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Are You Exfoliating the WRONG Way?

Exfoliation is a pivotal step in effective skin care, but is often an overlooked component of many people’s skin care routines.

There are so many different forms of exfoliating that it can be intimidating for someone who is just getting started. Due to the number of treatments available, even those who do exfoliate may end up performing it incorrectly a lot of the time.

How are you able to tell if you’re exfoliating the right way? Below are the 4 of the most common ways that you may be doing this wrong:

#1: Not exfoliating at all

The most basic exfoliation error that is so common is that most people never exfoliate at all.

Our skin naturally has a buildup of dead skin cells over time. As we get older, the skin loses elasticity and this buildup of dead cells does not slough off the skin as well as it used to. Too much build up of these dead cells makes the skin look dull, and exaggerates the appearance of wrinkles. Properly removing this layer of dead skin requires intervention on our end in order to maintain healthy looking skin.

Regular exfoliation has many upsides, including:

  • Unclogging of pores
  • Prevention of blackheads, blemishes, and acne breakouts
  • Better efficacy of skin care products
  • Improved cell turnover and collagen synthesis
  • A more even and brighter skin complexion & smoother texture

There are many different kinds of exfoliation available – chemical peels, facials, scrubs and brushes, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion – the list goes on!

#2: Exfoliating way too often

Exfoliation should be an integral part of every skin care routine; however, it is possible for there to be too much of a good thing.

As we know by now, the main goal of exfoliation is to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. In order to do this effectively, the treatment temporarily needs to remove the protective barrier around the skin as a direct result.

Depending on the type of exfoliation you are using, as well as the level of strength of your selected method, doing this too often or too harshly can cause microtears on the skin’s surface which strip the protective layer away too much. The overly damaged barrier leads to a loss of moisture which causes dried out, flaky skin. Irritation and itchiness are also a sign of excessive exfoliation. If this does happen, be sure to stop any further exfoliation for a bit and focus on skin hydration.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more aggressive the treatment is, the less often you need to do it.

Most importantly, in addition to not exfoliating too frequently, it is important to remain consistent with the selected treatment as well. Constantly jumping around from one kind of exfoliation to the other is not recommended. Consistency with a set exfoliation routine is key, and limits the damage to the protective layers on the outer levels on the skin.

#3: Not selecting the correct kind of exfoliation for your needs

Selecting an exfoliation method depends on many factors – your skin type, usage frequency, your existing skin care routine, and most importantly, what your goals are.

For those with sensitive skin or conditions such as rosacea, most physical exfoliation techniques may not be the best option.

Chemical exfoliation also requires consideration beforehand. Most chemical exfoliation methods can be classified as either alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, and which one to select depends on your skin type and needs. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble, which makes them great for those with normal, dry, sensitive, or redness prone skin. Those with oily and acne prone skin are usually good candidates for beta hydroxy acids, which are oil soluble.

One note to keep in mind is that many chemical exfoliants will increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. However, as a frequent reader of our blog, you are aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday, so this shouldn’t be news to you 🙂

When it comes to exfoliation, simply listen to your skin. If you notice that your skin starts to get irritated when you do a particular method 3 times a week, cut back to once a week and see what happens. If you are using a chemical method and aren’t seeing results, you can then begin to consider other versions that have a bit more strength.

#4: Never getting any professional exfoliation treatments

There’s no shortage of exfoliation treatments available for use at home – and with proper research, you can find a good at home option that keeps the amount of dead skin cells manageable; however, this doesn’t mean that professional exfoliation treatments should be ignored.

At home exfoliation tools are designed to be gentle, which means that their effectiveness is lower compared to professional treatments. Physical exfoliation (also known as mechanical) especially has a lot of room for incorrect use. Additionally, at home physical tools used to treat certain concerns such as blackheads can be harsh on the skin, and because the room for error is much higher, it can cause even more damage if used incorrectly.

