Your skin is the index of your body and its health most times determine how you look and feel about yourself. You always want great looking skin but there are several challenges that almost every single person has to face like acne, blackheads, dark spots, fine lines, sunburns, pigmentation and the most inevitable is aging. During a person’s lifespan he/she may face some of the abovementioned problems. There are also some other skin problems like keloids, Ingrown hair and ashy skin which are specific to several skin types especially darker skin tones. This is why skin care is so important in our lives. In the United States people are becoming more conscious about taking care of their skin. People take different approaches to prevent or cure these problems. Some prefer more traditional ways and others opt for cosmetic or aesthetic procedures. The United States has become progressively more multicultural and an increasing proportion of people undergoing aesthetic procedures are individuals with skin of color. With the rise of skincare awareness and advancement of medical science, cosmetic surgeries or procedures are gaining popularity in the skin care industry.
To get great looking skin, people seek the services of professional experts who recommend different procedural options to improve their patient’s appearance. There are various types of aesthetic procedures that can be used to transform skin and give it a new life. These procedures are considered an investment to improve confidence and may cost several hundred to several thousand of dollars. These aesthetic procedures are briefly explained below in this article as well as maintaining the results of your professional treatment to get the most out of your investment.
Aesthetic Procedures for your face and body:
Advancements in medical science and cosmetic surgery have brought us many aesthetic procedures that can be used to modify or transform the texture and enhance the look of certain areas of the face. There are several aesthetic procedures that are tailored to the needs of people of color.
Laser treatment for hair removal
Laser treatment is the most commonly used cosmetic procedure in the United States for hair removal. This procedure is extremely effective and quick when it comes to removing hair permanently. More than 90% of patients who have undergone this procedure have witnessed minimum or absolutely no growth after just five to six sessions. Laser hair removal is also a permanent solution for ingrown hairs among African Americans. Genetically people of color have curly hair that creates problems like ingrown hairs or razor bumps after shaving, waxing or plucking. To get rid of the problem permanently laser hair removal can be very helpful. There are many lasers that doctors use but the most effective and precise among them is ND: YAG 1064. It offers the doctor adequate power and precision to remove hair from the targeted areas. Laser hair removal can cost between $100 and $1000 per session depending upon various factors. But the estimated average cost is $400 per session at a reputable office under the supervision of an experienced doctor.
To get the best results from Laser hair removal procedure it involves some necessary precautions that must be followed. If you are planning to have this treatment you should stop waxing and plucking for at least six months before and after the procedure. Waxing and plucking remove hair from the roots and hinders the working of the laser. Lasers act on the hair roots which if temporarily removed by waxing or plucking can waste the effects of laser.
You also need to limit the sun exposure to the minimum for almost about five to six months and about two to four weeks if you have darker skin tone before and after the procedure. Sun can play a negative role in the procedure. When the treated area is exposed to UV light it may result in pigmentation problems such as discoloration. Use sunscreen to protect the treated area from sun during your treatment process.
Laser treatment for acne scarring, keloids
Acne scars are small lesions that remain on the skin after the acne has been cleared. Sometimes these scars fade but many people have experienced permanent scars after having acne. Similarly keloids is another type of skin ailment where by the scar grows beyond the borders of the injury. Keloids are more prominent in people of African American descent or generally people with darker skin types. Keloids are also permanent in nature and require special treatment. The primary treatment for acne scars and keloids include injections. If this approach is unsuccessful then practitioners usually resort to lasers. The cost of Laser treatment for scars and keloids depend on the type and severity of the scars and keloids.
Like laser treatment for hair removal, laser treatment for acne scars and keloids also require special care before and after treatment. Your dermatologist may prescribe certain lotions or creams for your skin before and after each session. You also have to protect your skin from sun exposure because after a laser treatment, the epidermis of skin is rendered weak for a while. During that time the skin can burn easily and may also become dry and ashy. Dermatologists always advise their patient to use sunscreen to protect their skin as it plays an important role in keeping the skin safe and moisturized after each session. You may want to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with the right formulation to make sure it does not contribute to any damages to your skin and wastes all your efforts towards better looking appearance.
Chemical Peels for scarring, acne, discoloration
Chemical peel is a type of aesthetic procedure which involves applying chemical solution most always to the face to treat acne scars and discoloration by removing the dead skin around acne or a scar. Acne causes production of excess melanin around the affected skin resulting in discoloration of the skin. It sometimes leads to Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is more prominent in people with darker skin tones as compared to lighter skin types. Chemical peels are very effective when it comes to treating acne scars and skin discoloration. Since it works by removing dead skin it is also helpful in removing wrinkles and fine lines from around the eyes. Chemical peels also help in reducing age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or birth control pills.
After having the chemical peel treatment the skin becomes more sensitive to sun light and can burn easily therefore it is recommended to wear sunscreen every day. A broad spectrum sunscreen will serve the purpose. Additionally you should try to reduce your sun exposure, especially during 10 am to 2 pm and also wear a wide brimmed hat.
