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Canker Sores: When to See a Doctor

Canker Sores: When to See a Doctor

When it comes to ulcers, most people’s minds immediately go to stomach ulcers. However, unfortunately, the condition can also occur in your mouth and can be as uncomfortable as an ulcer anywhere else. A canker sore is a widely known open mouth ulcer that often occurs inside your mouth around cheeks or lips.

If you’re wondering what it looks like, it’s usually a yellow or white sore surrounded by inflamed tissue. On the positive side, canker sores aren’t contagious and don’t take longer than a week or two to heal. The pain usually goes away even earlier. However, complete healing and recovery may take up to six weeks.

What are some canker sore symptoms?

Some of the most common canker sore symptoms include:

  • Painful feeling in your mouth
  • A red area in your mouth
  • A tingling sensation
  • A small, white or yellow ulcer

There may also be additional symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Swollen lymph nodes

What causes canker sores?

Just like many other conditions, canker sores may also develop if there’s a family history. Other major causes include:

  • Stress
  • Viral infection
  • Food allergy
  • Hormonal fluctuation
  • Mouth injury
  • Problems with the immune system
  • Mineral or vitamin deficiency
  • Menstrual cycle

However, it’s possible not to be able to determine the cause of canker sores in some cases.

How is a canker sore diagnosed?

Canker sore from ulcer 300x225 - Canker Sores: When to See a DoctorYour healthcare professional may conduct a thorough examination of your mouth before establishing whether you have canker sores or not. In some cases, doctors may also recommend getting certain blood tests or a biopsy done if the breakout is severe or if they suspect is the following:

  • A hormonal disorder
  • A virus
  • A form of deficiency, etc.

In rare cases, it’s also possible for a cancerous lesion to appear as a sore, but it’s unlikely to treat it without treatment. On the negative side, some oral cancer symptoms are quite similar to those of canker sores, such as a swollen neck and painful ulcers. However, other symptoms set it apart from a canker sore such as:

  • Earaches
  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Bleeding from your gums or mouth

It’s important to see a doctor right away if there’s the presence of any of the stated symptoms above and rule oral cancer out once and for all.

Is there a way to prevent canker sores?

Since there isn’t a single known cause of canker sores, it’s hard to determine what course of action to take to prevent them entirely. However, it is possible to prevent their recurrence by avoiding anything that may have triggered it previously, such as acidic, spicy, or salty foods. If your canker sore were previously caused by stress, try to incorporate deep breathing, meditation, and other calming techniques you may know of.

Stating the obvious, but keep your oral health in check at all times. Practicing good oral hygiene habits and using the right products to keep your gums and teeth healthy is one of the best ways to ensure their longevity and protection. If you suspect having mineral or vitamin deficiencies, speak to your doctor about prescribing supplements or help you create a good diet plan if needed.

How is a canker sore different from a cold sore?

While both conditions are similar in certain aspects, cold sores tend to appear outside your mouth, unlike canker sores that develop inside your mouth. Cold sores are also likely to appear as blisters first, unlike canker sores that appear inflamed first. The former usually becomes sore after your blister pops.

Similar to canker sores, cold sores can also be a result of stress. However, the primary source of this condition is the herpes simplex virus that travels within your body and can result from exhaustion or sunburn.

How is it treated?

Minor canker sores don’t usually require treatment as they heal within a week or two. However, larger and more persistent ones may need some form of care; and thankfully, there are many treatment options available. Here are some, ranging from the most basic ones to those that require more professional intervention.

Rinse your mouth

For starters, your healthcare professional may prescribe something with dexamethasone, which is a steroid, to rinse your mouth. A good mouth rinse can also help you reduce inflammation and pain.

Other over-the-counter products

There are certain products that may speed the healing process and relieve your pain, such as those containing hydrogen peroxide, fluocinonide, and benzocaine. However, even the ones without any active ingredients can help, based on your professional’s recommendation.

Medications

Some professionals may recommend oral medications in case your sores aren’t getting better with any other intervention. Some of the medications include those used to treat intestinal ulcers. On the other hand, some medications, such as oral steroids, are only used as a last resort when no other treatment has been successful in healing severe canker sores.

When should you see a doctor?

While minor sores are nothing to worry about and often vanish on their own, some cases may require you to consult a professional. If you think your sores have outstayed their welcome and are unusually large, don’t delay seeking medical advice. Sometimes they start out slow and spread to the entire mouth, causing immense discomfort while performing any oral functions.

On the other hand, if your sores have lasted for more than three weeks, it may be a cause of concern because they can cause a lot of pain despite your attempts to avoid any triggers. If you think home remedies and over-the-counter medicines aren’t working effectively anymore, it may be time to see a doctor and get to the core of the problem.

In the end, canker sores are not a serious condition, but they can cause immense pain and disrupt your ability to perform daily tasks. Therefore, the best way to prevent their onset is to avoid certain foods and keep your stress levels healthy.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles or Herpes Zoster may not be a very commonly encountered dermatological issue, but the shooting pain this viral cutaneous disease causes is sure to make you learn a thing or two about it. Think of chickenpox, for example. Even though both conditions aren’t similar, people who have shingles often have chickenpox first. A rather interesting similarity between the two is how they both develop due to the same virus, namely varicella-zoster virus or VZV.

While chickenpox is known to cause itchy blisters, shingles usually consist of rashes that cause severe pain. Another notable difference between both conditions is that chickenpox often spreads to almost every part of your body, but shingles are limited to just a single side of your body.

Herpes Zoster 300x200 - Shingles (Herpes Zoster)What Are the Early Signs and Symptoms?

