Patient Portal

Ezine 35 October 2005

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Skin Care Tip:

Hyper- versus Hypo- Pigmentation

There are two types of skin pigmentation problems, which are becoming more and more common among all skin types.  Pigment changes are usually due to genetics, sun damage, environmental factors, and overall health status. 

Hyperpigmentation is a common condition that results in patches of skin that are darker than the rest of the skin on the face.  This occurs when an excess of melanin (the brown pigment that gives skin its color) forms deposits in the skin.  This result is most commonly linked to sun damage and can be found on skin that has been frequently exposed to the sun.  It can take years for hyper-pigmentation to show up in your skin, but you can help prevent more damage and further hyper-pigmentation to surface by simply wearing sunblock daily. 

The good news is hyperpigmentation can be treated.  There are different methods and treatment options available, including Laser treatments Facial treatments, skin care regimens, and prescription creams

Laser treatments, which include FotoFacials, are best for more severe cases of hyper-pigmentation.  Lasers help to stimulate the melanocytes (located in the dermis and produce melanin to give skin its color).  After a series of laser treatments, you will notice a more even tone to your skin. 

Facial treatments, which include Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels, help with mild hyper-pigmentation.  These treatments work at the surface of the skin to enhance epidermal cell rejuvenation.  Over a series of treatments, you will notice a more even appearance to your skin.  Microdermabrasion can also be performed in conjunction with FotoFacials to help the Laser treatments penetrate into the skin easier and offers better synergistic results. 

Home care regimens are important to maintain the treatments and the procedures you have been undergoing.  By meeting with your Physician or skin care specialist, you will get the best skin care products for your skin type.  By using cleansers, exfoliants, prescription creams, facial masks and moisturizers you will help contribute to a healthier, even skin tone.

Prescription creams which contain Hydroquinone a skin bleaching agent helps lighten the skin and fade dark patches by slowing melanin production.  Tretinoin, another cream in the Retin-A family, helps to enhance cell turnover and minimizes mild cases of hyper-pigmentation.  Both treatment creams cause irritation to the skin when first used.  It is also recommended that when using any prescription products, to wear SPF 30 daily to protect your skin from more damage.

Hypopigmentation occurs when skin cells lose all pigment and become white spots or patches on the skin.  Hypopigmentation (also known as Vitiligo) can also be due to the skin’s inability to produce melanin.  Vitiligo destroys the melanocyte, cells which give skin its pigment, causing the skin becomes white. 

Hypopigmentation can also be caused by severe damage from sun, from skin infections, blisters, burns or any other trauma to the skin.  Most people with hypopigmentation eventually see the skin darken again, although this may take a very long time.  Makeup is suggested to blend the color while your skin regenerates the melanocytes.

Anti–aging Tip:

Consumption of Antioxidants

Antioxidants have potential health-promoting benefits and range from Vitamins, Omega Fatty Acids, and fruits and vegetables.  Fruits and Vegetables are full of Phytochemicals, which gives them their individual colors.  It is important in the average American diet to consume the right amount of Antioxidants daily.  By doing this, we are helping our bodies to prevent Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancers and other life-threatening illnesses.  Antioxidants help our bodies to prevent cellular damage caused by improper dieting, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, and environmental pollution we breathe.  Antioxidants help to prevent Free Radical damage, groups of atoms with an unpaired electron to damage our cells and enhance the aging process.  Antioxidants help to repair the electron so it does not damage more cells and cause further damage.  Some easy ways to easily consume enough Antioxidants in our diets include taking supplements, such as a Multivitamin (which has a proper balance of Antioxidants).  We recommend seeing your Physician prior to consuming any type of Antioxidants or vitamins.  Another simple way is to eat a balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables of all colors and flavors.  The following list is the most commonly consumed antioxidants:

  • Vitamin C:  The most abundant water-soluble antioxidant mostly found in Citrus fruits.  Vitamin C is    very beneficial when paired with Vitamin E. 
  • Vitamin E:  The most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant mostly found in Wheat germ but also eggs and some nuts including (almonds and walnuts).
  • Phytochemicals:  These are chemicals found in plants to protect against bacteria and viruses.  There are many different types of Phytochemicals, including Allicin, Anthocyanins, Biflavonoids, Cartenoids, Isoflavones, Lutein, Lycopene and Phenolics.  These are all found in a variety of different fruits and vegetables.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s:  These are the “good fats” that are essential for good health.  These are mostly  found in Flaxseed oil and fish, such as Salmon. 

Plastic Surgery Tip:

The Newest Liposuction Techniques

With Liposuction becoming more common, there are more new techniques available to choose from.  These newest techniques offer better results, less recovery and quicker surgery time.  There are three techniques to discuss today, which include Ultrasounic Assisted Liposuction (UAL), Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL), and Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) System.  By scheduling a consultation with your Plastic Surgeon, they can help determine the best method for your specific needs.

Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL): This technique uses a special instrument equipped with ultrasounic energy.  This energy helps to liquefy the fat cells to be Liposuctioned out of your body.  This technique helps to create effective results in patients with fibrous areas of the body, such as upper back or areas with large volumes of fat.  This technique takes longer than traditional liposuction, but is more effective in contouring the body.

Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL):  This technique helps to remove exercise-resistant fat using the tube and vacuum device.  A saline solution infused with local anesthetic is injected into the targeted fat cells.  This technique helps to reduce swelling and bruising post liposuction surgery and also creates very tiny incision sites.

Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance (VASER) Liposuction:  This is the newest technique, recently approved by the FDA in 2002.  The VASER system creates sound energy to help dissolve fat cells and removes by gentle suction and massage to dissolve fat quickly and easily.  This technique specifically targets the fatty tissues while leaving nerves, blood and connective tissue alone.  Tumescent solution is injected to help numb the area and shrink the blood vessels.  Recovery is the quickest with this technique because there is less swelling and bruising. 

During your consult with Dr. Speron, the patient will discuss their desired goals on an individual level.  Then they will further discuss the course of treatment and potential complications at the appointment time. Please check out the wealth of information on our site by clicking here.

To see before and after patient pictures, please click here

Make sure you chose a board certified plastic surgeon.  A call to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS at 1-888-4-PLASTIC (ie. 1-888-475-2784) can tell you which doctors are legitimate plastic surgeons with outstanding qualifications.  You can also visit the ASPS web site at The ASPS is the only one of the 24 boards approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies physicians in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body. 

To help you in making your decision, please click here to check out the 7 critical questions to ask any plastic surgeon before letting them touch you!

By far, the most important factor in the success of your procedure is the surgeon you choose.  So please choose wisely...