Category Archives: Facials

FORMA Lift and FORMA Plus: Options for Ultimate Skin Tightening

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 What are the FORMA Lift and FORMA Plus Treatments?

The FORMA Lift procedure can treat sagging skin on the entire face and neck and reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, lower eyelid bags, nasolabial folds, jowls and smile lines. FORMA is safe for use on all skin types and is ideal for individuals looking for a non-invasive and natural approach to skin lifting, tone, texture and irregularities.  As your skin ages, it loses elasticity, thins, and the texture becomes uneven.  FORMA delivers finely controlled deep heating to stimulate collagen, improve skin elasticity, to lift and tighten the skin.

The FORMA Plus is a non-invasive solution to tone and tighten sagging skin on the body. This treatment is perfect for larger areas of lax skin undermining your toned, youthful physique. Bystimulating the production of collagen, FORMA Plus offers a reduction in body folds for smoother, firmer and more toned curves and contours. FORMA Plus is safe for use on all skin types and is ideal for all areas of the body, including the upper arms, lower abdomen, inner and outer thighs, bra line and back and the knees.

What are the benefits of a FORMA treatment?

With the advancements in radio frequency thermal treatments like FORMA Lift & FORMA Plus, you will notice immediate improvements in your skin texture, tightness and a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Enjoy renewed confidence with smoother and tightened skin
  • Reduce deep wrinkles and improve fine lines and wrinkles
  • FORMA Lift & FORMA Plus are safe for all skin types
  • Almost immediate visible improvement that only gets better with time.
  • Accelerate collagen production by the application of a thermal wrinkle treatment in addition to contracting the skin.
  • Wear sleeveless tops, shorts and bathing suits again with confidence
  • Both are non-invasive treatments with minimal discomfort
  • Enjoy a youthful and more toned skin contour
  • Long lasting skin tightening and smoothing of wrinkles
  • No expensive surgery or downtime

How does the FORMA treatment work?

FORMA is the first auto-adjusting, non-invasive, thermal skin treatment for deep and uniform tissue stimulation. FORMA uses radio-frequency power that flows uniformly between the electrodes to provide a comfortable thermal experience with immediate and subsequent contraction. This advanced treatment stimulates the formation of new collagen and improves the skin’s elasticity for long-lasting and remarkable results. The technology used for the face and body are the same, but the handpieces differ in size; a larger handpiece for the body and a smaller handpiece for the face. FORMA offers two configurations of non-invasive sub dermal heating for collagen remodeling; RF current flows between electrodes to provide a comfortable thermal experience while the built-in ACE  (Aquire, Control, Extend) temperature controls allow for the attainment of clinically proven optimal epidermal temperatures.

Is FORMA Treatment Right for Me?

FORMA is for clients of all skin types and is appropriate for individuals seeking a non-invasive and natural looking approach to improving body contours, facial wrinkles and skin laxity. This treatment can fit into any lifestyle and beauty regimen. This treatment is clinically proven to be absolutely comfortable and safe while easily managed into your routine. FORMA can be used in areas that demonstrate fine or deep wrinkles with or without skin laxity and can be used on the face (FORMA Lift) or on the body (FORMA Plus). Clients have reported that their skin feels smoother and more defined with less wrinkles after a full series of this procedure.

How many treatments are required?

Our facility recommends six FORMA treatments, spaced at about one week apart.

What can I expect at my FORMA Treatment?

Prior to treatment, all makeup, creams and lotions will be cleaned from the treatment area, and pre-procedure photos will be taken.  After the face has been cleansed, your trained laser technician will begin the treatment by applying the FORMA handpiece to the treatment area with customized energy settings and patterns for your individual skin. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes to an hour for the full face, and about 45 minutes to one hour for larger areas of the body depending on the client’s specific conditions. FORMA is an essentailly painless procedure with no downtimes due to its precise technology and deep-layer targeting of the skin. Clients have even reported that the heated handpiece sensation is comparable to a warm massage! Slight redness in the treatment area is common post-procedure, and this subsides within a few hours.

The FORMA Lift and FORMA Plus Handpieces

 What can I expect after treatment?

Immediately after treatment, you may experience some redness and swelling, but both typically diminish in about 48 hours.  Over the next few days, you may experience some itchiness or skin sensitivity (to touch or temperature). Both are indications of the natural rejuvenation process and typically diminish within a week post treatment. During this time, exercise increased care of the treated area.

