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How to Prevent Mascne (Mask-Acne)

Have you been noticing more breakouts since the arrival of coronavirus 2020? It’s entirely possible your new acne may be caused by increased mask usage. We like to refer to this particular type of acne as “mascne” (Mask-acne.) Folks who work in healthcare are very familiar with mascne but for those of us who aren’t accustomed to wearing a mask, this acne is likely an unwanted surprise. WHAT CAUSES MASCNE? Mascne is brought on by a combination of friction, dirt collection, and increased moisture retention. All of these factors contribute to debris and oil on the skin, which is basically heaven for Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that cause comedones or pimples. 1. Wash daily… Wash your mask, that is. If you have a cloth mask wash it every day or buy several so you can change them out daily. Our bodies shed thousands of dead skin cells everyday, so your mask will accumulate more than enough pore-clogging debris after one day of use. Of course, cleansing your face at least once a day is still essential for acne-free skin. You can cleanse even more frequently by investing in some facial cleansing cloths. Colorescience hydrating cleansing cloths ($19) are perfect for removing oil and build-up on the go. 2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. You’re going to need to exfoliate about twice as often as you were before prior to wearing a mask. Frequent exfoliation allows the corneocytes (the dead cells that form the outermost layer of the skin) to shed more rapidly, giving them less of a chance to clog pores. Individuals with extremely oily skin may have to exfoliate as often as everyday. Pro tip: Opt for gentle chemical exfoliants such as glycolic or lactic acid that do the work for you. Avoid using physical scrubs that damage the skin barrier; these can actually exacerbate acne. We like Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. Colorescience hydrating cleansing cloths ($19) are perfect for removing oil and build-up on the go. 3. Use salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is your new best friend during this time. This is one of the most time tested anti-acne ingredients. Not only will it help shed that top layer of dead skin, but it’s also highly anti-inflammatory. You can find salicylic acid in various cleansers or toners. At our clinic, we recommend a triple therapy salicylic acid treatment kit ($68) for our acne patients. Reveskin’s Acne Purifying Treatment Kit penetrates deeper into the skin than over-the-counter salicylic acid formulations. Available for purchase online for $68. 4. Lather with benzoyl peroxide cleanser daily. Benzoyl peroxide is lethal to acne bacteria. A 60 second lather with this daily will help keep the acne population on your skin under control. 2% Salicylic acid toner, available for $29.50 at Paula’s Choice. 5. Get an anti-acne treatment. Radiofrequency microneedling Vivace treatments decrease sebum production for an extended period of time which will provide acne relief for up to 8 weeks. Skintox (microdroplets of Botox placed in the epidermis) also halts oil production for 2-3 months. Microneedling is yet another great way to put a damper on ongoing acne and will speed reduction of pre-existing acne scars and associated discoloration. Vivace, a cutting edge radiofrequency microneedling device that diminishes acne production. With these tips under your belt you should be able to recover your glowing skin in no time, yet still continue to stay safe while wearing your mask for hours per day! To book a consult for acne at SLK, please request an appointment here.

