Wearing Sunscreen Is Where It’s at!

While we celebrate rising temps in Chicago, let’s make a commitment to perk up our skincare regimens by shielding our skin against the long-term effects of over exposure to harmful UVA/UVB rays. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and it’s absolutely essential to keep your skin protected and healthy throughout the year by applying sunscreen regularly and performing skin cancer self-examinations. Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the skin, so keeping a close eye on moles that change in color, size or texture is crucial. Take inventory of freckles and age spots, and if anything looks remotely suspicious, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. In the meantime, search for products that contain concentrations of antioxidants and a minimum of SPF 20 if you’re out in natural sunlight more than 30 minutes during the day. No, on second thought, forget the 30 minute rule and make it habit to protect your skin regularly like you brush your teeth or toast your friends during happy hour.

Nicole L. Townsend

Beauty Is Everywhere

One of the greatest joys in life is finding inspiration and beauty everywhere, including social media platforms. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know half the people on my friends list, but I find much enjoyment in the wealth of interesting opinions, jokes, political stances, and the best part — aimless chatter.

With the start of a New Year, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to weigh in on some of their “beauty resolutions” for 2012 and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Exfoliating, exercising, consuming more water, getting more sleep and microderms were high on the list of esteem boosters. Our Latisse winner, Shannon O’Donnell, expressed that she’s working to get rid of sun damage on her face – and will make more of a conscious effort to wear more sunscreen. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something exciting about sharing beauty do’s (and don’ts) with like minded individuals who love to feel and look their best. That’s the great thing about beauty; it’s everywhere, including the crazy and sometimes outrageous social media sites.

Tweet us, (@thrivemedspa) or message us on Facebook. It’ll be our little secret…

Nicole L. Townsend

My First Blush

It wasn’t until my 22nd birthday that I’d adopted a new attitude about makeup. Behind me are the days spent agonizing over applying mascara, or finding a blush that wouldn’t scream “Ringling Brothers.” Gone are the days spent flipping through magazines looking for makeup looks to mimic, soothing raw lips from excessive lipstick trials, and the inability to commit to one facial cleanser. I looked myself in the mirror and fully embraced the concept of putting my best face forward, and it had nothing to do with applying the right amount of liquid eyeliner – that is until my body felt an intense blanket of warmth accompanied by small drops of perspiration dotted along my forehead. Maybe I’d spoken too soon. Was I having a dreaded hot flash at the mere age of 22, or was I nervous about the world’s reaction to my newly painted face? I’d heard numerous horror stories about women being scarily unrecognizable without makeup, and I wondered if I’d made the right choice. After all, wearing makeup was supposed to be fun, right? I attempted to set aside my anxieties, but not before the sudden urge to stick my head in a nearby freezer.

With freshly painted rouge lips and exaggerated raccoon eyes, I strutted out of the door and kept repeating to myself that I too could become one with pressed powder and foundation. That’s exactly what happened…eventually. The moral of this story is that there’s a first time for everything, and as much as I pride myself on being a “makeup expert” I was one eye shadow away from being photographed as a definite “Don’t” for makeup trends. Practice makes perfect, and I pledge that finding the right shade of bronzer is not as daunting as it sounds.

Let’s take this time to rejoice in harmony and salute our love and hate relationships with cosmetics! Or you can just tell me about your first time applying makeup…

-Nicole L. Townsend

The Ten Commandments of Makeup and Skincare Part 2

Commandment Number 6: Thou shall remove all makeup before bed at night! Seriously, raccoon eyes in the morning isn’t very appealing, and I guarantee that you’ll have even more problems once your pores become clogged from the leftover debris and oil. Simplify things with a deep cleansing cream like Glytone Mild Cream Wash. Also Noxzema’s new Clean Moisture Makeup Removal Cloths rid eyes of waterproof mascara!
Now you really don’t have an excuse!

Commandment Number 7: Thou shall exfoliate regularly. Whether you are an oily, dry, or combination skin type, exfoliating is a must if you want your skin to look its best. By riding the skins surface of dead skin cells, you’ll reveal a bright and luminous complexion that will have strangers asking you for your best kept skincare secret! There are various ways to exfoliate, but I recommend Eminence Yam and Pumpkin Peel Enzyme Peel that contains Glycolic and Lactic acids that sloughs off dead skin cells. Hello, lover!

Commandment Number 8: Thou shall blend your eye shadow. An ultimate pet-peeve of mine is seeing a glob of eye shadow on a gorgeous palette that lacks symmetry. If you love to wear multiple eye shadows, it is essential that you buy an eye shading brush to mix all of your colors together. For carefree blending, try the M.A.C Blending Brush.

Commandment Number 9: Thou shall not use your lipstick as blush. I have yet to find a lipstick shade that serves as both a great color for my lips and cheeks. If they were created equal, don’t you think one of the two wouldn’t exist? If you’re short on time, try the GloMinerals Floral and Fantasy Collection Compact that’s crammed with lip gloss, blush and eye shadow in one! It can’t get any more convenient than that.

Commandment Number 10: Thou shall not line your lips with extreme dark shades. The dark purple lip liner with bright pink lip gloss is an ultimate cosmetic sin. If you’re having a hard time choosing a lip liner, the rule of thumb is to choose a color that is no darker than two shades of your natural lip color (with the exception of red). If I can distinctly see your lip liner drawn on your lips, then we have a problem. Try lip liners in beige – a shade that compliments most complexions.

