What is Acne?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. It frequently affects teenagers but can also continue into or develop in adult life. Although common, many people do not know what acne is or what causes it.

Acne occurs when the small pores on the surface of the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. Each individual pore on the skin opens to a follicle beneath the epidermis. Within these follicles lie a singular hair and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oil designed to keep your skin moisturized.

When these oil glands are stimulated by hormonal changes or other factors, they become overactive and pump out excess oil. This oil combines with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog skin pores. Should these substances clump together, a plug will form. As this plug starts to press up against the surface of the skin, the body responds with an accumulation of red and white blood cells to combat any infection, and this results in inflammation and redness. Acne can occur on the face, back, neck, chest, arms and buttocks, and any other skin area with a saturation of sebaceous pores.

Factors that aggravate acne include:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause
  • Using harsh products on the skin
  • Pollution, humidity, dirt and heat

Acne Treatment

There is no cure for acne but rather there are treatment methods to help reduce the symptoms. This can improve the appearance of the skin and lead to a better quality of life for people who suffer from the condition.

There are several types of acne treatment. Based on the severity and type of your acne, Dr. Holy may suggest over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. Some of these will be applied directly to the skin, while others are pills or capsules that are meant to treat acne from the inside. Treatment for your acne may include one or more of the following types:

  • Topical retinoids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Hormones/ antiandrogens
  • Oral retinoids (isotretinoin)

During an appointment in Phoenix, Dr. Holy will examine your skin to evaluate the type and severity of acne you have. Dr. Holy will ask you questions to identify the trigger of your acne and determine whether it stems from an underlying medical condition, a side effect to medications or other causes.

To learn more about what acne is or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com today.

Posted: March 18, 2018 By:

Types of Wrinkles

Wrinkles are a natural, unfortunate part of aging. There are, however, some things you can do to protect your skin and help delay the development of wrinkles. To properly prevent wrinkles, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the various types of wrinkles which can occur.

There are four main types of wrinkles; each with its own distinct characteristics:

Atrophic Crinkling Rhytids: These wrinkles signal that the skin has lost a part of its elasticity and occur because of a loss of collagen. Atrophic crinkling rhytids can show up in different areas of the face and body. An indicator of atrophic crinkling rhytids is that they disappear when the skin is stretched, either by hand or if you change body posture. These wrinkles are usually shallow and parallel to one another. It is essential to protect your skin from these wrinkles by wearing sunscreen whenever out in direct sunlight and properly moisturizing your skin.

Dynamic Expression Lines: When people repeatedly make the same facial expressions that fold the skin (such as smiling or frowning), dynamic expression lines are formed. Over time, these lines can become permanent. If you smoke cigarettes, another common example of dynamic expression lines are the creases that may develop around your mouth.

Gravitational Folds: As the name implies, these wrinkles are from the effects of gravity, and they become increasingly obvious as skin begins to fold and sag. As you age, your skin loses its elasticity, causing wrinkling and sagging. These wrinkles typically occur in thicker skin, where more folds are visible. Surprisingly, a plumper face will show less gravitational folds than a lean face.

Permanent Elastic Creases: Permanent elastic creases are lines in the skin that become increasingly apparent over time due to the natural loss of collagen and accelerated aging from sun exposure. These types of wrinkles typically show up on your cheeks, upper lip and at the base of your neck.

There are many things that contribute to the development of wrinkles: sun exposure, smoke exposure, daily skin care and even genetics. Proper skin care and protection is something we should all be aware of at an early age. Don’t wait until your skin starts to show the signs of aging. Take care of it now to help prevent wrinkles. Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy to learn more about these types of wrinkles.

Posted: March 11, 2018 By:

Botox Injection Sites

Botox is a nonsurgical treatment designed to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles that appear on the skin over time. Also known as Botulinum Toxin Type A, Botox is a muscle paralyzing neurotoxin. When injected into a predetermined area on the skin, the product will temporarily relax the muscle and smooth facial creases.

