Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mother-in-law Request: Free Esthetician Advice?

On a recent visit to my in-laws, my husband's mom had series of anti-aging questions which I think are best answered together. She asked:

"I have hereditary dark spots on my face. My dermatologist is willing to freeze them off when I go in for my cancer screenings, so I have had many of them on my cheeks and the sides of my face removed this way. I am nervous about asking him to remove one that is located on my upper lip because it will look like like I have a sore there. Is there any other option? Also, I have some broken capillaries. Could he do those with a laser, and if so, do you think he could get the dark spot with the laser, and would that prevent it getting scabby?" 
I think this is a great line of questioning because it reflects the concerns many women have about the best approach for the health and beauty of their skin!

I told my mother-in-law that she's thinking along the right lines by endeavoring to consolidate treatments and minimize downtime. Unfortunately, like the experience she has had with liquid nitrogen, the mechanism by which lasers lighten dark spots always results in the spot darkening, scabbing, and falling off (just like laser hair and tattoo removal, where the pigment molecules are broken apart by the therapeutic light, and must be expelled or reabsorbed), so a laser would not be the best solution to solving the pigment problem without scabbing.

Since my mother-in-law is using a retinoid but not a skin lightener, I recommended that she incorporate Vivant Bleaching Cream, available at the Skin Studio. It is a blend of the active retinoid retinyl propionate and 2% hydroquinone, plus citric and kojic acids to provide additional brightening benefit, and aloe to prevent irritation from the active ingredients. Once skin is preconditioned with a retinoid/lightener/hydroxy acid regimen, great results are possible from peels. Preconditioned skin will peel and heal even better, with rapid healing time and more complete spot removal.

As for the broken capillaries, lasers can be a great option, but treatments come at a risk of burns or scars. The risk is minimized by having any treatment performed by someone who has substantial hours logged on the device they are using. In addition to traditional laser light (in which the light is collimated or focused into one tiny laser point), there are also intense pulsed light treatments, including the noninvasive Radiancy Facial at the Skin Studio, which offer a very low-risk means of reducing redness and homogenizing pigment, especially when you can schedule treatments twice a week for five weeks.

Finally, as mentioned in the previous post, peptide technology can be a great adjunct to traditional means of lightening pigmentation, and can also stimulate skin repair during traditional bleaching treatments.

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