Nicole L. Townsend

[Infographic] Skin Cancer Facts, Information and Preventative Measures

Thinking about heading to one the Chicago beaches along lake shore drive this year when the weather gets nice? Maybe you are heading to a beach on the east or west coast, or just going to be spending time outside playing softball or laying by your pool? There is alot to know about how to protect yourself from getting skin damage or worse skin cancer.

The skin care infographic below talks about skin cancer topics such as:

  • Skin cancer facts
  • Melanoma facts
  • Indoor tanning health concerns
  • People with the highest risk of getting skin cancer
  • Tips to prevent skin damage and skin cancer

The infographic also answers questions such as:

  • What is skin cancer?
  • What US states have the highest occurrence of melanomas of the skin?


The Ten Commandments of Makeup and Skincare

We believe that although beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, there still exists, a set of specific commandments to follow in both makeup application and properly caring for your skin. With a million and one cosmetic brands to choose from you should always stick with what works for you, and we commend those who pride themselves in self-expression – not over indulgence. In a 2 part series, we’ll explore regimens that will keep your complexion in tip-top shape. So put your best face forward, and take a look at our list of makeup and skincare commandments. We guarantee your skin will thank you!

Commandment Number 1: Thou shall take the time to find the right color of foundation for your skin. If your face is a completely different shade than your neck, odds are you didn’t choose wisely. Try GloMinerals Protective Liquid Foundation that contains exclusive antioxidant blends of vitamins A, C, E, and green extract. Voila! You’re done.

Commandment Number 2: Thou shall not use too much bronzer. Of course the cast from “Jersey Shore” would disapprove, but c’mon, adding too much bronzer ages you –tacking on additional years. Celebrate your youth with, yes; you’ve guessed it, GloMinerals Bronze in “Sunkiss,” which includes a tone gauge to match your natural coloring.

Commandment Number 3: Thou shall wear a minimum of SPF 15 in your daily moisturizer. The primary factor of maintaining your skins radiance and healthy appearance rely on the daily use of sunscreen. Sorry folks, but ‘baking naked’ at the beach is so circa 1980. Try Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30.

Commandment Number 4: Thou shall drink plenty of water to maintain you skins natural glow and overall well-being. Doctors recommend the daily intake of 8 glasses of water per day, and I believe you should push the envelope a bit and make it an even 10. Get jazzy and add lemon or cucumber! Cheers!

Commandment Number 5: Thou shall have fun with your makeup! If you’re worried about not applying your makeup correctly, it’s ok. It takes practice to master the fancy tricks of our favorite makeup artists, and the good news is that we can wash it right off if we make a mistake. So take a deep breath, and have a good time! You’ll be surprised by the inner artist that exists within!

Continue to part 2

– Nicole L. Townsend

5 Tips To Reduce Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

If you have dark circles or puffy eyes, you are not alone. Many women suffer from under-eye circles and puffy eyes. Some of the factors that contribute to this beauty problem include smoking, hereditary conditions, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, allergies and excessive consumption of alcohol. Dealing with dark circles and puffy eyes can be frustrating and embarrassing. Since people notice your face first, it is likely they will notice your puffy eyes and dark circles and think that you look worn out and tired. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with this beauty problem forever. Here are five tips on reducing dark circles and puffy eyes.

Get Plenty of Rest at Night

Getting enough sleep at night is so important, but many people still don not get the recommended amount of rest. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night. If you have to get up very early for work, get to bed sooner. If you are not used to going to bed that early, do some things to relax yourself like taking a hot bath or drinking a warm cup of tea. Sleep in a very dark room, and have something buzzing in the background like a fan. Also, avoid drinking alcohol before bed because it can affect your quality of sleep. Getting the proper amount of rest at night will help your eyes look much brighter and more awake in the morning.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

The sun’s UV rays are very harmful to your skin, especially the area around your eyes. In addition to wearing a sunscreen on your skin, you should also wear sunglasses if you are going to be out in the sun for awhile. Wearing sunglasses will not only prevent dark circles under your eyes, they can also help prevent wrinkles, fine lines and crows feet.

Diminish the Appearance of Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes With Home Treatments

There are plenty of ways to diminish the appearance of dark circles and puffy eyes at home. One of the most popular ways to reduce puffiness around the eyes is to apply cucumber slices to them. After you have left a cucumber in the refrigerator for an hour, cut two slices off and place one on each eye. Let the cucumber slices sit on your eyes for 15 minutes.

Another way to reduce puffiness around the eyes is to apply ice cubes to them. Gently press an ice cube against your eyes for about 10 minutes. If the ice cubes get too cold, take a small break. After you have removed the ice cubes from your eyes, pat them dry with towel.

A frozen spoon can also be used to reduce puffiness around the eyes. After you have left a spoon in the freezer for 15 minutes, place it against your eyes. Leave the spoon there until it is warm again.

An effective way to reduce the appearance of dark circles is to apply tea bags to your eyes. After you have soaked the tea bags in cold water, apply them to your eyes for 15 minutes.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is not just good for your waistline and hair, it can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Instead of eating foods like pizza and chips, fill your diet with fruits, vegetables and protein. Foods that are high in salt content can cause your body to retain water, which can cause your eyes to be puffy. Carrots are one of the best vegetables to help reduce dark circles. Carrots are filled with vitamin A and iron, which will provide nourishment to your eyes. Fruits that are rich in vitamin C like kiwis, oranges, grapefruit and strawberries will improve the appearance of dark circles by thickening the eyelid dermis. Proteins like chicken and tuna will increase muscle growth, which will reduce the appearance of dark circles. Also, drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated.