Chemical exfoliation has the same issue for at home use. They are intentionally designed to be more gentle on the skin, and so the results are not nearly as potent as the treatments designed to be used by a trained professional. The strength of professional chemical peels and facials, are made to be stronger and more effective than the OTC scrubs and masques you purchase at your local store.

The best exfoliation routines use a combination of at-home tools, as well as professional medical treatments. Professional treatments involve more time between sessions. Thus, at-home exfoliation should be used to maintain the results you receive from professional treatments, rather than being used as the end-all answer.

BRAND NEW at Dermatology Institute of Southern California

We are proud to now offer a new exfoliation treatment as one of our Medical Spa services – DERMAPLANING!!

To learn more about how this non-invasive treatment can benefit your skin, click here.

6 Winter Skin Care Factors To Keep An Eye On

The beginning of the year also means the beginning of winter. This season can be particularly harsh in many areas – weather, finances due to all the holiday shopping, time, and that initial phase of getting started with your new year’s resolutions.

Winter is particularly harsh on the skin too.

During the winter, dry skin is the biggest culprit to look out for. Cold air and central heating units strip moisture from the skin, and also tighten the pores and reduce the blood circulation. All these factors combined dry out the skin very easily, and reduce the potency of the protective barrier that your body naturally produces. The result is less flexible skin that leads to redness, cracking, peeling, and even more.

Those with existing conditions such as acne and eczema can also see a heightened risk of new breakouts and flare-ups if proper measures are not taken beforehand.

Here are 6 factors to keep your eye on to protect your skin against the winter’s harshness:

1) Stronger Moisturizers

During the winter time, keeping the skin well moisturized is key in combating the effects of the cold, dry air

When seasons change, you don’t keep wearing the same clothing. Chances are you dress down or up depending on the temperature, weather, location, etc. The same thought process should apply to your skin care routine as well.

The colder, drier weather of winter means that it is time to upgrade from your standard moisturizer. Switching from a regular lotion to a cream during this time allows more moisture to stay locked into the skin, as creams are a bit thicker and contain less water than lotions.

The lips are an especially sensitive location that is very prone to dryness and cracking. It can be tempting to lick the lips to keep them moist, but this actually has the opposite effect and dries them out even more. Instead, lip balm or petroleum jelly should be used to keep to keep the lips hydrated and protected.

Most importantly, drinking lots of water should also be a big priority. Colder air and temperatures drain a lot of moisture from the skin, and many are surprised to learn how quickly they can become underhydrated even if they consume water throughout the day. The more water the better!

2) Refined Carbs

Everywhere you look, there are refined carbs everywhere! Baked goods, starchy dinners, sweet seasonal beverages – you name it. Despite the prevalence of all the comfort foods, avoid going overboard with them. In addition to the health risks and high calorie count that most of these products contain, refined carbs can also be a contributing factor to acne.

Eating too many refined carbs can lead to oiler skin, which can contribute to acne

Refined carbs increase the production of sebum and certain hormones. The end result is oilier skin. In addition, many of these seasonal winter foods also contain a lot of other ingredients such as caffeine or alcohol that dehydrate the skin. This causes the skin to dry out even more, which can exacerbate other potential problems.

The solution? Simply keep an eye on the amount of refined carbs you are consuming. Completely avoiding all these seasonal items is both unreasonable and unnecessary. It’s perfectly fine to treat yourself during this time of the year – but remember to set limits and know when enough is enough.

3) Sudden Temperature Changes

Broken capillaries are possible anytime of the year, but the low temperatures of winter increases the likelihood of these by quite a bit. While this condition is cosmetic only, broken capillaries are usually permanent once they appear unless they are treated.

Going from the cold outdoors into warm heated buildings, and vice versa, can take its toll on your blood vessels and skin. This large difference in temperature causes the blood vessels to expand and contract a lot in a short amount of time. When these contractions and expansions occur too fast, the vessels can become overstretched and are unable to shrink back down to their smaller sizes. This can then lead to the appearance of red, splotchy skin with an uneven complexion.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to minimize these large temperature changes. Wrapping up with an extra layer or two while outdoors can keep the body warmer and limit the skin’s exposure to the harsh winter air. When going back indoors, avoid staying directly in front of heaters or fireplaces for extended periods of time. Central heating, especially when used for extended periods of time, is a very big source of dry skin, which is important to keep in mind due to how common these units are.

