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Everything You Need to Know About The SculpSure Procedure

Contents:

What Does SculpSure Mean?

SculpSure is an effective fat removal procedure that can help reduce the amount of stubborn body fat in certain problem areas  such as love handles and in the abdomen, thighs, and arms, where fat often remains despite exercise and other attempts at weight loss. This procedure is particularly ideal for those who want more gradual fat removal without surgery or downtime.

The SculpSure procedure is FDA-approved and has undergone clinical testing for over 100 patients. It’s one of the best alternatives to surgical fat reduction, using a safe non-invasive lipo procedure that targets fat cells beneath the skin and destroys as much as 24 percent of the treated fat within a single 25-minute session. Once the patient leaves, the body will gradually absorb the damaged fat and naturally remove it from the body. Patients will also see results within six weeks, with the optimal results appearing in three months.

One of the key benefits to SculpSure compared to other fat removal procedures is the fact that patients can avoid the kind of side effects and complications that come with many surgical procedures. Recovery time is also unnecessary, which means that patients can return home as soon as they complete their session.

Are You Tired of Diet and Exercise?

SculpSure is here! Even with diet and exercise, many people have stubborn pockets of fat that seem impossible to lose. Sometimes, unwanted fat that cannot be removed by diet and exercise is something we cannot control. While there has been an increase in Americans becoming larger and heavier, there has also been an increase in the number of adults exercising and watching what they eat. The movement of exercising and eating well resulted in adults looking lean and fit. However, some people still have unwanted fat, especially around the stomach and love handles. The desire of people to remove unwanted fat resulted as well in the rise of non-invasive and minimally invasive body contouring procedures.

How To Remove Unwanted Fat

With the introduction of new technologies, unwanted fat can now be removed permanently. SculpSure is a breakthrough non-invasive body contouring treatment for the removal of fat that has been unresponsive to diet and exercise. It removes undesirable fat that diet and exercise cannot remove. SculpSure helps people achieve their desired shape safely, effectively, and rapidly, now more than ever.

SculpSure is the world’s first FDA-cleared laser treatment for non-invasive lipolysis (fat destruction). It is a state-of-the-art, controlled light-based technology, ideal for patients looking to get rid of stubborn and unwanted fat. Compared to traditional liposuction and other surgically invasive procedures, SculpSure is a body contouring procedure that delivers positive outcomes with little to no patient downtime.

The Technology Behind SculpSure

SculpSure uses 1060 nm wavelength light. It is a diode laser with a specific affinity for adipose (fatty) tissue. It is coupled with minimal heat absorption in the dermis (skin). SculpSure’s technology efficiently treats areas of troublesome fat in a time even shorter than a lunch break. Over a period of a few weeks, the body naturally eliminates the disrupted fat cells, resulting in a slimmer appearance.

Why SculpSure?

  • Controlled hyperthermic laser light-based technology
  • Results are seen in as soon as 6 weeks and optimally in 12 weeks
  • Non-invasive 25-minute treatment
  • Safely elevates adipose tissue temperature to between 42°C and 47°C
  • No damage to dermal tissue due to contact cooling
  • Up to 24% fat reduction in one treatment
  • Multiple areas can be treated at once
  • Permanently reduces fat
  • Comfortable and well-tolerated treatment
  • Can be used for all skin types
  • No downtime
  • Uses flat, non-suction applicator designed for consistent results
  • Simple and efficient attachment system
  • Hands-free device

Sculpsure at Althea AgeWell

Althea AgeWell is the first medspa to offer SculpSure in Fairfax, Virginia. Althea AgeWell is also one of the first to offer this procedure in northern Virginia. Our Fairfax location is within walking distance to the Dunn Loring Metro and close to Tysons Corner, I-495 and I-66.

Call Althea AgeWell and schedule your appointment today at 571 222-4073!

SculpSure or Liposuction: What’s best for me?

Liposuction

Fat Reduction

“Lipo” is a medical term that means “fat,” so “liposuction’ refers to a procedure that uses suction to remove fat. First, local anesthetic is applied to the treatment area. A small incision (about half an inch long) is then made in the skin overlying the treatment area. A tube is inserted and connected to a vacuum pump that removes the desired amount of fat. Finally, manually redistributing the remaining fat is critical to obtaining a pleasing result. These days, most liposuction is “laser-assisted,” which means that before suction is applied, a laser probe is inserted through the incision to heat and melt the fat.

A liposuction procedure lasts several hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed. Additional time is needed in the clinic for preparation and recovery as well.

Liposuction can remove up to 50 – 80% of the fat in an area of fat accumulation, depending on the client’s wishes.

After liposuction, most clients can return to work after a few days and resume normal activity after a recovery period of two weeks. During this recovery period there is usually discomfort and bruising which can last up to four days after the surgery. However, it takes four to six weeks for the majority of the swelling to resolve, and up to nine months for it to completely heal. Optimal cosmetic results are seen after 12 weeks, just as with Sculpsure.

