Lessson Hurricane Irma

When I first learned about Hurricane Irma, and having grown up in an island in the Caribbean, I was not too worried. In fact, the only reason I decided to leave Miami was to make sure my family remained calm. That night I struggled to find water, food, and gasoline. A sense of anxiety rushed through my veins as I later evacuated the city at midnight, since I had left behind a window that would not lock, coupled by the general anxiety that was going around in the city, and by being a head of household with all the responsibility in my shoulders. The next day, after calling many times, no one in my building would have an answer regarding the window. I tried the realtor, to no avail. Finally, I called my handyman who reassured me that he would get the job done and so he showed up and did as promised. With a sense of relief I continued my journey, to find out that I had two flat tires. I felt I was the main actress in a soap opera. After calling AAA, they assured me that someone had done it on purpose because NO ONE gets two flat tires (of course I have had two flat tires before) at the same time. After searching in my destination, there was only one tire shop open and it closed in forty five minutes- I was thirty minutes away. Luckily, we got there in time. The mechanic actually found a nail in the tires and was able to fix them. What a sense of relief. Now, I was ready for Irma and could relax.

 

As I reminisce on this last adventure, I had to compare it to life and how we reach our goals. If we focus on the obstacles, we never get there. If we focus on the rewards instead, we gain the endurance to stay put and navigate the waters. At the end, I was able to focus on the positive, which was quality time locked up in a room with my family and dogs, the fact that we were out of the storm’s path, and, last but not least, the possibility of having a full night’s sleep.

Big waves in a sunny storm. Portuguese north coast.

If we extrapolate to wellness and skincare, we can also apply the same principles. Just like I had to contain myself to not eat that cookie while having cabin fever, to not get that extra padding in the belly; in the same way making the right choices in terms of putting on the appropriate sunscreen and moisturizers on the face and body, eating the required nutrients for the skin, exercising, not smoking, and most importantly taking little steps towards our goals while we remain focused; make the big difference. As I mentioned in my first blog, there are many legs to a stool and each are important and part of the larger picture and path to reach our wellness goals.

Peels and Exfoliation

Peelings and Exfoliation

Why peel? Chemical peels have been used for a very long time for exfoliation of the skin, for removing dead cells, and for helping in the skin’s natural processes. Peels can help treat different conditions from acne, scars, hyperpigmentation, and more. They have been very popular because of their effectiveness and lower cost relative to other procedures.

While there are different types of peels with different components ranging from mild to deep, in my opinion several milder peels are better than one deep one. To me these peels, preserve your epidermis, yet result in excellent benefits to your skin. Mild peels will exfoliate superficially, while medium peels will reach the dermis with potential excessive peeling and downtime.

So which peel should you use on your skin? Lactic, glycolic, TCA? There are many different peels used to treat different conditions, but they each have a place and time. The ideal one for you, as well as the frequency, can be determined during the consultation. Make sure you don’t forget to discuss any allergies you may have and other lifestyle factors. After the peel, sun protection, and high grade products with antioxidants are a must. After care is key to achieving optimal results. Just remember, you may experience to different degrees redness, dryness, sun sensitivity, and some scabbing, swelling and peeling.

Do you have more questions? Call Med Aesthetics Miami…Our Promise Is More Than Beauty.

Did You Know May Is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month?

Did You Know May Is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month? Ever since President Reagan began advising the people to stay out of the sun in 1985 after his surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma, the American Academy of Dermatology has been conducting free skin cancer screenings. The reason behind this is that skin cancer outweighs all other types of cancer combined. Only this year, there are an expected 5.4 million new cases of diagnosed skin cancer. Our goal today is to increase awareness, so that our readers can try to avoid the risks, which helps us stay healthy. Some risk factors include, having actinic keratosis, past treatment with radiation, a weakened immune system, been exposed to arsenic, a fair complexion, been exposed to sunlight over long periods of time. Other factors include having a few large or many small moles, a family history of unusual moles or melanoma, and a history of many blistering sunburns. An individual whose skin freckles, tans poorly, or burns easily after sun exposure is particularly susceptible to developing skin cancer. While many people with Caucasian skin are aware of this risk, many darker skin types are not equally aware that they too are at risk and should take the necessary measures to protect their skin from the sun. For example, darker skin types tend to have lower levels of vitamin D, for which a supplement is recommended. Our last thought by detecting any changes in tissue early on, it may be easier to treat these…Screening does help! For more information, call Med Aesthetics Miami at 305-356-7402, by email at info@ medaestheticsmiami.com, or you can look us up online at http://www.medaestheticsmiami.com

Ablative versus Non-Ablative … Continuing with our discussion on the different modalities, today we will be discussing ablative versus non-ablative treatments. During ablative treatments, the outer layer of the skin, or the epidermis is destroyed. During nonablative procedures, the outer layer of the skin is preserved. In this case, many times, a cooling system is used, as in the case of laser, to maintain the epidermis. It used to be the case that continuous exfoliation was the preferred methodology for beautiful skin. We now know that the integrity of the epidermis and its barrier defense function is key and a vital component of any rejuvenation goal. However, you may now have noticed throughout my blog that I believe there is a place for everything. Selecting a modality should be done on a case by case basis, not only taking into account the client’s lifestyle and goal, but also keeping in mind that many modalities complement each other. For example, performing a microneedle treatment prior to laser resurfacing may be a good way to prepare the skin, yet after the treatment, it may help with wound healing. Another good combination is performing microneedle with near-infrared technology. It has been demonstrated that near infrared light is used by the body to increase its energy levels and replace old, damaged cells with new healthy ones, making this latter combination very effective. For more information, call Med Aesthetics Miami at 305-356-7402 or email us at info@ medaestheticsmiami.com

