Skin Care Questions

Medical Spa & Cosmetic Dermatology Serving Beverly Hills, Lancaster, Cerritos, Santa Ana & Nearby Southern California

drawing of doctorHow can I prevent acne?

Acne is hereditary to some degree and is possibly dietary related as well. A well-structured home care plan using effective products will help minimize mild acne. If your acne is not controlled by simple steps, then getting medical help is the right step.

Moderate to severe acne usually requires more aggressive treatment that may include Blue Light Treatments, Photo Dynamic Acne Therapy for cystic or resistant acne, LuxV Pulsed Light as well as prescription oral and or topical medications.

Will washing my face more often reduce breakouts?

Keeping your skin clean is important for skin health. But too much washing and aggressive exfoliation can actually cause your acne to be worse. You may need to wash more frequently if you are doing something that causes you to sweat, or you work where there is heat and oil, such as in a restaurant. The most effective way to reduce outbreaks is to control your acne through a program designed for your level of acne.

I love the sun. What can I do to prevent problems like brown spots and wrinkles?

Your first and best friend will be sunscreen – used daily. Most people do not follow the directions for the use of sunscreens. For any sun protective product to be effective, it must be applied prior to going out. (The exception is a product containing zinc or titanium dioxide; these sun "blocks" are effective immediately). If you are swimming, sweating or at the beach, applying sunscreen multiple times during the day is required for full protection.

And something to think about: Each time you burn or "tan," your skin's DNA is being damaged. Prevention is your most powerful tool in minimizing sun damage.

I've already acquired various types of sun damage. What can I do to repair the damage?

Baby boomers are the mainstay of cosmetic skin correction. Most people in their 40s and beyond did not have adequate information on the importance of sunscreens and sun protection and are now paying the price. Unfortunately most young people today, even with all the warnings and available information, choose to skip sun protection.

Brown spots are treatable by topical de-pigmentation programs like Cosmelan, Glycolic or TCA chemical peels, and in some instances by laser such as the fractional laser. Wrinkles are definitively improved by chemical peels and fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane and the fractional laser. Actinic keratoses (those rough spots that are actually precancerous lesions) are dealt a full blow with PhotoDynamic Rejuvenation which is a two-step procedure which targets abnormal skin cells.

My friend had a facelift and still had skin that looked old. Was this the surgeon's fault?

No. A facelift is a structural change that will remove excess skin and reposition muscle. It may pull some wrinkles away by cutting away extra skin, but a facelift won't do anything for the texture, tone or color of your skin. Your best plan is to embark on a skin-health program before surgical procedures so it will heal better, faster and look good when you are ready to get back into social activities. Many of the treatments mentioned above will repair and improve your skin.

In a great many instances, patients who take the time to improve their skin will discover they no longer feel they want to have surgery. BOTOX, the hyaluronic acid fillers, Radiesse and volumizing stimulators such as Sculptra can have an very good effect on appearance.

I have cellulite and am considering liposuction. Is this a good approach?

In my professional opinion, no. Liposuction will remove fat, but the nature of liposuction surgery can lead to deeper "pockets" in the skin which can look worse than the cellulite you were trying to get rid of in the first place. Mesotherapy for cellulite is one option that does not require surgery and for many is adequately effective.

Rosacea makes me more than "rosy," it makes me red. I'm getting little veins on my face that aren't going away. Now what?

For those who suffer from rosacea, one of the primary tasks is to avoid triggers that cause flushing. It's the repeated flushing mechanism that finally breaks the capillary walls. Once that happens, you stay red all the time.

IPL Photofacial – we use the StarLux G – will make short work of the dozens of tiny facial veins from rosacea.

I keep hearing about the non-surgical facelift. Is that real?

Promotion being what it is, you do hear a lot about non-surgical procedures taking the place of traditional surgery. We use Thermage for skin tightening, but from a completely honest perspective, no, it's not real – meaning that it does not provide the same levels of improvement. You will likely get some discernible "lift" effect, and in some cases that is more than enough to take a few years off looks.

But, from the standpoint of comparing the two, a surgical facelift is the only procedure that actually can lay claim to the term. However, most Thermage patients appreciate the difference it makes and for those who do not want to deal with the physical, emotional and financial impact of surgery, it is a very easy-to-do procedure for a basis of facial rejuvenation.

My legs look like a roadmap. Is there anything I can do that doesn't require surgery?

Spider veins and varicose veins affect many millions of people. Lasers are a noninvasive solution and work very well. Deep and bulging varicose veins may indeed require surgical correction, though there are now endovenous lasers that are remarkably effective in treating those larger veins.

For the average person, simple injection sclerotherapy is very efficient in shrinking visible veins and spider veins. The majority of visible veins larger than spider veins – but not requiring surgical laser procedures – are still treatable with lasers. We will soon incorporate the powerful StarLux 1064 Vascular laser. It is an excellent laser in resolving vessels in the lower leg, thigh and ankle.

My friend sweats buckets. She's embarrassed to go out with us. I heard about BOTOX for heavy sweaters. Does this work? I thought BOTOX was for wrinkles.

BOTOX Cosmetic originally was used to stop muscle spasms in the eyelids. A "side effect" was dynamic wrinkle smoothing which has now become the #1 requested treatment for medical cosmetic improvement. (Dynamic wrinkles are those which occur from muscle contraction like grown and worry lines.)

Medical scientists learned that BOTOX also stops the sweat messages, just like it stops the messages that cause a frown. A new treatment was born, and hyperhidrosis sufferers have finally been offered some relief. BOTOX has FDA approval for hyperhidrosis and yes, it works!

After two pregnancies I have a tummy covered by stretch marks. Is there any way to make them disappear?

Stretch marks are caused by "broken" skin fibers. There has not been any treatment that can completely remove them. Certain lasers can improve stretch mark appearance. Newer stretch marks that are red can be lightened with a vascular laser or photofacial. More mature stretch marks (also called striae) are generally white and can potentially be minimized (though not removed) with a fractional laser.

During your office consultation, you will be provided with a detailed plan of the treatments that will benefit you most. Initial consultations for cosmetic treatments are complimentary. Call 888-333-2515 to schedule an appointment at Beverly Hills Laser Institute, Inc. today.