Treat the Skin Around Your Eyes With Care

The skin around your eyes is very delicate, so you should always treat it with care. Avoid rubbing your eyes, even if they itch. Also, do not rub your eyes when you remove your makeup. Instead, pat your eyes lightly.

Whether your dark circles and puffy eyes are due to lack of sleep or a hereditary condition, there are plenty of ways you can treat the problem. As you are waiting for results, you can cover up your dark circles with concealer. Apply a liquid concealer under your eyes with your fingers. Set the concealer with some loose powder, and your eyes will look brighter than ever. If none of the tips above help relieve dark circles or puffy eyes, you may want to speak to your doctor about the problem.

Photofacial: Information and Benefits

Many lucky celebrities are photoshopped in most of the pictures they take, making their skin appear flawless and perfect. For those of us who are not privy to the star treatment there are photofacial treatments that many are calling photoshop for real life. These photofacial treatments give individuals that flawless, silky smooth appearance that many celebrities don in the magazines. Photofacial treatments are considered non-invasive and have very minor side effects as the skin is not touched during the procedure by anything other than laser light.

What is it?

Photofacial treatments use thermal heat and light to kill harmful bacteria in the skin and remove dead skin cells and unwanted buildups of dirt and trapped blood. Depending upon the extent of skin damage, usually between 2 to 4 treatments are required to fully realize the desired results. The actual procedure itself is virtually painless and at most some patients report feeling a slight stinging sensation, much like the gentle snapping of a rubber band against the skin. This treatment is most appropriate for individuals with lighter colored skin as darkening of the skin may occur in rare cases of photofacial treatments in darker skinned men and women. There are two main types of photofacial treatments, LED treatments and IPL treatments. LED, or light emitting diode photofacials, use a narrow light spectrum and produce a cooling sensation when they are administered. LED photofacials primarily increase the amount of collagen the body produces. IPL photofacial treatments, or Intense Pulsed Light treatments, use high energy concentrated light beams and can produce a slight warming sensation. These treatments are best for reducing brown or dark spots in the skin and evening out skin tone.

How does it work?

During photofacial treatments pulses of light are administered in waves. The light-emitting device is held close to the skin as pulses of light in a specific wave length are released in intervals of approximately 2.5 seconds. During these treatments nothing actually physically touches a patient’s skin, unless they opted to having a cooling gel applied beforehand. The use of a cooling gel is not required but may put extremely sensitive patients at ease throughout the procedure. These small bursts of light cauterize damaged blood vessels and evaporate trapped blood and pigment buildups, removing skin discolorations and preventing future skin damage. The treatment itself can last between 30 to 60 minutes depending upon the size of the area being treated.


Since no harsh chemicals are being used, and no surgery is required, photofacial treatments have no downtime for recovery. A slight swelling and blushing of the skin may appear directly following the treatment but most individuals are able to return to their daily routine right after the procedure is finished.

Skin Care Tips to Manage Eczema

Many people suffer from eczema. Eczema is often a term used to describe everything from irritated skin to barrier defective skin. Whether you suffer from eczema caused by irritants such as detergents or from eczema caused by genetics, the skin condition can be difficult to deal with when you do not know how to approach it. Many people who suffer from eczema experience a variety of symptoms such as flaky or scaling skin, swelling, redness, rash, and itchiness. However, eczema can be kept under control if you understand what causes it, as well as how to follow a proper skincare routine.

Causes of Eczema

Before you start a skincare routine, you have to know what causes your eczema. For certain people, eczema develops when the skin comes into contact with detergents or other skin irritants. For other people, certain allergens may cause eczema. When eczema is caused by irritants and allergens, your first step in caring for your skin is getting rid of the allergens and irritants that contribute to your eczema. For example, if your eczema is caused by certain clothing detergent, switch to a fragrance-free detergent or baby detergent.

People who suffer from eczema that is caused by genetics are known to suffer from eczema called seborrheic dermatitis. Genetics and your immune system play a large role in how the skin reacts in many types of eczema. While this type of eczema may not be caused specifically by allergens or irritants, it can help to reduce the amount of allergens and irritants around you.

Lack of moisture in the skin contributes to eczema. Many people who suffer from eczema have skin with a barrier defect. With a barrier defect, the skin has small gaps. The gaps allow water to escape faster from the skin.

Treatment for Eczema

When you suffer from eczema, it is advisable to form a regular skincare treatment. With all eczema, you should avoid detergent with fragrance, as well as soap with fragrance. You do not want to further irritate your skin by using products with artificial or heavy scents.

While many people assume that water provides adequate moisture to the skin, water can actually make eczema worse. When you shower, use lukewarm or cool water. Hot water causes the skin to lose the natural oils needed to keep the skin moisturized. Keep your showers short in length, as well. During your shower, avoid using bar soap on the skin. Instead, opt to use liquid body wash. Choose body wash that does not feature heavy fragrance.

After you shower, you should gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it dry. While your skin is slightly damp, apply a fragrance-free skin moisturizer.

Throughout the day, you should apply more moisturizer to your body. The key to keeping your eczema under control is keeping your skin thoroughly moisturized. You should try to moisturize your skin three times a day with fragrance-free moisturizer. After you wash your hands, use a deep hand moisturizer to put the moisture back into the skin on your hands.

Flare-Up Treatments

Eczema can be difficult to deal with when you have a skin flare-up. While flaky, scaling skin can be painful, cracked, oozing skin can be particularly bad. If you have eczema with symptoms such as cracked or oozing skin, you have to be careful not to further irritate the skin or cause yourself more pain. Many people who suffer from severe eczema opt to take short oatmeal baths. Oatmeal is ideal for bathing because it gently gets rid of dirt on the skin, soothes itching skin, and moisturizes. If you suffer from severe eczema, always apply a moisturizer after taking an oatmeal bath. Certain people have also used virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer after using oatmeal.

