Laser Hair Removal

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Laser Hair Removal

by Joanne B. Gonzalez, MD

What is Laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a procedure where laser beams are used to deliver intense heat to the hair follicles to miniaturize or reduce hair growth. The laser light is absorbed by the dark pigment  (melanin) in the hair roots, the heat produced causes miniaturization or destruction of the hair.

Since melanin is the target pigment, laser hair removal is most effective in dark hairs that are in the active hair growth cycle (Anagen phase). The most common areas treated are the upper lips, beard, underarms, bikini, chest, back, arms, legs. It may not be effective in naturally blond, red, gray, white, and very thin hairs.

How is the procedure done?

There are several kinds of lasers for hair removal, most entail some degree of discomfort like a sensation of a rubber band snap on the skin. This discomfort is usually tolerable but for some sensitive areas and patients, topical anesthetic cream may be applied 30-60 minutes before the procedure.

The area to be treated is cleaned using mild cleansers and water, dried and shaved. The handpiece is applied to the skin to deliver the laser light pulses, passing through the areas where the hair grows. The length of time for the procedure depends on the area being treated. On average, the upper lip may be done in 1-2 mins, underarm area about 5-10 mins, legs may take 30 minutes to more than an hour.

What do I expect after the procedure?

Patients usually don’t feel anything unusual after the procedure. For a few, there may be a slight flushed color of the area treated and small red bumps which subsides in a few minutes.

It is usually advised not to use any chemical products on the skin for the next 24-48 hours like deodorants, anti-perspirants, whitening products, peeling agents etc. It is also best to avoid sun-exposure, scrubbing and scratching of the area treated.

How many sessions do I need?

Laser hair removal targets the actively-growing hairs, therefore, follow-up sessions are needed to treat the new, growing hairs. Succeeding sessions are usually done at intervals of 4-6 weeks. Most patients would require about 3-6 sessions.

What are the risks?

Any kind of laser can be dangerous especially if performed by untrained personnel. The Philippine Dermatological Society recommends that Skin Laser procedures should be done by well-trained, experienced, and certified PDS dermatologists.

Some of the complications and risks are:

  • blisters, darkening, scars from burns
  • bacterial infections
  • breakout of cold sores
  • whitening or depigmentation

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Upper Eyelid Eyeliner

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Upper Eyelid Liner is a tattoo technique that gives perfectly lined upper eyelid that creates an illusion of wider eyes.

How does it work: Prior to the actual procedure, you will have a consultation with our dermatologist to evaluate your needs and expectations. Anesthesia will be applied on your eyelids. This will be removed and the eyeliner shape will be planned. Once you approve the shape, a first pass of the chosen ink color will be applied using a digital tattoo machine. Our doctor only uses new and sterilized needles for every patient. Every now and then, the doctor will ask you to stand up to analyze the symmetry of your eyelids.

How often do you need the treatment: A touch up session is scheduled 1-2 months after the first session. The treatment will last anywhere from 1-2 years, so succeeding touch ups can be scheduled from 9-18 months.

Pain: Since our tattoo artist is a doctor, he will ask you to take a pain medication before the procedure, provided you do not have any allergies with the pain reliever. Our doctor uses two types of anesthesia for this procedure. The first anesthesia will be applied on the eyelids for 45min to make the skin numb. The second anesthesia will be applied on the eyelids after the first pass and before the succeeding passes of the tattoo. You may still feel some pressure or minor discomfort during the procedure despite the application of the anesthesia depending on your pain tolerance. Our doctor will constantly evaluate your pain perception during the entire procedure and will apply anesthesia as necessary. Overall, the procedure is very tolerable.

What to expect after the procedure: The upper eyelid liner color will be darker than the chosen color. This is important because there will be a 20% lightening of the color after a month. The eyelids will be swollen for a number of days. As the local anesthesia wears off, pain can be more pronounced about two hours after the procedure. The pain is still tolerable though. After 2-3 days, the pain will be replaced by itching as the skin starts to heal. In 7-14 days, the healing should have completed.

After treatment care: The treated area should be kept clean. Specific instructions will be given by our doctor. Vigorous activities that will result to sweating (gym) or soaking of the skin (swimming) should be avoided during the next two weeks.

Advantages of semi-permanent ink: The procedure uses semi-permanent ink which lasts 1-2 years. This means the upper eyelid liner shape can be appropriately re-adjusted as a person’s face changes over time, which is ideal since everyone ages. Semi-permanent ink is mostly composed of iron oxide which is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Semi-permanent ink has also less chances of spreading which causes blurring of the borders of the tattoo.

Why not do the lower eyelid liner: Lower Eyelid area is more prone to the spreading of pigment which creates dark circles underneath the eyes.

Why do it in Derma 360: Our tattoo artist is a fully licensed DERMATOLOGIST who does not only have an eye for beauty but also has expert knowledge of the layers of the skin, anatomy, allergies, sterility, and wound healing. You will get an honest assessment especially for those who have had an eyebrow tattoo using permanent ink. You will get perfectly-shaped brows with complete medical support.[/fusion_text][/one_full]

Powder Eyebrows

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Powder Eyebrows is a tattoo technique that gives the illusion of eyebrows filled in with make-up.

How does it work: Prior to the actual procedure, you will have a consultation with our dermatologist to evaluate your needs and expectations. Anesthesia will be applied on your eyebrows. This will be removed and the eyebrow shape will be planned. Once you approve the shape, a first pass of the chosen ink color will be applied using a digital tattoo machine. Our doctor only uses new and sterilized needles for every patient. Every now and then, the doctor will ask you to stand up to analyze the symmetry of your brows.