Some early signs and symptoms of shingles you should look out for include the following:

  • Headache
  • Fever with chills
  • Upset stomach
  • Severe pain on one side of your body
  • Itching
  • A burning sensation under your skin
  • Larger than usual lymph nodes
  • Lifted patches with redness on the skin

 

Since there is no first aid you can administer for this condition at home, we recommend getting in touch with a professional if you notice these signs. Even though there isn’t a cure yet, treatment can keep the symptoms from getting worse.

What Causes Shingles?

There’s an interesting chain of events that follows before shingles even occurs. The infamous varicella-zoster virus initially enters your body to cause chickenpox, either during a person’s childhood or adulthood.

Once chickenpox has run its course completely, the virus travels to nerve tissues close to your brain and spinal cord and stays there for a prolonged period. Often after years, the virus apparently becomes active again and gives your skin a second punch, called shingles or herpes zoster.

Is It Contagious?

Yes, just like chickenpox, this condition too is contagious unless someone is vaccinated for it. Moreover, people with a weak immune system, newborn babies, and pregnant women are at a greater risk of catching it. Therefore, it’s recommended to limit your movement outside a confined area until crusts have formed over all the sores.

Additionally, people with a weak immune system are also susceptible to several complications that accompany the condition, such as:

  • Loss of vision or other eye problems in case the rash was near the eye.
  • Paralysis of the face or brain inflammation if certain nerves are affected in the course.
  • Long-lasting pain even after the outbreak.

How Does a Professional Diagnose Shingles?

Typically, diagnosing shingles isn’t overly complicated. A professional usually examines your medical history, asks routine questions about the symptoms, other underlying conditions, and medications, etc. Following this, they may conduct a physical examination and test a very small amount of material if there are any blisters.

Medications Used For Treatment

The healing process can be improved and sped up by the following medications, as per your doctor’s prescription.

Painkillers

Due to the severe pain and inflammation that sometimes can accompany the condition, your doctor may suggest some painkillers like:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Acetaminophen

Antiviral Medications

Antiviral medications, as per your doctor’s prescription, can slow down the development of rashes. Some medications include:

  • Valacyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Acyclovir

What Are Some Myths About Shingles?

Myth #1: Shingles and chickenpox are the same things

While they may have the same virus behind them, chickenpox and shingles are not the same. Shingles could easily last for a month, while chickenpox usually heals in about a week or two. Chickenpox blisters are itchy, whereas shingles blisters are painful. Chickenpox could spread to your body while shingles are limited to one area.

Myth#2: Only older and immuno-compromised people are susceptible to shingles

It’s true that the infection is commonly found in those over the age of 50, but it’s not entirely limited to them. People of any age can get it if they’ve had chickenpox.

Myth #3: Shingles only happens once

Even though the likelihood of shingles happening again is low, it isn’t zero. New bouts can still develop on your body unless you’re fully vaccinated.

Myth #4: There’s no discomfort other than rashes

While rashes are the primary symptom, shingles also comes with a number of other pain-inducing or uncomfortable symptoms. Some symptoms include fever, headache, muscle weakness, stomachaches, and even scarring.

Interesting Facts About Shingles

Fact #1: It has the ability to hurt your brain

Even though it’s not common, shingles around the forehead, ears, and eyes can also cause swelling in the brain, face paralysis, or difficulty hearing. In very few cases, the infection has also been linked to a stroke and brain tissue inflammation.

Fact #2: Vision loss is a possibility

Again, the possibility is very low but not zero. Painful, swollen, and red eyelids as a result of shingles should not be taken lightly. It could lead to a possible case of scarring or even blindness if left untreated. Look out for blisters on the nose tip as an early warning sign.

Fact #3: Vaccines are effective

Similar to many other conditions, vaccines don’t always guarantee no shingles. However, they can significantly reduce your chances of developing it. Even if you end up getting shingles, the symptoms will likely be less severe and much more manageable.

Fact #4: Shingles could be a result of stress

While shingles isn’t directly caused by stress, the latter is known to weaken a person’s immune system and suffer from the outbreak. Stress can also make the management harder and more painful. Moreover, it can cause you to have an illness that somehow ends up triggering the development of shingles.

In the end, there are many complications that can come with shingles. Even though it’s not a life-threatening infection, it can cause an immense amount of pain and discomfort along with some serious after-effects. Therefore, we recommend visiting a professional as soon as you notice the symptoms developing.

Wrinkles – Aging vs. Poor Lifestyle Choices

Wrinkles are one of the several changes your body and skin go through as they age. However, they’re not entirely a cause of aging. Changes in lifestyle and eating habits are also some of the biggest contributors to wrinkles at an early age.

By definition, wrinkles or rhytids are creases and lines in the skin that usually develop due to aging. This is because as you age, your skin becomes dryer, thinner, and also slower with the repairing process. In simple words, aging is when the pull of gravity can easily draw your skin downwards causing wrinkles and sagging among other problems.

While women usually witness such changes after menopause, men certainly also go through the process of aging, contributing to wrinkles. Apart from biological and natural factors, they are also a cause of certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive facial movement, and sun exposure, etc. As we proceed, we’ll see the impact of both aging and lifestyle choices on the development of wrinkles alike.

Aging

Your skin goes through many changes as age progresses and more often than not, it does contribute to wrinkles. Here is how:

  • Your dermis or the skin’s middle layer becomes thinner.
  • Your skin loses collagen, which is an essential element to provide elasticity to your skin.
  • Your skin’s ability to maintain moisture declines, causing it to be dryer.
  • Your rete ridges (tissue extensions that merge the epidermal and dermal skin layers) become flat, leaving your skin exposed to wrinkles and wounds.
  • Your blood vessels become constricted, preventing the flow of oxygen and blood to your skin cells, interfering with the repairing process.
  • Your skin also becomes loose due to the pull of gravity, causing issues such as sagging, wrinkles, and lines.

Lifestyle

While some factors that cause wrinkles are inevitable, others are not. These factors have to do with how well you look after your skin, the elements you expose it to, and what you consume.

