Monday, September 19, 2016

Loose the turkey neck

Before gobble day arrives, get rid of your gobble! hahaha!!
For real though, these treatments are fantastic because they actually work! Seriously, removing unwanted fat below the chin has never been easier. Also, once you remove that fat, the skin tends to retract, taking years off your face! There are 2 non-invasive solutions to choose from now!!! Less than a year ago there were zero non-invasive solutions for that fat pocket.
The first one is Coolsculpting. As you know, I had coolsculpting on my abdomen (and still love it) but they recently developed an applicator small enough that it can be used under the chin. Typically, two treatments are needed but this depends on how much volume you have. With one treatment you can expect to reduce the volume by 20-25% but with 2 treatments, you would see 40% or more! You will be measured to ensure you are the right candidate, because there has to be enough fat to fill the cup. If it's not enough fat, don't worry I am getting to that!

In this photo the client is getting measured by the technician with that device the arrow is pointing to, so that we can ensure this is the right treatment for her.

The procedure itself is fairly simple. You come in, get photos, get you hooked up for your treatment, the cooling begins and in one hour you are done. It gets so cold that you go numb, so it's pretty painless. It feels like that sensation when you hold ice on your skin for too long and it starts stinging. Not too bad for getting that fat to go away! The applicator is placed under your chin, it's pretty comfortable and you can play with your phone or take a nap. It takes 45 minutes to complete. Then the applicator is removed, the area is massaged and viola!!! You are done! Simple as that. There is a possibility of swelling, but everyone is different and it's typically minor swelling (if any) that goes away in 24-48 hours.

Now! If you don't have quite enough to fit in the Coolscupting applicator, then here is treatment #2! (and it's also a superb treatment, so really it's an equal alternative)

Kybella is an injectable alternative to the Coolsculpting Mini. It literally melts the fat once injected. Your injector will map out exactly where to put the product, as it's spread throughout the entire area. The injections are administered and your treatment will start working immediately! As it takes effect, swelling sets in and the inflammation for about a week. The advantage here, however, is that it's possible you may get a tad more tightening from this than you do the Mini. This treatment takes anywhere from 2-6 treatments and a vial is typically recommended for each treatment. I don't perform this treatment, but have seen the transition of those who have received it and results are great!

Above, the treatment area is mapped out and the Kybella is being administered.
Then!!!! There is a sneaky option that my co-worker Sandy Lanier (Physicians Assistant at Hall Plastic Surgery) came up with. She says that if there is a lot of volume, the fat pocket can be "de-bulked" with Coolsculpting first. This way you avoid that swelling initially from Kybella and still have the fat reduced. Once that process is complete (about a month later), follow up on that fat pocket with Kybella and get more fat reduction and tightening. It makes sense to me!

No one would volunteer to let me use their photos, so google it. Sorry ya'll! Honestly, the ads are true. We see amazing results with these two treatments regularly and because everyone responds differently, see a provider for specific answers on your goals. Being informed is a good start though! :) I do the Coolsculpting, so come see me at Hall Plastic Surgery if you are ready to start!

As always, feel free to leave comments or email me with questions. Sending you lots of love!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Treating hyperpigmentation

There are many effective ways available but understand that it takes time to successfully treat pigmentation. It took time to build up that level of sun damage, so it takes time to break it down.

The best way to treat stubborn hyperpigmentation is to combine both treatments and product. What you put on the skin daily dictates it's daily behavior, and sunscreen is a must. Treatments break it up and allow the skin care to get deeper into the skin and treat it more effectively. The best treatments vary according to the type of sun damage you have.

With hormonal pigmentation I prefer to treat it with chemical peels and cold lasers (such as the red LED lights). Both methods are safe and effective. The LED red or green  light therapy has zero downtime and can be done on your lunch break, but you need to do them once a week, every week for 4-6 months. That means 4 or 6 treatments total done over 4 to 6 weeks.

LED treatment above

Depending on which peel you do, you will peel for about a week following your treatment. Pictured below, I had a medium depth peel. The peeling with medium depths is not as bad as it's rumored to be. Photo is courtesy of the internet.

