There’s a wide and exciting world of amazing options out there for those who are unhappy with their skin, whether it’s because of acne scarring, sun or age spots, wrinkles, uneven tone, pigmentation, stretch marks, rosacea, or pronounced veins. With the right laser treatment, Botox, or dermal filler, these issues that are bothering you can be greatly improved or eliminated altogether.
However, if you’re like many people, you may be nervous about the person who will be administering your treatment. After all, lasers and needles don’t exactly invite comfort to begin with. Shouldn’t you be absolutely certain that your specialist is, well…a specialist?
While laser and dermal treatments aren’t invasive like surgery, they still require more trust than something like a haircut or manicure. They are widely accepted and popular, but it’s important that you’re completely sure that the spa or clinic you visit employs a licensed staff, as well as an in-house doctor.
Because of the popularity of these treatments, an overwhelming number of facilities are now offering them, even though lasers and fillers may not be their area of expertise. You’ll see quite a few eye doctors, nail salons, and dentist offices that provide cosmetic treatments, but they aren’t always the best choice. It’s better to leave cosmetic treatments to those who were specifically trained.
How do you know that your specialist is legitimate? Here are some things to know.
Your Specialist Should Take a Long Look at You
If you feel that your specialist is in a rush and trying to get you out the door, run for the hills. A professional who cares about your satisfaction will study your face: every line, blemish, spot, and shape. They will do this in order to determine your dosage (in the case of fillers or Botox) or the level of laser you need (if you’re getting laser work done). When it comes to injections, dosage and placement make all the difference.
Run from Groupon-Type Deals
A spa or facility offering “discount Botox” or discount anything to do with lasers or needles is to be heavily avoided. Why? Because discount Botox shows. It’s simply not an area to skimp. Most people who decide to go with cheap injections or laser treatments just end up paying for it later—literally. They have to visit a different specialist for damage control.
A Professional Will Keep Your Records
When it comes to injectables, there is no “one size fits all” amount. This is why a legitimate specialist will keep your unit numbers on file for your future visits. It will help them (and you) to understand what’s working for you. The last amount you received might have been too much, or not enough.
A Real Doctor Should be on Staff
Most states require a licensed doctor to be on staff at any business that administers laser or injectable treatments. While this is the law, many places try to get around this by advertising a “supervising doctor,” which basically means that their doctor is technically employed, but is never around. It’s very important that the business you choose not only has a doctor on staff, but that he or she is actually available. Find a place with a very involved, caring doctor.
At Monterey Laser, we take what we do extremely seriously. As a laser and skin care facility with professional registered nurses, we are committed to providing the smoothest, safest experience for each and every one of our clients with the best technology and products available. Our very own Dr. Brown is in everything we do, and we are far more qualified than some other local centers.
Most of us start worrying more about how we look during the summer months. Vacations, beaches, swimsuits, bright sunlight bringing so much attention to our skin. We simply want to look our best, right?
However, it’s smart to consider how the treatment you undergo might respond to summertime sunlight and heat. Timing your treatment correctly can be incredibly helpful and save you a lot of discomfort, since the sunlight and heat (and avoiding it) may play a part in your recovery and results
Here are the best and worst cosmetic treatments for the summer:
YES: Dermal Fillers
During the summer, most people spend a lot of time outdoors in the bright sun. Because our faces are on full display, many people want their skin looking extra healthy and voluminous. This is why dermal fillers are a popular summertime treatment: not only will your skin look more youthful and healthy; the effects of dermal fillers aren’t bothered at all by sunlight.
NO: Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are harsh in general, and direct sunlight and heat will definitely cause your skin to be more vulnerable to UV rays during your recovery process. This makes it a not-so-great option during the summertime. As a rule of thumb, anyone getting a chemical peel should stay away from sunlight for at least one week. Sunscreen is a must regardless of the time of year.
CoolSculpting is another beauty procedure where its results aren’t affected by sunlight. It’s also great for the summertime, since it makes your body look incredible. CoolSculpting freezes hard-to-eliminate fat cells right out of the treated areas, creating a summer-ready body.
NO: Laser Treatments
How ironic is it that laser treatments are used to reverse sun damage, yet many people go right back out into the sun after getting the procedure? Laser treatments aren’t the best idea for the hot summertime months, since these treatments temporarily make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage and discoloration. For a few weeks after getting a laser treatment, patients should avoid direct sunlight.
