Removing Sun Spots, Brown Spots, Freckles, and Patchy Areas
We are very pleased to announce that we are now using our Q-switched alexandrite laser for skin rejuvenation in our office.
This laser is used to remove a wide variety of pigmented skin lesions. Sun spots, brown spots, freckles, and patchy areas on the face and body can all be removed with the “Q-switched Alex.” The laser is extremely safe and highly effective. It is so easy to tolerate that the procedure does not require any numbing cream. Generally, only one or two sessions are needed to remove these skin lesions.
Because this is a non-ablative laser, no special skin care is needed after the treatment. Patients only need to take reasonable sun precautions, apply an ointment to the treated spots, and use sunscreen. There is absolutely no recovery downtime with the Q-switched alexandrite laser.
At times, we will combine the Q-switched alexandrite with the Fraxel laser to simultaneously improve fine lines, skin texture, and mottled skin discoloration. We may also combine it with the Vbeam Perfecta laser to treat broken capillaries and diffuse redness in the skin. When used in this manner, these lasers act synergistically with the Q-switched Alex to further enhance the final cosmetic result.
Any of our patients who have pigmented spots on their face or body that they would like to remove are invited to call our office and make an appointment with either Dr. Amerian or Dr. Anterasian.
Dark Circles Under the Eyes – Causes and Treatments
Dark circles under the eyes can be a significant cosmetic problem. In addition to being unsightly, they can make you look tired and sad. As a result, many patients seek treatment for this condition.
There are several causes of dark circles. One cause of dark under-eye circles is excessive pigmentation in the skin under the eyes. Another common cause of dark circles is thin translucent lower eyelid skin. In this condition, the skin is so thin that the underlying lower eyelid muscle and blood vessels are visible through the skin. Because the muscle and blood vessels are dark in color, a dark lower eyelid circle is visible. Another cause of dark circles is shadowing. In this case, skin laxity resulting from aging produces a shadowing effect on the lower eyelids that results in dark circles. In addition, bulging lower eyelid fat pockets can also cause a shadowing effect, which worsens the appearance of dark circles. Lastly, the tear trough deformity is an age-related change that contributes to the part of the under-eye circle that is located near the nose.
As can be seen there are several potential causes of dark under-eye circles. However, in any given patient, there may be only one factor or there may be several factors causing the dark circles. Because a number of therapies are available for treating dark under-eye circles, it is important to determine the actual cause or causes of the under-eye circle so that the treatment is targeted appropriately.
If the dark circles are mainly due to excessive pigmentation, the pigment may be removed with topical bleaching agents, chemical peels, and lasers. Hydroquinone and Triluma cream are bleaching agents that can be used to remove excessive under-eye pigment. Retinoic acid reduces pigment in the skin and results in a beneficial thickening of the skin, thereby reducing dark circles through both mechanisms. Other commonly used depigmenting agents are azelaic acid and kojic acid. In addition, MLA Eye Serum is also effective in improving this condition. In a scientific study of sixty-eight patients, MLA Eye Serum reduced under-eye puffiness and improved under-eye circles in 87% of study participants.
Chemical peels can also be used to reduce under-eye circles. The treatments can be designed to be less or more intense, depending upon the type of peel done. Commonly used peeling agents are trichloroacetic acid at 10-30% concentration and glycolic acid at 30-50% concentration.
In recent years, lasers have been increasingly used to treat under-eye circles. When the cause of the under-eye circle is excessive skin pigment, the pigment can be removed with one or two treatments with the Q-switched alexandrite laser. In addition, skin resurfacing with the Fraxel Restore laser or the Fraxel Repair laser can be helpful in the treatment of dark circles caused by excessive pigmentation.
Skin laxity and the tear trough occur with age and contribute to the appearance of dark circles. Skin laxity can be improved with Fraxel laser resurfacing or by eyelid Thermage. The tear trough is most conveniently treated by hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, which will improve the appearance of the tear trough and restore volume. In addition, hyaluronic acid fillers can be used to camouflage the bulging fat that contributes to the appearance of dark circles. These dermal fillers are often a good alternative to eyelid surgery.
Any of our patients who are concerned about the appearance of dark under-eye circles are invited to call our office and schedule an appointment with either Dr. Amerian or Dr. Anterasian.
Once again, Dr. Amerian has been selected by her peers as one of LA Magazine’s SuperDoctors for 2010.
Selection as a “SuperDoctor” is made based upon the recommendations of practicing physicians and other medical professionals. Dr. Amerian also received this honor in 2009, when only 27 dermatologists were chosen as SuperDoctors from the entire Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Thus, it is quite a distinction to be included in the list of Super Doctors.
Look for the complete list of SuperDoctors in the January 2010 edition of LA Magazine.