Acne can affect anyone, from adolescents at puberty to adults. People are nowadays opting for a wide range of Acne scar treatment including antibiotics, herbal medications and laser therapies. Some of them are based on scientific evidence and use proven substances for removing acne, while some do not have any scientific base. Still people try their luck with such treatments. They go to bed with their faces covered in lemon slices, toothpaste and so on. And no wonder: the results aren’t so impressive. Here are some popular treatments for acne:
Antibiotics for acne:
Most patients rely on antibiotics, either in a pill or in topical form, to battle acne. Antibiotics destroy the bacteria accumulated in the hair follicles, calm the body’s immune response and thereby reduce redness and swelling.
However, this treatment may not work when the bacteria multiplies and grows in clogged follicles. Some bacteria reside in the layers of the skin and are hard to wipe out even if an invasive antibiotic comes on the scene.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid:
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can be effective in some patients, but don’t work for everyone. Benzoyl peroxide helps reduce bacteria by oxygenating pores; but may also cause the skin to become excessively dry. Similarly, salicylic acid can also cause extreme dryness and peeling while clearing the dead cells from the surface of the skin.
A treatment that has emerged in recent years to battle acne with advanced technology is laser treatment. Not all lasers are created uniformly. The type of laser for acne treatment depends on several factors and each of them works in a different way. Let’s have a look at the basics of each type.
These lasers help in preventing future acne breakouts by reducing the ability of the skin to produce an oily substance called sebum. The laser rays accomplish the task by destroying sebaceous glands in the dermis. The treatment does not cause any damage to the surface of the skin, even as the tiny glands within the hair follicles are destroyed.
Diode laser therapy smoothens out the skin and also takes care of any abnormal discolorations. Diode lasers are also used for treating extreme scarring caused due to large acne lesions and cysts. The treatment firms up the skin from beneath, giving it a smoother and tighter appearance.
CO2 lasers are high-intensity lasers that help resurface or reduce acne scarring by removing the outer layer of dermis. After the outermost layer heals, the newer layer of the skin is exposed, which is less discolored and more even than the previous outermost layer.
Points to note:
Laser treatment isn’t pain-free. But, the pain can be reduced to some extent by administering topical painkillers during the procedure. Additionally, laser acne treatment can cause redness. In most patients, it subsides within a week. However, it may persist for months in some cases. Some patients also develop permanent scarring.
Not all patients with acne need to undergo laser therapy. There are several other less intensive treatments that are effective especially when the disfigurement is not substantial. Most of these treatments are also less expensive.
Who should avoid laser treatment?
Laser treatment needs to be avoided if the individual suffers from certain skin conditions like psoriasis and cystic acne. People with extremely dry skin should also refrain from undergoing laser treatment.
Having said that; laser for acne removal is certainly the most effective treatment to get a clear and youthful skin. The results take much less time to be noticeable and are relatively long lasting.
If you wanted to get rid of wrinkly, loose & sagging skin twenty years ago, there was basically just one way to do it; go under the knife for a facelift. However, today there is a wide range of dermal fillers available that can be injected into thinning lips, unsightly crow’s feet, marionette lines, and furrows between the eyebrows. This takes years off the face and makes you look much younger.
The best part about dermal on face is that it can be done even during lunch hours, without invasive surgery and with very little recovery time. Fillers have dramatically changed the game! According to doctors, patients who regularly use dermal on face can put off a face-lift for at least a decade. ‘’ 20 years from now, I may not be going in for facelifts at all,” says a leading plastic surgeon based in New York.
What Can Fillers Do?
As compared to old techniques that tended to tighten and flatten the appearance of the face, fillers work under the skin to plump up sagging skin and replace elasticity. When done right, the look is more youthful and natural in comparison to what was previously attainable. However, when done incorrectly, the face looks out of proportion and contour problems such as lumps become noticeable.
There are a growing number of both women and men seeking newfound youthfulness and market competitiveness in a youth oriented culture; who are interested in today’s popular dermal fillers. However, with so many dermal filler types available in the market today, the big question is; which one do you choose. Well, here are the options:
Restylane, Juvederm, Prevelle Silk and Perlane dermal filler are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that is essential for plump and youthful looking skin. With the introduction of Restylane, non animal based hyaluronic acid filler injections came into the market in 1996.