Unlike the laser procedures or chemical peels mentioned above, Botox doesn’t make your skin more vulnerable to sun rays. It’s an injection, not a surface treatment, so all it does is make your skin look smooth.
If you’re thinking about getting a skin treatment or any other beauty procedure for summer and you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care. Our team of specialists can answer anything for you!
Summer is upon us but you don’t need to be self-conscious about your veins! Even though summer means shorts, skirts, and swimsuits, there’s no need to hide your skin. Sclerotherapy is a fantastic option if you’re having a “hate-hate” relationship with your unattractive (and perhaps painful) veins.
So, what is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy has helped thousands of people feel confident showing off their legs again, and it also helps with the pain. Whether you have varicose veins or spider veins, sclerotherapy turns them into scar tissue, and they fade away and disappear. The result is beautiful skin sans ugly veins.
What is the process?
As with any cosmetic treatment, a specialist will talk with you about the areas that concern you the most, and he or she will focus on that specific part of your skin.
During the actual sclerotherapy procedure, the specialist will use a micro needle to inject medicine into the veins. This causes the lining of the blood vessels to collapse, which makes the vein shrink and eventually disappear.
At the end of your sclerotherapy session, depending on the severity of your vein situation, you’ll probably have about 30 needle pricks and light wrap on the treated area.
Normally, 2-4 sclerotherapy sessions are required, but if your veins are fairly mild, you may only require 1-2 sessions. You may have to have the same vein injected more than once.
Does it hurt?
It’s not a completely painless treatment. As mentioned above, sclerotherapy uses a micro needle, which can feel like a tiny sting, and many patients describe the pain as a series of “small burning sensations.” However, they also state that the pain goes away quickly and is very tolerable.
Is sclerotherapy safe?
Yes! When sclerotherapy is performed by a professional, it’s a very safe procedure. It’s extremely important to ensure that your specialist is a licensed professional who is careful and sensitive to you as a patient. Make sure they’re not only a medical professional but that you also feel very comfortable with the entire staff.
Is there recovery time?
Recovery time will depend on the type and the size your veins, and how much work was done; however, walking is recommended soon after the procedure. Some patients experience bruising and swelling at the treated areas but are able to return to their normal routine the next day.
Is sclerotherapy effective?
Yes. Once your veins disappear, they’re gone permanently. The difference can be noticed with 3-6 weeks, and you’ll have the same smooth skin that you used to—not to mention no more pain.
Sclerotherapy is a truly helpful treatment that gets significant results for patients who are unhappy with their visible veins. If you’re interested in this process and have questions for our sclerotherapy experts at Monterey Laser & Skin Care, please contact us to talk! We’re happy to answer all of your questions.
There is a lot of information out there about CO2 laser skin resurfacing. So much, in fact, that it can be difficult to know what’s fact and what’s false. After all, unless you’ve had the treatment, you simply can’t know for sure.
As CO2 laser skin resurfacing specialists, we at Monterey Laser believe it’s important for anyone considering the treatment to have the facts. Because we believe in the results, we want to encourage those who aren’t happy with their acne scars, wrinkles, and age spots to be open to laser skin resurfacing—and that starts with understanding the procedure and knowing the right information.
Here we’ll clear up some of the misinformation that we’ve seen out there about CO2 laser resurfacing…
False: You Can’t Get Laser Skin Resurfacing in the Summer
There’s some validity to this, but it’s not necessarily true. You may read or hear that you can’t get laser skin resurfacing done in the summer because the sunlight is too harsh. However, no matter when you get the treatment, you’ll have to avoid the sun for a couple weeks, anyway. You can get it done any time of the year; just be mindful that it’s best to stay indoors (or at least, avoid excessive sunlight) during your recovery time, and you MUST wear a good sunblock to protect the treated area.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing Hurts
Yes, you may feel some discomfort, but unbearable pain? Not likely. The most common “pain comparison” made to laser skin resurfacing is that it feels like tiny rubber bands snapping on the skin. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s pain threshold is different. Your laser skin resurfacing specialist will also provide you with any creams or cool packs you may need to help minimize discomfort.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing is Only for Light Skin
There are claims that laser skin resurfacing is only safe for lighter skin types. Again, there’s some validity here, but it’s not entirely true. Darker skin types are at risk for cell damage or skin if certain types of lasers are used—but not all lasers. There are other safe and effective laser options. Every individual and skin type are different, which is why consultations are encouraged.
