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Can You Tighten Loose Skin Without Surgery?

Posted on February 7, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Collagen and elastin contribute significantly to the overall texture and resiliency of the skin. Collagen contributes to the firmness of the skin, while elastin helps the skin remain tight and recover from deformation. 

What Causes Loose Skin?

Anything that damages or degrades these two proteins can lead to wrinkles, lines and the eventual inability of the skin to recover its shape. Loose or sagging skin is generally caused by the gradual loss of elastin and collagen over time, but several other factors can also leave you with the same problem, including:

  • Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays
  • Smoking
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Significant weight loss, including after pregnancy
  • The gradual loss of subcutaneous fat beneath the skin that comes with age

Tips for Preventing Loose Skin

Skincare and Supplements

It’s recommended to try to ward off normal skin aging by daily use of a moisturizer. There is some evidence that taking supplements containing collagen and hyaluronic acid can slow down the effects of aging on the skin.

Antioxidant supplements may also help improve general skin appearance. Staying hydrated also has many important benefits.

Exercise and Health

Regular exercise will help maintain your muscle tone and have positive effects on your skin’s appearance. Maintaining a healthy weight will also, in addition to many other benefits, help your skin age as gracefully as possible.

If you’re under or overweight, try to return to a more healthy weight through a healthy balanced diet and exercise.

How to Tighten Loose Skin

– Regular facial exercises can help reduce looseness around the neck and cheeks, although it’s doubtful this can help with anything more than minor looseness. This type of exercise mainly helps tone up muscles beneath the skin, not change the resiliency of the skin itself.

– Regular use of specialized creams may provide some benefits in improving skin appearance and tightness.

Dermal fillers can compensate for looseness in some areas when caused by loss of fat beneath the skin (either age-related or caused by excessive exercise).

Laser skin resurfacing treatments are used primarily to address skin imperfections such as cosmetic spots, blemishes, and acne scars, but they will also stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin beneath the skin’s surface, helping to tighten loose skin.

Laser skin tightening lasers can also be used to address loose skin by heating the skin’s collagen fibers, which causes them to contract and tighten. It will also have the long-term effect of stimulating ongoing collagen production.

Interested in Skin Tightening Treatments?

Your Laser Skin Care is highly experienced in the application of dermal fillers, and in the use of both laser skin resurfacing and laser skin tightening techniques. We can provide you with advice on the most suitable treatment, or combination of treatments for your particular situation. 

Contact us to learn more about our skin tightening treatment options!

 

Why You’re Struggling to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

Posted on January 27, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Unwanted belly fat is not only a cosmetic problem for many of us, but it can also be one of the more difficult areas to effectively target when trying to lose weight. Why should this be so? 

It transpires that the origin of belly fat is more complicated than simply having an extra layer of fat beneath the skin; unfortunately, excess belly fat is also linked to a wide range of health problems. The older we get, the harder it is to lose the fat, and the potential for having these health complications also increases.

Why Is Belly Fat Especially Dangerous?

Fat accumulates in two main regions – between the skin and the underlying muscles (subcutaneous fat) and surrounding the internal organs inside the abdomen (visceral fat).

Visceral fat is physically located next to the body’s vital organs, has greater access to the blood supply, and is much more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat. It is more likely to affect the body’s hormones adversely and is linked to several health problems, including type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, and several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancers.

Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to be obese (or even overweight) to carry excess abdominal fat. The best indication of excess belly fat is your waist size – anything above 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men should be enough for you to take this problem seriously.

Differences Between Male and Female Belly Fat

As a result of hormonal and physiological differences, men and women tend to accumulate fat in different areas, and via different mechanisms. 

Women typically carry more subcutaneous body fat than men do, primarily located in their hips, buttocks, thighs, arms, and lower abdominal areas. Menopause, however, results in many women also starting to accumulate belly fat. 

Men are much more likely to accumulate visceral fat in their upper bodies, particularly around the abdomen. 

Subcutaneous fat lies on top of the underlying muscles and is hence, more likely to appear as a soft or flabby layer beneath the skin. 

Visceral fat accumulates inside the abdomen, as it causes the belly to bulge, and it tends to create a less flabby, harder belly. 