Instead, a good workaround is to set these units a few degrees lower and throw on warmer clothing. If it is not possible to control the temperature of the heater in a location, removing a layer of clothing or two can keep the body heat from going up too high.

4) Skin Irritants

Gentle fabrics such as silk pillowcases are less abrasive against the skin and can help retain moisture during the winter

Cold air reduces blood circulation throughout the body which tightens the pores. This leads to the skin feeling a bit more tight, as well as a reduction in the protective layer that normally guards the skin. During this state, the skin is prone even further to dryness, cracking, and flaking on its own.

However, many of the everyday products and items our skin is exposed to can aggravate the skin’s increased sensitivity even more. Those with existing conditions such as eczema and psoriasis will also want to take note of such items during this time.

Certain fabrics that are commonly used for winter clothing can catch and rub against the skin excessively, which can irritate dry skin. Cotton articles in particular can drain moisture from the skin which dries out the skin even more. Pillow cases and undergarments made of silk are gentle against the skin, and allow the skin to retain moisture rather than draining it out.

Using soaps, fragrances, and other products that are unscented and free from dyes and excess chemicals are also recommended, as some ingredients can be a bit harsh on the already compromised skin. Even the simple act of drying off the skin after a shower can be a source of irritation. Instead, patting the skin dry is much less abrasive.

5) Hot Showers

Taking showers that are too hot can dry out the skin even more during the winter

Taking a nice hot shower or bath after a long, cold day is one of the biggest culprits that contributes to dry skin; yet, many don’t even realize it.

While it can feel good at the time, hot water strips the skin of the protective oils that help keep moisture sealed in. In addition, the high water temperature causes the skin to become even drier as the water evaporates. Hot showers can also cause an overdilation of the blood vessels that need to quickly contract once you step out into the cold winter air. Temperatures that are too hot can even contribute to skin inflammation and peeling if you aren’t careful.

The solution is very easy – limit your shower-bath time to about 10 minutes max, and use warm water as opposed to a full on hot shower. Immediately after the warm shower has been finished, moisturize the body with a body cream to help the skin retain as much moisture as possible.

6) Hot Tip: Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C has numerous benefits that can enhance the skin during the winter, especially for those who are prone to conditions like acne or eczema. If you’ve been considering trying something new to enhance your existing regimen, this is the time to start.

Vitamin C contains antioxidants that helps strengthen the protective skin barrier, which as you now know, gets weaker during the winter. Strengthening this protective barrier allows the skin to retain more moisture while keeping the skin guarded against the outside elements. It can also make your sunscreen more effective. Those who are in snowy areas will especially need to be concerned about proper sunscreen use, as the UV rays from the sun reflect off of the snow, which means your skin gets twice the exposure.

Long-term, Vitamin C boosts collagen production. In turn, this can counteract some of the sagginess and lines/wrinkles that develop due to the winter air stripping away the beneficial oils, and the increased dryness that comes with the season.

The enzymes and antioxidants contained in Vitamin C help brighten dull skin and target discoloration from any hyperpigmentation, as well as reduce inflammation. This antiinflammatory property helps soothe the redness and cracking that are common with dry skin, as well as any current breakouts or flareups. With normal use and integration into a proper winter skin care regimen, the end result is brighter, well-hydrated, and ultimately healthier looking skin during a season known for gloomy weather and skin difficulties.

Vita-CE serum contains Vitamin C to help strengthen the skin barrier, and is available at Dr. Behroozan's practice

For your convenience, Dr. Behroozan has his own personal Vita-CE serum available at both practice locations, as well as on our website via our Product Store!
Click here to view our Vita-CE serum!

