Our Blog
  • The Importance of Hydrated Skin

    Everyone knows, or should know, the benefits of staying properly hydrated: keeping energy up, losing weight, improving brain function and more. But do you know that getting enough water can be vital to healthy-looking skin?

    The Skin Dangers of Being Dehydrated

    When you don’t drink water, your body becomes dehydrated and that is reflected in your skin. Dry skin is less elastic than normal skin, so it’s at greater risk of developing cracks and wrinkles.

    Dryness can also make your skin look dull, removing the facial glow that healthy skin produces. It can also become flaky and itchy, especially in the winter when the air is dry as well. Cracked, flaky skin does a poor job of keeping potentially hostile microorganisms out of your body causing a greater risk of developing skin infections.

    Being dehydrated also has negative effects beneath your skin. Your body’s production of collagen, the connective tissue that makes skin look full and soft, requires water. Without collagen, your skin can lose volume and sag. Once that occurs, individuals would opt for facial and dermal fillers to create volume and fullness where it is lacking. For example, your board-certified dermatologist will select from a variety of fillers depending on the treatment area and the depth of the crease and amount of volume loss in the face. Some studies show that the production of sebum, or skin oil, also depends on proper water intake to operate properly. If your skin is dry, your oil glands may overproduce sebum to compensate, increasing the risk of clogged pores and/or acne breakouts.

    How to Get Enough Water

    Ideally, you should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. A refillable water bottle is a great way to work toward this goal, because you can drink whenever you feel like it. Alternatively, try to include a glass of water every time you eat.

    Also, be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables! Foods such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, and peppers are very high in water content and can help keep you well hydrated.

    Being sure you get your daily water is an important step to a healthy lifestyle. You’ll see the difference quickly as you feel more energetic and your skin softens and brightens, producing the facial glow of youth.

  • Treatments for Sun Damaged Skin

    Today, we know the importance of avoiding sun exposure to halt premature aging, skin cancer, and other forms of skin damage. But still, many people receive too much sun exposure, whether because of lifestyle, the environment, or simply not knowing how to properly prevent dangerous and excessive sun exposure without the appropriate precautions. Even if your skin has been damaged by the sun, a board-certified dermatologist at OC Skin Institute can help you reduce and reverse the effects of overexposure.

    There are a wide variety of choices in treating sun damaged skin. Your doctor will help you determine which will work best for you, based on your skin type and the nature of the damage. The methods and cosmetic procedures range from injectables to laser treatment.

    Treating Sun Damage By Removing Skin Layers

    Several types of cosmetic treatments for sun damaged skin work by removing the upper layers of the skin and allowing fresher, undamaged skin to grow from below. These include dermabrasion, in which the skin is removed mechanically; chemical peels which use chemicals to loosen and exfoliate the damaged skin; and laser resurfacing, which uses a laser to remove damaged skin and stimulate the regrowth of new skin. All of these, however, involve some level of injury to the skin and healing time afterward. Lasers are usually the least injuring because they can be used with greater precision than the other methods.

    There are milder forms of the above treatments that do not involve as much healing, but they usually require several treatments to have full effect. These include microdermabrasion, light chemical peels, and fractional lasers, such as a fractional C02 laser.

    Reducing the Appearance of Sun Damage

    Another form of cosmetic treatments for sun damaged skin involves reducing the appearance of wrinkles caused by the sun.

    Facial fillers reduce wrinkles by adding volume and hydration to the skin, tightening it and smoothing out wrinkles. Similarly, Botox is a widely used cosmetic method to reduce wrinkles by reducing the mobility of the skin and preventing deeper creases from forming. Specifically, botox is a toxin that paralyzes and relaxing the muscles that cause facial movement. Although these methods are less effective than removing the sun damaged skin itself, and require repeated applications to maintain benefits, they’re much easier and quicker to apply.

    If your skin is showing signs of sun damage, talk to your board-certified dermatologist to develop a treatment plan. And of course, remember to protect your skin when you’re out in the sunlight!

  • Natural & Synthetic Facial Fillers

    Facial or dermal fillers are a type of cosmetic procedure used to rejuvenate skin that has begun to sag and lose volume due to age. They can provide targeted fullness and support for loose skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    When injected by a board-certified dermatologist, these fillers are easy, safe, with immediate results compared to surgery. But it’s important to choose the right type of facial filler for your case. Here are the facts.

    Dermal fillers can be divided into two types: natural and synthetic. Natural fillers, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane, are made with substances your body naturally produces, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid. While they produce a more natural look and have lower risk of side effects, they do break down eventually and have to be renewed.

    Synthetic fillers such as Sculptra and Radiesse give long-lasting results, and are usually referred to as “semi-permanent.” They still require occasional touch-ups, however.