Dressing Appropriately and Makeup

Proper treatment of eczema involves dressing for your skin. Clothing should be breathable for the skin. During cold weather, you should protect your skin from wind, snow, and rain. However, avoid using synthetic fabric or fabrics that scratch and irritate the skin. You should apply a skin moisturizer before and after you go outside.

Certain cosmetics can make eczema worse. If have to wear makeup, apply moisturizer on the skin first. Use fragrance-free, natural makeup. For foundation and concealer, use products that are breathable, and light. If possible, use makeup that contains skin moisturizer. Avoid using too much makeup and only wear it if necessary. Remove all makeup before going to bed with a gentle makeup remover.

Other Factors

When you have eczema, watching what you eat can help reduce symptoms. Many people choose to eat organically grown foods and avoid artificially flavored foods. If your diet contributes to your eczema, you should eliminate the eczema-causing food as soon as possible.

Eczema can be a difficult condition to deal with. Not only is it painful but it can also be embarrassing, as well. However, when you start a regular skincare routine, and take the time to understand your skin, you can manage your eczema.

Microdermabrasion: Information and Benefits

If you’re looking for smoother, more radiant skin without invasive surgery or harsh chemicals a microdermabrasion is a great option for revitalizing dull skin. Microdermabrasion is a manual exfoliating procedure where skilled professionals remove dead, dry skin and leave you walking out of the treatment with a fresh, healthy glow.

What is it?

Microdermabrasion is a type of non-invasive exfoliating treatment where your dermatologist gently resurfaces the superficial layer of your dermis by abrade the top layers of the skin with tiny , usually made from crystals. Microdermabrasion is a type of dermabrasion, that is different from other treatments in the fact that it does not require surgery or an invasive, harsh exfoliating treatment. For these reasons the recovery time for a microdermabrasion procedure is much quicker and post-surgery discomfort is a lot less. Microdermabrasion can be performed on the face, chest, hands and neck, however certain areas of the face should be avoided, such as the eyelids, and the upper lip is highly susceptible to bruising if the procedure is not performed correctly.

How does it work?

The first microdermabrasion was developed in 1985 in Italy, and while the technology has greatly improved the procedure is much the same. During a microdermabrasion a trained professional will wield a hand held device that both shoots rough particles at the skin as well suctioning up the residue and dead cells removed during the treatment. The type of particles used during the procedure differ based upon your skin’s needs, but the six most common types of microdermabrasion include diamond tips, organic grains (such as sugar cane and maize), bristle tips, sodium chloride crystals, aluminum oxide crystals and sodium bicarbonate crystals. While these rough particles are being shot at the skin, and sloughing off dead and rough patches of skin a suction device administer Venturi suction to vacuum up remaining particles and remove all exfoliated skin. Microdermabrasion can exfoliate the skin between 15 to 25 micrometers deep, which allows the procedure to remove dead skin cells from the stratum corneum, the outer most layer of skin, and the top layers of the epidermis. In a standard procedure the tool is usually passed over the targeted area of skin one to three times, with the entire procedure lasting between 30 to 60 minutes.


Microdermabrasion has a number of benefits, including unclogging pores, removing fine lines from the skin, evening out skin tone and removing rough or dead skin to name a few. In the first few hours immediately following the procedure the patient may notice a slight edema, which is swelling of the skin, tenderness to the touch or erythema, which is redness of irritation. These symptoms are completely normal and will usually completely dissipate within two hours. After the initial swelling subsides patients will be able to notice an immediate softening of the skin, and even skin tone. Pores will be clear and often appear smaller. The benefits of microdermabrasion continue to intensify in the following week and makeup applied after the procedure will go on more smoothly and appear more even and natural.

Laser Resurfacing: Treatments and Benefits

Laser resurfacing involves using controlled emissions of light at specific wavelengths to improve the quality of the skin by removing dead skin cells and promoting collagen production and new cell growth. Laser resurfacing is used to treat a variety of cosmetic issues including the appearance of fine lines, uneven skin tone and discoloration, reverse sun damage and reduce the appearance of scars.

What is it?

Laser resurfacing involves using a highly concentrated beam of light to resurface the outer most layers of the skin. There are two types of laser resurfacing: ablative (wounding) laser resurfacing and non-ablative (non-wounding) laser resurfacing. The first type, ablative laser resurfacing is also called wounding laser resurfacing as it actually damages the top layers of your skin to remove dead, dry skin cells and promote the growth of healthy skin cells in their place. Non-ablative laser resurfacing, also known as non-wounding laser resurfacing, is named so as it does not remove any layers of the skin but simply penetrates deep into the lower levels of the dermis to promote collagen production and cell regeneration. Some specific types of laser resurfacing combine the two methods to produce the greatest impact on the skin.

How does it work?

A technician will use a hand held instrument, or computer controlled device to administer the laser treatment. Before the procedure the patient’s skin is properly cleaned and eye protective wear is applied to prevent any damage from occurring to the eyes. The laser treatment is then administered, lasting between 30 minutes to 2 hours, based upon the extent of treatment needed and the type of laser being used. While most laser resurfacing treatments do not require the use of an anesthetic, patients who are concerned about their comfort during the treatment can elect to have a topical anesthetic applied before the treatment. These treatments are not recommended for individuals with acne or open wounds on their face. Patients should wait for all sore to completely heal before undergoing laser resurfacing therapy.