The fact that men more easily develop fat bellies leads them to be more likely to develop the various health problems described above. Visceral fat is primarily caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates, and especially the quick-burning simple and refined carbohydrates found in white bread and processed grains, pasta, and especially processed foods containing added sugar, including the ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup. 

Beer drinkers are also prone to accumulating visceral fat, leading to the well-known “beer belly” syndrome. Our livers burn alcohol in preference to fat, and excess alcohol consumption can also lead to fat accumulation, as well as a host of other health problems.

What Are the Best Ways to Target Belly Fat?

Women burn fat more easily than men do while exercising, whereas men are able to lose fat more easily through diet.

It’s not easy for anyone to lose abdominal fat just using exercise. Even if you increase the tone of your abdominal muscles, the most effective way to target excess fat is through a combination of adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The more vigorous the exercise, the better, but if you lead a sedentary life adding even a 30-minute walk to your daily routine can have a significant positive effect.

There may be plenty of disagreement on the most effective diet, but there’s no dispute that a serious and sustained attempt to pivot towards a balanced healthy natural diet and away from processed foods, added sugars, and alcohol will give you the best chance to reduce your abdominal fat. 

Limiting your overall calorie intake, eating adequate protein and fiber, and making sure to get enough sleep will all assist you in meeting this goal.

Your Laser Skin Care in Los Angeles

Your Laser Skin Care can help evaluate your body fat and can help recommend effective lifestyle changes to help you reduce your visceral belly fat. We also offer the CoolSculpting procedure as an effective way to remove excess subcutaneous belly fat. 

Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.

 

7 Botox Myths: Separating Fact From Fiction

Posted on January 17, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Botox is used to reduce or eliminate lines and wrinkles by blocking the nerve impulses to the muscles that are responsible for creating the lines and wrinkles. Although Botox is actually derived from the bacteria that causes botulism, it’s used today in a very controlled and careful manner that safeguards us from any negative effects.

A Short History of Botox

It’s exactly 200 years since botulism was first described in clinical literature, and 125 years since the botulinum toxin was identified and isolated. Modified forms of the botulinum toxin were first used for cosmetic purposes in 1989, and the FDA approved the use of Allergan’s botulinum-derived “Botox Cosmetic” product to reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles back in 2002. 

In the twenty or so years since then, Botox and similar products have steadily grown in popularity, and are now, by a considerable margin, the most widely performed non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Somewhere in the region of 7.5 million Botox treatments were performed last year in the US.

Over time the benefits of Botox have become widely known, but so has the perception that Botox has negative side-effects that mitigate some of its benefits. Our doctors would like to debunk several of the more widely-believed negative “facts” about Botox and reassure potential users who might be hesitating about moving ahead with Botox treatments

Myth 1: Botox injections can be painful.

Botox needles are very fine and are used to inject extremely small amounts of liquid. As a result, most people experience only mild discomfort during treatment. Your practitioner can apply anesthetic cream or cold packs before performing the injections to minimize the discomfort.

Myth 2: Botox can be addictive.

None of the ingredients in Botox are addictive, so you do not run the risk of becoming physically dependent on it. That being said, it’s possible to become dependent on the cosmetic benefits of using Botox, along with any other cosmetic treatment that offers clear and visible benefits. 

Myth 3: Botox can be used to remove all facial lines and wrinkles.

There are two types of lines and wrinkles – dynamic wrinkles are associated with particular muscle movements, while static lines are present even when no muscles are activated. Botox works by relaxing muscles, and hence can only help to reduce or eliminate the appearance of dynamic wrinkles.

Myth 4: Botox can freeze your facial muscles.

When properly applied, Botox only affects muscles at the precise location of each injection, leaving you still able to display the full range of normal facial expressions. As long as you ensure Botox is administered by someone properly qualified and experienced in its use, you do not run the risk of losing the ability to express emotions.

Myth 5: Wrinkles can get worse after stopping Botox.

Botox does not have any permanent effects. However, repeated applications at the same location can have the effect of lessening the need to re-apply Botox to relax the muscle. As a result, wrinkles cannot become worse after stopping Botox, but may, in fact, remain better than their initial state.

Myth 6: Botox is toxic to the body.

