Category: skin and aging

Non-Surgical Facelift??

With the huge demand for ways to stave off the signs of age medical technology is working overtime. First there were facelifts – but a rhytidectomy (face lift) has significant down time, risk of infection, scarring and is very expensive. A facelift is normally the lower 2/3 of the face and if you add a forehead lift and or blepharoplasty (eye lift) the price will go up.  Typically it runs $20,000 – $50,000. So options were explored for ways to get a more youthful appearance without the full surgery. CO2 resurfacing can smooth the skin and get rid of brown spots, but it doesn’t remove excess skin or give you that “tuck”.

The next evolution uses radio frequency most commonly sold under the trade name Thermage. It markets that it can tighten and smooth the skin non-surgically.  While it can lift and tighten it won’t remove excess skin like surgery can. Thermage describes its Ideal Patent as:

  • Patients who are not candidates for surgical face lift
  • Middle-aged women beginning to show signs of neck/brow/eyelid sagging
  • Middle-aged women beginning to show signs of drooping jowls/cheek folds
  • Patients who want to achieve subtle lift or tightening of the face without invasive surgery
  • Patients who have had a prior face lift and desire further tightening of the skin.
Cost runs from $1000 – $5000 depending on the area to be treated. The skin will look improved immediately but results will continue to improve for several months. By the results from their own studies, about 50% of the clients report being happy to very happy with the results. There is generally no down time or skin discoloration. They state that typically results last about 2 years. The results are permanent but that the natural aging process could indicate the need for one or two maintenance treatments. While this has been a popular service, the discomfort and success rates triggered more research.
Another new technique is using ultrasonic sound waves to transfer heat into the skin in a manner similar to radio frequency. The surface of the skin is not damaged but tiny micro-wounds place at varying depths in the dermis and below trigger tightening and collagen production. Patients have reported that afterwards it feels like the muscles have been doing ab crunches. While there may be some visible tightening this is a long term process where the skin appearance continues to improve over 3 – 6 months. Recent studies have shown that new collagen is still being deposited 2 years following a single treatment. That indicates this is a very long lasting therapy. The ideal patient would be similar to that for Thermage.  Nothing will remove very lax or excess skin outside of surgery.  But if you start younger, before the problem becomes severe, then yes, there are non-surgical ways to lift the face.
Because of post treatment tenderness of the muscles and along bony ridges, patients should wait 4-6 weeks before resuming facial treatments and permanent cosmetic procedures that involve pressure or stretching. A light touch treatment can probably be tolerated well at 2 weeks. If in doubt have the client get an ok from their medical professional.

 

Can Medications Really Affect My Esthetic or Permanent Cosmetic Service?

This is a common question clients often ask and the one word answer is Yes, medications can affect even the most simple skin care services.  Many medications have effects on the body aside from the reason they are being taken.  This is easily demonstrated – just listen to one of the many television commercials for prescription medications.  The list of possible side effects is rather staggering.  Of course not every person has these side effects but they can happen. Be sure to let your esthetician or permanent makeup artist know about all prescription and non-prescription drugs, supplements, topically applied products, eye drops, etcetera.  The more they know about what you use, the better an outcome they can help you achieve.  Do NOT stop taking your medications. Depending on the problem there are often workarounds. If your medication is a contraindication to doing the desired service your technician will probably recommend you talk to your doctor. Or they may request you confirm with your physician that having this procedure is safe for you. Your health and safety is our number one concern.

Cholesterol and blood pressure medications while not blood thinners, work to make the blood platelets not stick together. In permanent cosmetics this often means there may be more chance of a blood droplet coming to the surface. The down side is this molecule is bigger than the tattoo pigment molecule and can wash some of them away.  This leads to more color loss than would experienced on a client not on these medications.

Clients on thyroid medications often need permanent cosmetic procedures re-enhanced a little more frequently.  We have noticed that for whatever reason their color fades a little more quickly.

Blood thinning medications can also cause issues with permanent cosmetic procedures. You may be referred to get clearance from your physician.

Diabetic clients who are insulin dependent often do not heal as well and may be at a heightened risk for infection. They may need clearance from their physician for permanent cosmetic services, waxing or other more aggressive skin care treatments.