The benefits and recovery time from laser resurfacing depends upon the type of laser resurfacing you have done, whether it was an ablative or non-ablative procedure, and the amount of skin treated during the procedure. Since ablative laser resurfacing actually removes the least healthy layers of the skin the effects seen are more immediate and dramatic. However, due to the somewhat invasive nature of the surgery the recovery time is also greater. For several days after the initial treatment the patient may be required to wear protective bandages to cover sensitive new layers of skin and prevent infections from getting in. Since non-ablative laser resurfacing does not actually remove damaged skin cells, but instead promotes cell regeneration in the deeper layers of the dermis it may take longer for a patient to notice the results. As the top layer of skin naturally sheds individuals will see healthier, more resilient skin underneath. Due to the increase in collagen production, stimulated by non-ablative laser resurfacing, patients will also notice their skin becomes firmer and lines and wrinkles even out.

Facial Vein Therapy: Types, Treatments, and Benefits

Our faces require a large number of veins, blood vessels and capillaries to deliver oxygen and blood to the many muscles in our face. Due to the constant exposure to sun, harsh weather and mechanical wear and tear our faces receive these delicate, small veins in our face can rupture leaving angry red marks that are hard to ignore. The skin on our faces is extremely sensitive and more fragile than the skin on other areas of our body.

What is it?

There are several different types of discoloration that can occur as a result of damaged or broken blood vessels in the face. The most commonly occurring skin damage is the appearance of broken capillaries around the nose and chin. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body and live near the surface of the skin in the thin upper layers of the epidermis. In most cases they are only one cell thick but because they are situated so close to the uppermost layer of the skin any damage that occurs in the capillaries is highly visible and often appear as deep red thin, string-like lines. Another common type of redness appearing in the facial veins is damaged caused by the disease rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that results in constant irritation and redness of the skin and often causes damage to blood vessels in the upper layers of the epidermis. Spider veins, medically called spider angiomas, can also appear on the face. This damage to the facial veins is named so because the resulting scar looks like a spider, with a central, darker spot appearing where the large blood vessel was damaged with small, leg like scars radiating out from the center as the damage moves to the smaller capillaries leading into the main blood vessel. While none of these skin conditions will go away on their own, they are all highly treatable with dermatological procedures.

How does it work?

Two of the most effective treatments for removing facial veins are sclerotherapy and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a medicine directly into the affected veins that collapse and disintegrate the damaged veins and also block ‘feeder’ veins from sending blood to the damaged areas to prevent future problems in these areas. Intense pulsed light involves using a broad spectrum of light wavelengths and administering them in pulsating patterns to quickly induce blasts of heat and thermal damage in the targeted areas of the skin, which cauterize the damaged veins and instantly reduces redness.


In as little as two to four treatments facial vein therapy can dramatically reduce the appearance of veins and redness in the face while also preventing future damage from occurring. Different types of facial vein therapy can also stimulate collagen production and elastin the skin, making the skin appear more firm and youthful. Both Intense Pulsed Light treatments and sclerotherapy are non-invasive procedures which create very little discomfort for the patient and do not require long recovery periods.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery: Information, Treatment, Benefits

For men excess fat and sagging in the breast tissue can be an embarrassing condition. Over-developed male breasts, is also known as gynecomastia, and may occur in one or both breasts. This development of excess fat and tissue may be influenced by both genetics and lifestyle. Excess development in the glandular tissue brought on by hormone irregularities can create extra build up in the breasts, as can excess fat brought on by diet.

What is it?

Gynecomastia can be reduced through surgery and is highly effective in healthy men who do not smoke or use drugs, and who do not suffer from any diseases or other medical conditions. Male breast reduction surgery is a combination of liposuction and a surgical procedure, which removes excess tissue and fat from the around the breast. Most incisions made during the surgery are small and cut along natural curves in the skin, however a few subtle scars may remain after the surgery. Several weeks before the procedure is performed there are steps you can take to increase the effectiveness of the procedure and reduce the amount of discomfort felt after the procedure. If you are taking medications you doctor may advise you to avoid these medicines leading up to the surgery. You should also avoid taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs in the days leading up the procedure as they can decrease the blood’s ability to clot. If you are a smoker you should also avoid smoking for at least a week before the surgery.

How does it work?

Male breast reduction is performed in three steps: anesthesia administration, liposuction and excision. During the first step, the admission of anesthesia, the patient is prepared for the surgery. Both intravenous and orally administered anesthesia is effective for the treatment and the right type of anesthesia for you will be determined by your doctor, based upon your medical history and your personal preference. After anesthesia had been administered and has taken effect the doctor will begin liposuction. Liposuction involves the use of a cannula, a thin straw-like device and a vacuum. The vacuum is attached to the end of the cannula as it inserted into the breast through a small incision. The surgeon then moves the cannula back and forth with gentle motions to break apart excess fat tissue in the breast and then suck it up through the vacuum. After liposuction is performed than excision takes place. Excision is where the excess tissue that has built up in the breasts is removed. Sometimes the areola will also need to be reduced in size due to stretched tissue in the breast area. The areola may also need to be repositioned to more closely replicate the normal male contours after the breast has been resized and excess tissue has been removed.


In most cases the benefits achieved by male breast reduction are permanent. Right after the surgery it is normal to experience swelling, however after the swelling has subsided men should be able to see noticeable reductions in the size and shape of their breasts. If gynecomastia occurred as a side effects from certain medication that will continue to be taken after the procedure there is a slight chance that the gynecomastia may come back. Speak with doctor if you believe this may be a risk.

