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Skin Care

Acne Science Revealed, Myths Busted, and What You Can Do About Acne

Ah, acne. We all get it, and we all hate it. And if you’re someone who suffers from it regularly, chances are you’ve spoken to friends or jumped online to research what could be causing your outbreaks. There definitely has to be a trigger, right? At 13, acne is part of puberty, but what about in your 40s and 50s?

The problem with discussing or researching acne problems is that it’s hard to know what’s a myth and what’s not. For example, we’ve all heard that toothpaste cures acne—but that’s simply not true. How do these myths get started, anyway?

Here are a few acne myths, and a few truths, and what you can do about your own acne issues.

Acne Myth #1: If you have acne, you need to wash your face all the time.

Yes, wash your face…but in moderation. Do it like a normal person, not obsessively like Howard Hughes. And definitely don’t scrub too hard, or you’ll wind up with very irritated skin.

The science: The truth is, washing your face too much can cause it to become extra dry, which can result in even more breakouts. The best thing to do is to wash your face two times a day with mild soap, gentle circle motions, and a nice pat dry.

Acne Myth #2: Makeup causes/aggravates acne.

There is some legitimacy to this myth, but only if you use the wrong type of makeup. Because acne is such a widespread problem, many products now include pimple-fighting benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and can therefore help your skin.

The science: Powder-based mineral foundations that have silica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide are particularly great for those who have trouble with acne, as these can absorb the oil that produces pimples.

Acne Myth #3: If you have acne, you need constant treatment.

When we’re experiencing breakouts, it’s hard to stay away from creams, scrubs, masks, and medicines. We want to get rid of those pimples pronto! However, as mentioned before, everything in moderation. Too much “acne medicating” can make things worse.

The science: Almost all acne medications includes benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which can help your skin, but also can cause your skin to dry out if you use them too much. And of course, dried-out skin will result in more acne.

What if Nothing is Working?

If you have serious acne issues and your situation seems to stay the same no matter what medications you use, no matter what makeup you wear, no matter what food you eat, and no matter what regimen you follow, you may want to consider an acne skin treatment from a skin specialist. Whether you want to improve acne, acne scarring, or both, there are plenty of incredible options that can help, including:

  • CO2 laser skin resurfacing, which uses concentrated carbon dioxide to reduce acne-damaged skin cells. This treatment is kind of like dermabrasion or a chemical peel, only gentler.
  • Botox treatments can help greatly with acne because it has the ability to slow down your skin’s production of oil. Less oil, less acne!
  • DermaSweep is a popular treatment which uses fine bristles to improve acne scarring. These bristles gently exfoliate and revitalize the skin, as well as open it up to be healthier.
  • IPL, or intense pulsed light photofacials, use intense light pulses to penetrate the skin deeply in order to target acne problems. Not only do IPL treatments reduce acne; they also reduce redness.
  • Restylane, which is a dermal filler, is popular for improving acne scarring due to its ability to last up to nine months. This treatment softens the scars, resulting in a significant visible difference.

There are many options if you’re suffering from stubborn acne and nothing seems to help. If you have any questions about these treatments, please feel free to ask us or schedule a free consultation!

The Importance of Hydration in Combating Wrinkles

We all know that water is very good for us. It regulates our body temperature, flushes out bacteria, and energizes our muscles. But did you also know that it’s incredible for your skin?

Stay Hydrated

Our skin is, at the end of the day, an organ and like any other organ, it benefits greatly from hydration. Drinking water will help your skin build new cells, which will improve skin’s color and texture, creating the appearance of smoothness. Water basically helps your skin look its most radiant, glowing, and soft.

Water also replenishes skin tissue and helps it maintain its youthful elasticity, which delays wrinkles. When the skin isn’t getting enough hydration, it causes skin cell damage, which results in wrinkles, sagginess, tightness, and dryness—and dry skin has less resilience, making it much more prone to wrinkling.

Water is Very Helpful, But…

There is a beauty myth that drinking lots and lots of water will erase wrinkles. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Water won’t turn back the clock, but staying hydrated will help your skin stay looking its absolute best, and may prevent further wrinkles from forming.

Conquer Your Wrinkles!

If you’re already on top of your water game, but also are interested in getting rid of the wrinkles that you already have, we offer excellent skin treatments at Fremont Laser to lessen your lines and creases.