While Botox is derived from botulinum toxin, which is itself extracted from the bacteria that causes botulism, Botox is not the same as botulism, and you cannot contract botulism from Botox. The use of Botox is extremely carefully regulated and controlled. 

Its use was approved by the FDA only after extensive safety testing, and it now has a 20-year record with many millions of injections administered. Its use is considered very safe when administered by qualified medical personnel.

Myth 7: Botox builds up in the body over time.

Botox does not in fact accumulate in the body, and its effects on muscles are only temporary. Typically nerves recover their function three to four months after treatment, and their related muscles will regain their normal ability to move if Botox is not subsequently re-applied.

Get Botox in Los Angeles from Our Reputable Clinic

Your Laser Skin Care can answer any questions you have on how best to use Botox for your specific needs. We are very experienced in administering Botox, as well as several other complementary cosmetic techniques. 

Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or follow us on social media for regular updates! Learn why we consistently receive 5-star reviews.

 

Laser Hair Removal for Darker Skin Tones

Posted on January 10, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Laser hair removal offers an effective and simple way to remove unwanted hair but historically has been most effective on people with fair skin and dark hair. 

For the treatment to work, laser light pulses must target individual hair follicles located beneath the skin’s surface, without damaging the surrounding skin. 

Melanin and Your Skin 

The color of our skin, as well as hair and eye color, is primarily a result of melanin. Melanin is naturally occurring dark brown or black pigment located beneath the surface of the skin. 

Melanin production is stimulated by UV radiation from the sun. Melanin also absorbs light and serves to partially protect skin cells from damage by sunlight. 

The darker your skin color, the more melanin your skin contains.

The Challenge of Laser Hair Removal on Darker Skin Tones

Lasers produce beams of light-energy at very precise frequencies, which are designed to be absorbed by hair follicles, damage them, and thereby prevent new hair growth. 

But for those with dark or tanned skin, melanin pigmentation can absorb some of the laser’s light energy, risking damage to the skin itself. 

The challenge is to minimize damage to skin cells, while at the same time maximizing damage to the targeted hair follicles.

Effective Laser Treatment for Dark Skin

As dark skin is harder to treat effectively, it requires more skill and experience from the practitioner performing the procedure.

Recently, several techniques were developed to allow practitioners to better distinguish between dark hair follicles and similarly pigmented dark skin cells. 

These new techniques are finally allowing those with darker complexions to safely benefit from laser hair removal, without risking skin burns or discoloration. 

Here’s how: 

Improved Laser Technology

Lasers use various ways to generate light energy. However, the lasers typically used for hair removal make use of crystals containing mixtures of chemical elements – the precise chemical composition determines the frequency of light energy produced by the laser. 

The Nd:YAG laser outputs light at a frequency that can largely bypass melanin in darker skin, while still being absorbed by the hair follicles. 

Careful Choice of Laser Energy Level

To prevent heat damage to darker skin, laser energy pulses are applied more slowly, and cooling devices are used to allow skin cells to cool off between laser pulses, and thus avoid damage. External cooling also reduces any pain or discomfort. 

Other Laser Hair Removal Precautions

To ensure that correct settings have been set up for your particular situation, practitioners will often perform a test on a less visible area. This allows them to tune all settings to reduce any chance of creating lighter or darker spots during the procedure, a remote possibility when performed on dark complexions.

Another precaution is to avoid the use of any medications or cosmetic products that might increase your skin’s sensitivity to light. In particular, avoid laser treatments for several months after using Accutane. 

Minimize direct sun exposure for several weeks before and after each treatment, and follow any other directions you’ve been given on how best to treat any redness or swelling following treatment. 

Laser Hair Removal in Los Angeles

Your Laser Skin Care can provide you with advice on the best ways to benefit from laser hair removal and answer any questions you may have.

We have extensive experience providing laser hair removal on all skin types, and also offer a wide range of other cosmetic procedures. 

Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.

 

Do Fillers Stretch Out Your Skin?

Posted on December 20, 2019 by Ella Fedonenko

We regularly remind our clients that choosing a non-invasive cosmetic treatment is only the first part of the dilemma. The other part is selecting who will perform it. 