Your therapist will go over post-care and a skin care regimen to help you maintain your rejuvenation results with FORMA. It is very important to wear a minimum SPF of 30 when going outdoors.

Can FORMA be used in combination with other treatments?

Yes, FORMA can be used in the same treatment session, or a few days after other treatments. Many FORMA clients will combine this treatment with our Fractora Advanced RF Micro-Needling Treatment, creating the ultimate skin renovation treatment that addresses all in-demand facial concerns including skin laxity, uneven skin tone, uneven skin texture, wrinkles and pigmentation. Fillers and other Injectable treatments provided by Dr. Kurz can also be combined with this treatment for an even more pleasing results and to simultaneously address the 3 Ds of aging skin.  Read our blog on injectable dermal fillers here, or our blog on Botulinum toxin here on Dr. Kurz’s site.

Are there side effects or possible complications?

Your technician will provide you with specific instructions about what to expect for your particular treatment and how to minimize side effects. Some possible side effects include local pain, skin redness (erythema), swelling (edema), damage to the natural skin texture (crust, blister, burn), change of skin pigmentation (hyper or hypo pigmentation), and scarring.

Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) is a possible but rare complication of the FORMA treatment. If you have a history of hyperpigmentation, your laser technician will discuss this with you at your personalized consult. If hyperpigmentation occurs, it usually starts about 4 weeks after a treatment and is generally very reversible. Sometimes, it is just the way some people’s bodies respond to skin stress states. Low dose hydroquinone cream (2 – 4%) – applied sparingly to the hyperpigmented areas, twice a day for 2 weeks, will typically improve this condition.

How quickly will I see results?

Visible results can be seen immediately, but typically after two weeks the most noticeable results will appear. Improvements continue up to three months after treatment. FORMA will improve many of the visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, as well as deeper skin laxity ; however, with the passage of time and with environmental exposure, skin ages as we do.  If you are exposed to a lot of sun and do not use sunscreen, the underlying issues will return sooner.  We encourage our clients and provide directions to follow an effective preventative skin care regime and keep it protected from the sun, so that the skin will continue to look younger and healthier. Quality sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are excellent protection for overall skin health.

Excellent results are also dependent on client compliance and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. It is important to note that the FORMA treatment does not remove fat cells, but tightens lax skin for a more toned and defined appearance. Our clinic also offers TiteFx for non-invasive body contouring along with fat cell destruction, or BodyTite Radio-Frequency Assisted Liposuction for even more dramatic results.  For more information regarding body contouring with liposuction, read this informative article by clicking here.

 

With all medical aesthetic procedures, more dramatic results can be expected with stronger and more invasive treatment modalities. For more information on BodyTite RF Assisted Liposuction, please call the doctor’s line at (250) 561-7224 or visit our sister site www.kurzplasticsurgery.ca.

Fractora Advanced Micro-Needling Treatment

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 What is Fractora Fractional Skin Treatment?

Fractora skin treatment is a fractional rejuvenation and resurfacing treatment that reduces wrinkles and skin irregularities, to slow the effects of aging and restore skin to a visibly more youthful appearance. This treatment makes use of advanced micro-needling combined with radio-frequency (RF) energy to provide skin rejuvenation, and when paired with professional skin-care products from SkinCeuticals directly after treatment, results are even more apparent. Fractora’s fractional skin resurfacing and subdermal tissue coagulation device bridges the gap between fractional lasers and surgical procedures. Discover a superior solution to decrease wrinkles, skin irregularities and provide a healthier, younger-looking you in only two sessions with minimal downtime!

What are Fractora treatments used for?

  • reducing crows feet, fine lines and deeper wrinkles
  • improving skin complexion
  • reducing skin irregularities
  • restoring skin to a more youthful appearance
  • treating active cystic acne
  • reducing the appearance of trauma scars and acne scars

How does the Fractora treatment work?

Fractora is an incredibly advanced fractional radio-frequency treatment that provides anti-aging improvements in skin tone and texture for a more radiant appearance through ablation and skin resurfacing. Fractora delivers RF energy to the skin through an array of micro-needles producing localized heat and small micro-lesion dots in the treatment area. The gentle heat generated by the Fractora micro-needles in the sub-dermal tissue promotes collagen restructuring for skin rejuvenation and an improved appearance in the skin. The methodical scattering of micro-lesions allows the skin to heal faster than if the entire area was ablated. Fractionated RF energy found in Fractora is a scientifically proven method of wrinkle reduction. It is minimally invasive, using a matrix of micro-needles to resurface and restore the skin, providing exceptional results.

