Posts for: January, 2018
What is PDT?
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a medical treatment for actinic keratoses (pre-cancers) and sun-damaged skin. Photodynamic therapy combines the use of a topical photosensitizing agent which is applied to the skin and a light source which activates the medicine to kill the abnormal cells. PDT is also referred to as blu light therapy.
What is PDT used for?
PDT is used to treat actinic keratosis (AK). An actinic keratosis is a crusty or scaly growth that occurs in sun exposed areas such as the face, chest, arms and hands. Actinic keratoses are often red or pink in color and feel rough compared to the normal skin. In very early stages, AKs are so small that they may be easier felt than seen. Oftentimes, patients have many more invisible actinic keratoses than what is seen on the surface of the skin.
Actinic keratoses are considered precancerous because if left untreated they have the potential to become more abnormal and develop into a squamous cell skin cancer. PDT is especially useful for widespread lesions on the face and scalp. Although PDT is a medical treatment, it may also provide cosmetic benefits, typically leaving the skin more even-toned and with no scarring or pigmentary changes.
What is the procedure like?
PDT is performed in a dermatologists office and consists of three basic steps. First, the skin is cleansed and a topical photosensitizing substance is applied to the area of skin to be treated. Second, there is an incubation period which may range from 30 minutes to 3 hours or even overnight during which time the photosensitizer is absorbed by areas of the skin that have become abnormal (both what is visible and not yet visible). Third, the area to be treated is exposed to a light source that activates the photosensitizer and kills the abnormal cells. This last stage lasts approximately 16 minutes and feels very warm, like you are getting a sun burn.
Does the PDT treatment hurt?
PDT is very well tolerated by patients. Most patients experience some burning (as if sitting in the sun) during the treatment which is alleviated by the use of fans or cold air (provided in our office).
What restrictions do I have?
The treated area is extremely light sensitive for the first 48 hours following the procedure. It is recommended to avoid sun exposure during this time. Hats, scarves, and sunscreen with zinc oxide are also recommended.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, the treated skin will be pink or red and may peel for the first few days (may feel like a sun burn). This typically resolves in about a week. Less commonly, more intense reactions can involve itching, swelling and pronounced crusting and discomfort. This may be more likely to occur if the area being treated has a large number of pre-cancers or if the area treated is inadvertently exposed to sun during the first 48 hours after treatment. Oftentimes, people who have very intense reactions to the treatment have excellent results.
Aging is a natural part of life, and our skin changes as we age. Some of the most visible signs of aging are lines or folds on the face and loss of volume that makes the face look less smooth and youthful as it once did. Fillers are a great way to combat these unwanted changes whether by maintaining your natural look or by enhancing your features.
What are fillers?
Dermal fillers are non-invasive treatments to smooth the appearance of skin folds, restore volume and enhance facial features. Fillers have been used in the United States since the 1970s and have gained popularity over the past decade. Over the years, the number of filler products available has proliferated and the demand has increased with over 2 million procedures performed in the U.S. in 2016. The immediate results and the minimal downtime make fillers especially appealing. As a result, fillers have become one of the most widely used cosmetic procedures in the U.S and worldwide. Fillers are popular among men and women, young and old, and in those of all skin colors and types.
How do fillers work?
Injectable fillers resemble materials that are naturally present by our body. The most commonly used fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid (HA) which is a type of sugar that is found in skin and cartilage. HA has the ability to bind water and provides the skin with hydration, volume and elasticity. As the skin ages, it produces collagen and hyaluronic acid. As a result, wrinkles, folds, and volume loss may become more prominent. Hylauronic acid based fillers can be used to combat these concerns by restoring lost volume and softening existing wrinkles and folds in the skin. In addition to providing immediate volume, fillers can stimulate increased production of collagen in the skin.
What can fillers be used to treat?
Several types of fillers are available and each has its own unique properties and indications. Here are some of the areas where fillers can be beneficial:
- Nasolabial folds
- Marionette lines
- Volumize and lift cheeks
- Improve facial contour
- Enhance the size, shape or definition of the lips
- Soften vertical lip lines
- Soften tear troughs
How long do the results last?
Although treatment with fillers can be very effective, it is not permanent. Each product has a different duration of effectiveness. The results typically last between six months
When your child breaks out all over in a blistery, itchy red rash, there’s a good chance it’s the chicken pox. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, and although it’s typically a childhood disease, people who have not contracted it as a child can suffer from it in adulthood as well.
Chicken pox is highly contagious and can spread from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person's coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms of Chicken pox
Itchy red spots or blisters all over the body are telltale signs of chicken pox. It may also be accompanied by a headache, sore throat and fever. Symptoms are generally mild among children, but can cause serious complications in infants, adults and people with weakened immune systems.
The most common symptoms of chicken pox include:
- Itchy rash all over the body, including the face, on the arms and legs and inside the mouth
- Fatigue and irritability
- Feeling of general illness
- Reduced appetite
The symptoms of chicken pox may resemble other skin problems or medical conditions, so it is always important to consult your child's physician or dermatologist for proper diagnosis. If the chicken pox rash seems generalized or severe, or if the child has a high grade fever or is experiencing a headache or nausea, seek medical care right away.
The incubation period (from exposure to first appearance of symptoms) is 14 to 16 days. When the blisters crust over, they are no longer contagious and the child can return to normal activity.
Relief for Chicken Pox
It is important not to scratch the blisters as it can slow down the healing process and result in scarring. Scratching may also increase the risk of a bacterial infection. To help relieve the itching, soak in a cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath. A physician may recommend anti-itch ointments or medications, such as over-the-counter antihistamines, to control this troublesome itch.
Although about four million children get chicken pox each year, it may be preventable via a vaccine. Usually one episode of chicken pox in childhood provides lifelong immunity to the virus.
Fortunately, chicken pox is more of a nuisance than a concern. With time and extra rest, the rash will pass and the child will be good as new! Contact your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns about chicken pox.
Many people suffer from acne problems, wrinkles, age spots or skin discoloration. After countless tries at topical creams and other treatment methods, reducing the visual signs of fine lines and other imperfections may seem impossible.
Thanks to new advancements in dermatology, both men and women can now enjoy flawless skin. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a new, non-laser cosmetic treatment that offers a non-invasive solution to rejuvenated skin. IPL is a proven effective procedure for correct and improving nearly all skin types. It is particularly effective for treating:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Broken capillaries
- Irregular pigmentation
- Fine lines
How IPL Works
Unlike a laser which emits one specific wavelength of light, IPL delivers a broad spectrum of light onto the skin’s surface to correct a wider area of damaged skin cells with each pulse. IPL treatments are typically conducted as a series of treatments at intervals, and the skin begins to take on a more youthful and clear appearance with each session. How many treatments are required to achieve the desired results will vary for each patient’s initial level of skin damage.
Benefits of IPL
If you’ve been looking for a non-invasive, fast-acting solution for rejuvenating your skin’s imperfections, consider the benefits of Intense pulsed light therapy. IPL procedures are proven safe and effective, do not require any anesthetic and in many cases offer near-instant results. IPL offers the ability to customize the treatment to your specific skin problems. It also offers the ability to treat larger areas of skin simultaneously.
Due to the sophistication of the technology, the duration of each treatment session is typically less than 30 minutes. The process is ideal for patients with active lifestyles because the procedure requires no downtime, minimal pain and has a low risk of side effects. This treatment can be used safely virtually anywhere on the body.
To learn more about intense pulsed light therapy, visit your dermatologist. Following a thorough skin assessment, your dermatologist can recommend the best course of treatment to bring you rejuvenated and more youthful skin.