Skincare Treatments for Acne

While most people will only ever experience the mild development of acne in their teen years, there are those that suffer a severe form of this skin disease known medically as Acne Vulgaris. This skin condition involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Human skin has pores which connect to oil glands located under the skin. These glands produce an oily liquid called Sebum. The sebum job is to carry dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin, and if these follicles get blocked, a pimple can grow that results in an accumulation of oil under the skin.

woman hiding her faceAcne can be embarrassing and cause self-esteem issues in all ages. Understanding the signs of acne is the first step in determining which treatment may work best for you. Whiteheads are small blemishes with a whitish head whereas blackheads look like tiny dots on your skin. Both are referred to as comedones, which is another term for clogged pore. The next phase of acne is called Papules and occurs when bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells cause inflammation under the skin. They are small hard lesions, but there is no pus in papules. Similar to papules are pustules in appearance, but they are pus filled. These types of mild to moderate acne should be treated to heal existing spots and lessen the chances of scarring. It is also advisable for those with a darker complexion to seek treatment at the early stages of acne to prevent hyperpigmentation.

If you’re experiencing large, red, inflamed blemishes that last longer than a month these can be symptoms of severe acne. Nodular acne and acne cysts are both types of severe acne and need a customized treatment plan. Nodular acne is usually painful and covers large areas of your skin. The nodules are lesions that are deep within the skin. Similar to nodules, cysts are deep under the skin’s surface as well, but they are filled with pus and are usually softer than a nodule. These severe types of acne are usually caused by genetics and if left untreated can cause scarring.

There are stronger medications and therapies that can help treat severe acne if over the counter products aren’t working. The following types of treatment are offered for severe acne:

Topical medications
These products work best on clean, dry skin and may take a few weeks to notice any improvements. The most common topical prescriptions are Retinoids, antibiotics, and Dapsone. These products come in a gel, cream or lotion.

Oral medications
For moderate to severe acne, you may need oral medications to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. This may include a drug called Accutane. This powerful drug was used almost exclusively years ago, and in most cases, the first signs of healing occurred after two to three weeks of treatment although it could take as long as one to two months for the benefits to be noticed. While Accutane can be beneficial for some patients, the best results are obtained when combined with other treatments for severe acne.

Light Therapies
Photorejuvenation is a procedure that uses lasers or photodynamic therapy. It treats only the area that is required and does not affect the surrounding tissue. During treatment, a laser emits a controlled light that is absorbed by the skin. The body’s natural healing system encourages the production of new collagen to improve the texture of the skin. You will be asked to wear dark goggles to protect your eyes from the bright light. A cold gel is applied to aid in the absorption of the light. Treatment lasts about 30 minutes, and five or six treatments are recommended for maximum results.

Blu-U is a narrow band of blue light is emitted in this non-invasive, pain-free treatment that is safe for all ages and pregnant women. The light causes a photodynamic effect within the oil glands that kills the primary bacteria responsible for acne. While this treatment can be effective on its own, it can also be combined with other forms of therapy to enhance results. These simple sessions last approximately 30 minutes during which time you will sit with the affected area exposed to the light. Aftercare may include the doctor recommending special attention in choosing a sunscreen.

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) combines light and a special light-activated solution called Levulan. This effective treatment controls hard to treat acne and may also improve skin texture, pore size, and pigmentation. Prior to applying Levulan, an active scrub or microdermabrasion will be performed to the treatment area. You will then be positioned under a Blu-U or IPL light in a darkened room. After the treatment, the Levulan is washed off, and a sun block is applied to the treated area before leaving the clinic.

Laser and Skin Care Medspa offer a free consultation to assess each individual before recommending any course of action. Please note that treatment is covered by Alberta Health Care and some 3rd party insurance plans. We also carry special medical grade skin care products and water-based therapeutic foundation such as the Jane Iredale Makeup line that aid in acne care and not harm your skin like some over the counter products can. We employ the most advanced treatments for maximum benefit for you. If acne is a concern for you, there are treatment options available that can help.teen with acne

Don’t Forget to Pack the Sunscreen for your Winter Get-Away

Airplane wing

Every year around this time, Canadian Snowbirds are packing their bags to escape the cold Canadian winter. With over half a million Canadians looking to get out of the cold and into the sun, it is important to remember to protect your skin with proper sunscreen. Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer.