Liposuction: Information, Treatment, Benefits

For many of us ridding certain areas of our body from fat is near impossible. Genetics, busy lifestyles, eating habits and some diseases prevent our bodies from losing fat in specific areas no matter what diet or exercise we try. Liposuction is popular option for eliminating body fat in certain areas and allowing you to have the body you’ve always dreamed of.

What is it?

Liposuction goes by many names: lipoplasty, suction-assisted fat removal, and liposculpture suction lipectomy, all which refer to the same procedure where a cannula, a hollow tube, and an aspirator, a vacuum device are used to remove fat from targeted areas of the body. The amount of fat that can be removed during one procedure is determine by a number of different factors, including the patient’s fluid balance in their body, their current Body Mass Index (BMI), or the amount of excess fat they are carrying, and a variety of other elements. Both the patient and the doctor will decide on an agreed upon amount of fat to be removed. Fat can be removed from a variety of different areas with the most popular options being the stomach, the buttocks, thighs, ‘saddlebags’ and ‘love handles’. These are usually the most difficult areas of the body to shed weight from.

How does it work?

There are several methods for carrying out liposuction, but the most common method is suction-assisted liposuction. With this method the cannula, a small straw-like instrument, is inserted into the problem area through a tiny incision in the skin. The aspirator, or suction device, is attached to the end of the cannula and the surgeon moves the device back and forth over layers of fat cells to disperse the cells and suck them up and out of the body. For more aggressive types of liposuction additional methods are used to break up greater amounts of fat. In Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL) the cannula emits ultrasound waves into the layers of fat, these vibrations liquidate the fat making it easier to suck up. These waves are delivered in short bursts using pulsed technology. Another form of assisted liposuction is Water-Assisted Liposuction (WAL). During this procedure concentrated jet streams of water are released into the body. These columns of fast moving water help break up and liquify the fat so the surgeon can quickly and more easily suck up the unwanted fat.


Liposuction provides immediate weight loss effects. While some swelling may occur directly after the surgery, within a matter of days patients will be able to see a reduction in size around the targeted areas with full results appearing 1 month to 6 months after the procedure. Liposuction has also shown to help improve skin elasticity. As the excess fat is removed from the body the surrounding skin has the opportunity to retract and tighten, leaving skin looking more taut and youthful. The benefits of liposuction are greatly increased when the procedure is combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Limelight Photofacials: Information, Treatment, Benefits

Limelight photofacial therapy is an advanced type of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, which is highly customizable for each patient. This treatment visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots or discoloration caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. This treatment uses a wide array of different light wavelengths to eliminate unwanted red and brown marks on the skin.

What is it?

Limelight photofacial therapy is different from other phototherapy treatments in the fact that it is non-abrasive to the surface of the skin. Limelight photofacial therapy is designed to reduce the damage done to the upper layers of the dermis by exposure to the sun. Limelight photofacial therapy can rid the skin of sun spots, discoloration and fine lines from sun damage. Limelight photofacial therapy has also been shown to help treat the reddening of the skin associated with rosacea. Limelight photofacial therapy can be performed on many areas of the body, with the most popular areas being those heavily exposed to the sun, including the face, hands, shoulders, back and arms.

How does it work?

Limelight photofacial therapy use phototherapy to heat the blood in the top layer of the dermis the melanin pigment. The heat encourages the even spread of both the blood and the pigment, leaving behind a smooth, even skin tone. Limelight photofacial therapy is administered to patients using a manually guided hand piece. The actual administration of the each wave of pulsed light lasts no more than a few seconds and may cause a slight stinging sensation, leaving the skin feeling as though it was lightly snapped by a rubber band. For patients who are concerned about discomfort during the procedure a topical anesthetic can be applied to the areas to be treated 30 minutes before the procedure. For procedures done without the anesthetic the treatment time usually takes 20 minutes. For patients who opt to receive the topical anesthetic the procedure takes closer to an hour, allowing additional time for the topical anesthetic to be fully absorbed. This treatment works best on patients with light to medium colored skin tones, however your dermatologist may be able to customize the treatment for individuals with darker pigmentation. Be sure to consult with your doctor about your compatibility before scheduling the procedure.


Limelight photofacial therapy is a quick and painless way for ridding the upper layers of the skin from any visible damage done by the sun. It is also one of the fastest methods for treating discoloration of the skin associated with rosacea. The treatment encourages collagen production around the skin’s capillaries, which can improve the youthful appearance of the skin and also help reduce enlarged pores. The benefits of the procedure begin to emerge 2 to 3 weeks after the initial treatment, with the full results being apparent after a month. Areas of dark pigmentation targeted by the treatment will begin to darken and eventually flake off within one to three weeks after the procedure. Beneath these patches will be beautiful, spot-free skin.

Laser Hair Removal: Information, Treatment, Benefits

The hassle and skin irritation that comes with shaving on a regular basis is enough to drive anyone mad. Laser hair removal was first invented in the 1970s to help relieve men and women from the constant inconvenience that comes with traditional hair removal. Since the treatment was first invented the process has come a long way; today’s laser hair removal is now quick, painless and highly effective at removing even the most coarse, dark hair.

What is it?

Laser hair removal uses laser light and the heat it generates to evaporate the body’s hair right at its root. Laser hair removal has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the permanent reduction of hair growth. Laser hair removal consists of a manually-wielded hair removal wand, which when focused on a specific area of the body, removes all traces of hair both above and below the skin. Before you begin the doctor will provide you with special goggles to help protect your eyes during the procedure. The procedure is painless, although the patient will experience a warming sensation on areas of the body where they are being treated. Most dermatologists administering the treatment also use a cooling device which blows cool air onto the skin to relieve any discomfort felt by the patient.