Hyaluronic acid filler injections
Prior to Restylane, fillers were made from animal products like bovine collagen (obtained from cows), body fat (live and sometimes unpredictable substance) and silicone (sometimes toxic). Among fillers hyaluronic acid is often a better option, since the body already produces this chemical naturally. Used as a dermal filler, hyaluronic acid hardly ever causes an allergic reaction and effectively offers a smoother, younger and more natural appearance.
Doctors agree that while the optimal age for patients to begin with fillers is in the 40s and early 50s, this can differ from patient to patient and depends upon individual situations and expectations. For instance, in a place like Hollywood, celebrities constantly want to look younger, even if they are in their 20s and 30s.
Getting doctors to agree on much else is not easy. All have their own opinions on the various fillers available today, and often they differ. For instance, take Evolence, which contains porcine collagen. Some doctors say it is amazing because it does not cause bruising. However, there are other dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons who that feel Evolence is a product which has “no advantages” over what is already available on the market.
While some doctors feel perlane dermal filler lasts longer than Restylane, others disagree. Perlane is FDA approved to only last for 6 months, while Restylane is approved for lasting up to 18 months (with repeated injections). Whilst some products like Radiesse claim to promote the reproduction of collagen, some doctors say that any injection generates collagen because the body produces more collagen to fence off the foreign substance.
Everyone wants the longest lasting fillers, but the truth is likely somewhere in between. While considering patients’ age, individual skin texture, sun damage as well as genetic and metabolic factors, the filler which works best is judged on a case-by-case basis. Since fillers have a slightly different consistency, it’s best to ask the doctor why he/she recommends particular fillers and let him/her decide which filler is best for you.
What is Powerplate?
Power-Plate is a fitness machine that gives the muscles in the body a high-speed workout. It uses vibrations to stimulate the muscles to contract and relax. Generally, muscles contract once or twice a second, but by working out on the Power-Plate, the vibrations cause 30 to 50 reflex muscle contractions a second.
Power-Plate exercises are an excellent time-saver because of the effectiveness of the training and because several muscle groups get activated at the same time. It is claimed that 10 minutes of vibration exercise machine workouts on the Power-Plate has the same results as one hour of conventional strenuous training.
What Experts Say
Better Results in Less Time:There are a number of powerplate exercises that help you achieve a great workout in as little as 10 minutes. This includes squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, and so on.
Stand Correctly:To develop power, strength, muscle tone and definition, it’s important to adopt a position that exerts tension on the muscles. For instance, if you’re doing squats, have your knees bent and lean from the hips, like you are about to sit on a chair.
Begin Gradually:Increasing the frequency gradually is the best way to train. Beginners should start with 9 minutes of the resistance program, followed by 9 minutes of stretch, massage and relaxation, both on lower frequency as well as amplitude settings.
Keep the Knees Bent:Exercises for vibro plates stimulate the contraction of the muscle spindles. Hence, it is important to keep the knees slightly bent in order to prevent jarring through the joints.
Keep the Workout Short:Even though everyone is different, it is usually enough to start with no more than 30 to 60 seconds on each exercise. This lessens the duration of the workout, and is a real bonus for people who are short of time but crave results.
Combine Exercises:Try choosing a combination of compound exercises (e.g. push-ups and squats, which use more than 1 muscle group) and isolation exercises (front raises and biceps curls). You will achieve a better training response and an increase in potential calorie burn.
Drink Sufficient Water:With these exercises, the muscles will contract 30-50 times, very quickly; thereby generating lots of internal heat. Hence, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink plenty of water while working out.
You do need comfortable clothing to get the most out of the exercises. If you have already shelled out a lot of money for your own Power-Plate machine, don’t overlook the clothing part. Stretchy, loose-fitting gear is best. You will find an excellent selection of fitness clothing for men and women at brands like Nike and Adidas.
No Cardiovascular Benefits:You might achieve excellent results with tone and flexibility, but you will not see any significant improvements in the stamina of your lungs and heart.
Cost:The price range of Power-Plate machines is significantly higher than that of other fitness equipment. However, there are newer models that are slightly more accessible.
It is Cumbersome:This is not the sort of equipment you can hide easily and bring out every time you want to use it. You will need a dedicated space at home for these machines.