False: Laser Skin Resurfacing Recovery Takes Months
Weeks, maybe—but months, no. This myth probably perpetuates itself because it can take months to see final results, but not to recover. After several days, you’ll be able to wear light makeup and resume daily activities. Final results won’t be fully apparent for anywhere from three weeks to six months.
Hopefully this helped clear up some of the muddled information out there about CO2 laser resurfacing. If you have any questions about this treatment, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care.
These days, if you have a problem with your skin, there’s most likely a cutting-edge laser treatment for it. From age spots and scars to skin tightening, lasers and fillers can do wonders to keep your skin looking healthy and as youthful.
At Monterey Laser & Skin Care, we administer very popular treatments for many of the most common skin concerns. We specialize in using both Alma CO2 (an ablative carbon dioxide laser) and Fraxel (a fractional, non-ablative laser).
Let’s take a look at which of these treatments works best on different skin concerns?
Generally, the Alma CO2 laser is great for age spots, except in the case of darker skin tones. For those with darker skin tones, the Fraxel laser will work better, as it uses the 1550 nm and the 1927 nm wavelength, which is safe for all skin colors.
If your acne scars are pretty serious, the Alma laser is a better choice. Its intensive light has proven to achieve very significant results with acne scarring that’s more pronounced, while the Fraxel laser does a great job on milder scarring.
Similar to the acne scarring mentioned above, the Alma CO2 laser is better for more pronounced problem areas. If your wrinkles are deep set and you’re over the age of 50, the CO2 laser is most likely the better choice. If your wrinkles are finer and you’re younger than 50, you may be very pleased with the results you achieve with the Fraxel.
Skin tightening is usually a “bonus” when you’re treated with the Alma CO2 laser, but rarely is it used only for skin tightening. If the tightening itself is your main concern, Fraxel treatments are better for that alone.
Keep in mind, if you choose a treatment that requires the Alma CO2 laser, there is more downtime than there is with the Fraxel laser, since Fraxel treatments are a bit less intensive than the Alma treatments.
If you have areas of your skin that concern you and you’re interested in correcting the issue, please feel free to contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care. We can answer any questions you may have, or we can book a complimentary consultation for you so that we can go over your concerns in person. We look forward to hearing from you!
As we’ve mentioned before on the Monterey Laser beauty blog, CO2 laser resurfacing is a treatment that delivers amazing results—but it does require some understanding, and patience.
You’ll need to avoid direct sunlight, alcohol, chemicals, and exercise. You’ll have to keep your skin moist and cool. You’ll need to stay very hydrated. You’ll experience a sunburn-type feeling. You’ll need to be patient during the red, itchy, peeling-skin phase.
You’ll also need patience knowing that the entire healing process after CO2 laser resurfacing can take up to two weeks, and that you, as the patient, will need to be mindful of your at-home care during the recovery process.
So, what exactly is involved in this process, and what is the care you’ll need to give your skin to achieve the gorgeous results you see in before and after photos?
The Day Of
Immediately following your CO2 laser treatment, you’ll need to keep the treated skin covered with the cream that your specialist has directed you to use, as well as apply compresses to cool down the inflammation. (Warning: don’t use ice directly or towels on the skin.) Your first night may be a bit uncomfortable. Be sure to sleep with your head elevated and you might want to protect your pillowcase from any cream to avoid staining. Your skin may swell and ooze for up to 48 hours post treatment. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the rejuvenation process.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
We cannot emphasize enough that it’s very important to keep the treated area moist. The best way to do this is with a layer of petroleum applied on the skin for about five days after with cleansing with room-temperature water. Continue using cool compresses. After 5-7 days, begin using a quality moisturizer.
Don’t scrub too hard during while washing your face. Be gentle and don’t pick at your skin. Around day 4 post CO2 treatment, you can be a bit more aggressive (with your fingertips only) during face washing to start exfoliation—but be very careful. When you go outside, still avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and be sure to wear a non-irritating sunblock on the treated area. Also, around day 4, you can apply makeup for the first time. Only use mineral powder: nothing too harsh.