The most common cosmetic Botox injection sites are between the eyebrows (to treat frown lines), at the corner of the eyes (to correct crow’s feet), forehead creases and wrinkles around the lips.

Administered through tiny injections directly into the targeted muscle area, Botox injections take less than 30 minutes in the office. Prior to a treatment in Phoenix, Dr. Holy will determine if you are a suitable candidate for Botox, which areas of the face will be targeted, and how much product will be needed. Virtually painless, Botox injections do not require an anesthetic. Patients normally report a slight pinch during each injection.

No downtime is required after a Botox treatment; patients can return to their usual activities immediately following your office visit. Minor bruising may occur at the injection site, although this will quickly resolve. The results from a Botox treatment can first be noticed in 5 – 7 days. The full benefits from a treatment will appear in approximately 2 weeks. Results last between 3 – 4 months; after which time, patients will need a repeat treatment to maintain results.

Botox injection treatments are beneficial for men and women of any age and safe for all ethnicities and skin types. People frustrated by the early signs of aging due to facial lines and wrinkles can find that Botox injections provide excellent results.

Botox injections can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other skin treatments, to achieve optimal results. To learn more about products and services available in Location to further improve the look of your skin, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mdddermsolutions.com.

Posted: March 4, 2018 By:

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Light TherapyIntense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of skin problems such as:

  • Vascular lesions including spider veins, port wine stains, broken facial veins, rosy cheeks, rosacea and red thread veins of the legs
  • Hair removal
  • Sun spots and sun damage
  • Freckles and age marks
  • Facial lines and wrinkles
  • IPL may also be helpful for mild to moderate acne and stretch marks

IPL therapy works by delivering precise pulses of light to specific areas of the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy which causes damage to the specific target area. Intense pulsed light therapy is different from lasers in that it delivers many wavelengths in each pulse of light instead of just one.

Intense pulsed light therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique – which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results are not as dramatic as ablative resurfacing where both the dermis and epidermis are injured to produce a much more noticeable overall outcome.

A considerable benefit to intense pulsed light therapy is that it combines dramatic improvement with virtually no down time. Treatment sessions usually last about 20 minutes and patients can return to their regular activities immediately following this treatment. To achieve desired results, repeat sessions every 3-6 weeks may be needed.

IPL treatments are relatively painless compared to other facial rejuvenation techniques. The sensation has been likened to a light pinch or the snap of a rubber band.

Side effects of intense pulsed light therapy are minor and include:

  • Mild pain during treatment
  • Skin turning pink and a little sore immediately after the procedure
  • Sensation of a mild sunburn (redness, peeling, swelling) that may last a few days after treatment
  • Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy and blistering can occur
  • Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged leaving darker or paler patches of skin
  • Hair loss may occur
  • Bruising affects up to 10% of patients

Intense pulsed light therapy offers a gentle, long-lasting solution for visible signs of skin damage that affect the way you look. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy in Phoenix, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: February 25, 2018 By:

Microdermabrasion Side Effects

MicrodermabrasionMicrodermabrasion is one of the easiest, safest and most effective anti-aging treatments you can get. The treatment exfoliates dead skin cells and leaves fresh skin in its place. As microdermabrasion is gaining in popularity and accessibility, it is important to understand the side effects that can happen with this type of skin rejuvenation treatment. Microdermabrasion is considered very safe with only the rarest cases causing anything besides brief, mild side effects. Of course, it’s always best to be prepared for the potential consequences of a treatment, no matter how small. So here’s a closer look at the most common microdermabrasion side effects.

Pigmentation Issues: One possible side effect of microdermabrasion is discoloration of the skin, particularly for people who have a darker complexion. Following the treatment, it is possible to see slight unevenness in the pigmentation.

Redness: Some people who have had microdermabrasion notice redness of the skin following treatment. This condition isn’t permanent and usually resolves itself in just a few days.

Dryness: Microdermabrasion may cause dry or flaking skin. In most cases, this dry skin condition goes away after just a few days.