How often do you need the treatment: A touch up session is scheduled 1-2 months after the first session. The treatment will last anywhere from 1-2 years, so succeeding touch ups can be scheduled from 9-18 months.

Pain: Since our tattoo artist is a doctor, he will ask you to take a pain medication before the procedure, provided you do not have any allergies with the pain reliever. Our doctor uses two types of anesthesia for this procedure. The first anesthesia will be applied on the eyebrows for 45min to make the skin numb. The second anesthesia will be applied on the eyebrows after the first pass and before the succeeding passes of the tattoo. The second anesthesia contains an additional vasoconstrictor to reduce bleeding at the tattoo site. You may still feel some pressure or minor discomfort during the procedure despite the application of the anesthesia depending on your pain tolerance. Our doctor will constantly evaluate your pain perception during the entire procedure and will apply anesthesia as necessary. Overall, the procedure is very tolerable.

What to expect after the procedure: The eyebrow color will be darker than the chosen color. This is important because there will be a 20% lightening of the color after a month. There will also be some watery discharge on the tattoo area. This is expected since the procedure uses a needle to pierce through the skin to deposit color. The piercing action of the needle produces a similar wounding effect to the skin much like an abrasion or a scratch. As the local anesthesia wears off, pain can be more pronounced about two hours after the procedure. The pain is still tolerable though. After 2-3 days, the pain will be replaced by itching as the skin starts to heal. In 7-14 days, the healing should have completed.

After treatment care: Like any wound, the treated area should be kept clean. Specific instructions will be given by our doctor. Vigorous activities that will result to sweating (gym) or soaking of the skin (swimming) should be avoided during the next two weeks.

Advantages of semi-permanent ink: The procedure uses semi-permanent ink which lasts 1-2 years. This means the eyebrow shape can be appropriately re-adjusted as a person’s face changes over time, which is ideal since everyone ages. Semi-permanent ink is mostly composed of iron oxide which is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Semi-permanent ink has also less chances of spreading which causes blurring of the borders of the tattoo.

Advantages of Powder Eyebrows over Eyebrow Feathering: Eyebrow feathering uses a fine blade to cut through the skin to create individual hair strands. While this creates realistic hair strokes on expert hands, it also creates furrows or depressed scars on the skin where the blade passes. After a few retouches, these furrows can become deeper and deeper to become permanent scars. This is not expected in Powder Eyebrows since our doctor uses a digital machine that only pierces the skin in small points.

Why do it in Derma 360: Our tattoo artist is a fully licensed DERMATOLOGIST who does not only have an eye for beauty but also has expert knowledge of the layers of the skin, anatomy, allergies, sterility, and wound healing. You will get an honest assessment especially for those who have had an eyebrow tattoo using permanent ink. You will get perfectly-shaped brows with complete medical support.

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MELASMA

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melasma

MELASMA

by Beatriz G. Carpo, MD

Melasma is a very common skin condition wherein tan, brown to grayish patches appear on the cheeks, cheekbones, forehead, forehead, bridge of the nose, and upper lip, or chin. In a few patients it can even involve the sides of the neck, shoulders and upper arms. It is more common in women, especially in the ages of 20-50’s. It is also seen more frequently in darker skin types and certain races such as Asian, Hispanic, Latin, African-American, Mediterranean, and Indian descent.

CAUSE:

Although the exact cause is unclear, the following are the major triggering and aggravating factors in melasma.

  • Ultraviolet Light Exposure (UV). This and hormonal changes play the biggest roles in Melasma. Ultraviolet rays stimulate the skin’s color-producing cells (melanocytes) to produce the dark patches. Patients with melasma should always use sunscreen and practice sun avoidance.
  • Hormonal Changes. Melasma is common In pregnancy when it is called “Mask of Pregnancy” or “Chloasma”. The use of birth control pills and hormone replacement pills also serve as triggers.
  • Genetics. There is also a genetic predisposition and having a close relative with melasma increases your risk of getting melasma.
  • Cosmetics and skin products that cause skin irritation may aggravate melasma. Certain ingredients in skin products may make you more sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and these may worsen melasma.

TREATMENT

Sun protection and the daily use of sunscreen is of utmost importance. Even visible light indoors may aggravate melasma. When outdoors, it would be good to also wear a wide-brimmed hat and proper clothing for extra sun protection.

Medications that may help improve or lighten melasma include:

  • LIghtening creams. These include Hydroquinone and Non-hydroquinone products like arbutin, azelaic acid, kojic acid, etc.
  • Tretinoin- this may be prescribed in combination with lightening creams.
  • Mild steroidal creams- this may also be used in certain cases. It is used to decrease the irritation from other applied medications like tretinoin for instance.
  • Dermatological procedures- this may include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser. Results from laser procedures may be varied. These must be tailored and individualized based on the severity, and skin types and characteristics.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Melasma can be quite stubborn and may stay for months to years. But with a guided treatment advice by a dermatologist, you may be able to lighten and improve it.

You may need some form of maintainance therapy to keep it under control.

SOME HELPFUL TIPS:

  • Wear a good sunscreen daily. Both outdoor and indoor light may worsen melasma. There is significant UV outdoors even on cloudy days.
  • Wear a protective hat when outdoors as sunscreen use may not be enough.
  • Use gentle skin products. Products that irritate skin can worsen melasma.
  • Avoid heat. Heat can irritate skin and can trigger the cells that produce the color of your skin (melanocytes) to become more active.

If you have melasma, consult a Dermatologist to discuss medications or clinic procedures that may help improve it.

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