Smoking

People who smoke are more likely to experience the development of wrinkles than those who don’t. You may also notice them appearing much older than others of the same age who don’t smoke. This is because smoking involves intoxicating your body with harmful chemicals such as tobacco. It’s one of the biggest contributors to problems of texture and elasticity of your skin because it produces excess metalloproteinase. Moreover, nicotine has long been known to narrow your skin’s blood vessels, making it hard for blood and oxygen to reach your skin.

Lack of Sleep

Contrary to popular belief, you do need a good amount of sleep even as your age progresses. Being old has nothing to do with a lack of sleep because experts are still very much in favor of seven to eight hours of sleep every night for ideal health. If your body does not get enough sleep, it can hinder your ability to function well during the day. Among several other problems, it also contributes to weight gain and of course, wrinkles. In case you suspect having a sleep disorder, better consult an expert in time.

Lack of Greens in Your Diet

Even though aging is natural, many people are able to delay its effects by simply incorporating healthy elements into their diet. One way to be able to do that is by reducing your calorie intake followed by lots of fruits and vegetables. Apart from fruits and vegetables, experts also recommend including whole grains and plenty of fiber in your diet.

Sun Exposure

After diet and aging, sun exposure is one of the leading causes of premature wrinkles on your skin. Generally speaking, people with darker skin have better natural protection from radiation as compared to lighter skin tones.

Sun exposure can damage the collagen fibers of your skin to the extent that your elastin fibers start accumulating to an abnormal level. Due to the accumulation, large quantities of metalloproteinases are produced, causing malfunction and breaking down collagen. As a result, your skin repeats the rebuilding process and causes the development of wrinkles.

Exposure to Air Pollution

Places with a high amount of air pollution can cause premature wrinkles. This is because air pollution also contributes to the production of excess metalloproteinases, which can cause your skin to overwork itself and get wrinkly.

Stress

Physical decline is often a result of mental decline and this is where stress comes in. Keeping your mind young helps keep your body young which is why it’s important to identify the stressors in your surroundings and circumvent them by practicing meditation and different relaxation techniques.

Having Too Much Alcohol

Even though moderate drinking is considered safe, the meaning of “moderate” changes with age. Having more than a glass of alcohol is often too much once you’re old and excessive consumption can result in cognitive and physical decline. Alcohol may also interfere with certain medications, which is why you may need to consult a doctor to see what amount is safe for consumption.

Sudden and Excessive Dieting

Quick fixes in life can seem tempting, especially when they’re about losing weight in a short amount of time. However, they’re hardly ever a good idea. Crash dieting may give you the desired results for a while but it will leave your body impaired with low levels of energy in the long run. It can also mess with your concentration and make you irritable and depressed.

Moreover, it contributes to wrinkles because as your body ages and skin loses elasticity, your skin is unable to adapt to changes brought about by dieting. Therefore, weight management is an important aspect of life no matter how young or old one gets. As a precaution, avoid losing more than two pounds a week.

In conclusion, apart from natural factors at play, aging is also a result of poor dietary habits and other environmental triggers. Moreover, unhealthy habits such as smoking can also cause premature wrinkles.

Waxing vs. Laser Hair Removal: Pros and Cons

If you’re someone who dislikes having excessive body hair, there are numerous ways to get rid of them. While most of them are non-invasive, there may be some that cause pain. However, the two most famous hair removal methods in the market right now include waxing and laser. Waxing is one of the most common procedures individuals go through to get rid of unwanted hair. Since now people have started becoming familiar with laser, there has been more inclination towards it.

Before we start analyzing their pros, cons and risks etc. it’s important to establish they’re both effective in their own capacities but how long the results last can vary among some other differences.

Waxing

Since most people are already familiar with the process, waxing is quite simple. All you need is a fabric strip, some hot wax and a wooden stick to apply the wax to remove even the most rigid hair on your body. While some people prefer doing it on their own, others visit professional facilities such as a salon to get it done.

The process consists of applying wax on the skin using a stick or a butter knife following which, a strip of fabric is applied. The fabric is then pulled off, removing wax along with the hair.

One of the major benefits of waxing no other form of short-term hair removal technique offers is that it removes the hair from your follicle. As a result, the skin feels smooth. Typically, the results only last for a week or two before you start noticing new hair growth. The procedure may seem harmless but just like any other hair removal technique, it also accompanies certain pros and cons. Here are some of them.

Pros

  • It costs much less than laser for a single session.
  • It’s effective for almost every skin tone and hair type.
  • It’s a good option for someone who may not qualify for laser due to any factors related to the skin or hair type.
  • You can also do it at home unlike laser hair removal that can only be performed by a professional.

Cons

  • The first one to make it to the list is nonetheless pain, especially if it’s your first time. Moreover, some areas of your body hurt more than the rest such as underarms, ears and bikini lines.
  • It may result in the growth of ingrown hair.
  • Waxing may not be a great option if you require smooth and hair-free skin permanently.
  • The cost of a single waxing session may be lower than laser, but the overall cost is much higher.
  • It’s time-consuming.

Waxing cannot get you rid of hair growth completely and you may have to go through the same procedure after every few weeks. There’s also a chance of damage to your skin in case it’s sensitive. Therefore, it’s usually recommended to not wax your face.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser is a slightly complicated matter if compared to waxing. Unlike waxing, you cannot perform it at home since it requires complex equipment and the knowledge of administering it. The high-powered laser most professionals own is used to attack the root of your hair. Consequently, it destroys your follicle to prevent it from growing back.

Once you have discussed the course and other details regarding your treatment, your professional will start by numbing your skin. After that, they apply laser to the target area of your skin to remove hair. However, note that you may not see any results after a single session, unlike waxing that provides immediate hair removal.

