Posts for: August, 2017
Why do we get loose skin?
One of the most common concerns with aging is looseness of the skin which is characterized by fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. This occurs naturally over time due to loss of collagen. Collagen is the protein in the skin that is responsible for maintaining the structure of the skin. When there is a lot of collagen in the skin (as in youth), the skin appears firm, tight, bright, and youthful in appearance. Over time the amount of collagen that the body naturally produces decreases. At the same time collagen is degraded faster and faster. Collagen can be degraded by a number of factors including sun exposure, chemicals, pollution, and dietary food. Those with darker skin types have natural protection from the sun and this damage is seen more slowly.
How does laser skin tightening work?
Laser skin tightening uses gently micro-pulses of infrared light to slowly heats up the skin. This causes damage to the collagen in the skin. As a result, the body is stimulated to form its own natural, new, fresh, and healthy collagen in the skin. This leads to an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, tighter skin, and decreased laxity.
Laser Skin Tightening Demonstration
What areas can be treated with laser skin tightening?
Laser skin tightening can be performed on just about any area of the body. The most common areas of treatment with laser skin tightening include the cheeks and neck. This helps tighten the skin and can improve jawline definition as seen in the photographs shown here.
What are the modifications in the laser skin tightening treatment?
Dr. Alex now uses higher settings on the laser for laser skin tightening treatments. Also, more energy is used during each laser skin tightening treatment, providing enhanced results. Finally, the laser skin tightening treatment is performed by heating one small area at a time to deliver maximal effects.
How many laser skin tightening treatments will I need?
When will I see the results of the laser skin tightening treatment?
The results are seen slowly over time as the collagen begins to form in the skin. While some people see results after only one or two laser skin tightening treatments, it can take two or more months to see results. We always take before and after photographs to monitor our patients’ progress.
What will I look like after the laser skin tightening treatment?
There may be a slight amount of redness and swelling after a laser skin tightening treatment. However, this resolves in approximately one hour. After the laser skin tightening treatment avoid heat exposure, alcohol consumption, and strenuous exercise for 24 hours. Be sure to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 every day.
How long does the laser skin tightening treatment take?
The laser skin tightening treatment is fast. The treatment itself takes about 15 minutes for the neck or cheeks.
Does laser skin tightening hurt?
The laser skin tightening treatment slowly heats of the skin and is very comfortable. Numbing cream is not necessary. Most people describe it as similar to a hot stone massage and actually find it very relaxing.
Acne scars are a common concern and treatment can be very frustrating. Fortunately, we are able to treat acne scars and make your skin look young again.
What are acne scars?
It is important to understand what acne scars are and what they are not. A common misconception is that acne scars are the dark discolorations left over on the skin after an acne breakout. These are not true scars. Instead they are discolorations known as PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). True acne scars are irregularities in the texture of the skin after a breakout, or more commonly after a pimple is popped under the skin. These irregularities are seen as indented or atrophic scars that can be felt when touching the skin. The reason it is important to differentiate between PIH and true acne scars is because the treatments are different.
How do acne scars form?
When acne breakouts appear, many people have the urge to pop the pimple. If done properly and the pus is extracted, the breakout can be improved significantly. However, often times the pimple or pustule is popped under the skin, releasing the pus into the skin. This leads to an inflammatory reaction in the skin whereby the body tried to attack the material here. The inflammation leads to destruction of collagen, the protein that keeps the surface of the skin smooth. As a result, the smoothness is lost and indented or atrophic scars form.
How are acne scars treated?
Before treating acne scars, it is important to first have the active acne under control. If not, then new scars may form. When treating the scars themselves, it is necessary for the skin to form its own natural, new, fresh, and healthy collagen. This will smoothen out the surface of the skin. The best way to stimulate such collagen is by using fractional laser resurfacing such as the fractional CO2 laser.
How does the fractional CO2 laser work?
The fractional CO2 laser works by creating thousands of microscopic holes in the skin and generating heat. This heat stimulates the body to form its own natural, new, fresh, and healthy collagen, which leads to a smooth texture. Since the entire skin is not treated with a fractional CO2 laser treatment, the intact and untreated skin surrounding each hole allows for fast recovery. It takes time for collagen to grow and the full results after a single fractional CO2 laser treatment are seen three to six months after the treatment. Since acne scars tend to be deep a series of three to six fractional CO2 laser treatments may be required; such fractional CO2 laser treatments are performed every three months. Full results are seen approximately twelve months after the final fractional CO2 laser treatment.
Botox Mechanism of Action
To understand the details of exactly how Botox works requires a small amount of basic anatomy and physiology knowledge. Muscles that are used for facial expression (examples of skeletal muscles) contract when there is an innervation by a nerve, meaning that the nerve sends a signal to the muscle telling it to contract. This occurs at a point called the neuromuscular junction, the attachment of the nerve to the muscle. The nerve releases a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine into the space between the nerve and muscle called the synaptic cleft. The acetylcholine then binds to the membrane of the muscle. This binding triggers the muscle to contract. Botox prevents release of acetylcholine from the end of the nerve into the synaptic cleft. This prevents the signal from being passed to the muscle and it prevents the muscle from contracting, thereby relaxing the muscle.
Common Areas of Treatment with Botox
The most common areas of treatment with Botox are in the upper face. These include the horizontal lines seen on the upper forehead when one raises the brows, the vertical lines seen between the brows when one frowns, and the crow's feet seen around the eyes when one smiles.