Is Fractora Treatment Right for Me?

Fractora is for clients who want to look rejuvenated and want real results – but don’t want the overt change or extended downtimes that come with surgery.  Fractora can fit into any lifestyle and beauty regimen. This treatment is clinically proven to be safe and can be easily managed into your routine with a downtime of about 2-3 days of redness. Fractora can be used in areas that demonstrate fine or deep wrinkles, laxity, texture issues, scars or discolored red and brown skin tone. Fractora can be used on the face and also on the neck and body skin.

How many treatments are required?

Our facility recommends two Fractora treatments, spaced at about four weeks apart.

What can I expect at my Fractora Treatment?

Prior to treatment, all makeup, creams and lotions will be cleaned from the treatment area, and pre-procedure photos will be taken. A topical freezing cream is then placed on the skin to be anesthetized.  After the numbing cream has taken effect (about 30 minutes), the laser technician will begin your treatment applying the micro-needles with custom energy settings and pattern for your individual skin. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes to an hour for the full face, depending on the client’s specific conditions. Once the handpiece has passed over the entire face, advanced SkinCeuticals products will be applied for better rejuvenation from the inside out.

Can Fractora be used in combination with other treatments?

Yes, Fractora can be used in the same treatment session, or a few days after other treatments. Fractora can also be combined with additional energy treatments or injectables to achieve a more extensive face result. Fractora can also be combined with a firming treatment for the Fractotal facial which aids in resurfacing and increased tightening of the skin.

What can I expect after treatment?

Immediately after treatment, you may experience some redness and swelling, but both typically diminish in about 48 hours.  There may be residual red “bars” on the skin from the hand piece that may take longer to fade, depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment. Over the next few days, you may experience some itchiness or skin sensitivity (to touch or temperature). Both are indications of the natural rejuvenation process and typically diminish within a week post treatment. The new layer of skin will start to form within 24 hours of treatment and this process may last for 4 days or longer. During this time, exercise increased care of the treated area.

Your therapist will go over post-care and a skin care regimen to help you maintain your rejuvenation results with Fractora. It is very important to wear a minimum SPF of 30 when going outdoors.

Are there side effects or possible complications?

Your technician will provide you with specific instructions about what to expect for your particular treatment and how to minimize side effects. Some possible side effects include local pain, skin redness (erythema), swelling (edema), damage to the natural skin texture (crust, blister, burn), change of skin pigmentation (hyper or hypo pigmentation), and scarring.

Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) is a possible complication of Fractora treatment.  Causes of hyperpigmentation include:

  • Unprotected sun exposure in the 2 weeks post-treatment.
  • Skin irritants – such as pulling / picking at skin, blow driers, wind, etc. post-treatment.
  • Tendency to hyperpigmentation before Fraxel (Asian, First Nations, African, Mediterranean descent). These patients may have benefit from pretreatment medication to dampen down the melanocytes (and prevent post-procedure hyperpigmentation) for a few days before the treatment.
  • Oil based products placed on open skin. Moisturizers should have water or Aqua as the 1st ingredient. Azure can recommend products for the 1st 2 weeks after the procedure. Avoid retinol before treatment, use gentle cleansers and avoid any active ingredients for 14 days after treatment.
  • Infection of the skin.

Post-treatment, skin is still healing, building collagen and repairing old damage. If hyperpigmentation occurs, it usually starts about 4 weeks after a treatment and is generally very reversible. Sometimes, it is just the way some people’s bodies respond to skin stress states. Low dose hydroquinone cream (2 – 4%) – applied sparingly to the hyperpigmented areas, twice a day for 2 weeks, will typically improve this condition.

How quickly will I see results?

Visible results can be seen immediately, but typically after two weeks the most noticeable results will appear. Improvements continue up to three months after treatment. Fractora will improve many of the visible signs of aging and sun-damaged skin; however, with the passage of time and with environmental exposure, skin ages as we do.  If you are exposed to a lot of sun and do not use sunscreen, the underlying issues will return sooner.  We encourage our clients and provide directions to follow an effective preventative skin care regime and keep it protected from the sun, so that the skin will continue to look younger and healthier. Quality sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are excellent protection for overall skin health.