    What Areas Are Ideal for Fillers?

    Facial filler can be added anywhere in the face. However, they’re most commonly used for nasiolabial folds (the lines that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth). They are also frequently used in the lip area to fill out the lips and erase lines around the mouth. They can also be used in hollows beneath the eyes, to improve the shape of the cheeks and jaw, and to reduce the appearance of scars such as acne and chicken pox scars.

    How Are Fillers Applied?

    OC Skin Institute’s board-certified dermatologists can inject fillers right here in our office. No anesthesia is necessary, although a topical numbing cream may be used to reduce discomfort. The injections should take no more than an hour, and results will be immediately visible.

    There may be some swelling around the injection site, but it should not last long. There is a slight risk of infection or allergic reaction, but much less than with surgery.

    How Often Should Fillers Be Re-injected?

    Natural fillers require steady upkeep in order to maintain their appearance as they break down. The rate of breakdown depends on where the filler is injected and your body chemistry, but natural fillers usually last anywhere from three months to a year. Most dermatologists recommend injections twice a year when you first get dermal fillers, and once a year after they’ve had a chance to build up.

    Botox, another common cosmetic procedure, can also help make natural fillers last longer and complements it well. Contact OC Skin Institute today to schedule your consultation if you are interested in non-surgical cosmetic procedures like fillers and Botox.

  • Hand Rejuvenation Treatment at OC Skin Institute

    While people who want to reduce the signs of aging often focus on improving the face and neck, there’s another part of you that people see all the time — your hands. Hands can show age just as clearly as the face does. Individuals can develop age spots and wrinkles, especially if regularly exposed to the sun.

    They can also lose skin volume over time, so veins and tendons stand out more prominently. However, there are a variety of techniques dermatologists can use for hand rejuvenation. Talk to your doctor to find out which cosmetic procedure is best suited for your aesthetic concerns. Our patients typically opt for one of the following hand rejuvenation cosmetic treatments:

    Methods of Hand Rejuvenation to Reduce Spots, Wrinkles and Other Signs of Aging

  • How To Get Rid of Enlarged Pores and Blackheads

    Blackheads and enlarged pores are problematic for many individuals and patients seen at OC Skin Institute. These skin conditions can often be removed with certain cosmetic treatments, but knowing what causes them in the first place can make it easier to prevent them from occurring.

    Causes of Blackheads and Enlarged Pores

    When oil glands produce excessive amounts of oil that mixes with dead skin cells or other substances, skin pores can clog. Clogged skin pores often become enlarged, to allow the secretion of oil from the skin when normal oil flow is obstructed. The oil that secretes from enlarged pores can still become trapped by dead skin at the ends of the pores and form blackheads when it is exposed to air and oxidizes.

    Click here to get more information about enlarged pores, how they form and how to prevent them.

     Cosmetic Procedures & Treatment

    If treatment at home is not effective, there are simple acne, pore and blackhead cosmetic treatments that can be tried. Some cosmetic procedures we offer at OC Skin Institute include:

    Using lasers to remove blackheads and shrink pores is also a popular cosmetic treatment method that often brings about desirable results. One of our dermatologists might also prescribe a stronger skincare product to address the problem.

    At-Home Treatments

    There are several things that people can do at home to prevent the outbreak of blackheads and enlarged pores. The use of bar soap should be avoided due to the fact that the ingredients used to make soap in solid form can cause pores to become clogged. Thick and greasy skin creams can also clog pores and are especially problematic for people with naturally oily skin. Gentle cleansers that are water-soluble and have neutral pH levels are best to use on your skin. Other at-home tips include:

    • Washing all makeup off before going to bed
    • Exfoliating with a salicylic acid (BHA) liquid to eliminate dead skin cells
    • Not using scrubs or brushes with stiff bristles to try to remove blackheads

    Contact our office to schedule your consultation today and discuss how best to treat your clogged, enlarged pores or blackheads.

  • Cosmetic Treatments for Telangiectasias

    Telangiectasias are tiny broken blood vessels and capillaries that are visible on the surface of the skin. This skin condition frequently occurs on the face, thighs, and legs. The affected vessels may appear red or purplish and be matted or star-shaped. Although telangiectasias is not life-threatening, the vessels may become more noticeable and spread to include larger patches of skin if left untreated.

    Who Is at Risk for Telangiectasias?

    Telangiectasias is most often seen in individuals prone to frequent blushing or flushing. The condition can also occur in those with rosacea, fair or sun-damaged skin, or who overuse topical steroid creams. Individuals who develop telangiectasias after using a topical corticosteroid should discontinue using the cream on the affected area. Telangiectasias can be exacerbated by excessive sun exposure. Using a high SPF sunscreen and wearing protective clothing while outdoors may help prevent this condition from worsening.