Use of retinoids (Vitamin A) or acids like Glycolic, Lactic or blends work to thin the dead skin of the epidermis. This means that a service like waxing, microdermabrasion or other exfoliating therapy increases the risk of skin irritation or even creating a wound.  Be sure to discuss use of any of these products, prescription or over the counter with your technician.

Restasis is a new concern as it has been observed that those who use it have increased sensitivity of the eyelid to the point that a permanent cosmetic eyeliner procedure is not well tolerated. Your technician may want you to discontinue use for 30 days before doing the tattoo procedure.  Do not restart use of the restasis for at least two weeks after your technician has determined it is completed. (Wait until all follow up work is finalized.)

Patients on chemotherapy drugs have a compromised immune system and may not heal well.  All of these drugs need your doctor’s written permission that this procedure is safe for you.

Botox and injectables are extremely popular today.  Any skin care or permanent cosmetic procedure is fine before having botox or injectables.  If you have had either a neurotoxin or filler injectable wait at least 2 weeks before having a facial massage, other skin care treatment, waxing, or permanent cosmetic.  The manipulation of the skin has a small potential for affecting the outcome and lasting of your injection site.  For a lip coloration procedure the best timing is before any fillers are injected. This has been clinically observed to produce the best most predictable outcome.

Herbs and supplements can also have an impact on the skin.  Some can cause blood thinning or skin thinning.  Be sure to provide your technician with a complete list of everything that you take so that we can avoid unexpected complications and make sure you have the safest procedure with the most positive outcome.

Menopause and Your Skin

Menopause is a nasty word that no woman enjoys dealing with.  It is the time when the body transitions from having ovulation and the menstrual cycle to the complete cessation of this.  While for most of us loosing the ability to have more children at 50+ is not a big issue, the challenges we must endure as we go through this process are not so great.  Not only do we have to deal with hot flashes, nightsweats, poor sleep, hormonal imbalance triggering diminished sexual desire or discomfort during sex, mood swings, headaches, changes in hair growth patterns, and breakouts, but also what seems like a sudden aging appearance to the skin.

Actually, when you think about it, many of these symptoms are similar to PMS with hotflashes being the main difference. And some of the medical therapies are the same.  Know that if this is an issue you deal with You are NOT ALONE.  Women between 44 and 65 now make up America’s largest demographic group.  By 2015 nearly one half of American women will be either menopausal or post menopause.  That’s a rather staggering figure – sorry guys, not something you want to hear.  But with your help, we can deal with this. Its not just us average gals, its the celebrities and female politicians also.  Fortune Magazine in a recent report ran a cover story on the world’s 100 most powerful women. If we use their ages as a guide, then 90% of them are menopausal.

  Side note:  6000 US women enter menopause every day with an average age of 51!

With menopause comes a loss of estrogen.  Unfortunately, appropriate levels of estrogen is what helps keep the skin young looking, our emotions in balance, and our libido interested in intimacy. With the loss of estrogen the skin tends to be more dry, there is an increase the development of wrinkles and loss of skin tone.  Women often note their skin seemed to suddenly age.  Its common to have hair loss both on the head and of the eyebrows.  While we can’t stop the time clock, there are things we can do to improve the appearance of the skin.

1) Skin Care. Find a good, well trained esthetician who understands the problems and how to address them. A variety of facial treatments can be beneficial including microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, hydration and facial toning.  To improve the appearance of the skin it is important to exfoliate the dead skin cells off.  This process tends to slow down with menopause and the skin takes on a dull appearance. Exfoliation counteracts this.  Hydration improves the moisture in the surface layers of the skin. Facial toning helps give the face a subtle lift that just keeps getting better the longer it is done. I know women who have used Facial toning as their go to treatment for over a decade and they look far younger than the calender would indicate. The secret to success is think “series” instead of an occasional treatment, you will see much better results. Home use of mild AHAs or Retinols in skin care products plus incorporation of peptides and topical antioxidants generally give very impressive results. Use your esthetician as your “skin care coach” and get their recommendations to the exact products that will be the best for you.

2) If you want a quick fix, find a well qualified doctor who specializes in neurotoxin and filler therapy.  Botox is the most commonly recognized brand but there are others that are FDA approved.  This type of treatment requires redoing every few months, but many women (and men) find it gives them that mental boost and confidence that makes it well worth the expense.  Extend the life of your injections with the home care products mentioned above (AHA’s or retinols, antioxidants and peptides as ingredients in your cosmetics.)  Facial toning also works to extend the life of your injections.