^Not going to happen^
HAHA! Everyone expects Samantha's down time, but that would typically be from a deeper peel like a TCA (Obagi Blue Peel) or a CO2 peel. Below is a photo from when I did a medium depth peel to target pigmentation. It starts around the mouth and works its way back into the hairline. Dang!! I had some filler in my lips then. Maybe I should do that

3 Days Post Peel

UV induced, chemically induced and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are easier to treat because it responds beautifully to the IPL or AFT. These lasers literally pull the brown spots out of the skin, but it needs to be done in a series of treatments. It would not require as many treatments as the LED light, but it does have a week of  minimal "down time". You cannot get any sun on your skin safely after this treatment for a couple of weeks, at least, so this is best to do in fall or winter months.

photos courtesy of Alma lasers

The skin care you choose makes a big difference, as well. First of all, protection is key. If you are investing in your skin protect it from future damage, please! An spf of 35 or higher and purchase from medspas or doctors offices are your best bet. They actually meet claims they make. Ask an aesthetician what you should use for your skin type. It can be tricky! I will cover that in another blog post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Understanding Sun Spots

This is the time of year that people start asking about pigmentation. We have been worshipping the sun and loving every minute, until it shows up on our faces. (I am choosing to omit tanning beds, because I know none of you are careless enough for that one! hahahahaha)

Discolored skin is one of the most common conditions treated in medspas everywhere. Regardless of how much we protect our skin, that UV light is strong and it still leaves a mark on our skin. Our skin also has a memory and the damage done in past years can start to surface as early as age 30.

Uneven tone or dark patches seem like the same thing, but to the trained eye, they are not all equal. There are 4 different categories of hyperpigmentation:
^This is Dr. Obagi's image explaining pigmentation ^

UV Induced is sun damage. It is created from years of sun damage. It can first presents itself as little freckles that grow with time and become "sun spots" or they can show up later in life as if you now have freckles. They start to pop up later in life without warning. They are reflected in the image above as brown spots.
<Sun Damage

Melasma, commonly referred to as pregnancy mask, has a quick onset. Literally one day it is not there, the next day you are on a boat in Cancun and at the end of that glorious day you look in the mirror to see that you have stains on your face that won't go away. It is the result of hormones and sun exposure. Birth control or pregnancy plus sun exposure can trigger this into action.

My sun damage!
Look at the concentrated spots, like above the lip or mid forehead. That's melisma.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is the purple or brown color that lingers following a scar or any damage to the skin, whether it is superficial or deep. Darker skin tones are more prone to this, but we all get a little bit of it from time to time.  Think monster pimple that took forever to heal. That's it!

Chemically induced photodamage is when your skin comes into contact with a light sensitizing chemical and is discolored after sun exposure. This is typically seen on the neck from perfumes.

Ok, guys! Next post will be all about how to treat it! Have a great week!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Top 5 Summer Products

As I am packing for a 4th of July vacation to the beach, I realized that I had to have these items so that I can avoid a sunburn! I thought I would share them with you, because they are cosmetically elegant and I have literally been on the hunt for things that work under the toughest conditions. Living in Austin has increased my time in the sun and I LOVE it, but had to change things up a little.

Last summer I was not prepared and one month of unpreparedness out here made a mark on my melasma, so I learned quick!

1. Elta MD Sport has the Skin Cancer Foundation endorsement, will not sting your eyes if you are sweating and has a pretty good feel for being sweat/water resistant. It is also oil free and paraben free! Bonus!!

2. Phloretin CF- AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goes under sunscreen and gives you so much more protection than sunscreen alone, I never leave home without it (unless it's night, of course). CE Ferulic is also fantastic, but is for drier skin. These two skinceuticals products are the best antioxidants for summer sun, in my personal opinion. :)

3. Colorescience Even Out is an AMAZING make up and treatment in one bottle. I wear it over the Elta MD Sport for days that we are out on the lake (in the sun for a long time) and it is a great way to double up on your spf. It boasts a SPF of 50 and reduces the appearance of your pigmentation immediately. It goes on light and smooth, like a mousse, and is so natural looking you don't look like you have make up on.

4. Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen is also amazing! It is an spf 50 and is a brush and spf combined in one clever brush. I cannot lie, I do put both on top of my sunscreen when in the sun for long periods of time, but if that's not for you than this is a great way to be able to reapply throughout the day with no hassle.

5. My materail love, the magic mitt. HAHA! I take it with me (when out in the sun for awhile) so that I can clean my face easily and reapply all the layers. I just use bottled water and my magic mitt, rub on my face and neck gently, and voila! I am ready for my next application. You have got to be clever when trying to keep your melasma in check! It gets out of control fast, so this is the best for ongoing pigmentation issues.