Patient Assessment for Botox Treatments
A full assessment for a Botox treatment requires a formal exam in the office where the skin can be viewed in multiple angles and with and without facial expressions. In our office, we take standardized photographs to monitor our patients’ progress. The photographs are taken with a clean face, consistent lighting, consistent background, with jewelry and makeup removed, and with clothing covered. These are taken in five different angles, one straight on, two profile photographs, and two oblique photographs. These five photographs are taken of patients with a neutral expression. Additionally, multiple sets of photographs are taken depending on the area to be treated. For example, if the frown lines are being treated five more photographs are taken in the same positions, but with the patient frowning. This allows for monitoring of the patient’s progress. It helps a person remember what someone looked like prior to a treatment and to observe the improvement from a treatment. It can also be used if correction is necessary as it will show the areas that require additional units of Botox.
Isn’t it time that you understand exactly what your skin type needs to look its best?
While everyone knows to wash their skin everyday, it’s amazing how many people don’t truly understand what their skin needs apart from daily cleansing. The products you use, how you use them and other daily habits can play a large role in the health of your skin. Our Encino, CA, dermatologist, Dr. Alex Eshaghian, is here to share how to properly care for your skin based on its type.
You Have Dry Skin
If your skin feels tight and itchy after you wash it then you could have dry skin. Besides skin that feels dry, tight, flaky or itchy, you may also notice lines around the eyes or mouth.
Skin Care Tips for Dry Skin: You will find that being too rough or aggressive with your skin can actually make dryness and agitation worse. Always be gentle with your skin, especially when washing your face. Opt for a gentle cleanser and avoid hot water (only use lukewarm water). Finish up your skincare regime with a cream-based moisturizer. Also, remember to always apply sunscreen daily.
You Have Oily Skin
You notice that your skin often looks greasy, shiny or oily. As a result, pores may look enlarged and visible. You may also find yourself prone to breakouts.
Skin Care Tips for Oily Skin: While you may be tempted to wash your face multiple times a day, this can actually make oily skin worse. You should only wash your face twice a day (in the morning and at night).
And you may think you can just skip moisturizers altogether, but you shouldn’t. Look for a lightweight moisturizer to apply each day to help keep oil glands from working overtime. Also, remember to always apply sunscreen daily.
You Have Combination Skin
With combination skin you may notice that while certain areas of your face are normal or perhaps even a little dry, your forehead, chin and nose are oily (this area is known as the T-zone). If you have an oily T-zone but the rest of your face seems normal then you could have combination skin.
Skin Care Tips for Combination Skin: This can be a bit more frustrating to tackle since the skincare products you’ll find on the market won’t tailor to both oily and dry/normal skin. You’ll need to consider products for both. If you are unsure of which products to use to tackle combination skin then this is the perfect time to talk to our Encino skin doctor. Also, remember to always apply sunscreen daily.
You Have Normal Skin
Lucky you! This means that no areas of your skin are either oily or dry and pores are small and barely visible.
Skin Care Tips for Normal Skin: One of the best things about having normal skin is that you can pick and choose the kinds of products that will work best for you, while paying attention to any issues that may still arise along the way. Continue to follow a daily regime of washing your face twice a day, using a gentle cleanser and then applying a moisturizer right after. Also, remember to always apply sunscreen daily.
If you have questions about skin care or the dermatological services we offer, then call AE Skin in Encino, CA, today to learn more about the best ways to keep your skin healthy and happy.
We are excited to announce the publication of Dr. Alex’s new book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Botox. This book is written for our patients and their friends who are interested in learning more about Botox. Dr. Alex has performed over 10,000 cosmetic treatments over the past eight years. During this time, he has treated thousands of patients and answered many questions. From this experience, he has compiled a great deal of information for his patients. This book includes all of this information. Below is an excerpt from the first chapter.
Welcome to the world of Botox. This book is written for the layperson who may or may not know what Botox is and what it does, but would like to learn more about it.
Dr. Alex’s book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Botox is now available for purchase directly through our online store.
The book contains six chapters:
- Background Information
- How Botox Works and How It is Used
- Risks, Side Effects, and Corrections
- More Information
- Botox Before and After Photographs
Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD (“Dr. Alex”) was raised in Los Angeles, CA. He attended UCLA for college and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology in 1998. Dr. Alex completed his medical education at the prestigious Vanderbilt University Medical Scientist Training Program in Nashville, TN with scholarships from the National Institutes of Health and the Canby Robinson Society, receiving both MD and PhD degrees. Dr. Alex completed his post-graduate training in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He subsequently trained in cosmetic medicine through independent courses and with distinguished doctors in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Alex also has had clinical training in dermatology at Vanderbilt University, UC Irvine, USC, UCLA, University of New Mexico, Veteran’s Affairs Hospitals in Nashville, TN, Albuquerque, NM, Long Beach, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, as well as in various private clinics in southern California. He is certified in the injection of Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers as well as in the use of lasers for cosmetic applications and has performed over 10,000 cosmetic treatments. Dr. Alex has received many accolades including Phi Beta Kappa, College Honors, Departmental Honors, Goldenkey International Honour Society, and Mortar Board National Honors Society.
In addition to his clinical training, Dr. Alex has extensive experience in medical research. His interest in research began at UCLA when he worked in a nephrology lab. He then spent four years in a molecular biology lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA. His dissertation in graduate school was in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology where he studied genetic factors involved in photo-aging of the skin and in non-melanoma skin cancer. He has given oral and poster presentations at numerous conferences including the American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology, American Society for Human Genetics, and THE Aesthetic Show. He has publications in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and Cardiovascular Toxicology. He is also a contributing author for the Textbook of Aging Skin.