Botox is, of course, a classic, and Dysport is very close to it, with very minute differences. Both are FDA approved and are very effective. Both Botox and Dysport have the ability to stop muscles from moving and creating wrinkles. This smooths out the skin, and is outstanding for deep burrows, eye lines, and forehead ditches.

Restylane and Restylane Lyft. These are very popular dermal fillers which uses hyaluronic acid (which is naturally produced within the body) to “plump” wrinkles out. Restylane is perfect for under the eyes, creases, and fine lines, while Restylane Lyft is a bit stronger—good for lifting and holding volume. Both are very effective for improving a “tired” or “grumpy” looking face.

CO2 laser skin resurfacing. This is the best treatment to fight advanced skin damage and wrinkling, but it does require a bit of downtime and a strict follow-up regimen. CO2 laser resurfacing works by using an extremely precise laser, which makes tiny holes in the troubled skin. This causes the area to heal itself and become healthy. CO2 is a little more intensive, but a wonderful option if you have the time to properly recover.

We offer treatments for wrinkles at Fremont Laser. To learn more, contact us or schedule a free consultation. We’d love to speak with you and conquering wrinkles.

Restylane, Restylane Silk, and Restylane Lyft?

What are the Differences?

Restylane® is an incredibly versatile dermal filler that can improve the appearance of almost everything, from crow’s feet to neck lines to thin lips. It’s so versatile, in fact, that Restylane developed additional versions—Restylane Lyft and Restylane Silk—which concentrate more on specific areas.

Which Restylane formula is perfect for you? It depends on what you want to accomplish.

Restylane Lyft®: Best for Signs of Aging

Restylane Lyft is best at lifting and holding volume, so it’s typically recommended for patients 35 to 60 years old in order to improve a drooping face and other telltale signs of aging. It’s particularly useful for wrinkles, lines, and folds that are more severe, and helps erase smile lines, lift jowls, smooth the jawline, and give a voluminous lift to the face.

As we get older, we can experience sunken or hollow temples and cheeks as well, which Restylane Lyft helps to correct. It can even be used for a non-surgical nose job.

Restylane Lyft basically helps get rid of the “tired” or “angry” look that appears on the face with age. It’s also a great first-time filler because it can be reversed if you don’t like the results.

Restylane Silk®: Best for Lips

Much lighter than Restylane Lyft, Restylane Silk is a thinner, smoother filler that provides less volume than Restylane Lyft, yet still works very well for improving fine lines.

Used primarily as a lip enhancer, Restylane Silk offers natural-looking results for fuller lips that last longer than other options. Our lips move a lot—talking, laughing, eating, singing, kissing—and other fillers often tend to wear away faster. However, Restylane Silk has better longevity. Whether you’re younger with not-so-full lips or you’re older and your lips are losing their volume and shape due, Restylane Silk is a wonderful option. It’s also great for treating crow’s feet, forehead lines, and neck lines.

Restylane: Best for Under the Eyes

If you want something that’s in between Restylane Silk and Restylane Lyft, Restylane is a good choice. It doesn’t have as much “hold” as Restylane Lyft but has more than Restylane Silk. It provides significant results for creases and fine lines, and it originally gained a lot of attention and praise for its ability to treat dark circles, bags, and hollows underneath the eye area. Like Restylane Lyft and Silk, original Restylane is FDA approved and made from hyaluronic acid (a.k.a. “nature’s filler”). Not only is it an in-between of Restylane Lyft and Restylane Silk in its substance; it’s also an in-between in how long it lasts.

When choosing between dermal fillers, it truly depends on what your goals are. A good specialist will be able to guide you, answer questions, and help you decide on the right filler for you. If you’re younger but want fuller lips, Restylane Silk is perfect for you. If you want to improve the bags under your eyes, the original Restylane is a better choice. Or if your feel that your entire face looks tired and saggy, Restylane Lyft is probably best for you.

Talk with a specialist and see what’s possible. Our Restylane professionals at Monterey Laser are here for you!

Can Dermal Fillers Fix Acne Scars?

The Answer is Maybe.

If you have acne scarring, you’ve most likely done online research to find the best treatments for it. You may have asked around. You probably have a cabinet full of corrective serums and creams. Now you’re ready to get serious about getting rid of acne scars, and you’ve found dermal fillers.

The truth is the effectiveness of dermal fillers varies from person to person based on the severity and type of the scars. It’s also important to know that dermal fillers are wonderful with improving the appearance of acne scars. They won’t make the scarring vanish completely, in most cases, and sometimes dermal fillers need to be used along with a more intensive treatment, such as a peel or CO2 treatment.

