Popular Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments for the Winter Months
The weather may be cooler, the sunshine out for fewer hours in each day and people are more likely to stay indoors. However, this also means that the winter months are a great time to remove the sun damage from the Summer months through a simple cosmetic dermatology procedure. Below is a list of common treatments which patients come for in our NYC based office in the winter months:
Cosmelan is a face-peeling mask commonly used in Melasma treatment for removing facial pigmentation. Cosmelan involves two in-office masks, one for the full face and then another “touch up” to address areas that still have pigmentation approximately 3 weeks after the first mask. The masks must be left on for 6 or more hours which causes several days of peeling. In addition, Cosmelan 2 follow up cream is used at home to help the effectiveness of the peel. This treatment is recommended mostly during winter months, when there is less sun exposure. For most patients, the “down time” after this procedure is 4 to 8 days. Patients love this procedure and it delivers maximum results for getting rid of pigmentation ahead of the New Year. Safe and effective on all types of skin, Dr. Michele Green is one of the few dermatologists in NYC to offer this treatment.
Clear & Brilliant
Clear & Brilliant is a unique treatment that uses safe, fractional laser technology to address the early signs of aging skin and help rejuvenate the damage. It helps improve pigmentation, texture, tone, and luster without any “down time.” Clear & Brilliant is a gentle laser which refreshes your skin from the inside out. The laser energy creates millions of microscopic treatment zones in the upper layers of the skin, replacing damaged skin with healthy, younger looking tissue. This procedure takes about 15 minutes to perform and can be done on the face, neck, and chest. Some patients may require a topical anesthetic but this depends on a patient’s sensitivity. The number of treatments is tailored to your concerns and skincare desires. The recommended treatment for each patient is approximately 4-6 treatments, though many patients choose to have routine treatments as part of their overall skin care regimen.
Alex TriVantage Laser
The fall and winter months are a great time for the Alex TriVantage laser which is a fabulous laser for treating sunspots. Alex TriVantage is a triple wavelength laser which can handle the toughest of pigmentation and even the brightest of tattoo ink (in all seasons). This laser is safer than traditional methods because of its unique ability to selectively treat the tattoo or pigmented lesion. It will eliminate the pigment while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Patients come to the office 30 minutes before their appointment time in order to apply topical anesthetic that makes the treatment completely pain free. After just a few days the pigmentation and sun spots are gone and fresh new clear skin remains.
Fraxel Dual Laser
Another procedure that is extremely popular in the the Fall/Winter months is the Fraxel Dual Laser, which consists of two lasers in one. Fraxel is a fabulous laser which Dr. Green calls the “magic eraser”. After only one or two treatments, Fraxel removes age spots, background sun damage and pigmentation damage from the top layer of the skin quickly and evenly. The pigmentation setting for this treatment is the Fraxel’s 1927 wavelength. The other laser of the Fraxel Dual laser is the 1550 wavelength which improves skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars.
We apply a topical anesthetic one hour before the procedure so that there is no discomfort from the laser. The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes to perform. Afterwards we apply cold compresses and the patient’s skin may be slightly pink in color. The down time for both wave lengths are different, as the 1927 wavelength has approximately 5 days of peeling and the 1550 has 2 days of redness or swelling. Several treatments are typically recommended for the most impressive results, and these should be spaced about 4 weeks apart.
Fraxel Before and After Photos
Before / After Photo: Fraxel 1927 used for skin pigmentation on face.
Dr. Green loves to do chemical peels during the Winter as it is a very simple and effective treatment. Dr. Green uses various acids Trichloroacetic Acid to perform these peels in her office. She will adapt a pigment protocol to incorporate her MGSKINLABS line of products to maximize the results of the peel. There is some minor “down time” after chemical peels, as you might have some peeling and dryness for several days. Chemical peels can help improve the appearance of your skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as evening out skin tone.
Dr. Green recommends patients to have at least 2 to 4 treatments and with each treatment about 2 to 4 weeks apart from each other. Patients love chemical peels and it leaves their skin refreshed and has no down time.
Another treatment Dr. Green likes to do during the winter is a procedure called Blu-U Light. Blue Light or Blu-U is a state-of-the-art system that delivers a painless light of blue color. The procedure enhances the results of your skin rejuvenation and can aid with removing precancerous lesions. Dr. Green applies a medication called Levulan and the patient will have it on for 1 hour then removed, shortly after he or she will sit in front of the machine for nearly 20 minutes. This procedure is great as it kills and prevents precancerous lesions. By removing these precancerous cells, the skin is left smooth and even without these rough actinic keratoses.
Patients have to plan for this treatment because it has a few days down time and one cannot go in direct UV light for 24 hours after the treatment. This is the ideal treatment to do during the Winter when you can avoid the UV light exposure. Some redness, crusting and scabbing may result. This should resolve within 3 to 7 days.
BBL or Intense Pulsed Light therapy / photofacial
BBL™ BroadBand Light therapy, also known as Intense Pulsed Light therapy, uses cutting edge technology to produce younger looking skin that’s firmer, and even out more in tone and texture. Dr. Green likes this treatment as well because it does not cause any down time. Patients may have a slightly pink tint to their skin after procedure but can continue their normal routines. No topical anesthetic is needed for this procedure as there is only minor discomfort. This laser uses different wavelengths to treat redness and pigmentation and both conditions may be treated simultaneously. IPL/BBL is often combined with other skin treatments such as Skin Tight and Thermage to deliver the best results to the patient.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.