Fractora Options for Even More Dramatic Results – Deep Fractora with Dr. Christine Kurz

Azure Advanced Aesthetics offers an array of skin care options to rejuvenate the skin and give our clients optimal anti-aging results. Fractora is offered at different levels of intensity in our clinic: Fractora Advanced Micro-Needling with Radio-Frequency, as well as the even more powerful Deep Fractora MD performed solely by Dr. Christine Kurz.  The Deep Fractora treatment is typically only used by an experienced plastic surgeon, and can be combined with injectables such as botox and fillers for an even more enhanced result. This fractional treatment provides the benefits of the basic Fractora and also excels at treating deeper wrinkles, furrows, rhytides, acne scars and surgical or traumatic scars.

The Deep Fractora MD uses the same technology as the basic Fractora Micro-Needling treatment but with a change in how deep micro-needles penetrate the skin. Generally, the Deep Fractora penetrates farther into the skin (3+ mm); the basic Fractora has a shallower depth (0.6 – 1 mm).  With all rejuvenation procedures, more dramatic results can be expected with stronger and more ablative treatment types, and treatment depth and energy is customized for each patient’s specific requirements. For more information on Deep Fractora MD, please call the doctor’s line at (250) 561-7224 or visit our sister site www.kurzplasticsurgery.ca.

 

Fraxel Fractional Micro-Dermal Ablation

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  What is Fraxel Fractional Micro-Dermal Ablation (FMDA) 600u?

Fraxel FMDA 600u is a minimally-invasive laser therapy providing a wide array of treatment options to address many signs of aging, customized to individual needs and concerns, and requiring less social downtime when compared to our “Gold Standard” Fraxel FDDA 135u or physician provided procedures such as rhytidectomy (face lift). It’s the perfect solution for clients who want their skin to look younger, but don’t want to have surgery or can’t afford a lot of time away from work or their social life. Most of us wish we could slow down the effects that aging has on our appearance – and maybe even get a few years back in the process. Fraxel is proven laser technology that can help reverse the visible effects of aging, naturally helping you look as young as you feel. With Fraxel, change isn’t drastic or scary – it’s you, just younger.

What are Fraxel FMDA 600u treatments used for?

  • Minimizing the appearance of age spots, sun spots, freckles and pigmented lesions
  • Reduction of fine lines, wrinkles & superficial scarring
  • Improvement of textural irregularities of the skin
  • Overall resurfacing of the epidermis
  • Collagen and Elastin stimulation

How does the Fraxel FMDA 600u treatment work?

Fraxel FMDA 600u uses a high-intensity carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. Through fractional technology, thousands of microscopic laser columns penetrate the skin to remove old and damaged skin cells. This stimulates your body’s natural healing process, which replaces the cells with fresh, glowing healthy skin. Unlike traditional CO2 lasers, which treat the entire skin surface, the Fraxel laser targets a fraction of the skin at a time (like aerating your lawn), leaving the surrounding tissue intact. This “fractional” treatment allows your body to heal the skin much faster than if the entire area were treated at once.

Is Fraxel Treatment Right for Me?

Fraxel is for clients who want to look rejuvenated and want real results – but don’t want the overt change or extended downtimes that come with surgery.  Fraxel can fit into any lifestyle and current beauty regimen. This treatment is clinically proven to be safe and can be easily managed into your routine with a social downtime of about 5-7 days. This CO2 laser delivers a simple, effective treatment that really reverses signs of aging.

How many treatments are required?

This laser treatment is incredibly efficient and most clients see their desired results with just one treatment! For even more dramatic rejuvenation results with a single session, see the end of this blog for information on Fraxel FDDA 135u with Dr. Christine Kurz.

What can I expect at my Fraxel Treatment?

Prior to treatment, all makeup creams and lotions will be cleaned from the treatment area, and pre-procedure photos will be taken. A topical freezing cream is then placed on the skin to be anesthetized, and oral medication will also be given to help you stay calm and lessen the sensation of the procedure.  After the numbing cream has taken effect (about one hour), the laser technician will begin your treatment. Your laser technician will put special goggles over your eyes to protect them from the intense flash of the Fraxel Laser. The Fraxel handpiece is gently applied to your skin and the CO2 laser is rolled across the skin that is being treated. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes for the full face.

