Category Archives: Cosmetic Treatments

Top 4 Non-Obvious Ways You Can Get Sunburned

Aside from normal aging, a major cause of wrinkles, hollows, discolorations, and textural changes to your skin is exposure to UV radiation. Once the collagen breaks down and the DNA of the skin cells themselves is warped by this external stressor, people begin to notice static wrinkles appear on areas like the cheeks and the lips. Injectable fillers from our Albuquerque-based practice are ideal for adding subtle volume to minimize these wrinkles. Nevertheless, the best defense against these signs of aging is preventing them from occurring in the first place.

As this generation is more knowledgeable on sun protection than previous ones, more people are taking steps to guard their skin against skin cancer and premature aging than ever before. Even a mild sunburn can cause lasting damage to your skin.

Many people don’t realize, however, that you don’t have to spend hours sunbathing at the beach, exposing your skin to harsh summer sun rays, or use tanning beds constantly to end up with skin damage. Even some of the small things you do every day could be increasing your risk of skin damage. Here are four surprising ways you could be baking your skin without knowing it:

  1. Sitting inside by a window or driving in your car without protecting your skin can be causing skin damage. Although you might think your skin is safer when you’re not outside, UV radiation penetrates through glass, so you may need to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and install window films or special tinting on your car or home windows.  
  2. Be aware of medications, acne creams, skin care treatments, and foods that increase your sun sensitivity. Take extra precautions about going outside if you know you’re at a higher risk of harming your skin.
  3. Looking at an iPhone, iPad, or similar tablet or device could increase your sun exposure significantly due to the reflected glare.
  4. Wearing the wrong sunscreen or not using it correctly may be almost as bad as not applying it at all. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s water resistant and high-SPF. Re-apply it every few hours.

Get more information from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form to request a consultation, and we can give you further advice or help you put together a treatment plan.

What Exactly Is Skin Cell Turnover, and Why Does it Matter?

Each inch of your skin contains 19 million cells, about 1,000 nerve endings, 20 blood vessels, and around 600 sweat glands. The complex mix of water, protein, fat, and minerals it contains give your skin its strength and glowing, smooth appearance. Many beauty treatments, including chemical peels from our Albuquerque-based spa, claim to accelerate skin cell turnover—but what exactly does this mean, and why is it so important for your complexion?

Most of the time, we don’t even realize when the skin is taking care of itself through its own biological processes.

What we refer to as “skin cell turnover” is the process of your skin constantly getting rid of dead cells to reveal new, younger cells that replace them and maintain its overall health. This turnover process happens roughly every 28 days for adults and is vital for skin health, as the outer layers are constantly damaged by external aggressors like UV radiation, bacteria, air pollution, and harsh chemicals.

When your skin cell turnover is fast, like it is during childhood, the skin is smoother, supple, and more radiant, but the cycle becomes slower and less efficient as you get older. When skin cell turnover stagnates, you end up with blocked pores, dull skin, uneven texture, acne, hyperpigmentation, milia, and an increased risk of developing wrinkles.

In order to maintain bright, healthy skin, you can:

  • Use chemical or mechanical exfoliants to scrub away the dead cells.
  • Apply products containing strong ingredients such as retinols that accelerate cell turnover, or vitamin C products to undo damage from free radicals.
  • Improve your diet by consuming healthy, vitamin- and mineral-rich foods along with plenty of water to help flush toxins out of the body and reduce your sugar intake to control inflammation.
  • Exercise regularly to enhance blood circulation and cleanse the skin.
  • Make sure that you’re getting enough rest. You need at least seven hours of good sleep each night to give your skin time to repair itself and generate new cells.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of chemical peels from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants, call us at 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

5 Great Reasons to Try BOTOX®

If you want to take years off your face, minimally invasive injectables are one of the ideal ways to quickly make your skin look younger without having a surgical procedure. People from all walks of life commonly use botulinum toxin-based injectables to temporarily soften the wrinkles on the face that bother them. Thinking about trying BOTOX® injectables in Albuquerque, but still unsure whether they’re what you want? Check out these five major benefits of having neuromodulator injections from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants.

1. Make Expression Wrinkles Look Smoother

Other than keeping your face still and expressionless forever, there’s no real way of stopping wrinkles that occur due to facial expressions made when smiling, talking, chewing, and squinting. The solution to fixing these wrinkles is relaxing the underlying muscles that cause the skin to bunch together. BOTOX® is approved for frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles, which are referred to as expression wrinkles.

2. Prevent Additional Wrinkles from Occurring

One of the long-term benefits of having BOTOX® is that by relaxing the muscles that pull on the skin, you not only stop existing wrinkles from getting deeper, but also prevent new ones from forming. Many younger patients have started to use BOTOX® for this reason, known as preventative BOTOX®.