Botox for dynamic wrinkles
Made famous by Hollywood, Botox is a purified form of Botulinum Toxin A. it may sound hazardous because of its name but is safe for facial aesthetic or cosmetic procedures. Botox is used by dermatologists to counter facial wrinkles and fine lines. It works by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, thereby softening the wrinkles and fine lines while the patient is displaying any facial expressions.
Botox is the best remedy for dynamic wrinkles that appear near the eyes and cheeks when you move your facial muscles, like frowning or smiling.
Like Botox, Fillers are non-surgical cosmetic procedures that are used to alter the appearance of your skin. Chemical fillers sometimes referred to as dermal fillers have gained popularity during recent years. Chemical fillers are injecting skin friendly chemicals in certain areas of skin to alter and modify the texture and fill out fine lines and static wrinkles. These chemical fillers naturally include collagen fibers or hyaluronic acid. These are the body’s natural skin renewal element. Collagen helps in production of new skin cells while hyaluronic acid is a natural component that keeps the skin hydrated. Both collagen and hyaluronic acid start to diminish with age and eventually form wrinkles and fine lines. Chemical fillers are used to make up for the less or minimal production of these components to avoid wrinkles and fine lines for a considerable amount of time.
Sclerotherapy to remove spider veins
Nearly 40% of the women in the United States are affected by Spider veins or Varicose. These spider veins usually appear on the legs or arms but they can also appear on other areas of your skin. Spider veins can look unattractive and may also lower the confidence levels in many women; fortunately you can get rid of these spider veins by a cosmetic procedure known as Sclerotherapy. In Sclerotherapy a solution is directly injected into the affected veins. This solution causes the targeted veins to scar and collapse and forces blood to flow through other healthy veins. The raptured veins are gradually absorbed into the local tissue and eventually fade away.
It may take one or two weeks for the veins to completely fade away. Sometimes more than one Sclerotherapy session may be required to fully treat the spider veins.
Photodynamic therapy for acne
Photodynamic therapy commonly referred to as PDT is a treatment where skin ailments are cure by using nontoxic light-sensitive compounds on the skin and then exposing it to a special type of light. Photodynamic Therapy is very useful for treating skin ailments like actinic keratosis, superficial basal and squamous cancerous cells and acne. PDT specifically removes cancerous or other malignant cells by targeting them. PDT can be very effective in curing acne, improving fine lines and pigments. This treatment has unique ability to minimize oil by controlling the glands and pores in the skin thereby reducing the appearance of acne and treating the stubborn acne scars.
All of the above mentioned aesthetic or cosmetic procedures are very effective in improving your appearance. If done correctly under the supervision of an expert physician these treatments can work wonders for your confidence. Although these aesthetic procedures can change your look entirely, they come with huge price tags and require several sessions before you can see the results. It is therefore important to protect your skin after aesthetic procedures especially the area treated to get the best results for your investments.
While you may think that taking care of your skin before and after cosmetic procedures can be a daily task, sun damage is among the leading factors that render aesthetic procedures ineffective. Many aesthetic procedures like Laser treatment for hair removal and acne, Botox, and PDT requires you to safeguard your skin from direct sun exposure for at least 3 weeks before and after the procedure to help skin recover. Dermatologists and physicians recommend a broad spectrum sunscreen to prevent sun damage. A good sunscreen of at least SPF 30 will be sufficient to shield the harmful UV rays.
The daily use of sunscreen can be very useful to help achieve the best results before and after your aesthetic procedures. Protecting your skin, however, can be more effective in avoiding most of these costly procedures in the first place. Dermatologists have found that most of the skin ailments like acne, fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots are caused by constant sun exposure. Under estimating the daily habit of using sunscreen may elevate a simple scratch or pimple to a level where you may have to opt for a cosmetic procedure to improve your appearance. You should protect your skin cells from photo damage and keep it looking younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Dark spots and hyperpigmentation can also be avoided by using a broad spectrum sunscreen because it limits the release of excess melanin by defending against UV rays and thereby reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation. You can achieve younger looking skin without going through expensive cosmetic procedures just by cultivating a good habit of using sunscreen daily.
While selecting your sunscreen you should keep few things in mind. A good sunscreen provides broad spectrum sun protection and moisturization. You should look on the label for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid. This natural ingredient keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized. You can also choose a sunscreen that contains other natural ingredients like pomegranate extracts, Kiwi Fruit extracts and vitamins like vitamin C and E. This will ensure that you get several benefits in just one product. You should also be careful while choosing products that contain ingredients like have dye, fragrance, lanolin, propylene glycol because these ingredients are potential irritants to darker skin tones with higher melanin count and may contribute to discoloration in the long term.
To maintain healthy and great looking skin, use your broad spectrum sunscreen daily.