Top 4 Treatments for Autumn

As we prepare to enter the final stretch of the year, the weather begins to cool down, the streets become covered in leaves, and we start to see lots of pumpkin themed products all around. Fall has arrived!

With the change in the environment, certain cosmetic procedures begin to increase in popularity. Treatments that otherwise may have required a bit of extra planning and moving things around schedule-wise now become much easier to accommodate thanks to longer nights, cooler temperatures, and warmer clothing. Additionally, other treatments see a surge in numbers to ensure that our skin heals and looks its absolute best just in time for the holiday season, the beginning of the new year, and other big events composed of large gatherings and constant photo taking and video recordings.

No matter what the reason is, here are the top 4 procedures that are the most popular during the season of Autumn:

1) Laser Skin Rejuvenation

What Is It?

Fraxel, V-Beam, and Clear + Brilliant are 3 examples of some of the most popular devices used for Laser Skin Rejuvenation, which is an extremely versatile procedure. Lasers can be used to treat a multitude of conditions – from acne, to acne scars, wrinkles, skin redness, sun damage, undereye circles – you name it!

No matter what the concern you may have, odds are that there will be a laser available for you that can help. A consultation with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Daniel Behroozan, will allow you to determine which laser will best help you achieve your skin care goals.

Why treat your skin at this time of year?

Depending on the laser used or the condition treated, the healing process may vary between a couple of days to a couple weeks. One of the most important aspects of the healing phase is to limit sun exposure as much as possible. During the fall, days become shorter while night starts to set in earlier, which makes it a lot easier for some people to keep an eye on the amount of sun exposure they are getting. For example, since the sun starts to set a lot earlier, you may encounter a lot less sunshine while you are driving home from work as opposed to the summer, when the sun stays out quite late and can shine directly on you when you’re in the car. Sunscreen with SPF 30+ should always be worn no matter the time of the year that you receive a laser treatment.

Regardless of the laser or treated condition, the best results require no tanning. Skin should be at its normal complexion, and this is generally more feasible to obtain after the summer is over, as tanning is less prevalent in the fall.

Additionally, some lasers or conditions may require a series of treatments every couple of weeks instead of just one session. Many patients opt to start this process during autumn in order to ensure that the full series has enough time to be performed and healed before the later stages of winter and the holiday season.

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

2) Scar/Stretch Mark Removal

What Is It?

Scars and stretch marks are some of the most difficult skin conditions to treat, and thus there are many options available. Lasers, microneedling, and injectable fillers are only some examples of treatment options that can address scars and stretch marks. It is very common for more than one treatment option to be combined in order to obtain the best cosmetic outcome for treating a scar/stretch marks. Multiple sessions over a long period of time are usually needed as well. The treatment plan that is selected varies depending on the kind of scar, the size, location, and how old the scar is. A board-certified physician like Dr. Daniel Behroozan will assist you in selecting the right treatment for you.

Why treat your skin at this time of year?

The earlier scars and stretch marks are treated, the better the results will be in reducing their appearance. As a result, treatment should be started as soon as possible. That being said, fall does have certain benefits that can assist with this. Like lasers, limiting sun exposure is critical – arguably even more so with scars. The decrease in sunlight during the fall and winter helps manage the amount of sun exposure you receive, which is especially important since the healing period can be lengthy depending on the scar/treatment used.

In addition, scars need to stay moisturized as well. It is a common belief that scars should be allowed to air out, but this is not the case. Dried out wounds can cause scabbing which can result in even more scarring. Moisturizing the scar ensures that the skin heals better, and the lower temperatures of the autumn time facilitate this as the skin does not dry out as fast. The warmer clothing that is common in the fall, such as tops with long sleeves and thicker fabrics, also help retain moisture, limit sun exposure, and avoid any outside irritation to the treated area, such as accidental bumping or scratching from objects.

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

3) Laser Hair Removal

What is it?