    What Cosmetic Treatments Exist?

    Telangiectasias will not resolve without some form of cosmetic treatment. In most cases, the appearance of the blood vessels and capillaries can be diminished with laser therapy. Broadband and intense pulsed light lasers are typically used to treat affected vessels on the cheeks, nose, forehead, neck, and chin along with widespread redness affecting other parts of the body. The larger blood vessels located deeper in the skin can “feed” the more superficial vessels and make treatment more difficult; however, pulsed-dye lasers are often effective at treating these more problematic vessels. Telangiectasias located on the legs and thighs may require additional treatment with sclerotherapy injections. These injections, which are relatively painless, seal off the affected blood vessels so that they gradually disappear in six to eight weeks.

    Does the Treatment Have Any Side Effects?

    The laser therapies used to treat telangiectasias are non-invasive and painless. The most common side effect is minor temporary bruising at the treatment site. Multiple treatments may be required to achieve maximum results.

  • Double Chin Treatment With Kybella

    Kybella, or keoxycholic acid, is a naturally based substance. It is the direct equivalent to a chemical produced by your body, which helps to absorb and process fatty tissue. Rather than simply shrinking or reducing the appearance of fat cells, Kybella eliminates existing fat cells, while otherwise inhibiting the growth of new fatty tissue. At present, Kybella is used as part of a cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of fat deposits below the chin, which are sometimes referred to as a “double chin.”

    Presently, Kybella has only been tested and approved for use in chin enhancement procedures. Its use in the reduction of fat depositions elsewhere in the body has yet to be given the go-ahead.

    Who Benefits from Kybella Treatment?

    There is no harm incurred through the presence of additional fat below the chin, but many people find the presence of a double chin unsightly and embarrassing. Kybella treatment is a harmless cosmetic procedure which can help boost confidence and improve a patient’s self-esteem.

    Before the Cosmetic Procedure

    Your board-certified dermatologist will want to test to make sure that you are not allergic to deoxycholic acid, the naturally occurring substance of which Kybella is based. You also need to make sure that your skin is devoid of infection in the area to be treated.

    If you have a history of neck injury, a blood clotting disorder, or are currently affected by a condition that results in swollen glands or lymph nodes, make sure to tell your doctor ahead of time. It’s better to postpone the treatment until it can be ascertained as being completely safe.

    After Chin Enhancement with Kybella

    You will want to avoid an excess of physical activity which places strain on the neck or throat while recovering from a session, and avoid excess sun exposure, which can slow recovery time. Otherwise, ask your doctor for specific instructions regarding what to avoid eating or drinking while recovering from your injections.

    How Kybella Works

    Kybella injections will be provided by a licensed healthcare provider. Up to fifty injections may be involved in each treatment session, with a total of up to eight sessions being required in order to secure optimum results. The drug will eliminate excess fat cells in the area of injection, reducing both current and future fat deposits of the kind that contribute to the appearance of a double chin.

    Side Effects and Other Concerns

    Side effects from Kybella are rare. If you experience trouble swallowing, difficulty breathing, a crooked smile, or weakened facial muscles after one or more Kybella injections, get in touch with your physician immediately.

    More common and less severe side effects may include a slight ache, hardness, swelling or bruising in the area which has been treated. These might occur after one or more sessions, or they may not be experienced at all. These are temporary effects but your doctor can provide you with a prescription to reduce their severity if necessary.

  • Recovery & Side-Effects of the Blepharoplasty Procedure

    Eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is a popular procedure for eliminating sagging of the skin around the eyes and reducing the all too common appearance of bags under the eyes. The result is a rejuvenated and refreshed appearance. Patients who opt to undergo blepharoplasty often feel the excess skin and fat deposits around their eyes make them look angry, tired, or aged beyond their years. The procedure provides natural-looking results and can make the eyes appear wider and more youthful. Based on the patient’s circumstances, blepharoplasty can be used to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both.

    Recovery: How to Protect Your Eyes After the Procedure

    To prevent infection, it is important to protect the eyes from bacteria, dust, and other contaminates during the initial recovery period. It is important to follow post-surgical instructions regarding the proper way to cleanse the eye area. It is also a good idea to wear some form of covering to shield the eyes from foreign debris. The eyes will be more sensitive to light following the procedure, so it is important to wear sunglasses when going outdoors. When the healing and recover process are over, enjoy the rejuvenated appearance of tighter looking skin around the eyes. After all, the eyes are the windows to the soul.