Injectable dermal fillers are one of the most commonly performed procedures, but here’s why it’s worth paying particular attention to experience and medical qualifications when choosing who to perform your procedure. 

Why Some Fillers May Stretch the Skin

Dermal fillers use injectable hyaluronic acid to fill in and adjust the contours of whatever areas of your face need correcting, but dermal fillers are not permanent solutions. Depending on which areas get treated, different products will last anywhere from 5 or 6 months to a year (sometimes even longer), but will eventually need to be reapplied. 

Unless great attention is paid while injecting fillers, repeated filler applications in the same place can cause skin to loosen and stretch, resulting in the gradual need to use more filler product over time.

Another problem can occur when using dermal fillers in parts of the face where there is a lot of muscle movement, resulting in filler migrating away from the area it was applied. 

Some filler products are specifically designed to minimize this problem, but your practitioner may also advise you to avoid using fillers in certain facial areas.

Is This Problem Likely?

Skin is inherently elastic, and in the vast majority of cases, after the body has fully absorbed the filler, the skin recovers and returns to its original state. 

Many cosmetic treatments are also designed to stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. In these cases, your skin may end up in better condition than initially.

Skin stretching is less likely when fillers are used to expand sunken cheeks for those lacking prominent cheekbones – and conversely, more likely when repeatedly used to inflate cheeks when the cheekbones are well-developed. 

Younger patients should be conservative when using fillers. Although their skin is naturally more resilient, they may be more likely to continue using fillers for many years in the future, and stretching is more likely to happen the longer dermal fillers are used.

In our experience, it is extremely unlikely that you’ll notice loosening of your skin as a result of long-term use of dermal fillers. However, if you are concerned, there are other ways to guard against skin loosening.

Minimizing the Problem

If you’re concerned if a recent treatment used more filler than necessary, in most cases, it’s possible to fully or partially reverse the effect by applying an enzyme (hyaluronidase) to dissolve the excess filler.

The best way to minimize your chances of stretching skin is to avoid using dermal fillers to over-inflate parts of your face. This can be a concern if you’re trying to enlarge your lips way beyond their natural size. 

Using large amounts of filler to expand any part of the face significantly, can lead to other problems, such as creating unnatural looking imbalances between the chin and jawline areas. 

Adding more filler to compensate for such aesthetic imbalances can exacerbate the problem. It’s the job of your practitioner not only to advise you on how to achieve your goals in the most natural-looking manner but also how to avoid long-term problems like this from developing.

Several skin-tightening procedures can be combined with the use of dermal fillers, such as laser skin tightening. This can contribute to long-term improvements to skin resiliency, thereby reducing your chance of developing dermal-filler related skin stretching. 

Cosmetic Treatments from Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care can provide you with advice on the best ways to use dermal fillers, not only to achieve your short-term objectives but also to avoid longer-term problems. 

We have extensive experience providing both dermal filler and skin tightening treatments. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.

 

The Difference Between CoolSculpting and Losing Weight

Posted on December 9, 2019 by Ella Fedonenko

The CoolSculpting procedure is an effective way to target and eliminate fat in various areas of the body, but it’s important to understand that the treatment is not intended to achieve the same results as losing weight from say, diet or exercise.  

The Role of Fat Cells

Fat cells exist to store excess energy in the body, expanding and storing any extra calories in the form of fat, and allowing the same fat to be burned later when the body needs more energy than is being supplied from food. Interestingly the number of fat cells in our bodies remains essentially constant after adolescence; individual fat cells will expand or contract as fat is stored or burned, but the body neither creates nor destroys the fat cells themselves. 

Results of Weight Loss

As the total number of fat cells remains the same, losing weight will shrink the fat cells throughout your body. For overweight people, losing weight is always highly recommended, bringing a multitude of health benefits and reducing your chances of developing many different health problems. 

Unfortunately, you can’t easily control which parts of your body will benefit from this reduction. While some people attempt to use targeted exercises to focus weight-loss on specific areas, you can’t guarantee which areas of your body will lose weight. You may well end up losing weight from parts of your body that you’d rather not, while not losing weight from parts that you’d like to. 