Laser Hair Removal is composed of heat from a laser’s light being targeted onto the region that has unwanted body hair. The hair follicles in this area absorb the light, and the follicles are then destroyed in order to prevent hair from growing. Laser Hair Removal can be performed on almost any part of the body that has unwanted body hair you wish to address.

Why treat your skin at this time of year?

Laser Hair removal requires a series of treatments that will need to spaced out every few weeks. On the average, 4-6 treatments will be needed, but this varies depending on the treated area, amount of hair, skin tone, and other factors. Lots of patients prefer to start the treatment after summer in order to ensure that the entire session is completed in its entirety in time for the next spring season, and before shorter clothing starts to come back around.

While we’re on the subject of clothing – like the previous procedures mentioned above, the recovery process requires limited sun exposure as well. This is even easier to accommodate with Laser Hair Removal thanks to the cooler temperatures bringing about warmer clothing and outfits that expose less skin. A Laser Hair Removal series can be completed in its entirety without anyone ever knowing!

To learn more about this procedure, click here.

4) Blood Facial

What Is It?

A Blood Facial is a microneedling treatment that has been combined with PRP (platelet rich plasma). This procedure starts off with your own blood being drawn from your body. The platelet rich plasma is then separated from the rest of the drawn blood using a centrifuge, and is then injected into areas of your face. Then, microneedling is performed on your face, which is composed of many tiny needles puncturing the skin. The Blood Facial helps rejuvenate the skin on the face, and can treat a multitude of conditions such fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, age spots, skin tone evenness, and much more. The Blood Facial also has no downtime.

Why treat your skin at this time of year?

Like the other 3 procedures mentioned above, limiting sun exposure is vital during the aftercare of a Blood Facial. The autumn and winter seasons are great times for the Blood Facial due to the change in factors that allow for less sun exposure to the face (eg: most people do not go to the beach as frequently during this time, the sun begins to set by the time you get off work, etc). As always, sunscreen should always be worn no matter what time of year you receive any of these treatments.

Because this procedure is minimally invasive, the Blood Facial is a favorite of many patients since it allows one to obtain great results in a shorter time frame. This treatment becomes very popular right before the holiday season as well, as many patients report their skin having a bright, radiant, and glowing complexion after a Blood Facial. This makes the Blood Facial perfect to receive before the large family gatherings and end of the year work events that frequently take place at this time of year.

Speaking of holidays – there is a certain holiday that takes place in the autumn that is extremely popular. This particular holiday involves lots of pumpkins, candy, and people dressing up in costumes of scary figures like ghosts, zombies, and vampires.

Because of this holiday and its close connections with vampires, numerous patients who enjoy this particular October event LOVE to receive the Blood Facial during autumn to really get in the holiday spirit during this time (in addition to all the benefits this treatment provides, of course!)

To learn more about this procedure, click here.


All 4 of these procedures are offered by Dr. Behroozan at the Dermatology Institute of Southern California. You can select from one of two convenient locations in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, and our team is always available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have in regards to your skin care goals. We are just a quick message or phone call away!

6 Reasons to Try Microneedling Before the New Year

As we enter the final days of summer, we are slowly entering the home stretch before calling the current year a wrap. We’re right at the point where the leisure time of the summer is about to wind down, but before the chaos of the late autumn and holiday seasons start – making this the PERFECT time to consider a microneedling treatment.

Starting a microneedling treatment in the late summer/early fall allows the effects to show on your skin over the next few months, resulting in you looking your best right when the holiday season hits, and time is scarce. Not only will it also ensure that you can start off your new year with radiant, glowing skin, but you will also have personal first-hand experience with this new tool which you can now incorporate into your skin care arsenal moving forward.

*Note that Microneedling treatments can be performed on their own; however, it is also very common for these treatments to be combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your own blood as well. This combo of Microneedling + PRP is commonly referred to as the Blood Facial.