3. Enjoy the Convenience

Injectables are typically fast, “lunchtime” procedures that you can easily fit into your busy schedule. This is what makes BOTOX® such an attractive option for many people. There aren’t any major side effects that require recovery, so there’s no down time to speak of.

4. Get a More Approachable Look

When crinkles and lines form all over your face, it can make others think you look angry, mean, sad, or unfriendly—even if those descriptors don’t match your personality at all. BOTOX® can give you a happier, more open-looking face.

5. Treat Other Concerns

Along with improving wrinkles on the forehead or surrounding the eyes, BOTOX® is also used for wrinkles on the center and lower part of the face and even on the neck where excessive muscle activity has led to asymmetry, sagging, or dimpling. We can use it for bunny lines by the nose, chin dimpling, lip lines, sagging eyebrows, downturned mouth corners, and neck bands.

Curious about how injectables work? Get to know more about BOTOX® from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

Can Facial Filler Results Be Reversed?

Facial fillers are a quick way to make your skin appear less wrinkled or to enhance facial contours by adding volume to the cheeks and lips. The satisfaction rate for fillers is very high, and most patients who receive injections from an experienced, board-certified injector are pleased with the way they look. But what happens if you go to a less-experienced injector and end up with a less-than-stellar result, you have a negative reaction to the fillers, or you simply change your mind about having them? Patients are often curious about whether they can potentially get rid of results that they don’t like. The short answer is yes, it is indeed possible to undo certain types of dermal fillers at our New Mexico-based office—if for some reason you aren’t fully happy with results. Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm® are temporary, dissolvable fillers, so they’re an excellent option for people who are trying out fillers for the first time.

Although significant complications from dermal fillers are rare, there are some potential risks. These include acne-like skin breakouts, asymmetry, lumps, redness, rashes, infections, under or over correction, incorrectly placed filler, Tyndall’s effect (filler placed too close to the skin surface that causes a blue discoloration), or palpability of the filler below the skin’s surface. Patients can choose to have the filler decreased or dissolved completely if one of these complications occur or they no longer want their results.

Instead of having to wait for several months for the temporary fillers to metabolize, they simply have to go in for another injection. The reversal agent is known as hyaluronidase, an enzyme that we naturally have in our bodies. Once it has been injected below the skin, it causes a reaction that dissolves the hyaluronic acid contained in the filler. This takes just a few hours.

The skin should return to its normal shape after the filler has been dissolved.

We encourage patients to wait and see how they adjust to fillers before deciding they want them removed. There will always be some initial swelling, so the results don’t truly “settle” for a few days after a session. That said, it is possible to use the enzyme right after getting fillers if you need or want it.

Get more tips on dermal fillers from our team at The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Want to meet with us to discuss fillers or another cosmetic procedure? Call us at 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form to reach out to us for additional details.

How Do Different Sources of Light Impact the Skin?

Light and laser cosmetic treatments, such as fractional skin resurfacing, are what Albuquerque patients often use to minimize irregularities and balance or even out their skin tone and quality. Ever wondered why light is used so frequently in the cosmetic world? Exposure to light impacts our bodies in various ways, altering our circadian rhythms, hormone production, and even our mental health. In fact, not getting enough exposure to sunlight during the winter has been linked to a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s no surprise, therefore, that different wavelengths of light have been found to influence the appearance and health of your skin. The following are some examples of light sources that we are commonly exposed to, as well as a brief explanation of their impact:

Natural Light

The sun is our major source of natural light, although we can also technically see by other stars, volcanoes, firelight, lightning, and various astronomical objects. We have less control over the amount of energy these give off compared to artificial sources of light, so we have to do a little extra work when guarding against the negative effects of the biggest producer of all: the sun.

Small amounts of exposure to sunlight (ideally 5 to 15 minutes of unprotected exposure) have positive health benefits, including strengthening your immune system and encouraging serotonin production. However, prolonged, unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of skin cancer and accelerated skin aging. It’s best to avoid exposure by staying indoors during peak hours and wearing sunscreen whenever you go outside.

Artificial Light

When it comes to human-made, artificial light sources, we’re in full control of their intensity and duration.

  • Blue Light

Although the sun is a major source of blue light, we also get plenty of it from the screens on our TVs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, electronic devices, and fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Blue light exposure can lead to photoaging and hyperpigmentation, but it is also used in therapies for some skin conditions like acne and actinic keratosis.

  • Red Light

Red light therapy (RLT) is often used as a type of photodynamic therapy to encourage the generation of new collagen, elastin, and fibroblasts. Deep red light at specific wavelengths is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce wrinkles.

Ready to improve wrinkles, blotchy pigmentation, scars, rough patches, or other skin-related irregularities? Browse our website to check out more info on fractional skin resurfacing from our Western Dermatology Consultants team. Call 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form to request a consultation if you’d like to discuss your skin goals—and learn more about what light can do.