EVOLV Medical Aesthetics

The Many Benefits of Light

Most of us are very familiar with the negative effects of light such as the dangers of excessive sun exposure in causing skin damage, premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.  This is the direct result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation which is a specific wavelength of the sun’s total light spectrum.  But many patients are not aware of the many therapeutic benefits of other types of light energy and their exciting potential in improving skin health.  evolv Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics has over 25 years of experience and interest in utilizing research proven technology in the rapidly expanding and dynamic uses of light therapy and their many exciting benefits for patients of all ages.

Rosacea and Hyperpigmentation:  

Excessive facial redness and blushing, visible facial blood vessels and spotty pigmentation (freckles, moles, melasma, sun damage) are very common and often not completely responsive to topical medications.  At evolv, we have had great success in reducing and even eliminating these stubborn lesions with a form of high intensity pulsed light (IPL) and more recently a more advanced application called ‘broad band light’ commonly known as ‘BBL’.  BBL by Sciton Corp. is the world’s most powerful form of intense pulsed light and can treat most forms of rosacea and pigmentation as well as sun damage and general premature aging of the skin.  In our experience at evolv, BBL has been the most effective and long-lasting therapeutic option in rosacea and pigmentation treatment and has been proven to stimulate collagen and elastin formation resulting in more youthful texture, tone and overall skin health improvement.  Treatments are done in the office, usually in a series of three, and recovery is typically minimal.

General Skin Aging – Forever Young BBL

 What if there was a clinically proven, no downtime, FDA approved treatment for reducing fine lines, sun and age spots, loss of skin elasticity, tone and firmness, rosacea and acne?  What if that treatment has also been proven to prolong ‘youthful gene’ cell function in research studies?  It may sound too good to be true but that is exactly what Sciton’s Forever Young BBL treatments have been proven to do.  It turns out that the same BBL energy described above to treat skin pigment and rosacea can also be harnessed and applied for ‘preventative maintenance’ in aesthetics and restore and even prolong youthful characteristics at the cellular level.  Thru a process termed ‘photomodulation’, specific light wavelengths and energy levels can stimulate receptors on the cell surface to initiate a biologically beneficial effect.  Long term clinical studies have confirmed that regular maintenance treatments of Forever Young BBL will result in genetic benefits, improved cell function, and long lasting, more youthful skin.  Forever Young BBL treatments take only 15-30 min, do not require any anesthetic or topical numbing, have no downtime and can benefit just about any patient of any age.

Antibiotic Free Acne Treatment – Forever Clear BBL

Regular inflammatoryskin lesions or acne vulgaris and cystic acne are very common not only in the teenage population but also breakouts can be frustratingly experienced by adults and peri and post-menopausal women as well.  Unfortunately, the traditional treatments of chronic or long-term antibiotics are not usually effective and can also result in gastrointestinal issues, resistant infections and other potentially harmful side effects.  At evolv we believe that improving skin health is the most beneficial and preventative physiologic approach to reduce the formation of acne and its severity.  Science has also revealed that powerful broad band light (BBL) can also used to reduce acne lesions and inflammation and prevent acne scarring.  The Sciton Forever Clear BBL light therapy has the combined benefits of directly reducing the inflammatory bacteria that cause acne as well as other light wavelengths that reduce inflammation and excess sebum (oil) production.

For best results the Forever Clear treatment is combined with a comprehensive evolv acne skin care program.  The results of this combined approach are less inflammation and breakouts, prevention of scarring and beautiful healthy skin.

Advanced Skin Aging – Halo Fractional Laser

Patients with more advanced forms of sun damage and aging are often excellent candidates for laser light therapy.  Lasers are powerful forms of polarized light energy that may be ablative (treating the entire skin surface) or non-ablative (often termed ‘fractional’ which treats a measured percentage of the skin surface).  The Halo Fractional Laser is the only device of its kind that uniquely combines the benefits of both an ablative and a non-ablative wavelength to result in more effective outcomes with less downtime than traditional lasers.  The Halo laser is also ’tunable’ and can be precisely regulated for specific skin types and treatment outcomes.  The Halo treatment can also be combined with BBL phototherapy for treating pigment, rosacea, and general skin aging simultaneously.  Topical anesthetic and nitrous oxide/oxygen are used for patient comfort with Halo therapy.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) – Phototherapy

Light emitting diodes are devices that release non thermal and non-invasive light energy of various wavelengths including blue, red and infrared light for multiple benefits in the skin and tissues.  LED light does not contain ultraviolet rays and is safe and effective for human skin and tissue treatment.  Multiple benefits include inflammation reduction, direct elimination of acne bacteria, collagen production, improved blood flow, reduction in acute and chronic pain, reduction of swelling, and even stimulation of hair growth in the scalp.  Results will depend on the amount of energy output, specific wavelengths, treatment protocols and experience of the provider so be sure to ask an evolv staff professional to learn more about this exciting therapeutic option.

Reducing Skin Cancer and Pre-Cancer – Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy or’ PDT’ refers to the application of light activated topical medication to reduce precancerous skin lesions and even early skin cancers and is an exciting treatment option for many patients at high risk for non-melanoma skin cancers.  A photosensitizing agent is applied to the skin and then, after an incubation period, activated by a specific wavelength of light.  The activation results in the destruction of premalignant as well as malignant cells and lesions as well as improvement in the overall aging, texture and tone of the skin.  PDT is an ideal consideration for patients with large areas of sun damage and high cancer risk and can even eliminate small skin cancers without the need for surgical resection.  The photodynamic therapy is usually done after conditioning the skin for best results.