Not a Complete Solution:Even though the Power-Plate exercise platform is handy for people who want a quick workout, it is best when combined with other forms of exercise
In recent years, chemical peels have gained immense popularity world over. A chemical peel treatment removes the damaged outer layer of facial skin and helps improve texture, reduce scarring, and remove blemishes as well as pre-cancerous growths, thereby offering healthy, glowing and younger skin.
What are the Different Types of Peels?
There are 3 types of chemical peeling for skin which range from mild to strong. These include alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), phenol and tricholoroacetic acid (TCA). The benefits of chemical skin peel can be combined with other procedures like facelifts to achieve a younger look.
What are AHA Peels?
AHA peels are the gentlest among the 3 types of peels. They contain a group of glycolic, lactic and fruit acids which smooth and brighten the skin by treating fine wrinkles, acne, uneven pigmentation, and skin dryness. This peel is typically applied once a week, or mixed in a milder concentration with a cleanser to be used daily. The treatment takes 10 minutes or less.
What is TCA Peel?
TCA peels are used for medium-depth peeling for treating fine surface wrinkles, pigmentation and superficial blemishes. This is the preferred chemical solution for dark skinned patients and can be used on the neck as well as other areas of the body. Often, the results are less impressive and don’t last as long as phenol peels. Multiple treatments may be required, but sessions only last 10-15 minutes with recovery time being shorter.
What is Phenol Peel?
The strongest and deepest peel, Phenol, treats deeper skin problems like pre-cancerous growths, coarse facial wrinkles, and areas of damaged skin caused due to sun exposure, ageing or birth-control pills. Since phenol lightens skin where it is applied, a patient’s natural pigmentation is a factor for determining eligibility. Phenol is only used on the face and a full-facial treatment can last for 1 or 2 hours. Recovery can take a couple of months.
Is Chemical Peel Effective against Scars?
Yes. Chemical peel scar treatment is considered as one of the safest and most effective procedures to get rid of scars, irrespective of how bad they are.
Is there Pain Involved after the Procedure?
What to expect after chemical peel is the most common concern people have regarding this treatment. Well, AHA peels can cause temporary redness, stinging, irritation, flaking or crusting. TCA and Phenol peels can cause tingling or throbbing, a crust or scab, reddened skin, and significant swelling which usually lasts for about a week, depending upon the strength of the peel used.
Is it Safe to Combine Peels and Microdermabrasion?
Generally, it is not recommended to have a chemical peel after microdermabrasion on the same day, because both are designed to have the same effect. Both procedures cause skin exfoliation and combining them on the same day could result in too much skin redness and irritation. The combination of the 2 in experienced hands is quite safe, but it is generally recommended to have a peel procedure after a gap of some time, after microdermabrasion. If you do want to have both these procedures, a customized plan needs to be followed with periods of heeling time in between. They should not be done at the same time.
What are the Risks?
This procedure carries potential risks like infection and scarring. TCA peels might produce some color changes in the skin, while phenol reduces or eliminates the new skin’s ability to produce pigment evenly, thus causing a lighter or uneven skin tone.
Overall, however, a Chemical peel treatment is safe, quick and effective.
It is estimated that around 10% of the U.S. population has some sort of tattoo. In due course, as many as 50% of them want to have their tattoos removed and opt for laser tattoo removal. Advancements in laser technology help eliminate tattoos with minimal side effects. Today, you will come across a number of websites that post before and after laser tattoo removal pictures of people who have successfully had their tattoos removed.
Who Can Benefit From Laser Treatment?
Since every tattoo is unique, removal techniques need to be tailored to suit individual cases. As compared to lasered off tattoos that don’t cause scars, earlier there were a variety of methods to get rid of tattoos, but they caused scarring which was more unsightly than the tattoo itself.
Even patients with previously treated tattoos can be candidates for laser therapy. Tattoos which have not been effectively removed by other procedures may respond well to laser therapy, provided the prior treatment did not result in excessive scarring.
What to Expect During the Procedure?
Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending upon age, size and type of tattoo. The patient’s skin color and the depth to which the pigment extends also play a vital role. Depending upon the size and color of the tattoo, the number of treatments will vary. You need to schedule a consultation, during which a trained professional will evaluate your personal situation and advise a suitable course of action. A file with before and after laser tattoo removal pictures will be maintained for reference.