If you have a propensity to accumulate fat in particular areas, you will undoubtedly gain weight in the same areas if you lose weight and then subsequently regain it. Exactly where we accumulate fat depends on several factors – partly on the types of food or drink that we regularly consume, partly due to genetic (inherited) factors, and partly due to the types of exercises we routinely perform.

Results of the CoolSculpting Procedure

The CoolSculpting procedure offers a completely different way to reduce or eliminate fat cells in specific parts of the body. It’s important to note that CoolSculpting is not an effective way to lose weight, but it does give you the ability to target fat cells in specific parts of your body while leaving fat cells in other parts of your body unaffected. 

CoolSculpting achieves this result by using precisely controlled cold temperature pads to freeze fat cells in the targeted area, resulting in the cells being damaged. The body subsequently processes these damaged cells (and the fat they contain) and eliminates them from the body. 

Fat cells removed by CoolSculpting are not replaced by the body, resulting in long-term fat reduction in the treated areas. Any subsequent weight gain will be distributed between the remaining fat cells in the body. 

A single CoolSculpting treatment can remove up to 25% of the fat cells in a specific area, giving visible results in the days and weeks following treatment. Multiple treatments may also be used to achieve still greater reductions.

CoolSculpting in Los Angeles

Performing the CoolSculpting procedure requires a highly skilled practitioner – not only to apply the cooling pads in the safest and most effective manner but also to achieve aesthetically balanced and natural-looking results. As in many other cosmetic procedures, you should pay particular attention to choosing the right person to perform your treatment. 

Your Laser Skin Care can answer your questions and show you how CoolSculpting can help achieve your goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or check out our CoolSculpting consultation checklist. We have extensive experience with CoolSculpting in Los Angeles and many other types of cosmetic procedures.

 

7 Areas You Never Think of for Laser Hair Removal

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Ella Fedonenko

Unwanted hair is a source of worry and frustration for many of us. Of course, there are many different ways to remove unwanted hair, each of which presents some trade-offs between cost, discomfort, effectiveness, and duration. Depilatory creams and shaving are commonly used but carry the risk of skin irritation or cuts, may even stimulate further hair growth and are, at best, only a relatively short-term solution. 

Using laser hair removal procedures have proven a highly effective way to achieve long-term or permanent freedom from hair regrowth. Laser hair treatment is most typically used to remove unwanted hair found on the face, bikini line, arms, underarms and legs. 

Below are several other less commonly treated areas where laser hair removal can be equally effective.

Chest & Nipples

Although primarily a male characteristic, many women have light hair between their breasts and on their nipples. For those with dark or coarse hair, this can be especially troublesome. Whether hair in this area is dense or sparse, it’s a prime location for laser treatment.

Jawline and Chin

Hormonal changes as women age can result in highly visible coarser hair growth along the jawline, including the chin. Lasers can be used to effectively target this area. Men can also benefit from laser treatments, especially if they have sensitive skin that’s irritated by shaving, or if they’re prone to developing ingrown hairs.

Neck

More so than on the face and jawline, men who need to regularly shave their necks often find it difficult due to especially sensitive skin and the increased chance of ingrown hairs. Laser treatment can effectively treat this area, as well as remove the need to shave regularly.

Back and Lower Back

Although also very much a male trait, menopausal women can also develop back hair. The difficulty in reaching and treating this area oneself is another reason to consider laser treatment in this area.

Abdomen

Hair is common on the front of the abdomen, but hair on the sides of the abdomen may be less agreeable. Women of all ages can also develop hair around the navel.

Knuckles and Toes

Light hair in these areas is generally tolerated, but these hairs can darken and become coarser over time as hormonal levels change. 

Nose and Ears

Primarily a problem for men as they age, increased hair growth in the nose and ears can be annoying and tedious to trim on a regular basis. Laser hair treatment can be used to remove hair in these often neglected areas.

Laser Hair Treatment in Los Angeles

Those who suffer side-effects from alternate methods, as well as those with light complexions and darker hair, are prime candidates for laser hair removal, but it can also be effective on other skin types.

If you have unwanted hair and are interested in seeing how laser hair removal could help you, call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation. At Your Laser Skin Care, we have extensive experience with laser hair treatment and many other cosmetic procedures.