Here are 6 reasons why you should try out Microneedling (either with or without PRP) before the clock hits midnight for the new year:

1) Microneedling is All Natural

Unlike most treatments, microneedling involves no special formulas being inserted into your skin, and no fancy pieces of technology. This treatment simply consists of a collection of very tiny needles that gently puncture the first layer of your skin, and that’s it. Your body then heals these tiny wounds with its own natural healing process. This process increases collagen and improves the texture and appearance of the skin naturally since it is using your body’s own healing mechanisms that it was designed to do.

Microneedling treatments that have been combined with PRP simply involve the use of your own platelets that are already contained within your blood. Your blood is first drawn, and the platelets are then separated and injected into the face. All that is happening here is that the plasma is merely being moved from one area of your body to the other. Nothing out of the ordinary!

2) Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment with NO downtime

Because the needles being used are so small in size, the punctures caused by these needles are not visible to the naked eye. Even though these wounds are small enough to not be visible, they still trigger the body to activate healing mode on the treated areas, so your skin still reaps the effects. Most patients head right on back to work the same day, and it is very common for others to continue their originally intended weekend plans the first couple days after a treatment. After your treatment has been completed, your physician will provide you with some very simple aftercare steps to take, such as wearing sunscreen (which you are doing anyway after reading our Skin Cancer blog, right?!).

In the case of PRP – even though there are extra injections involved when microneedling and PRP are combined, this does not cause any increase in downtime. In fact, just the opposite! Those who combine microneedling with PRP can expect an even faster recovery time due to the accelerated healing process from the platelets. The initial redness and swelling wears often wears off within 48-72 hours after a blood facial, and results also appear faster as well when combined with PRP.

3) Microneedling can Treat a TON of Conditions

Microneedling is an extremely versatile procedure that can treat practically any concern or condition you have. Studies have shown that patients with acne scars especially are excellent candidates. Acne scars are one of the most difficult conditions to treat, and patients can expect to see good to great results in the improvement of their skin and the appearance of these scars after receiving microneedling.

In addition to acne scars, microneedling can also improve the appearance of:

  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation/Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Scars
  • Stretch marks
  • Undereye Circles
  • Enlarged pores
  • Cellulite

PRP is also quite versatile, and has been used in a variety of medical and surgical procedures thanks to its healing effects. It has been very prevalent among professional athletes in rehabilitation, so it comes as no surprise that PRP and microneedling go together like soap and water. In addition to Microneedling, PRP can also be used to slow down the effects of age related hair loss as well.

4) Your Skin Will Absorb Products Better After a Microneedling Session

One of the real joys about microneedling is that not only does it directly fight against conditions on your face such as fine lines and acne scars – but it also has the benefit of increasing the effectiveness of your skin care products.

Topical products applied during your skin care procedure are usually only absorbed by the uppermost layers of skin. Due to the small punctures created by microneedling, the topical products are now able to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus getting absorbed by the lower layers. Patients are often pleasantly surprised to return to their skin care regimens a few days after treatment to find that the same products they’ve been using are amplified in their effects afterwards. You can expect up to 90% increased product absorption after microneedling!

5) No Risk of Adverse Side Effects

One of the biggest perks that many microneedling patients really enjoy about the treatment is how it is so simple and natural. Because of this, the risk of side effects is extremely low with this procedure, especially when compared to other more invasive options like surgery. The punctures inflicted from the needles are so small that the body will enter its natural healing mode without needing to worry about risking prevalent side effects that accompany other treatments, like infection or surgical complications.

After a microneedling treatment, you can expect minor swelling and redness that will disappear on its own after a few days. Dry skin can also happen and is normal, and your physician will let you know what post-procedure measures to follow to limit the effects of this. Moisturizer can, and should be used to reduce this until it resolves on its own.

Those who opt to receive the microneedling + PRP combo can expect to see the swelling and redness disappear even faster! The addition of PRP offers an accelerated healing process without the addition of any other risks or downsides. Because PRP uses the patient’s own blood, there is no cause for concern about issues like allergic reactions.

