What’s so cool about CoolSculpting?

benefits-of-coolsculpting

What is so cool about CoolSculpting?

benefits-of-coolsculpting

If you watch television or go on social media, you have probably seen an advertisement for Coolsculpting, which means you have probably asked yourself, “What’s all the fuss about?”

Coolsculpting is a noninvasive alternative for fat reduction that can be used to treat many areas of the body including the chin, abdomen, flanks, arms and thighs. It’s based on one simple principle…when you freeze fat cells, you kill them. The scientific term is cryolypolysis. By using external applicators that isolate and then freeze unwanted pockets of fat, one is able to contour body parts that have been resistant to traditional diet and exercise. What is even better is since the procedure is completely noninvasive, including no needles or incisions, there is zero downtime.

Am I a candidate?

There are a number of factors that come into play when determining if a patient is a good candidate for Coolsculpting. One of the most important considerations is does the candidate have the right type of fat? There are two types of fat on the body, visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the stubborn fat under the muscular wall located in our abdominal cavity. Subcutaneous fat is the fat directly below your skin that you can grab and squeeze. This is the fat that can be treated with Coolsculpting. Other factors like skin laxity or looseness also determine results and need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Appropriate candidates once treated can expect to see a 20-25% reduction in the number of fat cells treated by the procedure.

So what happens to the fat?

This is probably the most common question I get asked during a consultation. After a fat cell is frozen, it starts an inflammatory process resulting in apoptosis or programmed cell death. Over the course of weeks and months, our body’s inflammatory cells break down these dead cells resulting in their eventual removal from the treatment site. After a treatment, patients will start to see reduction after 6-8 weeks, but see the greatest improvement at 3 months.

To learn more about Coolsculpting and to find out if it’s a good option for you, schedule your free consultation today! 

What is Vitiligo & How is it Treated?

vitiligo-treatment-options

What is Vitiligo & How is it Treated?

vitiligo-treatment-options

About 1% of the global population has vitiligo—a condition causing white patches on the skin. While it is unclear what causes this skin condition, a dermatologist can help determine potential treatment options for vitiligo.

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition where the skin loses its color due to the loss of pigmentation, causing white and light-colored patches to appear on the skin. Vitiligo can affect any part of the body, and commonly occurs on the chin, forehead and nose. The skin condition can occur at any age, and typically begins between the ages of 10 and 30.

Common signs of vitiligo can include patchy loss of skin color and whitening or graying of the hair, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard.

There are a few different types of vitiligo:

  • Universal vitiligo appears on nearly all of the skin’s surface, covering about 80% of the body
  • Generalized vitiligo, the most common type, causes discoloration on corresponding body parts
  • Segmental vitiligo, typically occurring at a younger age, affects only one side or part of the body
  • Localized vitiligo appears on just one or only a few areas of the body
  • Acrofacial vitiligo affects skin on the hands and face, particularly around the eyes, nose and ears

While it is not painful, life-threatening or contagious, vitiligo can cause patients to feel self conscious. We recommend seeing a doctor to discuss potential treatment options.

What Causes Vitiligo?

Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin, our natural skin pigment, stop functioning. It is unknown what causes these cells to stop functioning, but it may be brought on by:

  • Autoimmune conditions: Immune system disorders can raise your odds of vitiligo
  • Genetics: You’re more likely to develop vitiligo if another family member has it
  • Trigger events: High-stress situations or skin trauma can set off vitiligo

What are the Treatment Options for Vitiligo?

Currently, there is no cure for vitiligo, but a dermatologist can provide treatment options such as light therapy, surgery, or medications. These options may restore color to the affected areas, but won’t prevent a recurrence or continued loss of melanin.

Occasionally, vitiligo stops forming without treatment and patients’ skin may even get its color back. Due to the lack of pigmentation, it’s particularly important for patients with vitiligo to protect their skin against the sun. Apply sunscreen daily, wear protective clothing and stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest.

Visit Windsor Dermatology for a Consultation

If you think you may have vitiligo, call us today to schedule a consultation. Our team of expert dermatologists is here to help you manage your skin condition, so you can enjoy life to the fullest.

What is Melasma and How do You Treat It?

What is Melasma & How Do You Treat It?

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Noticing brown spots after spending time in the sun this summer? With topical therapies and microneedling there are treatment options to help reduce those pesky patches.

What is Melasma?

Melasma, a condition that causes the appearance of dark spots on the skin, which can be amplified in the warmer months.

Melanocytes are skin cells that produce pigmentation; certain stimuli, such as spending time in the sun, can cause the melanocytes to start producing more pigment. While the condition does not cause pain or negative health effects, it can impact self-esteem, as discolorations tend to appear on areas of the body that are the most visible such as cheeks, nose, and chin.

What Can You Do To Manage Melasma?

While melasma can worsen during the summer months due to more sun exposure, and heat, as well as pregnancy and birth control pills, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects.

  1. Avoid waxing. Waxing the face and body may irritate the skin and potentially make melasma worse if out in the sun after waxing
  2. Choose skin care products wisely. Pick gentle formulations that don’t cause stinging or burning, which can be signs of skin irritation.
  3. Use sunscreen vigilantly. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 every day, even through the colder months
  4. Consider extra sun protection. Stay in the shade when possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat and other protective clothing to block the sun.

What Are The Treatment Options for Melasma?

Although melasma is very difficult to treat and the spots can recur there are treatment options for patients to help reduce the appearance of those pesky dark patches.  Treatment options can vary from topical therapy to actual procedures like facials and microneedling.

Topical therapies like Hydroquinone is the main line of treatment for patients with mild melasma. There is 2% over the counter which can take months to begin seeing effects from or 4% can be prescribed by a provider at Windsor Dermatology. With this increase in strength patients can begin to notice results after 4 weeks. In addition to hydroquinone other topical therapies such as Azelaic acid, kojic acid or niacinamide can be helpful alternative agents.

Although some practices use lasers to treat melasma at Windsor Dermatology we want to avoid the risk that a laser treatment can actually make things worse, especially in patients that are darker skin tone. There is a risk for further hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin that is being treated so it is best to have a discussion with one of our providers.

A completely safe alternative is Microneedling. Microneedling creates small micropunctures into the skin allowing for us to apply a topical therapy which helps lift the pigment from the skin.  Multiple treatments are required to achieve improvement. Although 100% clearance cannot be guaranteed patients do very well with treatments.

What To Expect During Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation

  • A numbing cream will be applied to the skin 30 minutes before hand in the office
  • The procedure typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area
  • Hylauronic acid is applied immediately following treatment
  • The area will be red for up to 5 days. During recovery, sun should be avoided
  • Patients will see improvements within a few weeks
  • A post care kit will be supplied to patients at their first visit and that is to be used for 5 days post treatment to avoid further hyperpigmentation.

*Individual results may vary

Visit Windsor Dermatology for a Consultation

Windsor Dermatology is here to help with treatment options for melasma. Call us today to schedule a consultation!