All posts by Western Dermatology Consultants

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.

What Condition Is Your Skin In This Season?

It’s winter in Albuquerque. Our board-certified dermatologists see a wide range of both cosmetic and medical conditions during this time, which may surprise some people. The darker season is known for cooler and often wetter weather—not something that would seem to be associated with dry skin. Unfortunately, winter conditions are ideal for drying out our protective layer, leading to a range of problems.

This is because despite the occasional rain, humidity actually drops in the winter—both indoors and out. Dry air leads to dry skin.

Winter is also the time when many people notice the effects of their sun-worshiping summer. Maybe a string of days at the pool contributed to the cumulative damage that causes wrinkles to form, spots to develop, and increases the risk of skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation can wreak havoc on sensitive cells, causing everything from mutations that form tumors to the hastened breakdown of vital collagen, elastin, and more in the skin.

No matter the problem—or the condition of your skin—Western Dermatology Consultants is here to help. With fair-weather days a fond memory or distant hope, our team can assess the current state of your skin and make recommendations for treatments, procedures, and at-home regimens to promote both beauty and health.

Why not use the post-holiday lull to schedule a full-body exam to check for early signs of skin cancer? Or find out what you can finally do about that pesky cellulite that’s been bugging you for years? From dark circles you first noticed after a procession of parties throughout the holidays to a desire to altogether ditch the shaving you’ve been putting off (since you can get away with wearing pants instead of skirts or shorts), there is always something our dermatologists and their carefully selected and trained team can do to help.

Call Western Dermatology Consultants at 505-855-9267 or request a consultation online to arrange a visit and get started on some winter skin care.

The Unsettling History of Tattoo Removal

Dealing with an unwanted tattoo at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants is straightforward: After an initial consultation, the patient will go through a series of treatment sessions that involve laser light applied to break down the ink in the skin. There are no incisions involved, and while the process isn’t exactly comfortable (getting the treatment has been compared to the feeling of a rubber band snapping against the tattooed area), it’s certainly well tolerated by just about everyone who wants to get rid of a formerly “permanent” body modification.

The tattoo removal process has not always been so relatively simple, however.

In times past, people simply had to live with their choice. Eventually, some tattooed folks who wanted to lose their lines turned to surgical excision. In these cases, someone with a scalpel or similar instrument physically cut the inked skin out of the patient’s body. This definitely removed the unwanted image—along with a good deal of tissue. It also typically left behind a significant scar.

Less invasive, but also less reliable, was “sanding” the tattoo off by abrading the skin. While gentler than slicing the ink away, this method was middling effective.

Eventually, researchers developed freezing as an option, using the power of cold to chill the unwanted ink and surrounding cells. While this worked, it—like excision—often left behind a scar or similarly obvious patch of treated skin. For a significant number of people, this was preferable to the tattoo itself, but thankfully, such methods are no longer the only option.

Technology has advanced to the point today that laser energy can quickly and effectively break down a wide range of ink colors, leaving behind clearer skin. There is still some risk of scarring, but the side effects are less dramatic than those caused by the treatments of yesteryear.

One last note: Never try to remove an unwanted tattoo on your own—or even by bringing it to a tattoo parlor. Let a board-certified dermatologist (experienced in skin care, not just ink) help you plan your ideal strategy for erasing the ink from your life as thoroughly and safely as possible.

Learn more about the advantages of modern tattoo removal at Western Dermatology Consultants. Call 505-855-9267 or request a consultation online.

It’s Not Too Late to See CoolSculpting® (Almost) Live!

Did you miss Big 98.5’s Chaz Malibu getting CoolSculpting® nonsurgical fat reduction from Albuquerque’s Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants earlier this season? We held a live viewing on Facebook during the Oct. 22 event, but don’t worry if you didn’t get to see the session while it was happening. The whole event is still available to watch here, on our Facebook page.

The video is 2 1/2 hours long, but unlike anyone who tuned in to see Chaz undergo the treatment minute by minute, you can jump around, pause it, go back, and watch it any way you’d like.

Chaz, who has enjoyed the results of previous CoolSculpting® treatments, spends a good chunk of the session lying back—sometimes literally chilling out with his arms behind his head—while the device does the work: chilling fat cells beneath the skin to kill them and start the process of flushing them from the body. He also talks about the sensations he’s experiencing in real time, as well as responds to viewers who sent messages throughout the procedure.

Since his results have continued to improve in the weeks following his session, he may be willing to show them off! Check out the Big 98.5 Facebook page  to see how to contact him.

To schedule a CoolSculpting® treatment of your own, or if you want answers to questions about the fat-reduction strategy, call Western Dermatology Consultants at (505) 855-5503 or request a consultation online.