performed over ten thousand cosmetic treatments with many satisfied patients.
The Forever Young BBL IPL photofacial is one of our most popular treatments for facial rejuvenation at A E Skin. With the Sciton Forever Young BBL we are able to treat just about any skin type. There are specific risks of laser treatments in people with darker skin types. But when appropriate settings are used the treatment is very safe.
What are the risks of IPL for people with dark skin?
People with dark skin have a tendency to get dark easily after any type of insult to the skin such as sun exposure, acne breakouts, cuts, burns, and laser treatments. This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which means darkening of the skin after inflammation.
How can I prevent PIH?
In order to prevent PIH Dr. Alex recommends using a good skin care regimen such as the A E Skin line of products: Brightening Cream, Exfoliating Serum, Triple Antioxidant Serum, and Hydrating Serum. These products contain a number of ingredients which prevent PIH including hydroquinone, kojic acid, tretinoin, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Using these products for one to two months prior to a laser treatment significantly decreases the likelihood of PIH.
What does IPL do?
IPL uses bright light to rejuvenate the skin. The two primary targets of IPL are melanin (which gives skin the pigment) and hemoglobin (which is in the blood). This allows for treatment of dark spots, age spots, uneven tone, redness, and broken capillaries. The same melanin that is in discolorations is also in the skin, so the laser targets both of these. We do not want to target the natural pigment in the skin, only the darker spots. And since those with darker skin types have more melanin in the skin, adjustments need to be made.
How is IPL safe in darker skin types?
The Forever Young BBL IPL photofacial device by Sciton is very versatile and allows Dr. Alex to adjust a number of settings and parameters in order to treat darker skin types safely and effectively. The first setting that Dr. Alex adjusts is the wavelength (or color) of light. Lower wavelengths (blue and green) target pigment more strongly than higher wavelengths (orange and red). For people with darker skin types Dr. Alex uses higher wavelengths for safety. This is easily adjusted with a variety of filters available. The next setting that is adjusted is the fluence (or energy per unit area). Lower fluences are used for darker skin types. The pulse width is the length of time the laser is on. The shorter the pulse width the more aggressive the treatment. Longer pulse widths are used for darker skin types. The temperature of the laser tip can also be adjusted. Lower temperatures allow for safer treatments in darker skin types.
So the next time someone tells you that darker skin types cannot be treated with laser, contact us. Dr. Alex uses the Forever Young BBL IPL photofacial device by Sciton and has performed over 8,000 laser treatments. With this device Dr. Alex has improved the skin of many satisfied patients. Contact us for a free consultation with Dr. Alex.
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Kendra Wilkinson when she visited Dr. Alex at A E Skin for a Botox treatment. The star of Kendra On Top and formerly The Girls Next Door finally "gave in" and had a treatment while her BFF Jessica captured the experience on her phone and posted it on Snapchat. While Kendra Wilkinson was nervous at first, with Dr. Alex's painless Botox technique the treatment was very comfortable. Kendra Wilkinson rated it as a 2/10 on the pain scale, and she admitted that she is a baby: "So I got my first Botox treatment today by Dr. Alex at @a_e_skin and I felt so comfortable and am so happy with how everything went." After the treatment Kendra Wilkinson said it was amazing and that Dr. Alex "popped my cherry."