Knowing Your Type of Scars

Depending on what type of acne scarring you have, dermal fillers can work wonders. When it comes to scars, there are:

  • Boxcar scars (broad with sharp edges)
  • Rolling scars (broad with a sloped edge)
  • Ice pick scars (deeply-pitted scars)
  • Atrophic scars (thin and flat)

Make sure to understand what type you have so that you can talk about your best options with a specialist. For example, boxcar scars may require an additional treatment along with dermal fillers to achieve the best results.

Best Filler Options for Acne Scarring

So, if you do decide to try dermal fillers, what works best for reducing acne scars?

While Radiesse®, Belotero®, and Juvéderm® are great for acne scarring, Restylane® is known for being a preferred filler for this exact purpose and can last up to nine months. Restylane is hyaluronic-based and softens the acne scars, creating a significant difference which will continue to improve over the months.

The Procedure

The procedure for improving acne scars with a dermal filler is easy. A specialist will chat with you about your concerns and goals, and what areas bother you the most.

When the day of the actual procedure arrives, the skin is cleaned and numbed slightly with either ice or cream. A tiny needle will be used to fill the scarred areas. While this process can be uncomfortable, the pain is typically minimal and very tolerable with the help of numbing. The treatment can last up to an hour, but the standard is about 30 minutes.

What Happens Next?

Some patients experience redness, bruising, and/or swelling, but this is temporary. Be sure to avoid exercise and alcohol for a couple days as well…and then enjoy your results!

Even though your acne may be gone, the scars can remain. If you’re tired of being self-conscious about your acne scars and want to try a dermal filler, contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care to find out if you’re a good candidate for the treatment and to ask us any questions about Restylane.

Aftercare Routine for Restylane Treatments

What You Need to Know about Aftercare for the Best Restylane Results

You’re thinking about having a Restylane® treatment. Good for you! Restylane gets excellent results and is safe and satisfying. In fact, it’s one of our most popular treatments at Monterey Laser & Skin Care. Whether you’re getting rid of wrinkles, improving your dark circles or under eye bags, or plumping your lips, Restylane is a fantastic choice.

But, what exactly can you expect during your downtime, and how do you take care of yourself? 

A Word About Restylane Side Effects

The first thing to know is: side effects and recovery time vary from person to person. One patient may have no bruising at all, and another may have bruising for a week. It all depends. However, there are things you can do to help prevent bruising and other side effects during your Restylane aftercare.

Prevent Bruising

For bruising, use cold compresses. (This will also help with any swelling.) It’s fine to cover up any bruising with concealer or makeup the next day following your treatment.

Avoid Extremes

For a week after your Restylane treatment, be sure to stay away from sunbathing and sun exposure, saunas, tanning beds, and extreme cold.

Refrain from Taking Certain Medications

Avoid taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen), St. John’s wort, aspirin, clopidogrel, warfarin, or high doses of vitamin E supplements for one week after your Restylane treatment, since these can cause extra bruising and maybe even bleeding.

Put Off Wearing Makeup

Yes, you may want to cover up the area with your favorite concealer where you were injected, but don’t. When you use makeup too soon afterwards, you’re putting yourself at risk for skin infection.

Don’t be Afraid If…

You see lumps. Lumps can appear sometimes after treatment when the filler absorbs water from your body and swells. Typically, this happens within 24 hours of getting the treatment. If you experience lumps, don’t worry. They can easily be massaged away with your finger and thumb. (Note: Don’t massage anything unless it’s a lump! You might move your carefully placed filler.)

You have a tingling or numb feeling. This is normal, even if it lasts a few days.

Your lips seem huge. Dermal fillers always cause swelling, and your lips won’t look so swollen or unbalanced after a few days. Give the filler some time to “calm down.”

You see pink or red lines on your face. This is also normal and will subside in a few days.

Give Yourself 3 to 4 Days of Downtime

The best thing to do when planning for Restylane after treatment is to block out about three days for downtime. You may be one of those who doesn’t experience much bruising or swelling, but it’s a good idea to give yourself this time just in case. And if you’re having the treatment done in preparation for a specific event (a wedding, birthday, work event, etc.), it’s smart to schedule at least two weeks of recovery time.

Ready for your Restylane treatment? If you have any questions whatsoever about the product, procedure, and aftercare, please let us know! We’ll be happy to answer anything you want to know. Contact us at Monterey Laser & Skin Care.