After day 7, you’ll need to continue using plenty of moisturizer until your skin has fully recovered. Don’t use any exfoliating masks or scrubs for four weeks and continue avoiding excessive sun exposure during this time. Keep that sunblock on as long as you need it, and don’t use heavy foundations or skin-irritating makeup.
The main thing to remember is to be gentle with your skin as it heals and contact your specialist if anything alarms you, such as extreme swelling. Although this sounds like a lot of work, the final results are very worth it. Radiant, smoother, healthier skin!
At Monterey Laser, we specialize in CO2 laser resurfacing, and our clients are in love with their new skin. If you’re interested in a consultation about how this treatment can improve your skin, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
There are many beauty treatments that we attempt to do at home: manicures, dyeing our hair, exfoliations. But laser hair removal? Is that even possible, much less effective?
Turns out, yes, it is. There are home laser hair removal devices available, and these can be pretty tempting. After all, they’re less expensive than going to a professional, and then there’s the added convenience of being able to do your own lasering from the comfort of your bedroom.
However, as with any do-it-yourself beauty treatments, there are significant pros and cons. If you’re considering home laser hair removal device, know the facts.
Fact: home laser hair removal devices are not as powerful as those used by medical professionals. Why? Because in the hands of a non-specialist (that’s you), the laser technology that professionals use would simply be too dangerous for at-home use. Normal folks could end up burning themselves and causing skin damage. Therefore, for home laser devices, the effectiveness is not as strong.
True, if you invest in a home laser hair removal device, you can do your own treatments more comfortably, at home. However, there is a price to pay. Because a home device is weaker, you’ll be required to do laser yourself more than you would need to at a professional clinic. This can become frustrating and time-consuming.
Everything else aside, when it comes down to it, which method actually produces the best results? It depends on you and how much hair removal you want—however, we can tell you that at-home laser hair removal devices require more treatments and the hair is less likely to be gone permanently, due to the reduced power of the home lasers.
This is a decision that will always come down to the individual’s personal preference—much like dyeing your hair at home versus going to a salon. Some people believe they can do it themselves, and others prefer visiting a professional. But considering how comfortable laser hair removal clinics are these days and how thorough of a job they do, laser hair removal should probably be one of those things you leave to the experts.
For many years, women had very few options for vaginal tightening. And, none of them were ideal in terms of addressing urinary incontinence or enhanced sexual pleasure. Doing Kegel exercises helps, but doesn’t provide an immediate or remarkably measureable difference and only affects certain vaginal muscles. Surgery is a major undertaking that involves downtime and a risk for common complications associated with any surgical procedure.
Then FemiLift with Alma’s CO2 laser came along, giving women a truly practical option with proven results, no risks and little to no side effects. Hallelujah!
FemiLift is a laser resurfacing of the vagina. The laser emits energy that promotes and stimulates collagen production to strengthen muscles – muscles that lose elasticity after childbirth and as women age. For middle-aged women who’ve had children and in menopause, it’s a double whammy that makes sex less pleasurable and stress urinary incontinence a problem. FemiLift tackles both.
Okay, So What is the Catch, Risks or Side Effects of FemiLift?
With the FDA-approved FemiLift procedure, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Though the treatment is more effective for some women than others, FemiLift won’t make stress urinary incontinence worse or leave vaginal muscles looser than they were before the procedure.
There are very few side effects and risks associated with FemiLift. It is a laser treatment following many of the same safety protocols that apply when using it on other parts of the body, like the face for laser skin resurfacing. A FemiLift treatment shouldn’t be performed if you have an active infection, take blood thinners, have a connective tissue disorder, or take medication that could interfere with the healing process. It’s important to review all of these with our staff.
There is no risk of infection since the CO2 laser wand looks a bit like an internal ultrasound wand. It’s covered with a sterile, one-time use, disposable cover. Unlike when used for skin rejuvenation, this laser treatment does not cause any peeling in the vagina. And, even though FemiLift uses thermal heat, the temperature is lower when used for vaginal tightening so it’s completely painless, takes just 10 to 15 minutes and has no downtime.
Let’s talk about whether FemiLift is right for you. Contact our office and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule a complimentary consultation.
Kegels, schmegels. They’re not helping. You’ve stopped wearing light-colored pants because you’re afraid a little urine might leave a wet spot when you cough or sneeze. You’ve told your girlfriends on more than one occasion not to make you laugh or you might pee yourself. Little do they know you’re serious. You’ve resorted to wearing maxi pads or panty liners rather than deal with wet underwear.
