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 2)

Given my previous write-up on lasers for hair removal, I wanted to continue with the discussion on treatment alternatives. This time, I wanted to expand to skin care. Because when it comes to skin rejuvenation there are many competing alternatives from peels, to radiofrequency, microneedling, lasers and more; it’s too much information to summarize in this blog today. My intention is to introduce the topic in order to expand on each modality in particular in a later section. Ultimately, the goal is to have an idea of each one and its distinct use.

Regarding lasers, we first need to understand how these work: basically they operate on the principle of selective photothermolyisis. Selective Photothermolysis makes sure that the equipment provides enough heat to destroy the target without harming the surrounding tissue.  The heat deposited would then stimulate collagen proliferation, resulting in thicker skin and wrinkle reduction. Some can even have a positive effect on hyperpigmentation.

In the case of radiofrequency, the device sends energy in the form of an electromagnetic field, which also heats the dermis causing skin tightening, scar reduction, collagen stimulation and more. Unlike lasers, radiofrequency devices emit nonspecific heat making it friendly to darker skin tones.  In other words, it is “color blind”.

Microcurrent is probably one of the few modalities that works directly on the muscle, and helps to increase circulation, resulting in an instant lifting effect and wrinkle reduction. Microcurrent is basically low level electrotherapy that emits a healing current to retrain the muscles.

An ultrasound creates soundwaves that are conducted to the skin tissues through a water-based gel. It has a thermal effect from heating the skin that results in collagen stimulation, while helping in wound repair. It can reduce inflammation and swelling.

Our final category on the blog today is the LED light, which is a mild form of light therapy. It does not produce heat, making it very safe and comfortable. The blue light is used to treat acne, the red light is used to reduce inflammation, and the yellow-to-orange range is used for skin tightening and collagen stimulation.

In our next blogs we will continue the discussion above and expand into some other modalities, such as microneedling, peels and more. As usual, if you have any questions, please contact us at info@medaestheticsmiami.com, or by phone at 305-356-7402.

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

Vitamin A Based Cosmeceuticals

Vitamin A Based Cosmeceuticals – Why?

Every day when I wake up, I organize my to do list and write down my priorities and activities for the day and beyond. I make sure I have gas in my car, I pay my electricity bills, I buy food, and so on. However, it was not until a few years ago that I seriously started taking care of my skin. In other words, I began putting quality products on my skin, eating the right ingredients, exercising, and so on to produce beautiful healthy skin throughout my life.

Of all the ingredients that my skin factory needs, Vitamin A is the magical secret needed to improve it and keep it healthy. Vitamin A is crucial to your skin factory from its raw material to much more. Without Vitamin A in large quantities, your skin will age, because low doses will mostly satisfy the needs of your internal organs without reaching the skin.

Important molecules like Vitamin A require special gates to enter the cells, which tend to disappear with sunlight. However Vitamin A is the stimulus needed to make more gates. With time, lines and wrinkles, as well as photo damage are all improved with the continuous and appropriate use of Vitamin A. Vitamin A rich skin makes it really hard for cancer to take hold of it. It also helps with psoriasis, acne, and more. Scarred for life is no longer a predicament.

So how do we apply it? Initially, your skin should receive low doses of Vitamin A to help normalize it and then go on to higher doses as it gets used to it. The reason for this is that damaged skin loses its ability to use the vitamin A normally. That’s why initial accumulation of vitamin A can cause irritation. For more information, call Med Aesthetics Miami at 305-356-7402…