You may have to go through several treatments before the results become apparent but once they do, you can enjoy them for months and years to come. Depending on your circumstances, your professional may suggest you come for frequent touch-ups. However, it’s usually not required.

Pros

  • It’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to remove hair for the long-term.
  • It saves time as the sessions are quick even if a large area of your body is involved.
  • It doesn’t cause serious damage and is considered safe unless there’s a rare skin sensitivity that it cannot work with.
  • You can get the treatment done on any part of the body.
  • It doesn’t hurt as much as waxing does.

Cons

  • Unlike waxing, laser hair removal is not effective on all skin tones and types. It works best on dark hair and light skin.
  • It’s more expensive than a single session of waxing but cost-effective in the long-run.

Laser requires a lot more patience than any other method of removing hair. You may have to go through a number of sessions before you see any noticeable changes because the hair follicle can’t be destroyed overnight. Your hair must be in a certain stage of growth for laser to effectively destroy it.

The Bottom Line

Despite being costly, laser is one of the most sought-after treatments for hair removal across the globe. It’s a safe, effective and long-lasting solution as compared to waxing. However, it also requires a bigger investment of both your time and money. Moreover, if you are susceptible to ingrown hair, there aren’t many options other than laser to deal with them.

In conclusion, no matter what solution you choose, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. While waxing is less time-consuming and also easy on the pocket for a single session, it’s painful and costly in the long term.

On the other hand, laser is easy and much less painful but costs more for a single session. Moreover, before making the leap for laser, consult an expert to analyze factors such as your skin tone and hair type before recommending the procedure.

What Is Collagen Stimulation Therapy?

CST or Collagen Stimulation Therapy, as the name suggests is a way to enhance collagen and elastin growth in your skin. The method involves inducing an injury into your skin’s epidermal and dermal junction, which  consequently induces the growth of new collagen. As opposed to other ablative treatments that cause significant damage to the epidermis, which is considered safe.

CST also goes by other names such as dermal needling, microneedling, and medical needling, etc. However, compared to other interventions, this treatment is much more serious and only designed to suit those who need serious results.

Brief History of CST

The therapy works to improve several skin problems such as sun damage, wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scarring, and so on. Even though it has been around for quite some time, it was first introduced in 1997 as an alternative to several skin-damaging treatments. Earlier, professionals relied on aggressive peels and lasers to deal with skin problems.

However, the need for natural collagen stimulation increased over the course of time, leading to the development of Collagen Stimulation Therapy. Over the last decade, CST has gained more momentum as people’s desire to have a natural and youthful appearance has seen a growing trend.

Microneedling Benefits

Apart from the fact that it helps deal with a range of skin-related problems, the procedure is also safe and effective. One of the key microneedling benefits is that you will see a reduction in fine lines, large pores, scars, and wrinkles along with overall skin rejuvenation.

Procedure

Many people mistake it for a facial when it’s far from it. You will require a professional practitioner to perform it. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it’s not a quick fix you can avail before going out on a Saturday night. It requires unwavering dedication and commitment before you start seeing results.

Typically, the procedure lasts over 90 minutes where the professional starts by numbing the skin and then gliding a roller over it. The microscopic needles on the roller penetrate into your skin and cause micro-trauma. As a result, you may see your skin having tiny blood pin pricks. This is a sign that elastin and collagen production has started.

Due to the micro-trauma, your skin experiences natural healing, and the area is flooded with elastin and collagen. After successfully rolling the tiny needles on the skin, your professional will clean the treated area with a solution. Next, they’ll apply an alginate mask to reduce the redness. Once the mask is removed, they’ll proceed to apply Vitamin A and peptides.

How Much Downtime Is Involved?

Generally speaking, it’s normal to experience a little redness for a while after the treatment. However, one of the most important microneedling benefits is that the side effects don’t last for as long as they do in other treatments. In fact, you can apply makeup the very next day, depending on what your skincare professional suggests.

Don’t be discouraged if you see flakiness on the skin for at least 4 to 5 days. It might take over a week for the final results to appear and make your skin look glowy. Sometimes, it also takes over four months for the results to be up to your expectations but remember, patience is virtue with CST.

Once you see your skin looking smooth, plump, and healthy, it will all be worth it. Even though it takes quite a lot of time for the results to become obvious, the fact that they last for years makes the entire patience regime worthwhile.

When Do You Need Collagen Stimulation Therapy?

There are several circumstances in life where you may feel the need to have healthy and wrinkle-free skin, such as before your wedding or any other important life event. However, the need to have healthy skin is not only limited to important life events, it can be as random as being in bed and wondering why your skin doesn’t look as fresh as it did in the past.

No matter what the time and circumstances, if you think your skin needs some tightening and glow, you can consider getting a CST done. Practically, the treatment can be performed anywhere on your body and face however before jumping into it you will need to have a detailed consultation with a professional. This is where the professional will guide you about the course of the treatment and the kind of microneedling benefits you can enjoy.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

One of the most common things people experience right after the procedure is skin irritation however, it’s short-lived. Other potential side effects include:

  • Skin flaking
  • Discomfort on the treated area
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Dryness
  • Redness, etc.

 

There may also be minor bleeding if the treatment was deeper but unless you take any blood-thinning medication, it shouldn’t be a problem. You may also experience some serious side effects such as an infection but the likelihood is quite rare.

Why Do You Need a Detailed Consultation?

While the procedure is pretty self-explanatory, the course can differ based on what condition you would like to improve. A detailed consultation allows your professional to see if you even need collagen stimulation therapy or not. Sometimes, all it takes are a few right products to get your skin back on track.

However, if the professional feels that taking the CST course is beneficial and can get you the results you want, they will recommend going ahead with it. It’s also important to notify your aesthetician if you have any underlying conditions. If you have any of the following, the procedure might not be suitable:

  • Acne
  • Unstable skin type
  • Keloid scarring
  • Active skin infection

 

This is why we recommend getting a consultation with a skincare professional done. After all, the cornerstone of successful treatment depends on a detailed analysis of your skin.