What can I expect after treatment?

Most Fraxel patients report the sensation of a “light sunburn” immediately after treatment, and in the next few days you may experience swelling and redness, oozing/bleeding and peeling; however, these skin reactions do not always occur with every patient. You may need to schedule time off work to allow the skin to heal, as swelling usually subsides within a week, although redness can last up to a month post-procedure.  Most clients can expect to return to their routine activities within five to seven days. Your therapist will go over post-care and a skin care regimen to help you maintain your amazing results with Fraxel. Proper home care is essential in preventing post-procedural complications.

Are there side effects or possible complications?

The Fraxel laser offers great results because it is an aggressive treatment. Your technician will provide you with specific instructions about what to expect for your particular treatment and how to minimize side effects.

Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) is a possible complication of Fraxel treatment.  Causes of hyperpigmentation include:
1. Unprotected sun exposure in the 2 weeks post-treatment.
2. Skin irritants – such as pulling / picking at skin, blow driers, wind, etc. post-treatment.
3. Tendency to hyperpigmentation before Fraxel (Asian, First Nations, African, Mediterranean descent). These patients may have benefit from pretreatment medication to dampen down the melanocytes (and prevent post-procedure hyperpigmentation) for a few days before the treatment.
4. Oil based products placed on open skin. Moisturizers should have water or Aqua as the 1st ingredient. Azure can recomend products for the 1st 2 weeks after the procedure. Avoid retinol before treatment, use gentle cleansers and avoid any active ingredients for 14 days after treatment.
5. Infection of the skin.

Post-treatment, skin is still healing, building collagen and repairing old damage. If hyperpigmentation occurs, it usually starts about 4 weeks after a treatment and is generally very reversible. Sometimes, it is just the way some people’s bodies respond to skin stress states. Low dose hydroquinone cream (2 – 4%) – applied sparingly to the hyperpigmented areas, twice a day for 2 weeks, will typically improve this condition.

How long will results last?

Results are immediate and progressive.  Soon after treatment, the surface of your skin will feel softer, look brighter, and show a more even skin tone, Over three to six months, you will see even more results as the deeper layers continue to heal. Results can last for years depending on individual factors like age and skin condition. Fraxel will improve many of the visible signs of aging and sun-damaged skin; however, with the passage of time and with environmental exposure, skin ages as we do.  If you are exposed to a lot of sun and do not use sunscreen, the underlying issues will return sooner.  We encourage our clients and provide directions to follow an effective preventative skin care regime and keep it protected from the sun, so that the skin will continue to look younger and healthier. Quality sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are excellent protection for overall skin health.

Fraxel Options for Even More Dramatic Results – Fraxel FDDA 135u with Dr. Christine Kurz

AZURE offers an array of skin care options to rejuvenate the skin and give our clients optimal anti-aging results. Fraxel is offered at different levels of intensity in our clinic: Fraxel 600u, as well as the even more powerful Fraxel Fractional Deep-Dermal Ablation (FDDA) 135u performed solely by Dr. Christine Kurz.  The Fraxel 135u is an aggressive CO2 laser that is typically only used by an experienced plastic surgeon. This laser treatment provides the benefits of the 600u treatment and also excels at treating deeper wrinkles, furrows, rhytides, severe photodamage, vascular dyschromia, acne scars, and surgical or traumatic scars. Skin tightening, coagulation and tissue contraction are actually visible during this procedure.  However; with appropriate settings, the 135u Fraxel can also be used on the delicate eyelid skin and around the mouth.  Additionally, 2mm Fraxel is available for bulk ablation in special circumstances determined by Dr. Kurz during skin examination and consultation.

The Fraxel 135u CO2 laser uses the same technology as the Fraxel 600u but with a change in how deep the laser beams penetrates the skin and how much surface area each beam covers. Generally, the Fraxel 135u laser goes deeper with more narrow beams (135 micron diameter); the Fraxel 600u has shallower penetration in wider beams (600 micron diameter).  Treatment depth and energy is customized for each patient’s specific requirements. For more information on Fraxel FDDA 135u, please call the doctor’s line at (250) 561-7224 or visit our sister site www.kurzplasticsurgery.ca.