The Ultra Violet (UV) radiation levels vary depending on the time and location. The World Health Organization posts a UV Index on their website with a list of the UV measurements according to the area. The Weather Network also has a UV Report that you allows you to type in the destination of where you are headed, and it will advise the latest reading for that area.

sunshine

Most of us understand the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the damaging UV rays but with so many options of sunscreen products and different levels of protection, how is one supposed to choose? In order to select the right sunscreen for you, it is important to understand a few sunscreen basics.

Picking the proper sunscreen starts with deciding the type of exposure you are expecting. If you will only be outdoors for a few minutes at a time, a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, which filters out about 93 percent of UV radiation, is usually sufficient. If you plan on enjoying the sun longer than just a few minutes, you will want to look at a sunscreen option with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

sunscreen

Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers high quality, affordable skincare, and sunscreen products for normal and problem skin types. Issues such as acne or rosacea require particular attention, and we take the time to discuss your options with you and gain an understanding of your skin type before recommending a product.

Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer. According to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, these are the types of skin cancer that are common:

Actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis, is a skin condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (i.e. sunlight). Some experts believe that AK is the earliest form of SCC.

Basal cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form and accounts for 90% of all skin cancers. It starts in the basal cells at the bottom of the epidermis (outer skin layer) and is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. It is the most easily treated.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type. It starts in the epidermis, eventually penetrating the underlying tissue if not treated. It is easily treated when found early, but in a small percentage of cases, this cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and is responsible for the most deaths. However, it can be cured if it is diagnosed and removed early. Melanoma can develop from a pre-existing mole that appeared normal but changes, or as an irregular appearing new spot.

(the above information was taken from the website http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/about-skin-cancer.html)

Sunscreen is an integral part of a sun protective regime. You should also include time out of the sun in a shady area, wearing protective clothing such as a full brim hat and sunglasses, and avoid the UV tanning beds. If you would like assistance picking out the best sunscreen for your skin type, the professional staff at Laser and Skin Care Medspa are available to answer all your questions and make a recommendation for you.

 


 

Tattoo Removal Using the Spectra Laser

Tattoo removalOnce a permanent decision, tattoos are no longer everlasting or something you have to learn to live with. Whatever your reason for wanting to have a tattoo removed, with today’s laser technology it makes it possible to eliminate or fade most tattoos.

Reasons for wanting a tattoo removed are as unique as the reasons for getting the ink in the first place. Whether it is a bad or fading tattoo, what you once thought was cool is no longer suited to you, or your life has taken you in a different direction, you do not have to settle for a cover-up if what you really want is to have it removed.   

TattooingPainting of the human body goes back to the beginning of time. In the past, if you no longer wanted that ink the common techniques included cryosurgery, dermabrasion or excision. The variety of techniques used to apply tattoos is staggering; the source of the ink, where on the body the tattoo is applied, colors and designs used, even the depth into the skin can vary dramatically.  Thus the approach that the practitioner faces to remove tattoos must take into account that every person and every tattoo that is unique.

Laser and Skin Care Medspa is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of a Spectra Laser. This Q Switched laser is considered to be the gold standard in the removal of tattoos. There are a number of factors that must be taken into account such as the size, location, depth, and color of the tattoo before the number of treatments is decided upon. The treatment session each take from 10 to 30 minutes and most patients report no pain other than a warming of the skin and a light prickly feeling.

Tattoo removal with Lutronic

There is a waiting time in between each session to allow your body to remove the tattoo ink fragments and heal but after each session, you will notice the ink becoming lighter. This will depend on the colors of the tattoo and inks used. Black and dark green are the easiest colors to remove while yellow, purple, turquoise and fluorescent dyes are hardest to fade. With no downtime and minimal side effects, you can return to your normal activities immediately after a session.

 

Spectra Tattoo Removal

As with any procedure at the Laser and Skin Care Medspa in Red Deer, our consultations are free. If you have a tattoo you’ve been contemplating having removed, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We are the only clinic in Central Alberta with this Laser and look forward to hearing from you soon. 

 

To view a demonstration, please watch our video.