The most common risk of liposuction is lumping and pitting of the skin if the remaining fat is not distributed evenly. As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of infection, which is minimized in the hands of an experienced physician. Finally, some clients may object to having a surgical scar, although most do not find a liposuction scar to be overly unsightly.

Sculpsure

Most Althea clients are familiar with Sculpsure. Sculpsure is a non-invasive laser-based body shaping or body contouring procedure that is designed to reduce areas of fat accumulation just beneath the surface of the skin.

During a Sculpsure treatment, laser devices are placed on the skin, The lasers generate heat that penetrates the skin and kills some of the fat cells beneath the skin. The dead fat cells are then removed naturally by the body over a period of a few weeks. Clients will feel waves of heat from the device that may cause some discomfort. However, the device includes a cooling function that keeps the skin cool during treatment and prevents the body from overheating.

A Sculpsure session lasts for 25 minutes and on average kills 24% of the fat cells in the treatment area. Most clients can resume their daily activities immediately after a Sculpsure session. Results start to become noticeable after 2 -3 weeks, and optimal results develop after 12 weeks. Because Sculpsure is not invasive, the possible side effects are relatively mild and include temporary discomfort, redness, swelling, and itching.

Comparison

Photo by ImpactHub

Liposuction is the preferred procedure if a client wishes to remove a large volume of fat in a single session, and does not object to the lengthy procedure, lengthy recovery period, anesthesia, incision scar, and the chance of having an uneven appearance.

Sculpsure is for those who only need to remove a small volume of fat, and for those who opt for a safer, more gradual approach. Some people just don’t like the idea of surgery.

For removing the same moderate volume of fat, on average, Sculpsure will be less expensive than liposuction. This is because Sculpsure is faster, more automated, and requires less manual intervention and less technical expertise. However, for removing a large volume of fat, liposuction may actually be more economical than performing multiple Sculpsure sessions.

Conclusion

Liposuction has been in use for many years and overall is a safe, stable, and effective technology. Sculpsure itself is relatively new, but already seems to be becoming a mainstay of cosmetic body treatment. Sculpsure and similar technologies will no doubt be further refined over the next few years. However, the trend over the last 5 – 10 years has certainly been in the direction of greater use of non-invasive, energy-based procedures. It is becoming easier and more routine that ever for everyone to look great.

This post has laid out some of the factors to be considered in deciding between fat reduction technologies. Consult with a physician who performs liposuction and with your favorite medical spa to discuss your individual situation.

SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting: What Separates Them?

Many people might be confused about the differences between SculpSure and CoolSculpting fat removal procedures, but there are several key distinctions that each procedure has. While they are both non-surgical in nature, with equal hype behind the two, there are some things that you should know about them that make them drastically different from each other.

Differences Between SculpSure and CoolSculpting

One of the first differences you should take into account is the fact that SculpSure is the only FDA-approved laser fat removal machine, while CoolSculpting uses a different system that the FDA has approved for Cyrolipolysis, or freezing fat deposits. There are currently no official studies that reveal whether or not CoolSculpting works, but through testing and biopsies, researchers have found that SculpSure decreases nearly 25% of the thickness of fat.

Other key differences include:

The Amount of Time It Takes for One Procedure

Typically, SculpSure takes about 25 minutes to treat up to four areas, while CoolSculpting can take over an hour per area.

Results of Treatment

SculpSure permanently reduces fat by up to 25% in treatment area, with only one treatment required. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, permanently reduces 22% in treatment areas, with multiple treatments needed.

Comfort Levels

SculpSure uses a non-suction based with cooling technology for comfortable treatments, while CoolSculpting uses suction that can result in frozen lumps on the skin’s surface along with swelling.

Safety of Each Procedure

The FDA has approved SculpSure for laser fat reduction through the use off a cooling applicator, and has approved CoolSculpting for Cyrolipolysis.

How Much Does SculpSure Cost?

SculpSure’s initial pricing starts at $1,499 for a single treatment. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, can cost up to twice as much because of the multiple treatments needed to get the best results. With SculpSure, only one session is required to see optimal results in three months, and fat cells are permanently destroyed during the procedure.

For the price you pay for SculpSure procedures, you’ll also be in the hands of experienced and well-trained professionals who know how to properly provide the treatment. We also use the best equipment to complete each treatment. We’ll help ensure you get the results you want from your session and within the time you want them.

Also, consider the specific price ranges of other types of fat removal procedures. For example, liposuction typically costs anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 per treatment, which excludes additional costs such as anesthesia. Liposuction procedures are also considerably more invasive than SculpSure and other non-surgical fat removal treatments, with the possibility of complications along with recovery time. CoolSculpting costs can vary greatly, depending largely on the type of applicator used; Mini applicators typically cost $750-$900, medium applicators cost $600-$800, and large applicators are $1,200-$1,500, with repeat treatments needed that will make those costs add up quickly. Depending on the number of areas treated, the total cost ranges between $2,000 to $4,000.

Ultimately, you’ll get the best service and results for the price you pay when you get SculpSure treatment at Althea AgeWell. You won’t need to worry about needing to return for repeat sessions on a regular basis, giving you top-tier treatment that you can count on whenever you visit us. You’ll likely find SculpSure to be a worthwhile investment, along with the many other treatments that we offer.

Potential Drawbacks

There are no reported downsides of SculpSure, but CoolSculpting has been known to cause bruising, swelling, and temporary nerve pain.

Available Treatment Areas

Patients can use SculpSure for treating the back, abdomen, and love handles. CoolSculpting has more limitations, requiring pinching via an applicator.

How Exactly Do SculpSure and CoolSculpting Work?

Both of these procedures use different fat reduction methods to treat patients.

CoolSculpting uses a device that freezes fat cells without affecting other nearby tissue. Once the cells are sufficiently frozen, they begin to crystallize and die so the body can remove them naturally. Unlike SculpSure, CoolSculpting can only target one area per procedure, which is why multiple treatments are required for ideal results.

SculpSure treatments use a unique laser system that heats the target areas instead of cooling them. This heat emulsifies and melts the fat cells, which the body then removes through natural means. The laser treatment also encourages the production of elastin and collagen, promoting youthful tissue growth that can improve the skin’s overall look.

Get SculpSure at Althea AgeWell for Immediate Results

For an effective fat reduction treatment, visit Althea AgeWell for SculpSure procedures, along with skin care, hair removal, and other treatments. Contact us today to learn more about how we can give you the results you want today.

Non-Surgical SculpSure Fat Removal vs. Surgical Fat Removal

If you’re considering undergoing a fat removal procedure, liposuction is one of the first options to come to mind. However, there are certain alternatives to choose from today that are less invasive, including SculpSure fat removal.

Here are some of the differences between traditional surgical fat removal and SculpSure to help you decide which is right for you.

Surgical Liposuction Fat Removal

Liposuction has been the traditional procedure used for fat removal for many years. Patients who undergo liposuction are given anesthesia to render them unconscious throughout the procedure, which requires administration by a medical professional in a surgery center or hospital.

The procedure itself begins with incisions made in the target area and the insertion of an instrument called a cannula. While some surgeons rely on a manual cannula and use it to aggressively scrape fat away, others use an automatic cannula that bites or shaves the fat. Meanwhile, suction is used to remove the fat from the body once loose.

As the most invasive fat removal procedure, liposuction causes a large amount of tissue trauma and subsequent bruising. This results in a long recovery time, with frequent reports of pain, bruising, and discomfort. This procedure also neglects to tighten the skin following the removal of fat, resulting in loose-hanging skin.

Non-Surgical SculpSure Fat Removal

As a minimally invasive alternative to liposuction, SculpSure is becoming increasingly popular. This procedure uses a combination of light and heat to elevate the temperature of the tissue and damage fat cells. Following the procedure, the body naturally eliminates these fat cells over time, taking several weeks. Unlike liposuction, this procedure doesn’t require any anesthetics or incisions, making it almost entirely non-invasive.

The procedure is also fast, taking only 25 minutes to complete depending on the extent of the fat removal. The process starts with the penetration of the skin using a laser, which then heats up adipose tissue that contains the targeted fat cells. The heat causes damage to these fat cells, and the body’s immune system then works to get rid of them. The entire process can take up to 12 weeks to complete, but many patients experience results within six. Another benefit of SculpSure is the lack of recovery time, as patients can immediately return to normal daily activities following the procedure.

When deciding between these two procedures, you should consult with a medical practitioner who can perform either procedure based on your decision.

SculpSure vs. Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Alternatives

If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure to remove excess fat, the procedure you’re most likely familiar with is liposuction. Today, there are several other procedures that you can undergo, which aren’t as invasive as traditional liposuction.

It can be a challenge to choose the right procedure for you, but here are some of the differences between SculpSure and other non-invasive alternatives to liposuction.

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is one non-invasive fat reduction option. The procedure destroys fat cells by freezing them, applying temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit to the target area. At the same time, the procedure avoids damaging the overlying skin. The body then naturally eliminates these fat cells over a period of weeks.

While there are no long-lasting side effects of the procedure, patients have reported local bruising, redness, and numbness that subside over time.

Smartlipo

Smartlipo is a type of laser-assisted liposuction that uses a laser to liquefy fat before liposuction is used to remove the fat from the body. The technology allows for efficient and fast melting of fat, along with skin tightening and protection of the surrounding tissue. Similar to traditional liposuction, patients will require local anesthesia, but they won’t need to be unconscious for this procedure.

Incisions made throughout the procedure are smaller than incisions made during traditional liposuction, and a thin cannula is used to hold the laser fiber that melts the fat cells. Suction is then used to remove the fat. The recovery time for Smartlipo is also fast, with mild pain in the days following the procedure.

SculpSure

SculpSure, like CoolSculpting, uses temperature to damage fat cells, but as a contrast to CoolSculpting the procedure uses heat to cause this damage. It’s a newer procedure that’s become more popular over time, and it’s one of the least invasive procedures available.

SculpSure is a fast procedure, taking as little as 25 minutes in many cases. It uses a laser that penetrates the skin and heats the targeted fat cells, damaging them in the process. The body views these cells as trash, and the immune system starts removing them naturally. This procedure also requires no recovery time, enabling patients to resume normal daily activities immediately afterward. Results may take as long as 12 weeks to show, but many see the desired effects within six weeks.

While selecting one of these procedures is up to the individual based on tolerance and lifestyle, consult with a medical practitioner who can make sure the procedure is properly performed.

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How Microdermabrasion Works for Acne and Acne Scars

Microdermabrasion is a common procedure used for reducing acne and acne scarring, and is used in lieu of many other types of treatments because of its effectiveness.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a machine-assisted treatment for skin exfoliation. The procedure’s advantages include the low risk of complications along with faster recovery compared to other invasive procedures such as dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peeling.

The fact that microdermabrasion only removes a superficial layer of skin makes it ideal for acne and acne scar removal, along with the reduction of fine lines, superficial scarring, and age spots.

How Microdermabrasion Works

The microdermabrasion process is noninvasive and painless, using a combination of vacuum suction and crystals or an abrasive tip on the skin. The procedure doesn’t use needles or anesthesia at any point, and vacuum pressure and speed are modified based on the skin’s sensitivity.

Typically, the procedure uses a crystal diamond microdermabrasion system consisting of a pump, hand piece, vacuum, and connecting tube. The pump generates a high-pressure stream made of inert crystals made of magnesium oxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, or aluminum oxide to rub the skin. After this, the vacuum removes the exfoliated skin cells and crystals.

In some cases microdermabrasion may use a diamond microdermabrasion machine, which doesn’t produce particles, and is somewhat safer because of the lack of any risk of inhaling crystals or getting them in the eyes.

Microdermabrasion sessions normally last anywhere between five to 60 minutes, with minimal recovery time required immediately following the procedure. While some redness may be present following the procedure, makeup and face creams can normally be applied to conceal it.

The procedure essentially purifies the skin by removing debris and dead skin from the skin’s surface. After approximately 30 days, the skin will begin to regenerate, and another treatment may be required. People who undergo microdermabrasion will normally continue treatment once every two to four weeks. You’ll be able to get particularly good results if you avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen or other skin care creams following each treatment.

The Difference Between Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion

You should understand the difference between these two procedures to determine which is ideal. Dermabrasion is an invasive surgical procedure normally performed by plastic surgeons or dermatologists after administering anesthetics to prevent pain. People with deeper acne scars and other more severe skin problems will be the ones who benefit most from dermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion in a medspa is a suitable treatment for individuals with sallow or dull skin, acne scars, pick marks, and mild acne. However, it’s not the most effective treatment for people with deeper skin issues, which are better treated using dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or chemical peels.

If you believe that microdermabrasion might be right for treating your mild acne or other superficial skin issues, you can consult with the skin care experts at Althea AgeWell who will help determine which treatment is ideal for you.

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Which Laser Hair Removal is the Least Painful and Works Best?

There are many types of laser hair removal procedures available to remove unwanted excess hair. The one thing they all have in common is that they can stop hair from growing to a lesser or greater extent, but finding the least painful method is also often a concern among many patients.

Modern laser hair removal systems are available with different methods. Some are more painful than others, including the traditional “shots” laser hair removal treatment.

Traditional “shots” laser hair removal treatment.

Traditional “Shots” Laser Hair Removal Procedure

This is a more outdated laser hair removal procedure, using laser systems such as Magma, Cynosure, and Candela. During this treatment, the machinery applies laser energy to a specific area, raising the temperature of the follicle to 45-50 degrees, moving it a centimeter or two, and then repeating the process until the area is fully covered. This process can be painful because the energy is delivered all at one time, until a cooling method is applied to help alleviate the pain and prevent burns. In some cases, patients may be offered numbing cream, but using this can make it harder to detect pain that’s indicative of skin damage.

Diode and YAG Laser Hair Removal: Which Laser Hair Removal Works Best?

While the traditional “shots” procedure can cause pain at varying degrees, “diode” and “YAG” laser hair removal procedures are potentially more effective while simultaneously preventing pain. Both procedures use pulses of infrared light energy that penetrate the skin’s surface, gradually heating the follicles beneath the skin until they are incapable of growing new hair. The heat disrupts the melanin protein pigment that creates hair color. This melanin swells and ruptures the follicle cells in the process. However, the skin’s surface remains cool and comfortable throughout the procedure, unlike the traditional “shots” method. This is achieved by using lasers with refrigerated tips that not only prevent pain, but also eliminate burns.

The main difference between “diode” and “YAG” lasers is that “diode” is used on light to intermediate skin tones, while “YAG” is used solely on darker skin. Both procedures are safe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ensuring they pass strict efficacy and safety tests.

Diode Laser Hair Removal for light to intermediate skin tones.

How Many Sessions Are Required for YAG and Diode Treatments?

The YAG laser operates at a lower energy level than diode lasers, which makes it overall safer for the skin, but at the same time it removes less hair during each session. Ultimately, six sessions are needed for diode lasers, while ten are often required for YAG laser treatments.

Throughout each session, lasers can treat different problem areas, helping prevent hair growth on a permanent basis.

So, if you want top-quality laser hair removal without the kind of pain that you might otherwise experience with other traditional procedures, turn to Althea AgeWell for some of the best YAG and diode treatments available. You’ll be able to get the results you want without suffering in the process when you work with us.

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Micro-needling Compared to Other Popular Skin Treatments

Micro-needling is a procedure that is beneficial for a variety of skin types, depending on what the patient needs. Among these benefits are the stimulation of collagen and elastin growth, treatment of pigment, melasma, fine lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections, along with a lack of pain and a rapid recovery process.

To determine if this treatment is right for you, here are some comparisons made between micro-needling and other popular treatments.

Micro-needling vs. Fraxel Laser Resurfacing

Fraxel laser resurfacing uses a non-ablative laser to effectively resurface the skin, penetrating beneath the surface of the skin to the dermis below. It then heats the tissue, which helps start a healing process to form new and healthy skin. Micro-needling, on the other hand, uses needles to create micro-channels in the skin without causing heat damage to surrounding tissue.

Women deciding between micro-needling or fraxel laser resurfacing procedure.

Both procedures initiate a natural healing process, but, unlike Fraxel laser resurfacing, micro-needling leaves the protective epidermis intact throughout the procedure, reducing the risk of infection and scarring. Also, the micro-needling procedure doesn’t depend on skin pigment to work, making it suitable for all skin types whereas laser resurfacing is only ideal for certain pigments.

Micro-needling vs. IPL Photorejuvenation

Intense pulsed light (IPL) photorejuvenation is another laser treatment used to target certain areas of the skin, lightening the skin to remove age spots, sun spots, and brown blotches on the face or upper body. Following treatment, spots typically darken before flaking off a few days later to leave a more even skin tone in their place.

IPL treatment is potentially more efficient for removing dark spots than micro-needling, particularly because it alters the background pigmentation to help remove these dark areas. However, micro-needling can work in conjunction with IPL photorejuvenation to remove wrinkles along with dark spots.

Micro-needling vs. Botox Injections

Women who had a micro-needling and IPL photorejuvenation procedures to remove face wrinkles along with dark spots.

Many people still turn to Botox because they believe that it’s the best way to delay aging, but micro-needling can be a sufficient alternative. Compared to Botox, micro-needling is less invasive, using microscopic needles to stimulate collagen so it’s more easily absorbed into the skin. Micro-needling is also ideal for treating surface issues, which Botox can’t necessarily help with. Micro-needling also relies on natural healing, unlike Botox.

Micro-needling vs. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a skin rejuvenation procedure used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, stretch marks, pore size, and acne scars on various parts of the body, but it isn’t suitable for all skin types. While micro-needling stimulates new skin growth, microdermabrasion exfoliates surface skin using an ablative material such as sodium bicarbonate crystals.

Using medical grade equipment and products, microdermabrasion can be more effective at improving the skin, but many spas will perform a lighter version that isn’t as effective, and store-bought products tend to be the least effective. It’s also not effective for all skin types, unlike micro-needling.

What’s the Verdict?

Ultimately, micro-needling is a painless and less invasive method of treating skin than other types of procedures. It’s also good for treating skin with any kind of pigmentation, making it more universal. Patients also benefit from fast recovery time than certain other treatments, with minimal chance of complications.

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Lasers: Are they painful?

headache

Often a large concern new clients have when first coming to Althea for a laser treatment is the amount of pain they will be enduring throughout the procedure. In order to answer this question we must look at several factors. Pain levels are specific to each client and can vary in each circumstance.

Pain in men and women

First, lets look at how men and women experience pain. Which gender generally has a better pain threshold? Many spa practitioners believe that men are more sensitive to pain than women. However, this is widely debated among experts. Pain is subjective and difficult to measure. We have to rely on what people say. Pain cannot be analyzed as if it were under a microscope in some physical form.

This hinders study due to the tendency of males to refuse to admit pain. This denial results from the social construct of male masculinity and image, which can inhibit accurate data collection.

Our sex hormones also affect our pain threshold. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, hormones such as estrogen increase. This helps the brain suppress pain. Thus a woman’s ability to handle pain changes cyclically.

Despite these difficulties, multiple studies show that men have a higher tolerance for pain. However, the difference between men and women is not great. Males can handle sudden acute pain better. Men and women experience chronic pain, such as cancer pain, similarly.terrified-man

Pain and hair removal

Other factors are the client’s hair type and the area of the body being treated. Patients with thicker and denser hair experience more “zaps” from the laser, as there are more follicles for the laser to find and kill. The laser kills follicles by emitting flashes of light to the desired area. The light heats the follicle and is absorbed by the hair’s melanin pigment. Heat is then conducted through the hair shaft. Finally, the combination of light and heat kill the follicle.

This process tends to be less uncomfortable on areas that have more fat and muscle then bonier areas. Sensitive areas include (but are not limited to): the upper lip, jaw, collar bone, genital area, hands/wrists, and feet. Other areas may be sensitive if the hair is thick, dense, or dark in color.

Pain relief

Most clients find the discomfort tolerable. On certain areas some clients like to apply numbing cream before treatment. Numbing cream is one of several methods that can be used to reduce discomfort during treatment. Other methods include: taking an over the counter pain reliever, icing the area to be treated, and limiting sun exposure as much as possible.

When having laser hair removal done, avoiding sun exposure is a must. Even being outside for short periods can make the skin sensitive to the laser and make the treatment less comfortable. Even sitting in your car or in an office that receives sunlight from a window should be avoided.

To prevent sun exposure, apply a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. The zinc oxide creates a barrier between the epidermis and the sun which protects the skin more effectively.

Most clients handle laser discomfort without using any prior pain reduction techniques. Laser hair removal may not be completely painless, but most find it to be tolerable even if it is mildly uncomfortable.

Looking for some ways to wind down after getting a laser treatment? Check out last month’s blogs: Relaxing After a Laser Treatment Part One and Part Two!

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Laser Hair Removal at Althea AgeWell

Lower leg laser hair removal

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal removes unwanted hair by using lasers. The lasers used to remove hair target the roots of the hair just beneath the skin’s surface.

Lasers that remove hair cause localized damage by selectively heating melanin, while not affecting the rest of the
skin. Melanin occurs naturally in our skin. It gives our skin and hair its color. The darker the hair and the lighter the skin, the better the result of laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is less effective on red, blonde and white hair. Waxing, plucking, and electrolysis are alternatives to lasers for these lighter hair colors.

The laser can only disable hair follicles that are in the active growth phase. Normally only about 20% of a person’s hair is actively growing at a given point in time. This is why a series of treatments is necessary.

Side Effects

At least two weeks prior to treatment, no sun exposure to the area being treated is a must. Also, wait one week after spray tanning before hair removal treatment. A person’s natural or baseline skin color is important. If skin color remains at baseline, the technician can keep the setting the same or treat a little more aggressively during each treatment. If skin color changes from its baseline, the settings must be adjusted.

Some tolerable discomfort is to be expected during treatments. After the treatment, itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling around the treatment area, or swelling of the follicles, may be observed. Icing the area for 20-30 minutes after the treatment helps relieve these side effects of the procedure.

Between treatments, shaving is the only recommended method of hair removal. Plucking, waxing or use of depilatories for unwanted hair are not recommended at all. A good sunblock is always recommended when doing laser hair removal. A sunblock with a minimum of SPF30 is preferable.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Though it is not guaranteed to be permanent, most people who have laser hair removal experience long-lasting results after completing a series of treatments. A series of 6 treatments is usually recommended. The time between treatments is normally 4 to 8 weeks. Most people benefit from a touch-up session 3 to 4 months after the last treatment, or if hair regrowth is observed.

Types of Lasers

Different types of lasers are used to remove hair from light or medium colored skin and from dark skin. This is for technical reasons related to the effect of different wavelengths of light on skin of different colors. Both types of lasers are available at Althea AgeWell.

Laser Hair Removal at Althea AgeWell

Laser hair removal has become popular because of its speed and efficacy. Finding an experienced practitioner is important because some of this efficacy depends on the skill and experience of the technician. Althea AgeWell has been performing laser hair removal since 2010 and has treated several thousand clients.

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Relaxing after Laser Treatment (2)

In my last blog post I gave part one of two for different ways to relax after a medical spa treatment, which you can check out by clicking here. So i’m back again, making sure not to disappoint, with three more relaxing ways to spend some of your free time. So you can improve not only your physical well being, but your emotional health as well.

3. Pick up that book that you’ve been meaning to start (or finish).


Book

Books have so many genres, and are so diverse they are almost impossible to hate! They help take your mind off any worries, while at the same time helping to improve one’s vocabulary and grammar. However, if for some reason books just aren’t your forte no one ever said you have to stick to just straight novels! Reading in general is extremely beneficial; be it magazines, subtitles of your favorite show, or even more blog posts, reading is gives your brain a boost. It has much to offer, such as mental stimulation, improvement of memory, improvement of concentration/focus, strengthening of analytical skills, and much more. In the long run reading is great for the brain and can be a fun and relaxing way to exercise your mind.

2. Cook (or bake) up a storm with something delicious.


cupcakes

Some of us are avid cooks or bakers, and others…not so much (ahem..me). So, If you’re a pro at either baking or cooking I suggest you try and find a recipe that challenges you. Maybe something you’ve never attempted before. However, if you’re like me, an amateur cook/baker at best, start off easy with a favorite treat of yours that you’ve always had to go out and get. The upside to making your own food is not only will you have succeeded (or at least tried) at making something you like, and are now able to have it whenever you’d like (in moderation), but you’re now also stimulating your senses and allowing yourself out of your comfort zone. You can get lost in your work and have your own fun with your recipe by getting creative with it and adding your own personal touch to whatever you’re making. Once you’re done you can even share what you’ve created with your family and friends…or eat it all yourself.

1.Try something new by giving yoga and or meditation a shot.


yoga mat

The advantages of both yoga and meditation are seemingly endless, both giving wonderful mental and physical benefits that can improve your well being.

Meditation is worth the while, as it is said to help reduce aging, increase attention span, improve brain function, allow you to feel more connected with others, increase immunity, and help give you a good night’s sleep. As for yoga, it helps you physically by improving flexibility, perfecting posture, building muscle strength, bettering bone health, and giving many more benefits to your health. Mentally, yoga can make you happier by increasing serotonin levels and decreasing monoamine oxidase and cortisol levels, it can improve focus, and can increase self esteem.

Both yoga and meditation are wonderful ways to connect body and mind while also allowing you to be more aware of your needs. A little goes a long way with both and taking even a small amount of time out of your day to practice either will be something you will thank yourself for later on.

 

You may not always have the time in your day to day life, but everyone needs some time to rest and recuperate. Taking a day or two out of a month to pamper and refresh yourself is a sure way to give yourself fuller, happier well being. Getting a laser treatment to boost your confidence or taking the time to add one or more of these suggestions can help improve your quality of life.

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Relaxing after Laser Treatment (1)

Have you ever had a day to just pamper yourself? To really be able to take the time and take care of yourself mentally, physically,and emotionally? I know that among the stresses of everyday life I could always use a break. I know when I’m walking out of Althea after a laser treatment I’m not really up for any responsibilities and definitely don’t want to be out and about. So I decided, why not take advantage of the situation? Why not take a medspa day and make it a “Me Day”? With that being said, sometimes we are so used to being such busy bees we could always use a gentle nudge in the right direction, so without further ado, here are six ways to relax post Althea laser treatment.

6. Have a delicious cup of tea and pair it with some music.


tea

Along with that warm and cozy feeling, tea also has proven medicinal benefits. Different teas have different uses that range from helping your immune system to reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. A great tea for relaxation is lavender, as it is said to be anti-inflammatory and could be used as a pain reliever. A nice accompaniment to your warm cup of tea is some relaxing classical or acoustic music. Pair those together and you’ve already got yourself a home spa day! However, it is important to keep in mind any allergies before using any herbal teas, and coffee is not recommended as its caffeine could make you jittery and is not good for nerves.

 

5. Treat yourself to a nice and warm bath to soothe and wash away any aches and pains.


bath

Image by Solveig Osk

Taking warm baths not only has the emotional benefit of comfort, but also some physical benefits that are worth taking some time from your day to achieve. A warm bath can help with blood circulation, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure; just to name a few pros. You can even further help soothe yourself by using bath salts or bath bombs which can give a relaxing aroma along with pain relief from muscle aches after a long day. However, one should take care with the temperature and any products used in a bath/shower; you should always ask your technician if it is safe. It is not recommended to take any hot baths/showers after doing some laser treatments, and certain ingredients in products may give you the risk of being oversensitive to any laser treatments that you are having done (especially any products with acids).

4. Go back to the days of your childhood and get yourself an adult coloring book.


coloring

Go ahead and give into your nostalgia of when you were a kid, and give coloring another shot. Going back to coloring is a therapeutic experience that can help you cope with stress. And like the other things on this list, surprisingly, coloring not only has emotional benefits, but physical ones as well! Coloring is a great way to help your brain focus, it allows you to center your mind, and even exercises your fine motor skills. Through all the tension and tenseness in life, coloring is a fun and simple way to reconnect with your childhood and give your mind a break from all your anxieties.

Looking for more ways to wind down? Check out Part Two by clicking here!

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Laser Acne Treatment Can Help Your Acne

Laser Acne Treatment

Acne can be found anywhere on the body. Acne lesions that open to the surface of the skin, with a black appearance, are called blackheads. Lesions that are closed just under the surface of the skin, giving a white appearance, are called whiteheads. Both whiteheads and blackheads are called “comodones.” When these lesions become inflamed, the inflammation, if untreated, leads to scarring. Laser acne treatment can help with both acne and scarring.

Causes

Hormonal changes during puberty cause overproduction of sebum oil from sebaceous glands in the skin. Sebum keeps our skin moist, but when the body produces too much sebum, it mixes with dead skin and clogs the gland ducts. This creates an environment in which bacteria can thrive.

Other endocrine conditions, unrelated to puberty, also cause acne. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is fairly common. Cushing syndrome is a rare condition related to taking excessive hormones. Certain Corticosteroids medicines can cause acne as well.

Skin discoloration

Sometimes, when acne lesions heal, the skin becomes discolored to a dark brown or red color. This condition is know as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.” Although hyperpigmentation caused by acne usually is not permanent, it may take months or even years to fade.

Medication

Medications have been the acne treatment of choice for many years, but their effectiveness varies. Oral and topical antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause acne. However, they should only be used for a short period of time. Otherwise, other bacteria in your body may develop resistance to these antibiotics.

Topical creams can also be prescribed. These products dry out the skin and reduce sebum production.

Women with hormonal acne in the lower facial area can take birth control pills or other medications to regulate their acne. These steroidal hormones block the hormones that cause acne.

Other medications are used to treat severe nodular/cystic acne. Some of these may have serious side effects and should only be used when all other treatments have failed.

Laser Acne Treatment & Medication

Many acne patients use prescription medication, but in some cases it may not help. They come to Althea and ask us if we can help. Fortunately, in many cases laser treatments are effective. Results may vary with patients yet in many cases we can say, “Yes, we can help!”

In recent years, laser acne treatment has become an effective method to reduce acne. At Althea, our primary tool in fighting acne is our erbium/pixel laser. This laser reduces acne scarring by resurfacing the skin. Its heat also effectively kills active bacteria at the depth below the skin’s surface where it grows. We use IPL treatments as well to reduce and remove the brown and red pigment associated with PIH.

Lasers can be safely used along with medications. We just pause the medications for a few days before and after the laser treatment to avoid a compounding effect. Lasers can be used on both teens and adults. Age is not a factor.

We also offer a medical-grade product to assist with acne treatments. Retinol may be used. It smooths the skin and removes pigment by causing mild peeling. We also have very mild facial wash, which cleanses the skin. The wash may be used with or without salicylic acid. The salicylic acid also causes peeling but is somewhat milder than retinol. Feel free to call or ask our staff during your visit regarding these treatments.

View our January 2016 offer for this service here: January 2016 acne offer

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IPL treatment will work for you

Effective IPL treatment

IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment is also known as a photofacial (when applied to the face) or photorejuvenation. It is often considered to be a laser treatment, but technically, it is not. IPL treatment uses rapid pulses of very intense light to treat skin with sun damage, brown or age spots, or excessive redness. At Althea AgeWell, we use the FDA cleared Alma Harmony XL device. Depending on your need, we will use a 540 nanometer handpiece for brown spots, or a 570 nanometer handpiece for redness, or both.

Sunspots treated with IPL treatment can take 1 – 2 weeks to resolve, and in some cases even three weeks. When IPL treatment is used to treat pigmented sun spots on your skin, at first they will turn slightly darker. Sometimes these pigmented spots turn into black specks of dead skin that look like coffee grounds. Gradually, over the next week to two weeks, these pigments will slough off and disappear.

The procedure itself is often described as feeling like a rubber band being popped on the skin. For some people, it feels like a sting, or feels like the sensation of a burn, but the sensation dissipates after a few seconds and does not linger.

At Althea AgeWell, we follow strict protocols before and after treatment for safety reasons. It is sometimes necessary to pre-treat the skin with a good bleaching cream when treating pigments. Avoiding the sun is a must and use of a physical sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 is required.

In general, IPL treatment works, but once pigments are deep and multi-layered, as in the case of melasma, other types of treatments might be required. Results vary with individuals, however, it usually takes four to six treatments to bring the skin back to its full potential. Since redness has a much deeper source than brown spots, we always recommend six treatments for facial redness. At Althea AgeWell, we also recommend IPL touch-ups every 6 – 12 months to maintain the clear and even toned result obtained.

Call us today to set up an appointment to remove your brown spots or your skin redness. We have everything you need including effective bleaching cream and protective physical sunscreen from SPF 30 to SPF 50.

View our January 2016 offer for this service here:  January 2016 IPL offer