Evolving research has revealed many therapeutic benefits of light treatment that can, along with a customized medical skin care program, improve skin health, reduce the signs of premature aging, and lower the risk and number of skin cancers. The most important consideration is to have a complete evaluation by a skin care professional with experience and training in all the many applications of light therapy.

We encourage anyone interested in these benefits and options to discuss these exciting possibilities with one of our professional staff or licensed aestheticians at evolv Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics.

April – National Rosacea Month

Rosacea affects more than 400 million people worldwide and over 16 million Americans!

So, what is ‘rosacea’ anyways?  Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects adults and is typically seen on the central facial areas.  It is characterized by persistent flushing redness, visible blood vessels (telangiectasias), inflammatory acne like pimples.  In some cases, it may involve the conjunctiva of the eye (ocular rosacea).

Although rosacea may involve anyone, it is more common in middle aged women with fair skin and light features and most often from Scandinavian or northern European descent.  Clinical research reveals that there is a 20 – 40% familial or inherited component in rosacea in addition to certain trigger factors that can influence the frequency and severity of the symptoms. 

Psychological Profile

Although rosacea is not typically harmful and is not contagious, it can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life.  The psychosocial impact can involve anxiety, embarrassment, low self-esteem in addition to affecting a patient’s work and dating or personal relationships.

Causes of Rosacea

There are multiple theories regarding the complex causes of rosacea in addition to the genetic or inherited tendencies and subsequently effective treatment.  Most of the latest research on its pathophysiology identify several possibilities including blood vessel disease or inflammation, nerve or neurovascular sensitivities, autoimmune disorders or excessive reactivity of a patient’s immune system, and finally some studies have implicated a microscopic organism that is prevalent in the skin called the Demodex mite.

Proven Options to Reduce Rosacea 

Because of the genetic or inherited component of rosacea, permanent elimination is not likely, but there are several effective and proven treatment options:

 –  Trigger avoidance – rosacea has been clinically linked to smoking, sun exposure (UV light damage), cosmetics and heavy makeup, cosmetic fragrances, certain soaps, spicy foods, excessive alcohol and stress.  Becoming informed and being aware of these triggers can be helpful.  New options in medical grade makeup that reduces inflammation and calms the skin are now available and have proven efficacy.

 –  Photo protection – using a medical grade sunscreen that does not contain fragrances and other additives that can trigger inflammation is extremely important.  The UV component in sunlight is inflammatory and will thin the skin and blood vessels resulting in premature aging and more visible and inflamed vessels.  

Treatment 

It should be emphasized that any patient with severe manifestations or uncontrolled rosacea should seek the evaluation of a board-certified dermatologist.  In addition to the traditional medical management of rosacea, there are now several exciting and clinically proven new options that offer improved outcomes for the rosacea sufferer.

Comprehensive Medical Skincare for Rosacea at evolv

At evolv Medical Aesthetics, we believe in the power of restoring balanced and optimal skin health as the most effective therapy for achieving beautiful and youthful skin.  Treating and controlling chronic inflammation is one of the fundamental steps in our skin health programs and is especially beneficial for the rosacea patient as inflammation is the most influential and universal trigger in all forms of rosacea.

This comprehensive approach will involve 3 essential steps:

  1) Restore Skin Health: Get control of the inflammatory lesions with a ‘cleanse/scrub/oil control’ ZO Skin Health protocol to gently remove inflammatory oil, bacteria and debris that are triggers in inflammation.  Also essential is a topical antioxidant and Vitamin A (retinoids) that neutralize inflammatory mediators and restore a healthy barrier function.  Finally, protecting the rosacea prone skin is paramount and involves non-occlusive medical grade sunscreen with broad spectrum protection.

2) Light Therapy: visible blood vessels and redness can be dramatically improved by broad band light or BBL.  This proprietary technology is not a laser but a high intensity therapeutic light that coagulates the larger vessels and reduces excessive redness associated with rosacea.  Combined with a personalized medical skin care plan and reasonable trigger avoidance, this approach has significantly improved rosacea long term for many patients.

3) Maintenance Programs: Combined with a healthy lifestyle, an anti-inflammatory diet and reasonable stress management, new products that reduce overall redness (Rozatrol from ZO Skin Health) have been clinically tested and have been effective in over 85% of rosacea patients.  Maintenance BBL light therapy and LED red-light therapy are also helpful for long term rosacea control.  New options in medical grade makeup from Colorescience and Jane Iredale have helped improve patient confidence and have health benefits for the skin.

Rosacea is a complex and challenging skin condition that can have a significant impact on quality of life.

At evolv, we have witnessed exciting and long-term improvement for our rosacea patients by utilizing the above comprehensive approach of treating inflammation and restoring skin health.  Healthy skin with more efficient barrier function is less prone to inflammation and disease and can significantly improve quality of life for rosacea patients as well as patients of any age.

If you would like to learn more about rosacea and these new and exciting treatment options, please ask any of our skin care professionals at evolv Medical Aesthetics.

Frank Barone MD FACS