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What Are the Best Ways to Relieve Dry Skin?

“How do I stop my skin being dry?” Albuquerque, NM’s Western Dermatology Consultants team regularly hears this question from patients dealing with the challenges of living in an arid climate.

Dry skin is not limited to desert life, however. The common condition affects people of all ages from time to time and can impact any area of the body. When your skin is dry, it causes the surface to be rough, itchy, flaky, and scaly. Some patients may notice a feeling of skin tightness, cracks that bleed, and fine lines. Dryness also makes wrinkles look more pronounced. If you have dry skin, you might have a compromised skin barrier.

Although the obvious cause of dry skin is lack of moisture, it’s actually amore complex problem. An impaired skin barrier and a deficiency or dysfunction of the skin’s essential fats might be contributing to the issue.

While dry skin isn’t typically a serious problem and is extremely common, it can be uncomfortable—especially if it’s severe or makes it difficult to work or sleep.

Hydration is important for keeping your skin nourished and glowing throughout the year and if you have grown up in an arid region like New Mexico, it’s likely that you’re aware of the effects dry skin can have. Don’t assume that simply layering on tons of moisturizer will make the problem automatically go away.

In this post, we explore some of the best ways to soothe dry skin and restore a dewy, supple appearance.

Avoid Fragrances

Read labels carefully and look out for skin products that contain fragrances, since they can irritate dry skin. Fragrance-free products will always be the better option.

Be Wary of How Baths and Showers Dry Your Skin

If your skin is feeling dry, be sure to keep the door closed, use warm rather than hot water, limit bath times to just five to 10 minutes, switch to a gentle cleanser, and moisturize your skin immediately after drying it.

Use an Ointment or Cream

Look for ointments or creams that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, and petrolatum instead of applying lotions.

For more information about dealing with dry skin, contact the Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-9267 or contact us online to request a consultation.

Can Chemical Peels Help with Facial Lines?

Do skin resurfacing treatments reduce wrinkles? Our Albuquerque, NM-based Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants team says yes! We regularly recommend chemical peels for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles on the face. As a type of skin resurfacing procedure, chemical peels have been used for a millennia and are still one of the most popular methods for treating a variety of skin concerns.

Peels involve the use of an acid to remove the skin’s damaged outer layers in a controlled fashion as a way of stimulating its regenerative processes. This makes them highly effective for softening wrinkles.

In this post, we’ll explore the science behind chemical peels and how they can reduce wrinkles.

Wrinkles developdue to a variety of stressors, such as natural aging, sun damage, exposure to pollution, smoking, and repetitive facial expressions. As mentioned above, chemical peels work by removing the outer layers of dead skin cells. This strategy can make fine lines and wrinkles appear less noticeable—but that’s not all that peels do. Chemical peels also stimulate the production of collagen, which is a protein that helps keep the skin firm and elastic.

Collagen production naturally decreases as we age, which can lead to the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin. By stimulating collagen production, peels can help improve the overall texture and firmness of the skin, which can make wrinkles less noticeable.When the skin beneath the layers that are peeled off heals and grows, it has a more youthful, smooth, and even appearance. In fact, the main reason why many people get this skin resurfacing treatment is to minimize facial wrinkles.

In addition to stimulating collagen production, peels can also improve skin tone and texture, reduce the appearance of age spots and sun damage, and help unclog pores and prevent acne. For the best possible results, it’s important to take great care of your skin during the healing process. Just remember how important it will be to protect your skin from sun damage after a chemical peel by avoiding direct sun exposure and wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for several weeks. Avoid poking, picking, or peeling your sensitive skin. Our Albuquerque-based team at The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants will explain more about how these treatments restore more even, radiant skin for a naturally beautiful look. Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation.

Look Your Best While Wearing a Face Mask with BOTOX® and Other Cosmetic Treatments

Face masks are now the norm in many public spaces, and although it can take a while to get used to the “new normal” way of life, there’s no reason why you can’t look your most stylish in spite of the change. Since the areas of skin that are exposed the most are around the eyes, an increasing number of patients are turning to cosmetic treatments for these specific features. At The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants, we offer a wide range of options, including BOTOX® from our Albuquerque-based injectors. You can combine this and other options with your daily skin routine to look your best while wearing face coverings.

Our primary focus for makeup or skin care during this pandemic will be the eyes, along with the cheeks and upper areas of the facial skin that are visible while the other half of the face remains hidden. Cosmetic treatments will also cut down on the time you spend on your beauty routine, meaning that you can ditch the heavy makeup that often contributes to mask-related acne and other skin issues.

Get Brighter, More Youthful Eyes

The skin around the eyes is very thin, and because the muscles around the eye area move a lot whenever you blink or during other facial expressions, it can get stretched and form wrinkles. BOTOX® will soften the appearance of crow’s feet and frown lines between the eyebrows by relaxing the muscles that pull the skin. Fillers like Juvederm® add more volume in the under-eye area to correct dark circles and hollows. TempSure radiofrequency treatments tighten skin to reduce bags under eyes.

You can also highlight your eyes by giving more attention to your eyebrows and using bolder eyeliners, mascara, and eyeshadow to really make the eyes pop while shifting the focus away from any wrinkles.

Maintain Beautiful Skin

Concerned about wrinkles, sun damage, or dry, blotchy, and dull skin? BOTOX® diminishes horizontal lines on the forehead, and other treatments—such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and fractional skin resurfacing—help to improve the overall skin quality by making your tone and texture more even. These methods exfoliate the surface to remove the damaged outer layer while encouraging collagen production.  

Get the latest news on minimally invasive cosmetic treatments like BOTOX® from Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us today at 505-855-9267, or submit a contact form 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.

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.