Benefits of Getting Botox Injections

Botox injections have gained considerable popularity ever since its success. Since it’s mostly used for cosmetic reasons, the procedure has gained a lot of momentum in a short period. Made using a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, the most notable feature of this drug is that it’s injectable.

The word Botox itself conjures a set of mixed feelings. Some perceive it to be a savior while others simply hesitate to get an unknown substance injected into their skin.

However, dermatologists consider it to be useful for people with both cosmetic and medical concerns. Furthermore, for many, it’s also a way to boost their confidence and experience pain relief.

Before we dive into the details, it should be known that the benefits of Botox go beyond achieving youthful skin. With a growing demand for the drug, it’s only natural to wonder what it’s capable of.

What Does It Treat?

Botox is known to treat facial wrinkles and additional conditions such as:

  • Hyperhidrosis ( a condition with a lot of underarm sweating)
  • Blepharospasm (a condition involving uncontrollable blinking)
  • Cervical Dystonia ( a condition that causes muscle spasms)
  • A very active bladder
  • Strabismus (a condition in which your eyes point in different directions)

 

Benefits of Botox

It Gives Youth to Your Skin

botox lip injection 300x200 - Benefits of Getting Botox InjectionsOne of the biggest reasons most people consider getting Botox injections is that they help remove the damage done by years of sun exposure, pollution, and stress. People who have apparent forehead lines, frown lines and crow’s feet, etc. often find it hard to deal with signs of aging.

This is when Botox injections into play by taking years off your appearance and giving your skin a hint of youth again. While most people use it to target their frown, smile, and forehead lines, others can use it to add elasticity to their loose skin.

It Provides a Non-surgical Facelift

Building upon the previous benefit, Botox can help lift your face without a risky surgical procedure. It works by including facial fillers in the process that assists improving your overall appearance. Facial fillers such as Juvederm also help delay the aging process by making your cheekbones more prominent.

It Helps Treat Migraine

One of the biggest benefits of Botox is that it helps you deal with growing and severe migraines. Severe migraines can cause major symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. Botox injections work their magic by providing relief from these symptoms, making it easier to deal with migraines.

It Also Carries Medical Significance

Apart from cosmetic benefits, Botox also helps deal with several medical issues. In fact, the FDA has approved its usage for hyperhidrosis, strabismus, an overactive bladder, and blepharospasm, etc.

It Treats Neck Spasms

Botox was used in the treatment of neck spasms way before it gained momentum in the world of plastic surgery. Apart from its cosmetic application, it’s also known to reduce chronic neck pain caused by cervical dystonia. It works by preventing signals that cause muscle tightening.

It Treats an Overactive Bladder

According to the FDA, Botox can also be used to treat people with an overactive bladder, unless they’re below 18 years of age. The symptoms often include incidents of leaking and a strong urge to urinate. However, it should be the last resort to treat such a condition, and professionals also usually prescribe other treatments before settling for Botox.

It’s Safe

More often than not, the procedure is generally considered safe. Furthermore, it’s also a very common cosmetic treatment across the United States. Since 2012, it has been approved by the FDA and considered effective for some procedures such as wrinkles and facial lines. Again, the consequences of the procedure also depend on the professional who’s performing it and the specific condition you’re dealing with.

Are There Any Side Effects of Botox Injections?

While there are several benefits of Botox, it also accompanies some risks. However, the likelihood of getting side effects is pretty rare. Here are some of them.

  • Headache
  • Dry eyes
  • Numbness
  • Upset stomach
  • Mild bruising around the site of the injection
  • Temporary weakness
  • Drooping of the eyelids
  • Double vision, etc.

Also, be wary of getting treatment if you are allergic or sensitive to it or if there’s an infection at the site where you are planning to get injected. Again, depending on the complexity and circumstances of each case, the effects of Botox can go beyond the site of the injection to cause further complications. However, the chances of that happening are quite rare and the side effects are usually short-lived.

Are the Results Permanent?

Even though the results are not permanent, people can enjoy lasting effects after the procedure. To get the best out of it, maintain consistency depending on what your professional recommends. Also, select a knowledgeable and competent provider aesthetician.

What to Expect From Botox Injections

Before you consider getting the procedure done, go for a consultation with an experienced professional. They may ask you to try some facial expressions to analyze your marks and lines, based on which they will suggest a course for your treatment.

Since the injections are painless, a numbing instrument is not required. Typically, the procedure takes around 15 minutes. However, it can also take less or more time than that, depending on your condition.

Following the procedure, it’s recommended to avoid any stressful activities and your professional may also give you some post-procedure care guidelines. The results are expected to last for up to four months with some appointments scheduled in between to evaluate your skin.

The Bottom Line

In the end, the benefits of Botox outweigh the risks and costs associated with it. From treating wrinkles and lines to more complicated medical conditions, Botox injections are by far one of the most sought-after treatments in the market.

What Is IPL Treatment?

IPL is short for intense pulsed light. This method is used to treat spots, unwanted hair, and wrinkles. In addition, it can also be used to remove or reduce sun damage, birthmarks, freckles, rosacea, and hair on your neck, legs, face, underarms, or chest.

Is IPL the Same As a Laser Treatment?

While both treatments have similarities, IPL emits multiple wavelengths compared to a laser that only releases a single wavelength of light. In addition, the light from a laser is much less scattered and more focused than the light from IPL. Intense pulsed light is much less damaging to your skin because it penetrates into your skin’s layer without causing any harm to the upper layer (epidermis).

How Does It Work?

Your skin’s pigment cells convert the light energy into heat, and as a result, the heat clears up your spots and freckles by destroying the unwanted pigment. In the case of controlling hair growth on certain parts of your body, it works by destroying the follicle.

