All posts by Western Dermatology Consultants

Under-Eye Circles: Common Causes and How to Treat Them

Suffering from too many sleepless nights? When you first notice dark, bluish patches and bags below your lower eyelids, it can feel as if you’ve suddenly aged years. Products like eye creams and concealers don’t always do much for this condition, which is known in scientific terms as periorbital hyperpigmentation (POH). Fortunately, there are some quick ways to open up and brighten your eyes once again with cosmetic treatments. In the case of some anti-wrinkle injections like BOTOX®, our Albuquerque The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants team believes they are too risky for the under-eye area and won’t do much to resolve the problem. Instead, you can always try fillers like Juvederm®. Our team assesses each patient on an individual basis to determine what will work best for them.   

Dark circles may be linked to a variety of causes, including fatigue. Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate. As the skin below our eyes is particularly thin and semi-transparent, prominent blood vessels and the dark coloring they create easily show through. This can make the area below the eyes appear shadowed.

Some people may be prone to developing under-eye shadows due to hereditary factors, so if your parents look perpetually tired, you may develop the same appearance.

Additionally, natural aging can contribute to the problem, as the skin in the tear troughs becomes thinner and hollowed when moisture, collagen, and fat are lost over time.

If you’re concerned about periorbital dark circles, you may want to restrict your sun exposure, since UV radiation can further weaken aging skin, as well as cause permanent hyperpigmentation problems.

The tear troughs can be challenging to treat. As noted above, BOTOX® isn’t recommended. This injectable is hardly ever applied on its own beneath the eyes, primarily because it carries won’t be able to correct thinning or loose skin.

On the other hand, fillers are typically safe and effective for the under-eye area. Juvederm® is a great choice for replacing depleted volume, which can fill out hollows, restore moisture, and make darker vessels below the skin more difficult to see.

No matter the treatment chosen, it’s always best to choose a highly experienced team led by a board-certified dermatologist if you’re planning any kind of under-eye correction.

Ready for a new you? To learn more about Juvederm® and other treatments available from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants, call our practice in Albuquerque at 505-855-9267 or write to us to request a consultation.

Don’t Ignore Skin Cancer in the Midst of Other Health Concerns

The Western Dermatology Consultants team cares about health. It’s why our board-certified dermatologists offer medical services, including skin cancer detection, for Albuquerque-area patients. In light of the March 25 “shelter in place” order for New Mexico, “nonessential” surgeries and other procedures have been put on hiatus—but this ban is waived in cases that would jeopardize a patient’s life. That means three things for our patients: Our spa is closed, our dermatology office is still providing “TeleMed” visits for remote care, and we are still able to treat urgent issues in our offices.

There are obviously a lot of health concerns right now in the community, the country, and the entire world. With so much focus on a single, specific problem—in this case, COVID-19—it can be easy to push aside thoughts of other medical issues. But even though a respiratory pandemic is in seemingly every headline, we want to remind you that skin health remains as vitally important as always.

In other words, if you have a potentially pressing medical issue, such as a melanoma, do not hesitate to talk to a qualified medical professional to determine how best to proceed. Melanoma is a particularly fast-moving and deadly cancer, so it is crucial to identify it and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Note that we are taking precautions with the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community in mind. If you have a fever, cough, shortness or breath, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19 or the flu, please call us before coming into our offices for your urgent care, and we can work together to determine what to do next.

Know that we are continuing to practice excellent hygiene, cleaning, and sterilization routines, as per our usual standards and in following national recommendations and guidelines.

We also encourage everyone to commit to proper hygiene practices at home: Use soap and water to routinely wash your hands, especially after touching surfaces or handling items outside the home. If there are no products or facilities available to allow you 20 to 30 seconds of thorough hand washing, apply hand sanitizer (minimum 60 percent alcohol), especially before touching other objects, such as keys, a car door, or a front door. Then, wash your hands at the next available opportunity. Also, avoid touching your face as much as possible.

To get answers to other skincare and hygiene questions, contact our team at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants by calling 505.855.9267 or reaching out online.

Take Your Lashes to the Next Level with Latisse®

Want luscious eyelashes? Sometimes mascara just isn’t enough to make your lashes as long and full as you’ve always wanted them to be. We’ve recently been giving attention to lash-lengthening options, and now’s a great time to try a cosmetic enhancing treatment like Latisse® at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants. But what exactly is this product and how does it produce such miraculous results?

Lush eyelashes have long symbolized beauty and femininity for women, especially because they frame and accentuate the eyes. But many people are insecure about having short or sparse natural eyelashes. This insufficient length may because of aging or damage to the follicles.

Latisse® is an FDA-approved, topical product that is meant for volumizing, lengthening, and darkening eyelashes. While it is still not fully understood how it works, it is believed to increase the length of the growth phase of hair cells, as well as grow more of them. Patients using Latisse® find it to be a simple process: You use a sterile applicator to apply Latisse® onto the upper lash line each night and watch as the lashes become visibly more dramatic as time passes. This effect lasts as long as you use Latisse®. If you stop, your lashes will gradually return to their previous look.