 

Clear + Brilliant, the Red Carpet Facial

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Simple and Effective Proactive Treatments

Keep your skin looking its youthful best with simple and easy Clear + Brilliant treatments.

What Can the Clear + Brilliant Laser Do for Me?

If you’re battling the effects aging can have on your skin, or trying to address it before the battle even starts, Clear + Brilliant can help. With simple, gentle laser treatments provided by our trained laser technicians, you can help prevent the visible signs of aging and address the overall dulling effects time and the environment can have on your skin.

One Clear + Brilliant session can leave your skin feeling smoother, younger and give you that “radiant glow” that comes from healthy, youthful skin. Routine treatments deliver lasting results that keep others guessing what’s your secret.

Clear + Brilliant treatments can help:

  • Prevent the signs of aging
  • Improve the look of fine lines
  • Improve skin tone and texture
  • Improve skin’s overall appearance
  • Minimize the appearance of pores
  • Improve the appearance of dyschromia

How does Clear + Brilliant Compare to other rejuvenation treatments?

AZURE offers a wide range of skin care treatments – microdermabrasion facials, chemical peels and physician-administered procedures – all focused on keeping you looking your best. Clear + Brilliant is a powerful treatment you can add to your regimen to help keep your skin looking its youthful best. Clear + Brilliant is proven to help improve tone, texture and pore size appearance, and has the power and effectiveness of having multiple microdermabrasion treatments all at once, but with minimal discomfort. You’ll see and feel the difference; smoother skin that lets you put your freshest face forward.

What to Expect for a Typical Clear + Brilliant Treatment

A complete session will take about 75 minutes, beginning with the application of topical numbing cream to the face in order to provide additional comfort. This solution will take about 30 minutes absorb. and once it has taken effect the Clear + Brilliant treatment will begin. Your professional laser technician will gently guide the Clear + Brilliant handpiece across the target area and actively treat your skin for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Using the patented Intelligent Optical Tracking System, your technician will ensure the handpiece maintains proper contact with your skin and provides a uniform application to all treated areas.

After Treatment:

  1. Immediately post treatment, you may experience some redness and mild swelling, but both typically diminish in about 12 hours.
  2. Over the next few days, you may experience some itchiness or skin sensitivity (to touch or temperature). Both are indications of the natural renewal process and typically dissipate a few days after treatment. Many clients experience a “sandpaper” like feeling of the skin about three days post treatment, this is a normal and temporary part of post-care.
  3. Most typical skin care products and practices can be used immediately after treatment – please consult with our skincare specialists if you have any specific concerns about your home care regimen.

IPL Photorejuvenation

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What are IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments used for?
– Evening out skin tone
– Lightening and removing flat, benign pigmented lesions (freckles, sunspots, age spots and general pigmentation) on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body
– Lightening and reducing facial vascular lesions, and telangiectasia (spider veins, broken capillaries and red spots ) diffuse redness and rosacea on the face, neck and chest
– Lightening and reducing red scarring, stretch marks, Campbell de Morgans spots or cherry angiomas (red spots of varying size) and Poikiloderma (redness, pigmentation and a spotty look to the neck and/or décolletage)
– Helping to control flushing
– General improvements with uneven and blotchy skin
– IPL treatment also has a lesser effect of improving skin texture & firmness through collagen stimulation and improving pore size by temporarily reducing skin oiliness
– IPL treatments are sometimes beneficial for Acne breakouts, but individual results may vary
– Destruction of pre-cancerous lesions (actinic keratosis) when used in conjunction with Levulan (a light activated topical drug) is described in another blog posting
– Note that the ND:YAG Laser is the preferred treatment modality for moderately sized vascular lesions; however, medical grade IPL is a good choice for small vascular lesions, diffuse redness and general overall skin rejuvenation.  The ND:YAG laser provides a single high power wavelength that is targeted at hemoglobin or melanin, but the IPL device (which is not a laser) provides a broad range of colors, not all targeted.
– IPL is NOT recommended for Melasma.  Melasma is the brown splotchiness on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, or jaw line that is triggered by hormones and light.  Hormones stimulate the growth of cells (melanocytes) that make brown pigment.  Natural light (and IPL) stimulates the production of even more brown pigment (melanin).  The Clear & Brilliant laser would be an option for treatment of Melasma.