Where Can the IPL Laser Treatment Be Used?

Typically, you can have it done to any part of your body. However, it doesn’t work well for people with darker skin tones or uneven areas. When it comes to hair, it works well on darker hair as compared to light hair.

How Much Does It Cost?

There isn’t a single price set for the IPL laser treatment because the cost relies on the treatment area’s size and the condition you’re dealing with. On average, it can be between $700 to more than $1000, but there can also be additional costs such as:

  • Follow-up visits
  • Anesthesia tests
  • Prescribed medicines, etc.

Also, note that since it is a cosmetic procedure, it is highly unlikely for your health insurance to cover the cost.

How Can You Prepare for It?

Your skin specialist will review your medical history and may also conduct a physical exam to determine what is wrong with your skin. During this time, you must discuss the procedure requirements, costs, risks, and results to avoid confusion. Your skin specialist may ask you to:

  • Avoid applying deodorants and perfumes to the target area
  • Avoid chemical peels, sunbathing, or any other possible source of skin exposure to the sun or chemicals for at least two weeks before the treatment starts
  • Avoid herbal medicines, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory drugs as they may inflate your bleeding risk

How Is the Procedure Performed?

The following steps are involved in the treatment:

  • First, your target area is cleaned by your skincare professional.
  • Then your skin receives some cool gel treatment.
  • Then your skin specialist will use an intense pulsed light device to release light pulses to your skin.
  • Your professional may ask you to wear glasses to save your eyes from the treatment’s intensity.
  • The pulses can cause a stinging sensation much similar to getting snapped by a rubber band.

It should take around half an hour for the treatment to complete, but the duration is subject to change depending on the following factors:

  • The size of your target treatment area
  • The part of your body exposed to intense pulsed light

suncoast ipl laser treatment 300x200 - What Is IPL Treatment?You may need to get up to six treatments a month apart for ideal results. In the case of hair removal, you may have to go for as many as twelve treatments.

How well the treatment works also depends on the device being used. For some cosmetic procedures, a new intense pulsed light device may give the same results as a laser treatment. However, for hair removal, it works better on dark and thick hair as compared to light and thin hair.

We recommend consulting your skincare professional to determine how many sessions you require to achieve the desired results.

Are There Any Risks Associated?

According to the ASDS (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery), it is possible to experience mild swelling or redness following the procedure. It doesn’t usually last for more than two days. In rare cases, you may also have the following:

  • Infection
  • Blistering
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Crusting
  • Change in color
  • Scarring

What Happens Post-Procedure?

It is possible for the patient to not see any noticeable difference for some weeks after the IPL laser treatment is performed. Some expected post-procedure consequences are:

  • Your skin may be red or pink for up to eight hours or more
  • You may feel a little stinging sensation, but it usually goes away in about six hours. You can also use a cold pack to reduce it.
  • You may experience mild swelling, but it goes away in some days.

What Are the Alternatives to Intense Pulsed Light?

There are many other options available to treat spots, unwanted hair, and lines, such as:

Laser

As compared to IPL, laser treatments do not require a lot of sessions. They are more effective on darker skin and may cost more than $2000 on average.

Microdermabrasion

This, too, is an alternative to IPL, but the results are not permanent. On average, it costs up to $138 dollars per session.

Fraxel Laser Treatment

It is a non-ablative treatment that allows your skin to regenerate. However, you may require a number of treatments before you see any visible results. It can cost over $1000 per session.

Pros and Cons of IPL Laser Treatment

Pros

  • It’s a popular and effective method to treat spots, lines, and unwanted hair.
  • It is also much faster as compared to other methods
  • There aren’t as many side effects as with other treatments
  • Recovery is also relatively faster

Cons

  • Ideal results may require you to come for several sessions
  • It doesn’t work very well on light hair and dark skin

In the end, you must weigh the pros of cons of this treatment and have a detailed consultation with your skincare specialist before proceeding. Make sure to evaluate all the risks, benefits, and costs of the entire length of your procedure to make an informed decision.

SmartSkin CO2 Laser Resurfacing

SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing utilizes laser technology to treat wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne, etc. The intensity of the treatment differs for every patients, and many people can see visible results in as many as three sessions.

What Does It Treat?

SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing makes use of a number of technologies to provide your skin with several perks such as:

  • Smoothness
  • Reduced wrinkles
  • Tightened skin
  • Treating damage from the sun
  • Treating under-eye circles
  • Reducing brown pigment
  • Treating age spots
  • Rejuvenating neckline and hands

suncoast laser rejuvenation 300x200 - SmartSkin CO2 Laser ResurfacingMoreover, once you use this treatment, it makes your skin tighter and more youthful since the procedure incorporates micro-ablative technology. Therefore, you get to experience the outcome immediately without having to wait for days or weeks. Another notable thing about the procedure is that there’s much less discomfort in comparison to other laser treatments.

Even though SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing can be performed on any part of your body, it is mainly performed on the face, hands, eyelids, neck, etc.

What Are the Benefits?

Some of the benefits of this laser surfacing procedure include the following:

Immediate Results

Aside from no discomfort, SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing also provides quick results. It is also quite convenient and takes just as much time as a quick lunch break.

Detailed Treatment

This innovative treatment method utilizes a plethora of technologies to have a detailed examination of your skin and provide rejuvenate it. As opposed to the traditional treatment methods, it takes much less time to get ideal results, which brings us to the next benefit.

Complete Rejuvenation of Your Skin

Since the procedure incorporates many technologies to rejuvenate your skin and take into account all of its aged and sun-damaged layers, it also goes quite deep in your skin’s structures containing collagen to deal with laxity, hence making it smoother and tighter.

