MAIN SITE BLOG HOME

Posts Tagged ‘brown spots’

The Pregnancy Mask

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

ASK OUR EXPERTS:

Q:  I developed Melasma on my upper lip while I was pregnant.  It’s been months and it is still there.  What can I do?

Over-production of melanin is also stimulated by UV radiation which makes it a complex issue that is difficult to treat, because your body has already kicked melanin production into over-drive and that is compounded further by recurring stimulation from UV rays. Sometimes Melasma will go away after pregnancy or lighten enough to cover the discoloration with cosmetics but unfortunately it often returns with additional pregnancies, hormonal changes and sun exposure.  The good news is there are treatment options that offer hope.

It is important for you to understand that sun is your ENEMY and it will remain your greatest nemeses. Melasma is a chronic condition.  There is no magic cream that will guarantee to banish it forever. I find that Melasma is one of the most difficult skin issues that we treat at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Rejuvenation and Laser Institute.  It is frustrating for both myself and my patients.  Therefore, I want to express the importance having realistic expectation before you decide if or which treatment option is right for you.

There are a few things you can try to improve your Melasma.  The first and most important one is simply applying medical-grade physical sunscreen with either micronized Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide every day, 365 days a year, without fail. You can get this from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon like Dr. Castillo. Avoid trying to sneak by with just the SPF of 15 that is in your make-up or moisturizer, it won’t cut it.  Because even the best sunscreen cannot block all UV radiation, other protection should also be used such as a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella. There is no such thing as “water-proof” sunscreen, only “water-resistant” sunscreen so if you are sweating or swimming you will need to re-apply every 80 minutes.

Prescription Bleaching creams, which I prefer to call “lightening” creams can also be helpful. They are used initially on only a short term basis but can be repeated in the future as a form of maintenance. You must be very faithful to your sunscreen regimen with using lightening agents.

If changing your oral contraception or hormonal therapy is not an option, and you haven’t gotten the type of improvement you desire then it may be time to consider more aggressive treatment options.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery we find the most success using CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing in combination with a lightening agent, medical grade sunscreen and sun avoidance. Other treatment options may include series of medical grade peels or IPL treatments.  Again, sun is your ENEMY.  It can very rapidly undo any successful treatment with sun exposure.

 

Yours Truly,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D. FACS
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

 

Ask Our Expert – Tanning to Cover Sun Damage?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ask Our Expert Blog

Q:  Now that summer is over, my tan is fading.   I have dark brown patches and spots on my face that are making me feel very self-conscious.  If I use a tanning bed through the winter months to stay tan, will it help hide these brown spots?

A:  Stop…  Back away from the phone…  Do not schedule a tanning appointment.  Covering up sun damage by getting more sun damage is never the answer.

First, understand that the UV radiation (exposure to the sun or a tanning bed) is the reason these unwelcome spots are appearing on your face in the first place.  Though tanning your skin may initially camouflage them, those spots will become darker and multiply very quickly. Not only that, but eventually these unwelcome visitors will bring friends in form of lines, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, and poor skin texture.  Your skin is giving you an initial visual warning.  It is saying “STOP abusing me or else!”  And believe me, “or else” means it will punish you by introducing you to lines, wrinkles, large pores, and rough texture next!”

Many people find themselves caught in the same viscous circle.  They develop sun damage.  Then to cover the sun damage, they sun tan. Then they develop more sun damage.  It isn’t until the sun damage is so bad that it can no longer be hidden, that people truly realize what they have done to their skin.  Your best bet is to give your skin the protection it is demanding and begin to correct the sun damage that is causing you to feel self-conscious.

So let’s talk about ways to correct your sun damage.  There are many options that will help you to some degree or another.  It is important to seek advice from someone who specializes in aging, sun damaged skin such as a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon.  They will help you match the amount of sun damage you have to the appropriate treatment. Usually the less expensive options are less aggressive and therefore give less result or require multiple treatments.  If you are someone who is willing to be patient, some of the less aggressive options may work well for you.  I will start with the least invasive options and work up.

Topical skincare treatment:

1.      Avoid sun exposure as much as possible and protect your skin faithfully by applying a medical grade physical sunblock every single day of the year, not just when it is hot or sunny. (THIS IS A MUST NO MATTER WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS YOU CHOOSE) In our Champaign-Urbana locations, we recommend TiSilc 60 medical grade sunblock.

2.      Use a prescription bleaching agent with retinol every night for 6 weeks.  Both of these will help lighten the brown spots over time but you will need to be patient.

3.     In addition, applying Vitamin C and E topically to the skin every morning may also improve your spots.

4. Talk with an experienced medical skincare specialist within a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon’s office.  Ask her or him to build a medical-grade skincare program for you based your skin injuries. Remember that there are no magic creams out there but there are some scientific based medical skincare products that will make great improvements to your skin.  However, you must be faithful in applying them as directed. 

Chemical Peels:

There are several formulations of strengths when it comes to chemical peels.  I suggest you seek an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon to develop your chemical peel plan.  Chemical peels have a quantitative effect, so typically you would expect to have multiple peels. You need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic chemical peels range from $50.00 to $175.00 each.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Treatments:

Intense Pulsed Light can improve both brown spots and redness.  You should plan on three to six treatments depending on the severity of your sun damage.  Expect redness and swelling for a few days following each treatment.  Your brown spots will get darker before they get lighter.  Then they will come to the surface and flake off.  Again you will need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, you can expect to pay $250.00 and up per IPL treatment depending on the location of the treatment area.

CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing:

This is typically the best treatment for sun damage in the form of brown spots, melasma, lines, wrinkles, and the break-down of collagen and elastin.  In most cases this is a one- time treatment. You will need to take about four days off from work or social activity as you will be swollen, red and your skin will peel between days three and five.  This option will give you the best non-ablative results available if preformed by an experienced laser practitioner.

Approximate cost:  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, for a first treatment you can expect to pay

Full face:  $2000.00                              Hands: $700.00                        Neck: $900.00

Chest:  $1900.00                                    Shoulders: $900.00                 Eyes only: $600.00

Upper & Lower lips:  $600.00            Upper or lower arms: $1800.00

Roxanne Hammond

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

ASK OUR EXPERT: Anti-Aging Treatments for Hands

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Q:  Do you offer anti-aging treatments for hands at Dr. Castillo’s Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Restoration and Laser Institute?

A:  When it comes to trying to conceal our age, hands can be a dead give-a-way.  Brown spots, “age spots”, loose skin, and loss of fat can all be contributing factors of aging hands.  So often we protect our face or improve the appearance of aging facial skin but we forget about our hands, and our neck and chest for that matter. Think of all the hours spent over a lifetime with your hands on the steering wheel of a car while the sun is beating down on them.   Do you apply UVA/UVB sun block with an SPF of 45 or higher to your hands each day; winter, spring summer, fall?

I have a few of recommendations for improving the appearance of aging hands.

  1. The first and most important recommendation is to apply a UVA/UVB physical sun block with SPF of 45 of higher to your hands each day.  Because incidental sun is responsible for a large percentage of skin cancer and aging it is imperative to use sun block 365 days a year.   Using sun block on your hands daily will help prevent melanocytes from becoming over-active, leaving brown spots on your skin.
  2. CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser resurfacing removes brown spots, builds new collagen and improves loose, sagging, crepy skin to restore your hands to a more youthful appearance.   This is typically a one- time treatment and will provide the best corrective results.  A prescription skin lightening agent may also be used to pre-treat brown spots in conjunction with this treatment.
  3. IPL (Intense Pulse Light) can be used to improve brown spots and redness.  It is not likely to improve loose, sagging skin however.  This procedure typically requires 3-6 treatments.  Again a prescription skin lightening agent may be used as a pre-treatment in conjunction with this procedure.  I would not recommend this treatment for skin types IV and higher.
  4. Dermal fillers such as Radiesse can be used to increase volume if fat loss has occurred.  This option offers immediate, long-term effects in a single treatment.  It also works well in conjuction with any of the above mentioned options.
  5. Wear gloves when driving.  Remember that your hands get a lot of UV radiation while perched on the steering wheel of your vehicle.
  6. You’re at home skincare regimen should include a minimum of exfoliation, hydration and sun protection.

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana), IL
, IL

Winter Weather Skincare

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

 

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

As you face the approaching winter weather elements, you may notice some unappealing changes in your skin. You may feel as though you have aged in a matter of weeks.  You may notice that your once glowing skin looks dull, spotted with signs of summer sun and that lines on you face are suddenly more noticeable.

You may find that your current skincare products are no longer cutting it.  Well remember that as the seasons change, our skincare regimen needs to change as well.  If you are facing some new winter skin challenges, call for a FREE skincare consultation.  Find out what secrets we have in our winter skin arsenal to fight against dry, flaking, dull, dehydrated skin.  We will have you looking your best in time for all your upcoming holiday events.

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/facials.cfm

Call now for your free skincare consultation with Roxanne: Savoy office – 217-359-7508

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Become a Facebook Fan of CPS @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery/65943304419
https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

Budgeting For Beauty – Part 2

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Let’s begin to talk about some non-surgical options that will give you impressive results with little down time.

1. My personal favorite – CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing. This is the most impressive non-surgical technology I have seen to date. Physicians and patients alike have been waiting more than 10 years for a procedure that requires little recovery time and discomfort while simultaneously being able to deliver substantial results in a single treatment. The technology is finally here.

This latest development combines the technology and benefits of traditional CO 2 Laser Resurfacing (the industries gold standard for skin resurfacing) with an algorithm scanner. This means a fraction of the skin cell is treated by the laser, leaving tiny areas of untreated skin. This dramatically reduces your recovery time, allowing you to return to work in 4 days. The CO 2 Micro-Fractional Laser wavelength can penetrate to the deeper portions of the skin, unlike other laser technologies that offer only superficial benefits. (Buyer beware – do not confuse CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing with other “Fraxel or non-CO 2 fractional laser” treatments available) It is unique because for the first time in the history of laser resurfacing, it allows clinicians to safely and effectively treat not only the face but other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, hands & arms. This treatment simultaneously improves lines, wrinkles, scars, skin laxity, tone and texture, brown spots and other skin imperfections. As it penetrates the dermis, production of new, deep dermal collagen is stimulated. This results in continued improvement in skin structure over time. CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/laser-skin-resurfacing.cfm is ideal for you if you have a busy lifestyle or cannot be away from work for an extended period of time but still want impressive results. (more…)

Budgeting For Beauty – Part 1

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Today’s economic slow down has left a deficit in the “beauty budget” of many. Unfortunately, this has occurred at a time when we must look and feel our best in the work force as a sense of job security or in hopes of landing a new job. Let’s face it, rational or not, we are often judged not only on our job performance but on our appearance as well. If we walk into an interview appearing outdated, a perspective interviewer may perceive our ideas and abilities to be outdated as well. How well we take care of ourselves reflects on our ability to manage all that life throws our way.

Feeling good about ourselves improves our confidence, self-esteem, and productivity. Therefore, a certain amount of vanity can be a good thing. I believe when looking for ways to insure a return on your financial investments, investing in yourself may be one of your best options.

(more…)