How does the IPL treatment work?
The IPL machine emits high energy bursts of light that is absorbed by hemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles and age spots).  The light energy passes through the skin and is absorbed by either hemoglobin or melanin resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmentation of melanin pigment. These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, rendering them less visible.

How many treatments are required?
Treatment of benign pigmented lesions generally require 2-5 treatments performed approximately every month or once all the darkened cells have sloughed off.  Vascular lesions or diffuse redness generally require 2-5 treatments at monthly intervals to achieve the best results. This is so we can progressively destroy the vessels without damaging the surrounding skin.
The number of treatments and subsequent results will depend on the condition and area being treated. You can expect to see some improvement with each treatment, but each individual’s response may be slightly different to each treatment. The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to require more treatments.  IPL machines that are sold to salons and spas generally have less power than the IPL machines sold to physician’s offices and may require more treatments for similar results.

Is Your Skin Suitable For IPL Treatment?
The table below is used to classify skin according to its melanin (pigment) content and the skin’s reaction to the sun. The lighter the skin type, the more suitable it is for IPL treatment.

Skin Type Classification Colour Indication for IPL  
I  Always burns easily and never tans White Best skin for IPL treatment
II Burns easily and tans minimally White Good skin for IPL treatment
III Sometimes burns and tans gradually White Good skin for IPL treatment
IV Burns minimally and always tans Moderate Acceptable skin for IPL treatment
V+ Rarely burns, naturally dark skin Dark Brown+ Not recommended for IPL treatment

Do I require a consultation before I schedule a treatment?
You must be seen in consultation prior to your first IPL Photorejuvenation treatment.  During your consultation any specific concerns or questions will be addressed.  The cost of consultation will be applied against your first treatment.

What should I do prior to my IPL treatment?
– Please shave the area before your IPL session.
– If you have a history of herpes close to the area being treated, it is recommended that you take antiviral medication before the treatment.
– Avoid self-tanners and unprotected sun exposure 4 weeks prior to treatment.  Use quality SPF 30+ daily on sun-exposed skin that is to be treated.
– If you have a history of hyperpigmentation, you may be prescribed topical agents to apply 4 weeks prior to treatment to prevent any hyperpigmentation.
– You will need to discontinue any medications cause light hypersensitivity  for a week before each treatment, such as antibiotics (minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline) or Vitamin A compounds (Retin-A/Renova).
– You may be asked to avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve one week prior to treatment unless medically indicated as these medications can promote bruising.
–  You will be required to discontinue oral isotretinoin (accutane) for 6 months prior to treatment.
– IPL should be avoided if you are pregnant, have a history of seizures, healing problems or keloid formation, severe dermatitis or eczema (within the treatment area), active infections or open wounds in treated area, have a significant systemic illness, have a history of skin cancer or suspicious lesions, are hypersensitive to sunlight, take anticoagulants or medication that alters wound healing, have received gold therapy, or are experiencing cold sores / herpes outbreaks.

What is a typical IPL treatment like?
Prior to treatment, all makeup creams and lotions will be cleaned from the treatment area.  Your therapist will put special goggles over your eyes to protect them from the intense flash of the IPL machine.   A cool gel is then placed on the skin being treated.  The IPL handpiece is gently applied to your skin and pulses of light are administered.  Our equipment also utilizes Zimmer cooling technology for increased comfort and safety.  Test spots are utilized to reduce the risk of complications and optimize results.  You will experience a slight sensation as the light pulses are passed over your skin.  The sensation is usually mild and easily tolerated, but there may be some mild discomfort during the treatment (the first treatment typically has the most “zing”).  As your skin begins to clear, the treatments usually become more comfortable.  At the end of the treatment, the gel is removed and the skin is cleansed with a cloth and moisturizer with sunscreen is applied.  If there is any mild swelling, you may be given a cold pack to apply for five or ten minutes.  Typically you may reapply foundation or concealer immediately after a treatment.  Treatments usually take 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.  Levulan treatments follow a different protocol that is described in another blog post.

What can I expect after the IPL treatment?
Your skin may may have a mild “glow” or light sunburn like sensation lasting for 2 to 5 hours after your treatment.  Your skin will often feel smoother and have a more even tone.  The treated area is generally more sensitive to heat for 2 days following treatment.
– For diffuse redness, generally, the skin looks redder after the treatment then gradually lightens within 1-3 weeks. Makeup can be used right after the treatment, as long as it is applied and removed very gently. Rarely, there is bruising, which can take 1-2 weeks to resolve.
– Contact sports or any other activity that could cause bruising should be avoided.
– After treatment of vascular lesions they will typically either disappear immediately or appear grey or purplish in colour.  Vascular treatments generally require at least 3 treatments for best results.
– For freckles and age spots, the spots generally look darker for 3-7 days. Crusting can occur, which may last up to ten days. The lesions will then begin to clear and will generally be resolving at one month. It can take an average of 3-5 treatments to clear age spots.
– Acne prone skin may sometimes have a breakout after treatment.

Are there side effects from IPL treatment?
The main side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister.  Do not pick blisters or skin crusting as this may lead to a scar.  Treated pigmented lesions will typically slough off in 2-3 weeks.  Do not shave the treated area if crusting is evident.  Another side effect of IPL treatment is some hair reduction; however, IPL is not as effective as laser hair removal, and more treatments are generally required to achieve similar levels of hair reduction.
Darker patches of pigment on the skin may occur a couple of weeks after treatment (this is not the immediate darkening of pigment we expect when treating pigmentation). This can last from 2 weeks up to 1 year and can be treated with a special lightening cream. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type.
Whiter patches on the skin can occur. This can last 2 weeks up to 1 year, though also has the potential to be permanent. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type.
Higher treatment levels increase treatment effectiveness, but also increase the possibility of adverse effects.  Test spots can aid in finding the optimal treatment settings.

How long will results last?
IPL Photorejuvenation will improve many of the visible signs of aging and sun-damaged skin; however, with the passage of time and with environmental exposure, skin ages as we do.  If you are exposed to a lot of sun and do not use sunscreen, the underlying issues, will return sooner.  However, if you follow a good preventative skin care regime and keep it protected from the sun, your skin will continue to look good.  Quality sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are excellent protection for overall skin health.  Typically, maintenance IPL treatments are recommended every 6-12 months, depending on individual factors.

 

 

 

The 3 Ds of aging skin

By | Blog, Facials, Laser, Skincare | No Comments

As we age and as environmental factors take their toll on our skin, we begin to notice the 3 Ds in our face: Degeneration, Deflation and Descent.

Degeneration:
Aging, genetics, sun damage, smoking and other environmental factors result in a loss of collagen and elastin and an overall decrease in skin quality (degeneration). Often we notice pigmentation (colour) issues, uneven tone and texture, loss of elasticity, loose skin and creases, lines & wrinkles.

Deflation:
Deflation refers to the loss of volume that happens in the face, resulting in hollows under the eyes, flattening of the cheeks, and a more gaunt appearance, with thinner lips.

Descent:
Gravity results in the descent of facial structures. We start to develop “jowls” or “turkey neck” for example.

Typical progression of the aging face:
Many will experience some hooding and tiredness around the eyes in the 40s.
In the 50s, the cheeks (Jowls) become troublesome.
Finally, in the 60s, the neck (waddle) is often a trouble area.

aging-male

Solutions:
There are many solutions to correct and reverse the effects of aging and skin damage:

1) High quality sun screen and sun avoidance is the number one defence against aging skin!
2) Potent topical skin care products
3) Dermabrasion and advanced facial treatments
4) Lasers and Radio Frequenct energy devices
5) Injectable Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers (commonly branded as Juvederm or Restylane) or fat injections
6) Injectable Botulinum toxin (commonly branded as Botox)
7) Collagen and Elastin stimulators
8) Surgical procedures such as brow lift or face lift.

OPTIONS FOR ACNE & SCARRING

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Azure has a very comprehensive range of Acne treatments available.
1) Medically effective skin care products (SkinCeuticals, Biophora, Alyria) and skin cleansing devices (Foreo Luna)
2) Microdermabrasion / Micro Peels / Clear + Brilliant Laser
3) Advanced Chemical Peels
4) Photo Dynamic Therapy (IPL light-activated topical medication – Levulan)
5) Physician prescribed medications (topical or oral)
6) Medical procedures including Subsicion / Fraxel Laser Resurfacing / RF Fractora Resurfacing / Dermal Fillers / Fat Grafting for Acne ScarringStages of Acne