Use of MultiPlex Technology

When the SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing treatment incorporates MultiPlex technology, it can send two energy wavelengths in a single pulse from the same device, which means your recovery time is quicker compared to other interventions that use a single wavelength.

What Are the Potential Side Effects?

Again, side effects depend on your treatment’s intensity and frequency. To determine what the laser wavelength should be, your dermatologist will take a detailed account of the severity of your skin problem.

SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing treatment has minimal side effects as compared to traditional laser treatments. Some of the potential ones include:

  • Mild swelling
  • Warmth of the skin
  • Redness similar to sunburn

Once the redness goes away, you may feel light peeling, which is a sign your new skin is emerging. Moreover, there’s very little scabbing and bleeding involved in intensive treatments as they attempt to treat your skin imperfections.

In addition, it is highly unlikely for you to develop an infection during or after the process because the SmartSkin CO2 skin resurfacing procedure only targets a tiny fraction of your skin. You can still follow some after-care instructions to rule out the possibility of side effects entirely.

What Is the Recovery Duration?

As opposed to traditional laser therapies or treatments, recovery after SmartSkin CO2 takes less time. Again, the recovery time highly depends on your laser treatment’s intensity and depth. Typically, mild treatments take a day or two for recovery, whereas moderate ones can take up to four days. When it comes to deep treatments, however, healing can take up to a week, but to know for sure, you must have a proper consultation session with your doctor.

What Are Some Post-Treatment Care Instructions We Should Follow?

Good skincare is the first and foremost way to ensure your treatment results are maintained for a long time to come. It depends from professional to professional, but generally, your doctor may recommend using moisturizers, balms, sunscreens, and mild cleansers, etc. Moreover, they also encourage you to maintain your platelet levels.

Your doctor will fully guide you about your post-treatment care regime before even performing it. As your skin heals, you must keep it away from harmful sun rays and use the prescribed products based on your skin’s needs.

 

What Is the Cost of SmartSkin CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing?

There is no single pricing method for the treatment as the cost takes many factors into account, such as:

  • The number of sessions needed
  • The intensity of the treatments
  • Your personal goals
  • Treatment sites

Therefore, we recommend having a detailed consultation session with your doctor before you decide to proceed with it. Your doctor can also provide you a price quotation based on the factors stated, and from there, you can either choose to proceed or back out. If you feel that the treatment is inconvenient or unaffordable for you, it is still possible to have a course planned in a way that gives you at least some benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Results Last Long?

If you follow the skincare advice given by your doctor and protect your skin well, the results may even last for many years.

Is It Possible to Perform Everyday Tasks Immediately After the Procedure?

The recovery time is quite short; however, you may still need to wait for a few days before you get back to your daily activities. If there is a more delicate area of your skin, such as your hands or neck, then it might take one or two weeks to heal completely.

ZO 3-Step Peel: How Is the Procedure Performed

Chemical peels have proven effective in removing dirt, impurities and dead cells from the skin for many people. The ZO 3-Step skin peel is one of the most popular peels skin care professionals offer today.

The ZO 3-Step Peel is far from an ordinary peel and is designed to give you long-lasting benefits after the treatment. It makes use of retinol, different exfoliants and multi-action agents to produce collagen and restore moisture balance.

It makes your skin tighter, smoother, and softer and can only be performed in professionally clinic, by a professional. The ZO 3-Step peel deals with a number of skin-related matters such as melasma, acne, large pores, aging, sun damage and skin dullness.

Where Is It Performed?

This procedure is usually performed on the face, but it is also useful for other body parts such as the chest, arms, legs, hands and neck. It may give you instant results and makes your skin smooth, tight and bright after just one peel. However, if you wish to get better results, you may have to go for subsequent treatments based on what your doctor suggests.

What Are the Benefits?

  • It improves damage caused by the sun, melasma, fine lines, dullness and pores.
  • It suppresses inflammation of the skin due to hormones or the sun after the procedure.
  • It can work on any skin colour or type and is a harmless peel for any individual.
  • There is minimal irritation involved
  • Provides protection from antioxidants
  • It makes the skin able enough to renew or repair itself
  • Overall, it’s an effective method to deal with skin aging

To gain maximum benefits from the ZO 3-Step peel, you should get it done at least four times a year at four-week intervals.

What Steps Are Involved in the Procedure?

Step 1

The first step involves the peel treatment, which is targeted towards removing your skin’s outer layers. It has 10 percent trichloroacetic acid, 17 percent salicylic acid and 5 percent lactic acid. To make sure the inflammation is minimal, the formulation also involves saponins and glycerin.

Step 2

This step involves applying retinol cream to enhance collagen stimulation and make your skin firm and reduce wrinkles.

Step 3

suncoast zo 3 2 300x213 - ZO 3-Step Peel: How Is the Procedure PerformedThe last step is all about minimizing irritation by applying a calming cream and restoring your balance of moisture. Once the in-office treatment is complete, your skin professional will give you this cream for application twice a day.

The peeling that follows after the procedure is often unnoticeable. This is because when you wash your face twice every day, it removes the dead cells. The peeling begins on the third day after your treatment and can go on for a total of seven days. The skin starts looking healthy fairly quickly as there isn’t any downtime involved.

Who Should Not Consider This Procedure?

The ZO 3 step peel is not suitable if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • On antibiotics

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for the Procedure?

Both women and men of all skin colors and types can enjoy benefits from the ZO 3-Step peel. If you’re someone who’s looking to improve their skin health,  the procedure can be a great choice. However, make sure that your skin is not extra sensitive as you may experience irritation. In addition, you can always consult a professional to decide if you should get the treatment done.

On the whole, anyone who’s struggling with an irregular skin texture, melasma, severe acne, hyperpigmentation etc., is an ideal candidate; unless they have a severe health condition that may act as an obstacle in the treatment course.

What Are the Side Effects?

