Tag Archives: skin damage

Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)  – Austin, TX

Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Austin, TX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can provide excellent results in the treatment of a long list of skin problems.

  • Rosacea
  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles
  • Sun Damage
  • Loss of Skin Tone
  • Spider Veins
  • Cherry Angiomas
  • Port Wine Stains
  • Melasma or Hyperpigmentation
  • Keloids/Scars
  • Freckles
  • Tattoo Removal
  • Pigmented Lesions
  • Blood Vessels on the Face, Neck and Chest
  • Hair Removal
  • Precancerous Cells
  • Acne and Acne Scarring

There are many lasers and IPL choices. A laser is a source of high-intensity light tuned to a specific single wavelength. IPL, on the other hand, delivers a broader spectrum of wavelengths, rather than the single wavelength of a laser. The light energy is preferentially absorbed by target tissue selected for treatment, such as blood vessels, tattooed skin, a brown spot, or hair follicles, for example (see list above). The absorbed energy produces heat in the target tissues.

Optimal treatment requires not only the selection of an appropriate laser or IPL, but also proper settings and technique. Here are 7 factors your doctor should be thinking about carefully when planning your treatment.

1.    Are You a Good Candidate?

Your doctor, in consultation with you, must establish that you are likely to benefit from treatment. Then, in addressing your particular requirements, your doctor will customize your procedure.

2.   Are We on the Right Wavelength?

Your doctor must choose the correct light device to obtain the best outcome. The optimal wavelength will be well absorbed as it is pulsed over the target. The aim is to destroy the target, but not harm surrounding tissue. Also, as different wavelengths penetrate to different depths, the depth of the target must also be considered.

3.   How Much Light Energy?

How much energy to apply to the pulse of light? Too little energy will not adequately destroy the target or deliver long-term success. Too much will cause collateral damage to surrounding tissues. Your optimal energy level should be within the therapeutic window, giving good results but not causing collateral damage.

4.   Shorter or Longer Pulse Duration?

The duration of the light pulse should be selected based on what’s being treated, the size of the target, and type of laser.

5.   What’s Your Skin Type?

Your skin type is important is determining wavelength, pulse duration, and light energy level. Darker skin colors tend to absorb more light energy. This tendency increases the risk for burns, unless appropriate adjustments are made. This pertains especially to patients with a tan. If you have a tan, you will get better results with less risk of complications if you schedule your treatment after the tan fades.

6.   How to Stay Cool?

Cooling techniques are used in most laser and light procedures to reduce discomfort as well as the risk of skin injury. The most common methods of cooling include chilled air, cryogen spray, and contact cooling.

7.   What Are Potential Side Effects and Risks?

Your doctor will inform you of potential side effects and the likelihood of their occurrence for your specific situation and procedure. Some possible side effect include:

  • Temporary pain, redness, bruising, blistering and/or crusting
  • Infection, including reactivation of herpes simplex
  • Pigment changes (brown and white marks), which may be permanent
  • Scarring, rare when treatment is performed properly
  • Eye injury, which is why appropriate goggles must be worn

In expert hands, the risks of a laser and IPL treatments are small. Be sure you are treated by a qualified and experienced practitioner to avoid the more severe risks associated with treatment by untrained, inexperienced, or unethical personnel.

If you’re considering laser treatment, Zimmet Vein & Dermatology can help determine if laser is a good option for you. We have years of training and experience in the use of medical lasers for dermatology and vein conditions. Contact us today to make an appointment.


					

Almost every day, more evidence is found that indoor tanning is a serious health concern. Indoor tanning has been linked to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer at alarming rates. Health experts have recommended to the FDA an indoor tanning ban for minors, and several states have already enacted restrictions for use of tanning beds.

Additionally, a recent study published by the U.S. House of Representatives have found that tanning salon companies are often dishonest to their clients about the long-term health risks of using tanning beds. Almost 90% of the companies involved in the studies told “secret shoppers” that there were no health risks associated with indoor tanning.

The results are particularly frightening in light of recent research that indicates that only four sessions in a tanning bed can increase one’s risk of developing cancer by 15%. Tanning beds expose the skin to UVA rays that are up to 15 times more intense than the sun’s.

Skin damage brought on by tanning, whether indoors or outdoors, can have significant consequences that go beyond wrinkles. Dr. Zimmet recommends using sunscreen any time you’ll be exposed to harmful UV rays and avoiding indoor tanning altogether. If you have damaged skin, spots with irregular pigmentation, or abnormal moles, contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today.

We’ve written before about the importance of protecting yourself from skin damage. Wearing sunscreen, choosing UV-protecting clothing, and staying out of the sun during peak hours will keep your skin as healthy as possible. Likewise, keeping track of moles–particularly those that are asymmetrical, multi-colored, and evolving–is a great technique to help prevent late melanoma diagnoses.

However, just because you do regular mole self-examinations doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your dermatologist. A study recently released by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center indicates that physicians are more likely to find malignant moles that patients overlook, and find them earlier, which means the patient has a better chance of survival. The study shows that physician-found melanomas were up to 40% thinner than their patient-found counterparts, owing largely to the fact that dermatologists are trained to recognize smaller changes and abnormalities.

Of course, the study’s results should not discourage patients from performing regular, detailed self-examinations. Rather, patients should prioritize regular visits to the dermatologists and use self-exams to identify any moles that look abnormal. If you do find a mole that looks irregular, contact your dermatologist immediately: early diagnosis and treatment prevent skin cancer from becoming invasive.

Photo Source: Free Image Works

Did you know that the incidence of  invasive skin cancer in the US is rising by 4%- 6% each year? Will you be among the over 68,000 Americans that will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2011, and that 1 in 58 Americans will develop melanoma over their lifetime? The Journal of Clinical Oncology (January 20, 2011 issue) recently published a study which revealed a significant reduction in the risk of invasive melanoma with regular sunscreen use.

The study randomly selected and followed a total of 1621 people between the ages of 25 and 75 years over a 14 year period. The study assigned participants to “apply daily or discretionary sunscreen to both heads and arms in combination with 30 mg beta carotene or a placebo supplement. Ten years after trial cessation, 11 new primary melanomas had been identified in the daily sunscreen group, and 22 had been identified in the discretionary group, which represented a reduction of the observed rate in those randomly assigned to daily sunscreen use.”

Skin Vein