People who have applied Latisse® can continue to use mascara as they normally would. Bimatoprost, the active ingredient in the product, was originally used in another form as eye drops to treat glaucoma—before it was discovered that it had the unintended benefit of making eyelashes thicker.

Latisse® does have a few possible mild side effects, including dry eyes, darkened eyelids, and red eyes. Eye doctors and dermatologists are typically more knowledgeable about this prescription medication than most general practitioners would be. It’s important to only use this product under the direction of a knowledgeable and experienced medical professional.

Learn more about Latisse® and other cosmetic treatments available in Albuquerque from Western Dermatology Consultants. Our team is available to answer any questions you may have. Connect with us today by phoning (505) 855-5503 or writing to us directly.

Why Facials Are Great for Your Skin

Maintaining the beauty and health of your skin requires good lifelong habits, including a basic daily care routine. Want help with developing the ideal regimen for your skin type and goals? The best way to have your skin properly assessed and understand your unique needs is by seeing a reputable, board-certified-dermatologist-led team. At Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants, the Spa @ WDC involves dermatologists, nurses, licensed aestheticians, and more working together to recommend treatments and products in plans custom designed to promote skin health and beauty.

Because it can be difficult to fully remove dirt, dead skin, and bacteria from your skin on your own with at-home treatments, facials are one of the most popular skin rejuvenation approaches available at the Spa @ WDC. Our team believes that facials can be an important element of any self-care plan, since they’re beneficial for both women and men who want to go beyond mild, drugstore cleansers and exfoliation for more complete skin rejuvenation. Facials are especially ideal for people who want results, but who are not ready for microdermabrasion or injectables.

A standard facial consists of a series of steps performed by a skin expert. These steps may include steam, exfoliation, creams, masks, massages, and other techniques to open pores, remove debris, and nourish and clean the skin. In addition to creating a more even tone and complexion, facials can also make your skin look refreshed and younger without the need for more dramatic cosmetic therapies. Facials address a variety of concerns, including everything from pimples, blemishes, and blackheads, to dullness and flaky skin.

Another major benefit to facials is that they can help you to understand more about your skin type. Your aesthetician will first perform a skin analysis on you to identify your skin type, which may be dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or normal. The analysis can also reveal any conditions that should be addressed.

Your aesthetician will give you expert advice, recommend products to use at home, and explain how to care for your skin after a facial. Some people prefer to have a facial on a monthly basis, while others choose it less often. The treatments can be customized depending on your specific needs and wants. For example, someone in their 20s may want a general “freshening up,” while a  person in their 40s or 50s may want more of a rejuvenating effect.

If you want to discover more about facials, the professionals at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants can answer your questions about the treatment, its results, and more. Call 505.855.9267 or set up a consultation to find the most effective treatment for your skin care needs.

IPL vs Laser Skin Resurfacing: How Do They Compare?

Injectable fillers work well to address volume loss, but when it comes to improving the overall quality of your skin, you may need to turn to laser and light treatments. Laser skin resurfacing and intense pulsed light (IPL)—also referred to as a photofacial—are both great choices for improving skin’s general tone and texture. The board-certified dermatologists serving Albuquerque, along with the rest of the team at Western Dermatology Consultants—explain that there are some key differences between the two treatments.

Melanin is the pigment that provides color for the hair and skin—making it a key element in these light-based treatments. Lasers and IPL work in a similar way, giving off energy that converts into heat when absorbed by melanin, thereby damaging lesions, hair follicles, or broken blood vessels without harming the surrounding skin. The dead cells are gradually sloughed away and replaced by healthier, new ones. This energy can also promote cell turnover.

IPL is a light therapy designed for minimizing irregularities such as age spots, sun damage, freckles, broken blood vessels, redness, blotchiness, rosacea, and hair on the face or body. It works like a camera flash, sending out multiple, scattered wavelengths of broad-spectrum light in a spectrum of colors.

Laser skin resurfacing, with devices such as the Palomar laser for fractional skin resurfacing, is generally used on more severe types of skin damage and very thick hair due to its higher intensity. It involves applying one wavelength of focused light to precisely destroy specific skin concerns. A more dramatic improvement is possible, and the full effects may be revealed faster and with fewer sessions than with IPL. Lasers are effective on surgical or acne scars, lines and wrinkles, brown spots, and enlarged pores.

Certain lasers can cause more discomfort and require more downtime than IPL, as intense pulsed light does not remove the outer layer of the skin in the treatment area. Laser skin resurfacing is typically suitable for a wider range of skin tones and is safer for darker complexions when compared to IPL.

If you’re hoping to improve the appearance of your skin, a member of our team can help you decide on the best laser or light treatment for your needs. To get started today, call Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants at 505-855-9267 or write online to request a consultation.