Itching: Itchy skin is another temporary side effect of microdermabrasion.

Purging: Purging is a side effect of acne microdermabrasion. The exfoliation of the treatment opens the pores, exposing the bacteria. This exposure brings on an acne surge, but it is a temporary reaction to the treatment and will go away in a few days.

Although microdermabrasion is a very safe procedure, you do need to be aware of potential side effects. It’s important to choose a doctor who is experienced with the treatment, ensuring that the right safety steps will be taken. Microdermabrasion in Phoenix with Dr. Holy will leave you with great looking skin with minimal, if any, side effects.

To learn more about microdermabrasion or to schedule an appointment, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: February 18, 2018 By:

Knowing Your Skin Type – Part Two

Skin TypeDry Skin: Dry skin does not retain moisture or oils easily, often leading to the appearance of bumpy or flaky areas. Many individuals with dry skin say their skin feels tight and they often experience discoloration issues.

People with dry skin can benefit from focusing on staying properly hydrated, using an intensive moisturizer and skipping any products containing harsh ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Sensitive Skin: People with sensitive skin types regularly experience issues related to inflammation, redness or rashes. Their skin may become irritated from changes in the weather and they often burn easily from sun exposure. Sensitive skin types are more prone to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis compared to other skin types.

People with sensitive skin should be careful about which products they use, especially since most cleansers and moisturizers contain ingredients that can cause adverse reactions. Make sure to only use products designated for sensitive skin. It is recommended to test new products on a small area of the skin before adding them to your regimen.

Combination Skin: People with combination skin types have various regions of the skin that exhibit the traits of different skin types. For example, their cheeks may have all the traits of dry skin while their forehead is oily. This often occurs when one area of the skin overproduces natural oils while other areas under-produce.

People with combination skin types may need to treat each region differently depending on their needs.

Knowing your skin type is necessary to make the best decision about which proper skin care or treatment is suitable for your particular skin needs. To learn more about how to care for your skin type or what products you should be using, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.

Posted: February 11, 2018 By:

Knowing Your Skin Type – Part One

Skin typeIt is vital to understand the basic traits and needs of your skin in order to properly care for it. Depending on your genetic characteristics, you may fall within these 5 common skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive or Combination.

Many of today’s skin care products are developed for and classified by skin type. As you can imagine, using products that are not formulated for your skin type is not ideal because the products might be ineffective or even harm your skin.

At The Center for Advanced Dermatology, we understand that your skin is unique. To help you identify your skin type, here is a general overview of the five common types:

Normal Skin: Skin that is considered normal is soft, smooth and has an even tone. This skin is radiant, has good circulation, and does not have any traces of excess sebum (natural oils). Additionally, normal skin types have small to medium sized pores, retain a normal level of moisture and rarely experience blemishes or breakouts.

Most individuals with a normal skin type can follow a basic skincare regimen.

Oily Skin: An oily skin type is usually easy to identify; the skin often appears moist and shiny (especially at midday, when oil is at its peak). These traits stem from an overproduction of sebum oils from the skin’s sebaceous glands. Individuals with oily skin tend to have clogged and relatively large pores. Oily skin is prone to both noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (pimples and cystic zits).

It is vital for people with oily skin type to cleanse their skin regularly and use products that are not oil-based. Toners, exfoliators and spot treatments are also great products for those with oily skin.

Knowing Your Skin Part Two to be continued.

Posted: February 4, 2018 By:

Sun Spots

Sun SpotsSun spots, also called age spots or solar lentigines, are dark spots on the skin caused by direct, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or from artificial sources of ultraviolet rays, like from a tanning bed.

As people age, sun spots most commonly appear on the backs of the hands, the forearms, neck, chest and face – areas that receive the most sun exposure.

Sun spots develop due to the reaction of melanin-producing cells: melanocytes. Their function includes protecting your body from harmful UV rays. When your body is over-exposed to ultraviolet rays, melanocytes consider it a threat and increase melanin production to put up defenses against the UV rays’ effect. Normally, this results in tanned skin – evenly spread skin darkening. However, sometimes extra pigment gathers in just one area. This is how you get sun spots.