In general, this is what happens during a tattoo removal procedure:
- A protective eye shield is placed on the patient’s eyes.
- The skin’s reaction to the laser is tested to confirm the most suitable energy for treatment.
- The laser device is placed on the surface of the skin and activated. Each pulse feels like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin. Small tattoos need fewer pulses while large ones require more. Either ways, complete removal requires multiple treatment sessions.
- Immediately after the procedure, an ice pack is applied to soothe the treatment area. A topical antibiotic ointment or cream is applied on the treatment area and bandaged or patched to protect the treated site.
Most patients don’t require anesthesia. However, depending upon the location of the tattoo and the patient’s tolerance for pain, the physician may use some form of topical anesthesia.
Is the Procedure Safe?
Thanks to advancements in technology, laser treatment has become one of the safest and most effective methods for tattoo removal. As compared to traditional methods like excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion, laser treatment causes little or no pain, minimal risk of scarring, minimal downtime and few or no side effects.
The procedure is performed by trained professionals at a laser tattoo removal clinic. You can be assured of one thing and that is; you won’t need to be worried about tattoos after laser removal. There is a good reason why laser treatment for tattoo removal is considered as one of the best and is so widely sought after.
A lot of people set themselves ambitious goals to stay younger, lose weight and find a way to live longer. I too wanted to continue to enjoy the foods I usually ate and make as few changes in my lifestyle as possible, and was looking for some weight loss help. I came across the concept of ultrasound weight loss which seemed really interesting. I will definitely check it out. After speaking to some experts, I have spent the past few months trying a diet that challenges conventional opinions about how and when one should eat.
It is known as intermittent fasting, which reduces your food intake on certain specified days. Even though many people advocate fasting for weight loss, I have always been skeptical about its medical benefits; and have followed the standard advice which is, “never crash-diet and never skip a meal”.
People who skip meals tend to eat much more whenever they eat, and gobble up high-fat snacks when they get hungry. Although a crash diet is considered by many as the fastest weight loss method, what dieters lose is essentially water, with some muscle and fat thrown in. Whenever crash dieters stop dieting, as they invariably do, they start to pile on the pounds very fast. This is called yo-yo dieting and does no good. But, the 5:2 Diet seems to prove that this concept works!
I decided to start out with a few days of fasting. I started my fast on a Monday, after a slap-up dinner of steak. During that time I drank black coffee, black tea and lots of water, but didn’t eat any food until Friday. Before I started, I was sure that hunger would build day by day and get worse. However, what I found out was that, after the initial 24 hours, things actually got better. I did have hunger pangs which eventually passed.
On Saturday morning, I went in for a test again and found that I’d lost over 2lb of my body fat, and my IGF-1 levels and blood glucose which were on the higher side had fallen dramatically. So, I had actually improved my body chemistry and learnt that I was able to tolerate hunger much better than I’d thought.
With the 5:2 diet plan; you eat whatever you want for 5 days a week and then restrict yourself to just 600 calories per day, twice a week. There have been few trials so it is not certain whether it’s better to eat those 600 calories in a single meal or spread them across the day. I decided to try different approaches to find out what would work best for me. I tried to skip breakfast and lunch, then eat my 600 calories in one go at supper.
The trouble is that I hate starting my day hungry. Next I tried a large breakfast and nothing else, and got really irritable in the evenings. Finally, I split 300 calories for breakfast and 300 calories for supper. A typical breakfast meant 2 scrambled eggs with a slice of ham, well within the limits. In the evenings, I tucked into something like grilled fish and lots of veggies.
Six weeks after I started the 5:2 Diet, I went in for another medical checkup. The results were quite impressive and I lost well over a stone. My blood glucose, which was borderline diabetic, was normal, and my cholesterol which was previously high was also down in the healthy range.
Intermittent fasting is not something that doctors usually recommend because so far there is limited evidence of its efficacy in the long run. It does not suit everyone, and nor is it safe for everyone. In my case, it worked and I will continue to do it. At least I think I will.
If you’re not into the whole diet thing and want an effective weight loss alternative, try ultrasound treatment. I’ve heard ultrasound weight loss is a safe and effective option that is gaining popularity. I have been told the procedure is quite simple, but you can find out more about it at a weight loss clinic in your area.
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