6) Microneedling treatments have very little to no pain at all

Having numerous small needles puncturing your face all over may sound a bit scary to some people; however, before the procedure is started, a topical anesthetic is applied to the patient’s face and is left to sit for about 30 minutes first. As the skin absorbs this ointment, the patient’s face then goes numb and the procedure is then started afterwards. While some patients do report a slight sensation of the needles being moved across the face, many others report no pain at all. Even patients who receive the deepest level of depth have reported the procedure being very tolerable, and much less than what they initially anticipated.

The addition of PRP may give off the impression that it is painful since there is blood involved. However, due to the anesthetic, the injection of the PRP is also reported to be not very painful – in fact, patients report even less pain than what one may feel from a filler or Botox treatment. Because the needle used for PRP is much smaller than the kinds used for Botox and fillers, patients report simply the feeling of the needle going in with no pain.

**Bonus Reason:

As we know, the combination of Microneedling with PRP is referred to as the “Blood Facial”.

The fall season is famous for having a special day in October that you might have heard about at some point. This special day is known for featuring ghosts and other ghoulies like zombies, witches, and coincidentally, vampires. ? ? ? ?

This special day is referred to as…well, we can’t quite remember at the moment…

BUT, for those of you who are fans of this special day, starting this season off with a BLOOD FACIAL is the PERFECT way to get into the spirit for this time of the year ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Still have a couple of other questions before scheduling your microneedling treatment? Dr. Behroozan and the team at Dermatology Institute are more than happy to assist you on your mission to achieve healthy, glowing skin. You can choose either one of 2 locations near you in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica. We are available at your convenience via e-mail, or you can call us as well at (310) 392-1111

4 Myths About Laser Treatments Debunked

Lasers are astounding. They are essentially devices that emit beams of light, and have no shortage of applications in the real world. From serving as a harmless toy for cats, to cutting through thick sheets of metal, it comes as no surprise that lasers have many practical applications in the medical field as well.

Some of the medical applications of lasers include correcting vision via eye surgery, destroying cancerous tumors, and breaking up kidney stones. Lasers are also extremely beneficial when it comes to skin care as well, being used to treat conditions such as acne, wrinkles, hair removal, and even body fat reduction. In 2017, laser-based medical procedures grew over 17% according to the ASDS, and have been consistently increasing in popularity for many years. These procedures are clearly in high demand – but there are also a few misconceptions about these procedures that you may not be aware of. Here are 4 common myths about laser treatments:

Myth #1: All Lasers are the Same

The concept of lasers for skin treatments is simple – use the beam of light to improve the skin and remove things we don’t want. You’ve probably heard of many different lasers that all say they can reduce wrinkles or brighten up your skin tone; however, this does not mean that lasers are a “one size fits all” deal.

The laser being used must match your exact skin type, color, and condition. A laser that works for one person does NOT mean that it will work for a second person, even if they are both getting the exact same condition treated. Different lasers must be used in order to treat the huge variety of skin types that are available, as well as the severity of the treated condition. Even if two people are receiving the same exact laser, the settings can differ as well. For instance, one person may require a stronger pulse while the other may require a wider beam that is less aggressive. Looking at many before and after photos of a laser can give you an idea of whether or not that device may be suitable for you.

Myth #2: Lasers are Painful

While it is true that lasers can be used as weaponry, and are a favorite of many comic book superheroes and popular movie villains, a correctly performed laser treatment should not be painful. During treatment, many patients report a slight feeling that is comparable to a rubber band being snapped against the skin. Many of these same patients also report getting used to this feeling within a few minutes and not feeling it as much anymore. Other patients even report that the sensation may feel a bit cool and tingly as well.

For lasers that contain a bit more strength, or when being used on sensitive skin areas, topical anesthetic can be applied, and is also available per patient request as well. Laser procedures from an experienced physician that are being correctly performed should NOT involve any burning or intense levels of pain during treatment. This leads us into the third misconception…

Myth #3: All Laser Providers are Experienced

When it comes to laser treatments, the person behind the device is more important than the laser itself. Lasers are variable, and need to be adjusted to match your exact skin type, texture, and condition that are all unique to you.

