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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

Skin Tightening: What Is The Best Way To Tighten Loose Skin?

Collagen and elastin are the two proteins that help skin stay firm, plump, and hydrated. These begin to decline as we age. Starting at age 20, a person produces about 1% less collagen each year. The result of lost collagen and elastin is loose, crepey, sagging skin on the face, neck and body. With advances in science and technology in the past 20 years, we finally have an excellent non-invasive treatment option available that allows us to avoid going under the knife with surgery. Non-surgical skin tightening devices work by using targeted radiofrequency energy to heat deeper layers of skin, in order to stimulate collagen and elastin production. The goal of these procedures is to gradually improve the skin with periodic treatments over time. This painless technology improves mild to moderately loose skin on the face, neck or body without surgery or scars. At SLK, we use a 5th generation radiofrequency device called Vivace. Vivace skin tightening technology is much-improved from it’s older cousins like Thermage and Fraxel. It uses a handheld microneedling device that uses 36 gold pins which use fine robotic movements to deliver completely painless energy with every pulse. Vivace tightens skin practically anywhere on the body. At SLK, we use this device to tighten abdomens, thighs, arms, and backs, and of course, many faces, necks and chests. The device is extremely effective at restoring firm, smooth skin and a more youthful appearance with little to no downtime. Your treatment does not stop in our office; we give each patient extensive instructions on how to continue stimulating production of new skin long-term. For adequate skin tightening results, a series of 3-6 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart is recommended. Skin takes several months to produce new collagen and elastin after a Vivace treatment is completed. All SLK patients are sent home with the appropriate, medical-grade products to optimize recovery and maximize results. Full results can be visualized six months after your last Vivace session. For more information on skin tightening, please schedule a consultation with us in our Nashville office.

The 5 Types Of Radiofrequency Skin Tightening Devices

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RADIOFREQUENCY DEVICES? Are you interested in skin tightening? Are you confused by all the different options of radiofrequency (RF) devices on the market? The reason so many devices exist is because radiofrequency skin tightening technology has advanced rapidly in the past 20 years, with new and improved devices being released every few years. Read below for a quick overview of all the types of RF microneedling devices on the market right now: 1. FIRST GENERATION RADIOFREQUENCY DEVICES FDA approval: Early 2000s Devices: Thermage, Exilis, Pelleve.  Cons: Pain, poor skin penetration, very shallow treatment depths In the early 2000s, the very first RF skin tightening technology was monopolar based. What does that mean? Monopolar energy uses a grounding pad and an electrode placed on the skin. The energy travels from the electrode through the skin to generate heat within, and back to the grounding pad. High levels of energy (100 watts or more) are needed to complete the circuit because skin is resistant to electrical current. Unfortunately, these high wattages cause a significant level of pain. Additionally, these devices are limited to only treating the superficial dermis and upper epidermis. 2. SECOND GENERATION RADIOFREQUENCY DEVICES FDA approval: 2005 Devices: Velashape Cons: Still painful. When an electrode loses contact with the skin, an arc is created resulting in burns and blisters.  To combat issues with the pain from first-generation RF devices, bipolar technology was developed. This new concept used a positive and negative electrode which are placed on the skin simultaneously. The energy between the two points then completes the circuit. A gliding handpiece was also implemented so that patient pain could be minimized while achieving higher temperatures. 3. THIRD GENERATION RADIOFREQUENCY DEVICES FDA approval: 2011 Devices: Pollogen  The third generation of RF based technology is tri-polar RF. Tri-polar circuits have two negative and one positive electrode to complete the circuit. RF currents can thus be applied to the body without discomfort as the current change is too quick to depolarize a nerve. This technology also allows for theoretically a deeper penetration of RF energy as the poles are spaced farther out than that of bipolar RF. This device is much more comfortable, however the tightening results were inconsistent due to the poor penetration of energy beneath the skin. 4. FOURTH GENERATION RADIOFREQUENCY DEVICES FDA approval: 2011-2013 Devices: Venus Freeze and Venus Legacy The fourth generation of RF is multipolar radiofrequency. These treatments are designed to change the direction of the electromagnetic field while the practitioner moves the hand piece. Some handpieces also include a vacuum to manipulate lymphatic drainage. This device penetrates deeper to target both fat and collagen. This is a great option to use on the body or for patients post-liposuction. 5. FIFTH GENERATION RADIOFREQUENCY TIGHTENING DEVICES FDA approval: 2016 Devices: Cartessa Vivace, Endymed Intensif, Candela Profound, Cutera Secret, Lutronic Infini Cons: The depth of penetration is too superficial to be effective for fat reduction. Certain manufacturers’ RF microneedling devices are still quite painful.Price is more expensive because this is the latest technology. One challenge that has remained in the use of radiofrequency is the consistency of results. This is largely due to the resistance of radiofrequency in different types and densities of skin. Theories range from skin hydration, sun damage, age, to collagen and elastin densities. As a response to this challenge, radiofrequency combined with microneedling has been the most recent development in RF technology. With the addition of needles to the radiofrequency device, energy waves are now able to bypass the resistant skin surface, transmitting high levels of heat into the deeper layers of skin without the need for high power wattages. This results in a much less painful patient experience, and much more predictable results from patient to patient. RADIOFREQUENCY MICRONEEDLING INDICATIONS: Acne vulgaris Acne scarring Scarring Skin rejuvenation Skin tightening Stretch marks Primary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RF MICRONEEDLING? BOOK A COMPLIMENTARY CONSULT: book now

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