Category Archives: Dermal Fillers

What’s the Best Way to Treat Laugh Lines?

Vertical lines that located on either side of the mouth are often called smile lines or laugh lines—because they’re most noticeable when you’re smiling and laughing—but the technical term for them is nasolabial folds. These lines develop between the bottom of the nose and corners of the mouth, and their severity varies from person to person. Dermatologists can help you find the best technique for treating your nasolabial folds based on their severity and what’s causing them to deepen. There are several types of skin treatments—including hyaluronic acid facial fillers at our Albuquerque, NM, practice—that can help make these wrinkles less noticeable. 

Nasolabial folds are perfectly normal. In fact, almost everyone has these facial features (except for newborns and people who have certain medical conditions) so you wouldn’t want them to be completely erased, as it would look unnatural. The most common causes include sun damage, deficiency of collagen due to aging, a loss of fat, and frequent facial expressions like smiling.

The folds themselves contain dense bundles of fibrous tissue and muscle. For many, these laugh lines are no laughing matter as they become more prominent as time goes by, and the tissue becomes thinner while losing its elasticity. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for correcting them if you would like yours to be less pronounced. 

Although they don’t require treatment and aren’t a sign of a medical condition, some people prefer a smoother appearance without the folds. While minimally invasive treatments can’t get rid of them completely, injectables can enhance the skin and make the lines appear less pronounced. Facial fillers are soft gels that blend in beneath the skin and reduce the severity of nasolabial folds by giving the skin a more youthful, volumized, and lifted appearance.

When treating nasolabial folds, fillers can be injected to smooth out wrinkles or in the upper cheek area to provide a subtle lift. Skin resurfacing techniques like laser skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion can also improve the overall appearance of the skin to offset the appearance of laugh lines. 

Temporary facial fillers from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants reduce different types of moderate to severe wrinkles, including nasolabial folds. Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form if you’re ready to schedule a consultation. 

Why Are Humectants So Important in Skin Care?

Our skin is constantly in contact with the environment, so it’s affected not just by sun exposure, but also by all kinds of changes in weather and climate. Once “sweater weather” arrives in Albuquerque, our skin tends to become drier and duller, thanks to increased exposure to central heating and colder, less humid air. One of the best things we can do to maintain healthy, clear skin during these seasonal changes is adjust our skincare routine accordingly. One of the essentials everyone needs in the cooler months is a good face and body moisturizer to stave off parched, irritated skin—especially if you have a naturally dry or sensitive skin type. Chances are good that if you’ve ever looked up skin care ingredients, you may have seen the term “humectants” thrown around. What you might be asking yourself is what exactly do they do and why are they an essential part of your skin care routine? Hyaluronic acid, the same ingredient found in most of the popular facial fillers at our Albuquerque, NM-based practice, is a humectant. Here are some things you should know about the benefits of adding humectants to your skincare regime. 

Humectants Draw in Hydration

Humectants are hydrophilic, meaning that they’re attracted to water molecules. These substances act like magnets to attract moisture to the outermost layer of skin, called the stratum corneum. The water might be drawn from the deeper, middle layers of skin or from the surrounding environment. 

Humectants Are Mostly Used for Moisturizing

These water-loving ingredients are most typically found in moisturizing products for the face and body, such as creams, lotions, and serums, along with shampoos and other beauty products. 

Not All Humectants Are the Same 

Some of the most common examples of humectants used in skin care include glycerin or glycerol, hyaluronic acid (as noted above), urea, sorbitol, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, aloe vera, and honey. Some types of humectants simply hydrate, while others remove dead skin cells to regulate moisture levels. 

Want plumper, less wrinkled-looking skin and enhanced facial contours? Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to request a consultation if you’re curious about the benefits of aesthetic treatments. Find out more about products and services from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants.

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.

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.

Tips for Maintaining Facial Filler Results

Want to make your fillers last longer? Facial fillers are highly effective for softening deep wrinkles in the middle and lower parts of the face, as well as for volumizing the cheeks and lips. However, despite being convenient, they do require ongoing maintenance due to the fact that the effects wear off after anywhere from a few months to two years—depending on where they’re injected and how quickly you metabolize them. With that in mind, there are some effective ways of increasing the longevity of Juvederm®. Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants team shares these four tips:

Avoid Applying Pressure

After a fillers session, hold off on having deep-cleaning treatments and facial massages. It’s better not to rub, massage, or jostle the treated areas much, as this can cause the fillers to migrate, leading to uneven results. It can also cause the effects to wear off faster.

Reverse Free Radical Damage

A good skincare routine is essential for maintaining the effects of dermal fillers. Stress, smoking, and unhealthy eating habits will cause fillers to metabolize faster. Regularly apply topical products containing antioxidants like retinols to prevent and undo the harm caused by free radicals. These help to give you clearer, brighter, skin with a smoother texture by reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Although topical moisturizers won’t get rid of wrinkles, facial lines are typically less noticeable on skin that is well hydrated. To enhance the smoothing results from fillers, use products containing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to help the skin retain water.

Limit Sun Exposure

If you’re using fillers and neuromodulators to ward off wrinkles, it makes sense to protect your skin from further damage to its collagen and elastin fibers. Though many people don’t like the feeling or smell of sunscreens, applying an extra layer of coverage can be what protects your skin from developing wrinkles and fine lines. High levels of exposure to UV radiation can have very detrimental effects on the skin, and sun damage is believed to be one of the main causes of accelerated aging.

Want to perfect your look with smoother, softer skin? Get more tips on Juvederm® from our team at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-5503 or submit your info to request a consultation.