Additionally, it is also a matter of patient safety. While medical spas and other locations without a licensed physician on site may offer laser treatments for a lower price, the staff may have less experience with these lasers and/or skin variations. When used incorrectly, lasers can cause lasting harm such as scarring, burning, and permanent nerve damage. Unfortunately, botched laser procedures do happen, and almost always involves a person performing the treatment without the adequate knowledge that’s required.

A licensed physician who has had extensive experience with many different skin variations, and who understands the techniques of the laser being used, will give you the best chance of obtaining your desired result. Receiving your treatment from a properly certified physician also ensures that you are being safely treated at all times. When it comes to your health and safety, would you want to risk permanent damage only to save a small amount of money?

Patient Permanently Scarred by Botched Laser Procedure  

Myth #4: The Latest Device is the Best Device

Lasers have come a long way since their initial conception in 1960. Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, especially during our era, and lasers are no exception. Existing lasers are being improved upon, and brand new ones continue to enter the market. It may be tempting to opt for the latest device that is constantly being advertised your way, but remember that like most new things, it has not had the benefit of time yet.

While it is true that new devices are thoroughly tested and inspected before being publically available, the sample size is much smaller when compared to the mass public. Certain side effects or varied results may appear when applied to public use that did not manifest during testing due to the smaller sample size. On the other hand, a laser that has been available for a longer time has treated hundreds of thousands of patients, and has extensive documentation and reviews available for you to research.

Additionally, because that laser is brand new, this means that the person conducting the treatment is also new to the device. Lasers are NOT universal, and being well experienced in one laser does not necessarily translate to another device. Proper training and experience with using the selected device is still required in order to ensure best results, as well as safety – both of which can only develop after having spent a lot of time with said device.

The purpose of this information is not to scare you away from receiving your desired treatment – but simply to ensure that you are well informed. Knowing what to look for when choosing your provider for your laser treatment helps ensure that you will reach your skin goals easily and to their full potential. Instead of trying to decide which specific laser to get for yourself, try to focus on what your intended goals are, and which laser is the best candidate for you. For even more information about laser skin treatments, click here.

Dr. Behroozan has a number of lasers available to treat many different conditions at the Dermatology Institute of Southern California, and is always available to discuss what your options are to meet your needs. Our dermatology team is excited to help you on your skin care journey, and contacting us is just one click away!

Voluma™ XC in Los Angeles

The aging process affects many aspects of our face, but one of the most noticeable changes is the loss of volume. Several injectable fillers, including others from Juvederm®, have been developed to replace lost volume in the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but no filler has before now been FDA-approved for use in the cheek area. Juvéderm Voluma™ XC is the first and only FDA-approved filler to treat volume loss in the cheek area (apex, apple, and hallow). It is different from Juvederm XC as Juvederm XC is for use in a different area of the face; it is only used to smooth wrinkles away from the nose and mouth area. Instead of using the filler as merely a way to fill wrinkles, Voluma™ XC will gently lift the face and replace lost volume using hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring, hydrating compound in the skin. As the skin ages, it loses HA molecules, causing the skin to lose structure and volume. By injecting Voluma™ XC, a skilled doctor can help restore the lost volume in the cheeks, lifting the face and giving patients a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance. (more…)

Acne Scars

After acne has healed, it can leave a red or brown mark on the skin. This is actually not a scar. The redness or brown spots are seen as the skin is healing, which can takes as long as 6 months. If acne is controlled in that area, the skin can heal normally. Any color change or skin defect still present after 1 year is considered to be a permanent scar. The best way to prevent acne scars is to prevent acne from forming in the first place. It is important to keep skin and acne scars out of the sun and wearing sunscreen each day. Using a Retin-A product help to clear existing acne and prevent new acne from occurring. You should avoid “picking” the skin. Picking at scabs interferes with the skin’s healing process increasing your changes of scarring your skin permanently.

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