Even though the ZO 3-step peel is considered safe generally, the possibility of side effects cannot be disregarded. There can be irritation after the treatment, but it’s often temporary and goes away in some days following the peel. Some side effects reported commonly are:

  • Stinging
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Itching
  • Slight swelling
  • Peeling

However, all the side effects stated above are quite rare, and even if they occur, they only last for a few days. In case you experience them for an extended period of time, consult your clinician or dermatologist right away.

How Can You Minimize Risk?

  • Your skincare professional must pre-condition your skin with retinoic acid or retinol four to six weeks before the actual procedure.
  • Make sure there is pretreatment of four percent hydroquinone involved if you are suffering from hyperpigmentation.
  • Avoid getting it done if you have previously been exposed to radiation therapy.
  • If you have been suffering from fever or cold sores, make sure to treat them with suppressants at least seven days before the day of the procedure

How Much Does It Cost?

The treatment cost varies depending on how many peels you require and how often. The clinic or the vicinity also matters because the cost is different everywhere. However, on average, it costs over $200.

If you’re dealing with any of the conditions listed earlier and have understood the procedure requirements and conditions, you can take the next step and consult your dermatologist at one of our 18 convenient locations to set up an appointment for the procedure.

Acoustic Wave Cellulite Treatment

Cellulite is a rather harmless yet common skin condition that causes your hips, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks to have a lumpy appearance. The condition is more common among females than males.

Types of Cellulite

Edematous Cellulite

This type of cellulite is more common among women in their 20s or 30s and is linked to poor or weak blood circulation. It is often difficult to treat and mostly occurs on the thighs, legs, and knees.

Flaccid Cellulite

This type of cellulite is common among women in their 30s or 40s, and it appears in the form of sagging. It occurs in the hips, buttocks, arms, and legs and increases with weight gain. Treatment can be effective and may bring out promising results.

Compact Cellulite

This type of cellulite can appear in adolescence and often lasts a lifetime if you don’t treat it in time. It appears in the form of depression and grooves in the hips, glutes, and thighs.

How Is Cellulite Different In Men and Women?

Since fat accumulated differently among men and women, the condition appears differently in them too. For instance, the fat in women is organized perpendicularly to the skin, whereas in men, it appears parallel to the skin. Therefore, men have smoother skin because there’s minimal skin pulling down involved. However, for women, fat means an uneven surface as the connective tissue pulls the skin down.

What Is Acoustic Wave Therapy?

This type of therapy consists of a non-invasive method to treat cellulite for the long term. It is used for many problems such as Achilles tendonitis, kidney stones, other soft tissue disorders, and skin tightening.

Acoustic wave therapy involves using ultrasonic waves to eventually provide a smoother contour by breaking the fibrous tissue down and relaxing the septae.

How Does It Work on Cellulite?

suncoast Acoustic Wave Cellulite Treatment 300x200 - Acoustic Wave Cellulite TreatmentAcoustic wave therapy works by disrupting the fibrous septae that are hardened and providing your skin with natural elasticity. It makes the underlying skin thick, preventing the lumpy skin from appearing. At the same time, it also breaks down fat cells. When the new collagen forms, it reduces the amount of fat protruding under your skin. Through the process, your lymphatic drainage and blood flow improve significantly, causing the action from the ultrasonic waves to increase.

Experts recommend to take at least four to six treatments in the beginning. Depending on the part of your body they are treating, the procedure can take 30 to 45 minutes on average. Some experts also recommend at least two repeat treatments in a year since cellulite can come back in many patients.

What Are the Pros of Acoustic Wave Therapy for Cellulite?

Some benefits of the procedure include:

  • It is painless
  • Only after four to five sessions, your cellulite is reduced to a great extent.
  • There’s no period of inactivity because of the treatment
  • It does wonders to tighten your slack skin
  • It reduces stretch marks and scars
  • It also reduces fat to support anti-fat injections and diet

Treatment Phases

Acoustic wave therapy for cellulite is generally divided into three parts, before, during, and after the process. Here is what happens in each stage:

Before the Procedure

Prior to the treatment, you will be required to consult with a doctor and figure out what the procedure can achieve for you. Your health care professional will also examine your target body mass to tell the extent to which the treatment will be effective. They may also take pictures to compare the current situation with the one achieved after the procedure.

During the Procedure

The procedure requires you to lie down first, following which a handpiece is put on the target area. Some people also use special oil to ensure that the energy transmission is smooth. Planar waves are used to increase the permeability of fat cell membranes. They’re also referred to as “C-actor.” After that, the “D-actor,” which is the radial waves, is used to press out fat from the cells. Hence your bumps are reduced, and the skin becomes tight again.

If two different areas are being treated, such as your thighs, for example, the procedure can take around 20 to 30 minutes. But the procedure takes up to an hour if four different areas are undergoing treatment. The biggest perk of acoustic wave therapy is that it does not cause any pain, but if you’re slim, it may give an unpleasant sensation on spots above your bones.

After the Procedure

It often takes up to five sessions to show any visible results, and for longer-lasting results, it can even go up to ten sessions with one week-long interval. You are not required to follow any special precautions following the treatment, but it’s still recommended to have a well-balanced and healthy diet with good hydration practices. In addition, you can also try doing physical activity such as strength and stamina training after consulting your healthcare professional.

In the end, acoustic wave therapy has different results depending on your age and the type of cellulite being treated. However, timely intervention can help prevent the condition from getting worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Both Men and Women Make Use of AWT?

AWT is usually performed on women who have any cellulite.

When Do the Results Become Apparent?

It often takes a good four to five sessions of acoustic wave therapy for results to become more apparent. However, to get the best results, a professional may recommend up to ten sessions.

What Are the Side Effects of AWT?

There are no side effects of AWT so far unless your skin is very sensitive. In that case, there could be minor bruises.

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