How does it work?

There are several types of laser hair removal, but the most common technique uses selective photothermolysis (SPTL). Selective photothermolysis is the use of high-intensity lasers at a controlled wavelength and interval to help remove the hair and its root with high thermal temperatures. Laser hair removal targets the hair’s follicle. Light is absorbed more completely by darker matter, so laser hair removal also targets the dark melanin surrounding the hair follicle, which helps promote hair growth. The heat and intensity of the laser evaporates the hair and its follicle and also stunts the production of melanin leading to permanent hair reduction. Most patients usually see the best results when the opt for 3 to 8 sets of treatment. There are minimal side effects from laser hair removal, however the skin may be tender to the touch for one or two days after the procedure. The patient may also experience a slight tingling sensation, much like that experienced after a sunburn. Gentle washing with soap and water the use of aloe lotion can help keep the treated area clean after the treatment and reduce the tingling sensation.


Laser hair removal permanently reduces hair growth, meaning when hair begins to grow back it will be more fine and significantly less in quantity than the original hair that was in that area. Laser hair removal can be performed on a number of areas of the body, but the most common areas include the face, armpits, legs and bikini line. Laser hair removal has proved to be most effective on individuals with darker hair; however, treatments are also effective on individuals with lighter hair and constant improvements are being made to the process and its effectiveness.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Information, Treatment, Benefits

Unfortunately, you can’t prevent aging. We all get older; but you can prevent the effects aging has on your skin. Intense pulsed light is an advanced light therapy treatment, developed to dramatically reduce the effects of aging by erasing sun spots, fine lines and broken capillaries. Intense pulsed light is also an approved method for hair removal, and works much faster than most other laser hair removal treatments.

What is it?

Intense pulsed light, also known as IPL, is the use of high intensity light rays in short intervals of time. The rays of light are often administered in pulses, or wave like patterns, which is how the treatment earned its name. Most any candidate can receive Intense Pulsed Light treatment, and the technology has proved highly effective for those individuals with thick, dark hair or heavy discoloration on their skin. The treatment can be administered on almost any part of the body, however it is best to avoid the extremely sensitive areas of your skin, such as directly around the eyes, lips, nose and ears.

How does it work?

The intense pulsed light rays are delivered through a hand held device, or a stationary robotic arm that is controlled by a computer. The wand or arm is positioned over the area receiving the treatment and the light rays are administered in brief, repetitive spurts. The intensity of the light allows it to penetrate deep into your skin, reaching the root of your hair follicle. The root, or bulb, of each individual hair is the most effective area to target for long lasting hair removal, and is also where the majority of melanin, or skin pigmentation is concentrated. The light is then transformed into heat by the cells in your skin and essentially vaporizes unwanted hair and melanin buildup. By targeting this specific area, unwanted pigmentation and skin discolorations can be reversed and at the same time the hair is removed from the follicle, leaving behind smooth, even toned skin.


Unlike topical hair removal treatments, which only temporarily remove hair until it grows back, intense pulsed light therapy actually reduces the number of hairs that will grow back. Studies have shown that up to 85% – 90% of hair can be permanently removed after a few rounds of treatment. Oftentimes more than one round of treatment is required, but patients have seen the desired effects in as little as 2 treatments. Most patients elect to receive anywhere between 2 and 8 treatments. These treatments can be given 4 to 6 weeks apart, allowing time for the remaining hair to begin growing back. Intense pulsed light therapy is great for those individuals with a hectic schedule. The actual treatment itself takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and the recovery time needed is almost none, with very little visible side effects present after the treatment. The skin will be a little tender after each treatment so it is best to provide additional protection by applying a heavy moisturizer and sunblock immediately after.

Chemical Peels: Information, Treatment, Benefits

A chemical peel is a topical solution of different chemicals, specifically combined based upon the results you would like to see. Chemical peels can be used to erase deep wrinkles, reduce blotchy or red patches on the skin and remove skin blemishes. Chemical peels are a form of exfoliation and can provide a lasting effect on the skin, making it appear smoother and more youthful.

What is a Chemical Peel?

There are several types of chemical peels, each one having a unique chemical composition. The type of chemical peel that is right for you depends upon your skin type, the desired effect you would like the treatment to have and your skin tone. The different types of chemical peels have different levels of intensity, with some chemical peels providing gentle, light exfoliation and others providing more intense, deep exfoliating effects.

How it works?

There are six main types of chemical peels, including: trichloroacetic acid peels, retinoic acid peel, alpha hydroxy acid peels, beta hydroxy acid peels, phenol peels, and the Jessner’s peel (or Coombe’s formula peel).

Trichloroacetic acid peels – this type of peel is a deeply penetrating chemical peel, relying on high concentrations of the acid trichloroacetic. This concentration can range anywhere from 25% to 50% depending on how deep the patient would like the treatment to reach. This type of chemical peel is ideal for patients who have deeply rooted skin imperfections, or who have dark skin.

Retinoic acid peel – this type of chemical peel is usually performed in conjunction with the Jessner’s peel and is actually left on the patient’s face. The peeling process actually takes place on the third day and uses a combination of retinoids to help remove wrinkles, scars and skin discoloration.

Alpha hydroxy acid peels – this type of peel is the most gentle of all the formulas and uses a variety of fruit acids, such as citric acid and lactic acid, to gently remove rough skin and acne. This type of chemical peel is not recommended for removing wrinkles.