The Best Treatments For Acne

“I’m not a teenager anymore, why do I still have acne?” This is a common question we hear from our patients. The truth is, it is relatively common for acne to continue or even start in adulthood. Although acne is commonly thought of as a problem of adolescence, it can occur at any age. Here are some of the best treatment options to help treat stubborn active acne and also residual acne scars after the acne has cleared. 1. RADIOFREQUENCY MICRONEEDLING Radiofrequency microneedling has been shown to reduce active acne, redness and acne scars.   The glands in our face, called sebaceous glands, are responsible for the oil production that leads to breakouts. These glands are easily impacted by heat. RF microneedling uses tiny needles to deliver heat energy directly into these glands, thus damaging them. Once gland activity is diminished, patients experience less acne as the pores experience less build-up. A single session of radiofrequency microneedling, can result in a reduction in oil secretion of 70-80%. 2 treatment sessions have been shown to result in a up to 50% reduction in acne blemishes, and three treatment sessions have been shown to result in up to a 76% reduction in blemishes.   How long do these results last? Radiofrequency microneedling keeps acne at bay for up to 8 weeks, at which time another maintenance treatment should be performed.  At SLK, we have developed a radiofrequency microneedling protocol especially for patients prone to acne. We also utilize a blue LED light during acne treatments. This wavelength of light is particularly effective at killing one of the main bacterial culprits of acne: Propionibacterium acnes. 2. CHEMICAL PEELS Some chemical peels address both acne and hyperpigmentation. Acne is inextricably tied to inflammation in the skin. Inflammation stimulates pigment production in the area causing noticeable increased areas of discoloration. Certain types of medical-grade skin peels contain prescription-doses of active ingredients that simultaneously lift pigment and clear acne. Usually only a medical professional is licensed to use these types of peel. A peel is the quickest way to remove years of acne and damage caused by acne. During the peel, the top layer of skin is exfoliated off targeting hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and acne. Results take about 1 week to see. At SLK we use a peel specifically formulated for acne patients called the Acne Purifying Peel. This peel combines the power of micronized silver and salicylic acid to banish acneic bacteria from the skin. 3. MICRONEEDLING Occasionally I recommend that individuals who battle hyperpigmentation, scarring, or rough texture caused by acne receive a combination of a peel with microneedling.  Microneedling is used to treat scarring, smooth depressions, and improve the overall look and feel of your skin. The procedure will rebuild collagen, plus the microchannels can be used as an entryway for PRP which is especially effective at combatting acne and acne scars. At SLK, we use the newest version of SkinPen Precision -Series 4. SkinPen is FDA approved and is the only pen on the market that uses smart technology to detect skin resistance and intuitively increase the motor speed when working on denser tissue. SkinPen ensures the needles insert all the way into any tissue, no matter the density. This is especially important when treating tough tissue caused by acne damage.  4. HOME SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR ACNE We highly recommend consulting with a skincare professional who can design a proper skincare regimen for you (and weed out the products that aren’t helpful, or a waste of your money). Here are some of the key products often recommended for acne patients: 10% Benzyol Peroxide face wash: kills acne bacteria Salicylic acid pads: reduces buildup of dead skin – exfoliates and unclogs pores, reduces inflammation and redness.  Vitamin C: helps lighten and brighten hyperpigmenation from acne scars.  Retinol: increases cell turnover so pores do not clog, improves healing, lightens dark scars.  Growth Factors: your ticket to scarless, accelerated healing if an outbreak does occur. They are also anti-inflammatory.  At SLK, we are experts in designing customized skincare plans that incorporate both acne treatments and skincare products. To book your skincare consult, follow the link below: BOOK A FREE SKINCARE CONSULTATION

The Three Types Of Microneedling

Did you know that there are 3 types of microneedling that have almost nothing in common with each other? Before choosing to undergo microneedling (or spending a lot of money on it), do your research and know the differences. Results can vary widely depending on which technique you receive. 1. MECHANICAL Mechanical microneedling uses a motorized pen with tiny slender needles to create thousands of channels that are up to 2.5 millimeters deep. These channels disrupt photo-aged, wrinkled, or scarred tissue to allow for remodeling of new skin to occur. This type of microneedling creates the most channels per square inch of skin. Because of this, patients do experience a mild amount of bleeding and redness. This is the most popular type of microneedling because it is both relatively economical and it is an excellent maintenance treatment for delaying the aging process. Good candidates: Individuals desiring to correct wrinkles or scarring. Individuals looking to lighten brown pigmentation. People with crows feet, forehead lines, or lip lines, people with body scars or acne scars. Examples: SkinPen Precision, MDpen, Skin Stylus 2. FRACTIONAL RADIOFREQUENCY Fractional radiofrequency microneedling uses thicker needles to transmit heat deep into the skin. The basis of this therapy is thermal coagulation of tissue to stimulate collagen denaturation and renewal. Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling generates many less microchannels than mechanical needling, thus it should be thought of as a heat-based therapy. Unlike microneedling pens, this therapy involves no bleeding and no downtime. The main goal of RF is to lift the skin and thicken the collagen, whereas mechanical microneedling plays a greater role in resurfacing the upper layers of skin. Good candidates: Radiofrequency microneedling is desirable for people who want to tighten, lift or contour their skin. It is effective for scar reduction as well. The heat damages oil glands so RF microneedling is also effective for reducing acne and shrinking oil-producing pores. Examples: There are a handful of RF devices on the market. Endymed Intensif, Secret RF, Vivace, Virtue RF, Morpheus8 3. MESOTHERAPY Mesotherapy is the least invasive of all the needling options. This minimally invasive option only affects the very topmost layer of skin, about 600 micrometers deep which is very superficial. Mesotherapy increases the permeability of the stratum corneum, allowing skincare ingredients to penetrate a little bit deeper. Typical skincare products applied during mesotherapy include hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, or Botox. The results are akin to a facial Good candidates: People who are relatively happy with their skin who are looking for an extra boost or glow for a few days. People preparing their skin for a big event like a wedding or vacation. Examples: Aquagold, stamps, dermarollers