Lasers versus Radiofrequency

Taking care of your skin has definitely come a long way since Cleopatra’s time. We are faced with so many decisions that it can be overwhelming. Well, our goal today is to help you navigate the labyrinth. Today, we will be discussing laser versus radiofrequency.
So what is the main difference between laser and radiofrequency? The answer to this question is more than a technical answer. What you need to know is what your goal is. Once you define your goal and how the chosen modality will affect it, the steps to follow are not that complicated. There are many ways to get to a destination and once you understand what each tool brings to the table, then you complement it with other procedures to enhance your results.
When addressing the question: laser versus radiofrequency, generally speaking we can say radiofrequency is color blind and has a different heating mechanism than laser. Radiofrequency uses electricity to heat the cells, whereas laser uses light. It targets cells in a pear shape so it has less impact in the epidermis, making it safer when comparing apples to apples; yet laser can be more aggressive and result in more lasting results and the treatment of choice for some modalities. For example, radiofrequency is not used for hair removal; yet it’s excellent for skin tightening.
When in doubt, you can always reach out to us at 305-356-7402 or by email at info@medaestheticsmiami.com

Selecting Lasers (Part 1)

Lasers have been around for a while and I believe they will continue to be an important tool in the arsenal for skin care treatments. When I first started in this field, I was intimidated by them, but these feelings passed as I got experience and learned about their wonderful applications. So today, I would like to discuss las# 6 SO07031401_1_2_3 Rev  A_ICE_FaceBookPost_Series-1_Page_2.jpgers for hair removal; do stay tuned, since I will discuss other uses in the next blogs.

When choosing a hair removal laser, I recommend you start by analyzing your skin type. Some machines are safer than others due to the wavelength of the emitted light. For example, the 1064 nm YAG is the safest for all skin types, specially the darker ones, since the laser can bypass superficial layers of the skin reaching the hair follicle at deeper levels, while being less selective for melanin. However, when dealing with lighter or thinner hair, it may not be as effective. In this case, other options are considered such as the alexandrite at 755 nm, the diode at 800-810nm, the ruby at 694nm, and the IPL (although not a laser).

The ruby was the first laser introduced and should only be used on fair skin. It has a slow repetition rate, which may mean longer, more painful treatments. The alexandrite’s wavelength is very close to that of the diode, but is not used to treat darker skin types either. It’s the fastest laser available. While IPL is not a laser, these systems typically output wavelengths between 400nm-1200nm. Filters are applied to block shorter wavelengths. Many studies show that although the IPL can be as effective as laser when used properly, the risk of unwanted side effects and pain associated with it are higher. Finally, the diode penetrates deep enough into the skin to avoid epidermal injury, yet shorter than the NDYag, so it can treat lighter hair more effectively. It can be used on all skin types as well.

Just remember, one machine is not the solution to all situations. They each have traits that make them more suitable than others in certain circumstances. Have more questions? call Med Aesthetics Miami at 305-356-7402.

Let’s Talk Excess Hair…

IMG_5097Aside from paying your taxes and the fact that we are on this earth temporarily, another solid truth is that many of us don’t like excess hair. In fact, laser hair removal has been proven to be one of the most psychologically rewarding cosmetic procedures due to its impact on how we feel about ourselves. When we were babies, we had terribly cute Vellus Hair, which is simply the baby fine colorless hair that covers our body. But then comes puberty and hormonal changes in our body and as a result, some of this vellus hair is stimulated by androgens (hormones) to become darker, curlier, and coarser. We call that hair Terminal Hair.
Hirsutism is unwanted terminal hair from excess androgens or increased sensitivity of hair follicles to androgens. Many times hirsutism is stimulated by hormones, with common causes including congenital adrenal hyperplasia, polycystic ovary syndrome, tumors, cushing’s syndrome, and medications. Other times the cause of hirsutism is unknown and that is considered idiopathic hirsutism. While we can try to correct the excess hair with birth control, or medications such as metmorfin, or spironolactone; we usually need to tackle this situation with other alternatives of which I believe laser hair removal is one of the most effective ones.
However, in the process of getting rid of that unwanted hair, we cannot forget to take care of our skin. In fact, our skin needs to be managed.
The goal is to control the products that we use in order to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation, bumps, redness, and irritation. In this sense, remember to avoid sun protection and fade products that are “skin friendly”, to protect the skin barrier, and to not use irritating products. Instead, we recommend you use chemical free sunscreen, avoid antibiotics and irritating chemicals, and use sulfate free cleansers. Don’t use sunscreen with SPF above 40 because these may contain too many u/v absorbing chemicals resulting in a higher risk of hyperpigmentation. Some other examples include Kojic Acid and Hydroquinone, which are u/v sensitizers that make the skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
When in doubt, just call Med Aesthetics Miami at 305-356-7402. You can also email us at info@medaestheticsmiami.com or look us up online at http://www.medaestheticsmiami.com