    Potential Side-Effects of Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery

    The initial recovery following eyelid surgery can take 7 to 10 days. During this time, the most common side effects include mild to moderate pain, bruising, and swelling. Some patients experience difficulty closing their eyes, corneal irritation, temporary vision changes, insufficient or excessive tearing, and droopy eyelids. Side effects typically subside within a week at which time most patients are able to return to the majority of their regular daily activities.

    There are steps that patients can take to prevent or alleviate post-procedure side effects and discomfort. This includes taking prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers, using cold compresses, and elevating the head while sleeping to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. It is important to follow the post-surgical instructions provided by the cosmetic surgeon in order to ensure proper healing.

    Any surgical procedure involves potential risks. Although complications following eyelid surgery are rare, risks include the possibility of bleeding, infection, changes in vision, dry eyes, and the inability to close the eyes.

  • The Benefits of Botox at Any Age

    Botox is the most popular choice for surgery-free wrinkle reduction and the most commonly performed cosmetic non-surgical procedure in the United States. Since it was approved by the FDA in 2002, millions of patients have benefited from these easy, non-invasive treatments. It may seem that it is only for older people who have already developed wrinkles and want to make them disappear, but that’s not true. Patients from as young as 18 to as old as 65 can benefit from this treatment.

    How It Works

    Derived from botulin toxin injected by a board-certified dermatologist, the treatment works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles in areas that are at risk for forming wrinkles. As it wears off, the muscles stretch out, smoothing away the wrinkles in the skin above them. The full benefits will appear two to three weeks after the initial treatment, and can last up to three months.

    Benefits for Young Patients

    For younger women, in their 20s to early 30s, wrinkles may not be a concern. But it’s important to think of the future. Early treatments with Botox can stop wrinkles before they start and ensure better-looking skin later in life. It can remove the fine lines that naturally form around your eyes and forehead, the forerunners of more serious wrinkles, and help preserve youthful looks without looking unnatural. For young patients, injections may not even be necessary — your dermatologist can provide superficial, non-invasive applications that help target wrinkle problem spots.

    What Older Patients Should Know

    Once you pass into your 40s, your skin naturally loses some of its resiliency and elasticity and, with it, the ability to recover from wrinkling. And the decades of exposure to sunlight and repetitive facial expressions will have taken their toll, creating wrinkles that are too deep to treat by one method alone. But Botox can still benefit older women by reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles and tightening the skin while restoring a younger-looking appearance. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tony Nakhla is able to create a regimen that combines Botox with other treatments, including dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, and/or Thermage, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

    To learn more about Botox and how it can work for you, contact OC Skin Institute and see one of our board-certified dermatologists. Young or old, it’s never too early or too late to take care of your face and ensure that you have the best skin possible!

  • All About Eyelid Blepharoplasty

    Blepharoplasty, commonly known as eyelid cosmetic surgery, is a popular procedure used to improve the appearance of puffy, drooping, and tired-looking eyes. The procedure is normally performed by a cosmetic surgeon and board-certified dermatologist.

    How To Prepare for Your Blepharoplasty:

    During the initial consultation, the surgeon reviews the patient’s medical history. This includes a detailed listing of past illness, surgeries, any prescription, over-the-counter medications and supplements that the patient is taking. Based on the consultation, the doctor provides the patient with detailed pre and post-operative instructions. Although there may be specific recommendations based on the patient’s individual history, the following basic steps will help ensure a successful recovery.

    Stop Certain Medications:

    Certain medications and supplements can increase the risk of serious bleeding. Ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and prescription blood thinners should be discontinued two weeks prior to surgery. These medications can normally be restarted about two weeks after the procedure.

    Stop Smoking:

    Patients undergoing the blepharoplasty eyelid surgery are advised to stop smoking. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which interferes with the healing process.

    Arrange for Transportation:

    Patients are not allowed to drive themselves home following the procedure and are required to bring a designated driver to the appointment. It is also recommended that patients have someone stay with them the first night following surgery.

    Prepare for the Recovery Period:

    Advance preparation can make it easier to remain comfortable and relaxed during the recovery period. This includes having a supply of prepared meals available, cool compresses to help with swelling and discomfort, and an ample supply of everyday necessities.

    What to Expect During Recovery:

    Eyelid blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis. Following the procedure, patients spend a short time in recovery before returning home. It is normal to have some bruising and swelling around the eyes during the first week following the procedure. Eyesight may be a little blurry at first. The eyes may also be sensitive to light and water more than usual. These symptoms should resolve in about a week. During the first week of recovery, patients should avoid strenuous activity and eyestrain. Elevating the head while sleeping can help reduce swelling. It is important to wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from light and debris. Contacts should not be worn for two weeks.