Why SLK Offers The Best Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) In Nashville & Chattanooga

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A PRP PROVIDER PRP (platelet rich plasma) has received significant attention in the fields of tissue engineering, wound healing, bone grafting, and trauma surgery in recent years. This is because PRP contains up to 30 times the amount of growth factors your blood normally contains, making it the liquid gold of tissue regeneration and restoration. When combined with microneedling, PRP can virtually stall the aging process, making this procedure one of the greatest developments in dermatology of our time. However, not all “PRP” facials are the same, and it is important to know what you need to look for when selecting a provider in order to see maximum results. Human platelet containing alpha-granules, which are vesicles full of growth factors. 4 ESSENTIAL THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN CHOOSING A PRP MICRONEEDLING PROVIDER: 1. THE CONCENTRATION OF THE PLASMA You should always receive your plasma treatment from a professional who has had formal laboratory training, for example a nurse or doctor who took chemistry and biology laboratory classes as a pre-req for their medical/nursing classes. The effectiveness of your PRP treatment is directly dependent on the concentration of PRP. Therefore, it is critical that your provider possess the technical training and correct equipment to generate a well-prepared sample. The wrong device, or the wrong lab technique could result in improper dilution of your blood sample, rendering your treatment ineffective.  2. BLOOD SAFETY PRECAUTIONS Blood carries diseases like Hepatitis, syphilis, and HIV, so you want to ensure the provider’s facility has the proper protocols in place for containment of blood waste, and disposal of dirty needles. At SLK clinic, our nurses have been trained in infection control since year one of nursing school. We use hospital-grade disinfectant to clean each room and all equipment in between every patient. Additionally we are serviced by a bio-hazard collection agency regularly to safely dispose of all needles. 3. MULTIPLE HANDLERS OF YOUR BLOOD SAMPLE Most medspas do not operate like a hospital where every patient blood specimen is carefully labeled and barcoded with the patient’s information. Thus the chance for medical error can potentially be higher in a medspa setting. For example, if an aesthetician is performing your microneedling procedure (which, by the way, is considered legally problematic, read why here), they will first have a nurse draw your blood because because aestheticians do not have a license to do so. Ultimately, this results in your blood sample passing through multiple hands which is not ideal because of the well-known fact that every “hand-off” is an opportunity for to accidentally mix up one patient’s lab sample with another’s. Thus it is best to ensure the person drawing your blood is the same person performing your PRP injections. 4. THE PROVIDER At SLK, only nurses and nurse practitioners will perform your treatment from beginning to end. No other healthcare professional is taught to handle needles, inject medicine, and draw blood as early on as nurses are. Additionally, no healthcare professional is as well-versed in cleanliness, aseptic technique and infection control as nurses are, ensuring you have the safest treatment possible. Ready to make an appointment with one of our top board-certified nursing staff? Please call us or submit your contact info below and a representative will reach out to you very shortly! CONTACT US NOW Before (left) and after 4 sessions of microneedling with platelet-rich plasma

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