Beta hydroxy acid peels – this peels works in a similar way to the alpha hydroxy acid peel, but is a little stronger and penetrates deeper into the skin. This peel is designed to get rid of dead skin cells and dirt trapped in the skin’s pores and is a very effective treatment for acne.

Phenol peels – phenol peels are the strongest type of chemical peel on the market. While the initial side effects and discomfort is greater than those of the other peels, patients have reported seeing results for up to 20 years. This chemical peel often includes a penetration enhancer, allowing it to absorb deep into the skin, making it a great option for those who are looking to decrease dramatic wrinkles.

Jessner’s peel – a mild chemical solution, this chemical peel is designed to break up hard or rough patches of skin. It is mainly made up of salicylic acid and lactic acid.


Chemical peels can provide dramatic effects quickly, and usually only require 1 to 2 treatments for noticeable results. Since there are several types of chemical solutions on the market this treatment can be tailored to your skin type, producing the most effective results based upon your personal needs.

Acne Scaring Removal: Tips To Help Cover or Remove Acne Scars

Whiteheads, blackheads and cysts are all forms of acne. According to the National Institutes of Health, acne occurs when the tiny holes in the skin, called pores, become clogged. When a pore becomes clogged, it can become infected. Your body sends additional blood and other healing agents to fight the infection. When blood accumulates around an potential threat, it becomes red and swollen. The resulting sore is called a pimple. When numerous pores are clogged, a whole area can become infected. Acne is unsightly and often painful.

Every inch of your skin contains pores, including the skin on your scalp, eyelids and ears. Each pore leads to a follicle that contains an oil-producing gland. If the gland produces too much oil, it can become clogged with dirt and old skin cells. If there is a pore, it can become blocked and acne can develop. Acne can appear anywhere on your body, but most often occurs on the face, neck and back.

Anyone can get acne, including babies and children. Seventy-five percent of teenagers get acne, mainly due to the hormonal changes that can increase oil production. Other hormonal changes can trigger an outbreak, including pregnancy, menstrual periods, and stress. Acne can appear after the use of greasy cosmetics, while in high humidity due to an increase in sweat production, and with the use of some drugs, such as steroids and hormone replacement therapy.

In many cases, acne clears up on its own. The pimple, or “zit,” goes through a cycle. After the pore become clogged, bacteria may attempt to grow in the area. Your body recognizes this as a threat and fights the infection with white blood cells and antibodies. Pus may appear where the dead cells accumulate. This causes the redness and swelling associated with most pimples. Once your body gains the upper hand, the bacteria die and the sore begins to heal. After a few days, the redness and swelling are gone and new cells take the place of the damaged ones. If the damage was only superficial, your skin returns to normal within a week or two with no visible evidence of the pimple.

However, in some cases, the infection goes deeper and the damage includes more than just the superficial layer of skin. Cysts and nodules are areas of infection that can form under the skin and often lead to scarring. Squeezing or attempting to “pop” a cyst or nodule can lead to a deeper, more long-lasting infection. Acne that is characterized by cysts or nodules often require medical treatment by a dermatologist to prevent life-long scarring.

If you experience acne that leaves scarring, you can minimize their appearance cosmetically or, in more severe cases, surgically.

These tips may help cover acne scars

1. For minor blemishes that have not healed, try an over-the-counter concealer in your natural skin tone or a shade lighter. Blemish stick may help reduce swelling and redness.

2. To reduce the deep redness associated with scarring, apply a concealer that has green undertones. The green pigment helps counteract the red from the excess blood in the area.

3. Professional make-up artists, such as Bobbi Brown, recommend covering scars with a base of foundation, followed by a concealer and topped off with a touch of powder. Some products are thick enough to fill in pock marks that cause an uneven complexion.

4. Visit a cosmetics counter in a major department store or a spa specializing in cosmetic application for professional make-up help. These experts can help you choose the right products for your skin type.

5. Over-the-counter microdermabrasion kits can help remove dead layers of superficial skin cells. Olay and Loreal sell effective one- and two-step kits. Other kits come with brushes and tools that help remove a deeper layer of cells.

6. If scarring is deep, a visit to a dermatologist may help. She may be able to prescribe medication that can minimize the appearance of redness or uneven tone.

7. Professional microdermabrasion and chemical peels performed by a dermatologist or a cosmetologist can help with minor, superficial acne marks and scarring. Microdermabrasion removes the top layer of skin using a fine spray of crystals while peels, such as a glycolic peel, removes the top layer with a chemical agent. These are often stronger than at-home microdermabrasion or peels and may leave the skin red or sensitive to the sun for several hours or days.

8. Professional dermabrasion is similar to microdermabrasion, but the peel removes deeper layers of skin and requires a longer recovery time. Dermabrasion can help remove deeper scarring and help resurface the skin. Treatments, such as Laser Genesis, can help stimulate collagen production, which can improve the appearance and texture of skin.

9. Laser procedures can help with moderate to severe acne scarring. Laser wound healing and photodynamic therapy are both minimally-invasive procedures that use light and laser technology to target certain types of skin cells for selective destruction. These procedures are performed by experienced medical technicians and can be painful.

10. With extreme scarring and disfiguration, cosmetic surgeons can completely resurface the skin of your face or use an injectable filler to correct axe pick holes or deep fissures and craters. A number of injectable fillers, such as silicone and fat, can be used to fill in depressed areas and several are often combined to achieve the best results. These procedures can be expensive and may not provide a permanent solution.

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