3) Light therapies do improve skin appearance.  IPL and laser can quickly improve the appearance of sun damage. Radio frequency can help sculpt. LED can help the skin perform better and self correct to appear younger and act healthier.  LEDs are very safe to use and have no contraindications except for those with epilepsy.  For laser and IPL the darker your skin tone, the more cautious you need to be as it can trigger post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

4) Hormone therapies are another way to fight back.  Many women and their doctors have been scared away from hormone therapy for long term use due to the problems with products like Premarin which is derived from processed pregnant mare urine.  This product was chosen due to the high level of hormones in it. But Premarin has many side effects. There seem to be alternative choices now available to physicians that are more specific with the hormones they choose to prescribe.   Lesser known but (at least in my experience) more effective and without side effects are bio-identical hormones. However, if you google this on the web, you will find controversy does exist. Commonly used are plant derived hormones including estradiol,  esterone, progesterone and sometimes testosterone. With these the doctor would test your exact hormonal levels and only prescribe just what you need.  These can be prescribed as topical creams, suppositories or little pellets that implanted under the skin of your butt.  While the creams or suppositories are used on a daily or weekly basis the pellets last for about six months.    The biggest challenge seems to be finding a doctor that really understands these therapies and that will customize the recommendations to suit the specific individual.

5) Reduce stress.  Stress is a huge contributor to the aging process in the body.  It is crucial to find ways to keep it in balance.  Very helpful are yoga, exercise, good rest, avoiding excesses, and a healthy diet. Find something you like to to that helps you relax whether it is a walk with your favorite person or dog or that nice hot bath. Since when we are under a lot of stress, weight management becomes more challenging, finding ways to reduce your stress and/or deal with it can be very beneficial.  Get and give Hugs.  Research has shown that good hugs are extremely beneficial to both your physical and mental health.  A good hug  and/or laugh triggers the body to release soothing, healing chemicals which boost your mood and create happiness.  Try for 8 hugs a day and watch your stress levels decline.

Sleep Issues Affecting Your Skin???

Sleep Issues –  Causing Skin Conditions?

Yes, your sleep problems can be causing skin problems. Sleep is our time to internally refresh, restore and heal.  Anything that interrupts this process can lead to the skin looking less than its best.  All of us have gotten up and looked in the mirror after a bad night’s sleep and noted the dark under-eye circles and the dull cast to the skin.  The bad sleep and the diminished skin appearance are directly related.  Anything that triggers poor sleep can make us look, and feel tired and older.

Inadequate sleep:  whether it is odd working hours, stress, a baby in the house, insomnia, or anything else that prevents us from sleeping, it is going to result in daytime tiredness, under eye circles and a dull cast to the skin.  We can slather on all the lotions and potions we want, but if we don’t address the problem it won’t get any better.

If you do shift work, try to create an environment where you can get maximum rest when you do get to sleep.  Consider a device that will create white noise and blank out the potentially interruptive sounds.  Solicit the support of family and friends that “x” hours you need to be sleeping.  Rotating shifts are even harder as your body’s natural Circadian rhythm is fighting with the schedule you need to keep.  Our body’s natural desire is to sleep when it’s dark and be awake in the light.

Stress: we all know the hazards but often don’t think about them showing up on the skin.  They do.  Each of us needs to find ways to deal with the stresses in our life and there are a lot of them.  Family, babies, marriage, divorce, work, bills, friends, all can be stressful.  Even exercise or a change in routine can be stressful to the body and it will need time to adapt.  Stress affects our hormone levels which affects about everything else.  Be prepared with your little emergency kit if stress triggers skin breakouts. Try some form of meditation or relaxation to reduce stress before you go to bed to sleep better. Yes, that cup of herbal tea is a more restful nightcap than anything else. No caffeine of any form including sodas or chocolate for 4 hours prior to bedtime also is a great help.