So many women, of all ages, deal with the stress and embarrassment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). So many women think it’s the price of motherhood or a natural part of aging. Child birth and aging are leading causes of SUI, but you don’t have to worry about it every time you cough, sneeze or laugh anymore. If stress urinary incontinence is affecting your life, it’s time to consider the FemiLift™.
How FemiLift™ Treats SUI
As we age, collagen is naturally depleted, which is why our faces (and vaginas) aren’t as tight as they once were. For younger women, childbirth can stretch vaginal muscles and lead to SUI.
FemiLift is an FDA-approved, non-surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence using Alma’s CO2 laser. Similar to skin resurfacing, think of this procedure is laser resurfacing for the vagina. A slender vaginal probe safely emits laser energy in the vaginal canal – full length and circumference. This energy promotes and stimulates collagen production, just as it does when used for laser skin resurfacing. The result is a tightening of the muscles in the area. Since the CO2 laser promotes collagen, ligaments supporting surrounding the bladder and urethra are strengthened and reduces the leakage due to stress urinary incontinence.
You Can Get FemiLift™ in Monterey, CA
Monterey Laser invested in Alma’s CO2 laser because we listened to our patients. Stress urinary incontinence is a very common and frustrating condition that no one likes talking about, but can be treated easily and painlessly in our office. The FemiLift procedure takes only 10 to 15 minutes with little to zero downtime. And, generally, our patients report remarkable results with just three FemiLift sessions, but many say they can tell a difference after the first appointment. Another benefit beyond freedom from “peeing your pants?” Improved sexual experiences. Since FemiLift tightens vaginal muscles, sexual sensation is heightened.
Let’s talk about whether FemiLift is right for you. Contact our office and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule a complimentary consultation.
As if acne by itself isn’t enough to be a confidence-killer, it also has the nasty habit of leaving behind an aftermath of evidence: acne scars. From mild to severe, these scars can have a terrible effect on your self-esteem, since it can often feel like the scars are what everyone is looking at instead of your actual face.
But fear not. For many people who suffer from acne scars, CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a godsend. This treatment (one of our most popular) has seen many patients with acne issues get significant results, with much improvement in the appearance of their skin.
How exactly does CO2 laser skin resurfacing help acne scars?
The treatment uses carbon dioxide to create a laser beam that’s high on the spectrum of infrared energy. This energy is absorbed by water, which is what our body’s cells are made of. Et voilà! When the laser is used, the damaged skin cells of the acne are reduced by the laser’s energy. After that, new tissue is able to grow in place of the old damaged cells. It’s very similar to chemical peels and dermabrasion, except it’s less harsh, since it uses vaporization as opposed to sanding or chemicals.
How many CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatments will I need?
The number of treatments each individual may need will depend on the severity of the acne scarring. For less serious cases, one treatment is all that is necessary. For more intense damage, two to three treatments may be required. However, more or less may be needed, depending on your needs. After going over your health history and goals, your certified Monterey Laser & Skin Care specialist will determine how many sessions you may need.
How painful is CO2 laser skin resurfacing?
Although some patients report discomfort during treatments, this discomfort is so mild that only topical anesthesia is usually required. No “knockout” anesthesia is needed, and patients are typically wide awake for the session.
Will the treatments require much recovery time?
Because our CO2 treatments have a lot of work to do, the recovery time can take anywhere from 7-14 days to heal. For a couple of days following the treatment, your skin may secrete fluid, and some blistering may occur. After a few days, your skin will begin to improve, but it may still appear quite pink. You may go through several unpleasant stages including peeling and crusting as well—but keep in mind, this is all temporary. The end result is worth it!
Does everyone’s skin respond well to CO2 laser skin resurfacing?
The best candidates for CO2 laser skin resurfacing are those with lighter skin, since they have less of a risk for hyperpigmentation. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not a good candidate if your skin is darker. The C02 laser does work well with many skin types, and during your consultation, we will help determine if it’s right for you.
If your acne scars are holding you back from being confident, it’s time to consider ways to improve it so that you can live your life comfortably and without concealer. Consider CO2 laser skin resurfacing to get fantastic results. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule a consultation.