Sun spots are more common in people who freckle and who burn easily, typically those with lighter colored skin. It is important to know that if you’ve had enough sun to develop age spots, you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Sun spots are flat and vary in size from a small pea to a dime. They usually are somewhat round and have irregular borders. They are tan, brown or deep brown in color.

The best treatment for sun spots is prevention. The key to preventing sun spots is avoiding the sun and proper sun protection such as daily sunscreen use. For many patients, it may be too late for prevention, however there are a number of treatment options available.

The top treatment options for sun spots are:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Laser Resurfacing
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Dr. Holy at The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix offers several successful sun spot treatments. Call 602-867-7546 or visit mddermsolutions.com to learn more about sun spots or to schedule a consultation.

Posted: January 28, 2018 By:

Laser Wrinkle Treatments

Laser Wrinkle TreatmentWrinkles are creases, folds or ridges that form on the surface of the skin most commonly occuring with age. As we get older, inevitable results of the natural aging process cause noticeable changes to our face and bodies. Skin gets thinner and drier and loses elasticity that was once beneficial for maintaining a youthful appearance.

While wrinkles are a common development from aging and the genetic makeup of your skin’s features and structure, they can affect younger people as well. Factors such as too much sun exposure and lifestyle habits, like smoking or not using protective sunscreen, increase the early development of wrinkles.

Fortunately, there are preventative skin routines that can decrease deeper wrinkle development and an array of treatments for enhancing a wrinkle-free appearance.

Laser resurfacing is one of the most advanced skin rejuvenation treatments available and is known to be an effective treatment for stubborn conditions such as acne scarring and deep lines and wrinkles.

Laser wrinkle treatments use a specially crafted beam of thermal energy that works deep into the layers of your skin. Unlike peels or abrasive skin exfoliation, these laser beams of heat precisely target and vaporize damaged skin. By creating injury to the old skin, the body works to create new, tighter skin that has smaller pores and fewer wrinkles and blemishes. Laser wrinkle treatment time depends on the extent of the wrinkles and the size of the area being treated.

At The Center for Advanced Dermatology, we offer a variety of laser wrinkle treatments and other skin care remedies for specific skin tones and needs. Because everyone’s skin is different, treatment is tailored to each patient’s individual goals and needs.

Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy in Phoenix. During this visit, you and Dr. Holy can discuss a laser wrinkle treatment plan just for you.

Posted: January 21, 2018 By:

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a very common aesthetic procedure in Phoenix. If you’re not happy with shaving, tweezing or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal may be an option worth considering.

During laser hair removal, pulsating beams of light target the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The intense heat from the laser damages the follicles, inhibiting future hair growth. Since this procedure works by targeting melanin, it is most effective for people with light skin and dark hair, although advanced technology has made laser hair removal an option for individuals with dark skin as well. Common areas of the body that are treated include legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line; however, laser hair removal can be used on nearly any part of the body.

Immediately before the treatment, the hair will be trimmed. The laser equipment will be carefully adjusted according to your hair and skin specifications. A cold gel or special cooling device will be applied on the skin to protect the outer layers as well as to help the laser penetrate the skin. The hand-held laser instrument will be held against the skin as the treatment is performed. Small areas such as the upper lip may only take a few minutes while larger areas, such as the back, may take several hours.

Common side effects include skin irritation, temporary redness, swelling and pain. Laser hair removal may cause the treated skin to become lighter or darker, but this is usually temporary.

Laser hair removal is proven to effectively slow hair growth, but does not guarantee permanent hair removal. Results vary greatly and are dependent on which area of the body is being treated. Multiple treatments are typically required to provide long term hair removal. Some people will require periodic maintenance treatments to maintain results. A consultation with Dr. Holy will help determine what results you can expect based on your needs, skin and hair types. Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology today at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule your laser hair removal appointment.

Posted: January 16, 2018 By: