Evolutions Medical Spa Event Recap: “Brighten Up” with FotoFacials, Laser Facials, Peels and More

Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins – and founder of Evolutions Medical Spa – never ceases to amaze us with the knowledge he holds about the skin and skin care. Last night he shared with a captive audience how to get on the path to clear, bright skin. Here is the recap from the “Brighten Up” educational event at Evolutions.

What stands in the way of luminous skin? For many of us, it is an issue of pigmentation. Pigmentation, also referred to as age spots, “liver” spots, freckles, is caused by melanin.  Melanin is produced as a protection to the skin in response to sun exposure (a sun “tan” is actually a skin injury), trauma, or inflammation. Melanin can also be influenced by hormones, birth control pills, and pregnancy. Appearance problems occur when melanocytes are over stimulated such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (from pimples) or melasma, which is a broad patch of pigmentation that can occur in the epidermal or dermal layers of the skin.

How do we get rid of pigmentation? Below are the options that Dr. Perkins outlined for us:

HOME CARE

While Evolutions offers a variety of services that are effective in the treatment of pigmentation problems, Dr. Perkins stressed that it is also important to practice diligent home care to prevent or lighten pigmentation. The #1 recommendation from Dr. Perkins is to wear your sunscreen daily! The fact is that more than half of UV exposure is “incidental” exposure such as sitting near a window, driving in your car, walking outside to chat with your neighbor, you get the picture! UVA actually goes through glass, so you aren’t protected in your car or at your window office.

Evolutions offers a variety of bleaching agents and hydroquinone (which stops the formation of pigment from being formed). Some product recommendations:

  • Obagi Clear and C-Rx Night: a product with hydroquinone as an active ingredient that helps to fade unwanted pigment
  • Revale Illuminating Serum: has the highest potency of antioxidants – good anti-oxidation helps skin repair
  • Nia24: helps skin repair at the DNA level which normalizes pigmentation
  • Retinoids (“Retin A”, “Tretinoin”): help normalize cell differentiation
  • Combination Prescription Products (“Firm and Fade”): offered exclusively at Evolutions that combines Retin-A, hydroquinone, and a low potency steroid (used to calm down inflammation)

In addition to using a brightening/lightening product, you may want to add in a product that encourages cell turnover. Products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, amino fruit acids, and retinoids are all good choices.

VIBRADERM

Vibraderm is done using abrasive aluminum paddles that provide a gentle abrasion. It is faster than microdermabrasion and does not have a vacuum component (which can cause broken capillaries).  This physical exfoliation is used to treat superficial pigment problems with no downtime. It will improve the penetration of products / peels and is great as a stand alone service or in conjunction with a peel or facial.

LIGHT-BASED TREATMENTS : FOTOFACIAL RF

This “Gold Standard” treatment of pigmentation uses Intense Pulsed Light / Radiofrequency to target pigment and “red” areas. A FotoFacial works deeper than most chemical peels and can significantly improve your skin texture by reducing redness, age spots, sun damage, spider veins, fine lines (although not a treatment for wrinkles) and large pores. We offer the FotoFacial in a series or in combination with other treatments (FotoPeel, FotoPeel Plus, and FotoFacial Genesis Packages), depending on an individual’s needs.

CHEMICAL PEELS

Chemical peels are a “controlled” injury to the skin that causes a deep, even exfoliation. At Evolutions we offer different depths of peels (from light to medium to deep).

  • AFA Peels: the alpha-hydroxy peel is a “light” peel for those who want the benefits of a peels without a large amount of actual peeling. This peel can be done alone or in a series of five (recommended).
  • Alpha Beta Peel: this is the most popular peel at Evolutions. It is a medium-depth physical exfoliation and works well to get rid of superficial sun damage and is a great choice for clients who want to see results in 4-5 days.
  • Obagi Blue Peel: this is the deepest peel offered. It will significantly improve your complexion. You will have firmer, clearer, smoother, healthier skin.

LIGHT-BASED TREATMENTS: Q-SWITCHED LASER

This newest laser is used for our newest service – tattoo removal. It delivers laser energy so rapidly that it breaks up pigment without excessive heating of the surrounding tissue.  Currently we are testing how effectively it can treat stubborn brown pigmentation. Stay tuned at a later date for more information on the Q-Switched Laser!

SUBLATIVE REJUVENATION

This unique fractional resurfacing device uses radiofrequency energy instead of light to safely treat all skin types. Sublative Rejuvenation is used to treat wrinkles, pigment, acne scarring, skin laxity, tone and texture. There is less downtime and discomfort than older fractional laser devises (i.e. the Fraxel) and it can be combined with other light-based treatments (such as the FotoFacial RF or Total Tightening) for customizable treatment options.

CHEMABRASION

This surgical procedure done by Dr. Perkins at Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara (near Cottage Hospital) combines a deep peel with dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion). It treats wrinkles, sun damage, and pigment. You will be very impressed with the results. For more information, contact Cosmetic Surgery Center at 805.563.0000.

CONCLUSION

The best way to treat sun damage is to prevent it by using your sunscreen daily (on your face, neck, and decolletage). When pigment issues arise, there are a number of treatment options available at Evolutions and “at home”. Pigmentation can be treated on all areas of the body.

At Evolutions we always offer a complimentary consultation. If you are interested in one of our medical spa services, or simply looking for a new home care routine, call us at 805.687.0212 to make an appointment (or book online).

Learn About Chemical Peels in Santa Barbara

Chemical Peels 101: Chemical Peels Offered at Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara

Evolutions Medical Spa offers mild, medium and deep peels as single treatments and also as series. Two of the most common types of peels used are: Alphahydroxy acids (AHA’s) and Trichloroacetic acid (TCA).

Alphahydroxy Acid Chemical Peels (“Mild” Peel)
Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the mildest of the peel formulas and produce light peels. These types of peels can provide smoother, brighter-looking skin for people who can’t spare the time to recover from a TCA peel.

With a mild AHA peel, you probably won’t peel at all, but, only get some temporary redness and/or dryness. And the process that you experience will not prevent you from working or engaging in your normal activities. Improvements from AHA peels may be very subtle at first. You may detect a healthier glow to your skin. With continued treatments, you will notice a general improvement in the texture of your skin.

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Chemical Peels (“Medium” Peel)
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can be used in many concentrations, but it is most commonly used for medium to deeper depth peeling. With a medium strength TCA peel, you could actually go out to dinner that night (with a little makeup). You might be a little red and tight, but, no one would know that you just had a peel solution applied. In about 1-2 days you will start the peeling process. The down-time after treatment is usually 3-4 days of peeling. At Evolutions Medical Spa, our Alpha-Beta Peel improves the look of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, pigment problems and unclogs pores.

Obagi Blue Peel (“Deep” Peel)
If you want to dramatically improve your complexion in about 2 weeks, go for the Obagi Blue Peel (“Blue for a day!”). The blue solution allows the clinician to control the evenness of the peel; while the number of coats influences the depth of the peel. Immediately after the procedure, the bluish tint remains on your skin, which washes off in the first few hours. In about a week to ten days, your new skin will be apparent and you should be healed sufficiently to return to your normal activities. During this time, it is especially important that you use a sunblock or blotchy, irregular skin coloring may result.

What to Expect During a Peel
During a chemical peel, most patients experience a warm to hot sensation that may last about 5 to 10 minutes and may be followed by some stinging. At Evolutions we have a Synercool machine that blows cool air on your skin to ease the stinging. 3-4 layers may be applied and the solution is then neutralized. The whole process only takes about 45 minutes.

Looking Good!
The results are not permanent, as a chemical peel cannot stop the skin from continuing to age. Depending on the strength of the peel, periodic treatments may be necessary until the desired effects are achieved.

Because sun exposure accelerates signs of aging, protecting the skin from sun exposure will lengthen the amount of time that the results are seen. Protecting the skin from the sun also can prevent some signs of aging. Ask your clinician to recommend a sunblock with adequate UVA and UVB protection and use it every day.

One of our favorite sunblock products is TIZO3. It has an SPF of 40, is water resistant, and has a slight tint to it. The Tizo3 has a velvety, non-greasy feel and gives you a little coverage too. Also, Nia24 with 5% Pro-Niacin®, not only provides SPF30 UVA/UVB protection, but, also repairs past damage and promotes skin health.

It is very important that you find a clinician who has adequate training and experience in chemical peels. Permanent skin lightening and lines of demarcation may occur, if not done by a well trained medical aesthetician. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins, who is also the owner of the Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara, personally sets protocals, trains and supervises all procedures at Evolutions.

Planning for Your First Peel
During your initial complimentary Evolutions Consultation, it is important that you discuss your expectations with your clinician. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns that you may have. The clinician will explain the planned procedure in detail, including its risks and benefits, the recovery period and the costs.

Chemical peels are amazing by themselves, but, they also compliment other services. At Evolutions Medical Spa, you may enhance the results of a chemical peel with laser/light-based rejuvenation techniques, or combine with another procedure, such as dermal fillers (i.e., Restylane®, Radiesse®) or botulinum (Botox® or Dysport™) rejuvenation. A thorough evaluation by your clinician will help determine what best meets your needs.

At Evolutions we price chemical peels as individual treatments and as a series. We encourage you to come in for a complimentary skin rejuvenation consultation. Fill out our contact form online or call us for an appointment 805.687.0212 today! Evolutions Medical Spa is located in downtown Santa Barbara.

All About Chemical Peels for Beautiful Skin by a Santa Barbara Medical Spa


Let it Peel

Here at Santa Barbara’s Evolutions Medical Spa we LOVE chemical peels! We like to call them the “Best bang for your buck”. We get very excited when a client or staff member does a peel. It’s kind of an instant transformation and there is something really rewarding about seeing all that damaged skin come off before your eyes and then seeing the fresh, new skin appear, in a short amount of time.

Chemical Peels have been around a long time! Since the days of ancient Egypt, people have been using chemoexfoliation methods, also known as chemical peeling, to rejuvenate skin. The original chemoexfoliant was lactic acid, an active ingredient of sour milk and old wine with tartaric acid as its active ingredient was also used. Today, these historical chemoexfoliants are known to contain alpha hydroxy acids, which are the active ingredients responsible for the skin exfoliation.

Why get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peeling is used to improve the skin’s appearance by applying a chemical solution to the skin, causing the top damaged layers of skin to separate and peel off. The new skin is smoother, less wrinkled, and may be more even in color. It is helpful for those individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles, mild scarring (like acne scars) and uneven skin pigmentation (blotchiness, sun spots, age spots or freckles). Also, by removing the outer layers of dead skin cells, peels help enhance penetration (and therefore effectiveness) of moisturizers and treatment products (getting more value from your home skin care!).

Evolutions September Event is about Chemical Peels

Every month we have an educational events at Evolutions – our September Event is Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, and the theme is ‘Chemical Peels’. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins, owner of Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara and the Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara, will be doing a presentation on Chemical Peels. Additionally, there will be exclusive discounts just for attendees. Wine and refreshments will be served and there will be a raffle too!

Please call Evolutions Medical Spa at 805.687.0212 to RSVP.

At our monthly educational events you get tons of information in an informal setting and Dr. Perkins and Evolutions staff will be available for Q & A. If you are not able to join us, stay tuned for the next post regarding how chemical peels work, what chemical peels we offer and what sort of results you can expect.

This is a great time of year to get a chemical peel at Evolutions Medical Spa in Santa Barbara!

And for our September 2009 promotion we are giving our clients 25% off Obagi products when you purchase a peel. This promotion expires September 30, 2009.
So, all the more reason to come see us today!