Baby:  It’s nothing new that a baby in the house will mess with your sleep. So what is a mom supposed to do?  Go with the flow.  If you have are at home with the child, the best answer is probably napping.  When you put the baby down, take a power nap.  This may help you feel more refreshed and rested in the evening when the rest of your family is home and hoping for a bit of companionship and a meal.  If you are back at work and napping when baby does isn’t an option, try catching a power nap at lunch.  Learn to do a bit of self-hypnosis and you can feel rested and refreshed in 15 minutes.  The slow cooker is your friend.  Not only do slow cookers create very tasty and lower glycation meals, you can start it in the morning and forget it. No time to do it in the morning because of family and baby demands?  Consider making it a family together time and assemble it the night before. Get everyone involved and let them help. In the morning, just put it on the heating base and turn it on.

 

Snoring: Well this was a new one for me. Yes, snoring can mess with your sleep  – and I don’t mean waking your partner and them being grouchy.  Snoring loudly enough to wake yourself or your partner may mean sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea can be a potentially life threatening disorder if untreated.  During the sleep cycle breathing stops and starts multiple times.  The problem is easily recognized in men because they tend to snore loudly. Women though, (my doctor told me) are much sneaker and harder to discover. Women may or may not suffer from loud snoring but still have sleep apnea.  The problem with sleep apnea is the interrupted breathing means that the brain is not getting its routine oxygen supply.  This is what can lead to some pretty nasty health problems. Here is a listing of the symptoms and information from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/basics/symptoms/con-20020286  I don’t have many of the classical symptoms like daytime drowsiness, but I do have sleep apnea. Learning and treating this I can avoid the health problems and wake up refreshed in the morning.

UV Rays

There is only one thing more damaging to the skin and aging it than the sun, and that is a tanning bed.  It doesn’t burn the skin because it only uses UVA rays.  UVA rays penetrate more deeply and cause damage to the dermal tissue. UVB rays are more focused on the surface of the skin and cause burns.  Unprotected, both can lead to skin cancer.942700_382198045228391_72124034_n

Esthetician’s specialty is healthful, youthful skin

Feb 6, 2014

Esthetician’s specialty is healthful, youthful skin

Let’s face it, nobody can live up to the glamour look of Hollywood Barbies. “Not even Hollywood Barbies can,” asserts Judith “Judi” Culp, owner of Esthetics NW Services in Eugene.

But for women and men who want to improve their appearance with younger-looking and healthier skin, the anti-aging specialist has a 34-year career and all sorts of treatments and products at her disposal.

Facials lead to “skin that looks brighter, clearer, plumper and more toned,” Culp says.

For women with problematic skin, the facial includes deep cleansing, toning, disinfecting and hydrating. Facialsto counteract aging combine treatments to exfoliate, hydrate, nourish and firm the skin.

Culp helps women select the best makeup for their skin type, and her beauty treatments range from permanent cosmetics, such as eyebrow enhancements, to concealing age spots and other blemishes.

Patients who commit to ongoing skin-care treatments, notably microdermabrasion and other technologies, see the most lasting results.

“Skin care is much like exercise,” says Culp, who literally has written the book on training estheticians in the science of skin care. “If I go to the gymonce, it’s going to wear off in a few days. If I want to make permanent changes in my body, I’ve got to have a regimen and be diligent about it.

“The same thing is with skin care. If they go once, it will give them a nice cleansing,” or whatever else falls into their budget, she continues. “But if they really want to see changes, it’s going to take a bit of a commitment and a series of treatments.”

Sunny atmosphere

Culp chose warm wall colors and Mediterranean art, including a wall mural in the lounge of her clinic at 81 Centennial Loop in Eugene, for relaxedatmosphere.

“I wanted to bring a Tuscan influence in here, because Tuscan colors are warm and sunny and friendly. So we have an escape from the daily gray,” she says.

Both treatment rooms operate at the sanitary standards of dental offices. A third room is reserved for makeup consultations.

“I have them bring me their face in a bag,” teases Culp in reference to her makeup consultations. She analyzes exactly what makeup her customers use, sometimes in conjunction with a facial treatment. “I’m here to show you how to take best advantage of your

Judi Culp, owner of Esthetics NW Services in Eugene, works with customer Karen Williams. Culp provides a range of skin-care and cosmetic services focused on maintaining healthy, vibrant skin.

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Esthetics NW

Permanent Cosmetics NW
81 Centennial Loop, Suite 3
Eugene, OR 97401

A division of Culp Enterprises, Inc.
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Phone: (541) 344-7789

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