How often can I have microdermabrasion? by Medical Author:

Posted by Reinvent & Restore on November 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (301)


Microdermabrasion can be done as frequently as weekly or up to every eight weeks depending on your skin's tolerance and desired cosmetic effects. Many people choose to start with weekly treatments for three sessions, then change to a monthly maintenance regimen.

Typical microderm schedule:

Week 1: first session

Week 2: second session

Week 3: third session

Monthly: fourth through twelfth sessions


Much like brushing your teeth, microdermabrasion helps to gently remove plaque and skin debris. Since human skin typically regenerates at approximately 30-day intervals, skin improvement with microdermabrasion is temporary and needs to be repeated at average intervals of two to four weeks for continued improvement. Usually, multiple treatments (six to 12 sessions) are recommended to see a significant improvement.

What does the vacuum do in microdermabrasion?

The vacuum part of microdermabrasion has four basic roles:

It gently pulls and lifts a small section of skin for micro abrasion.


It focally stimulates blood circulation and creates mild swelling in the skin.


What should people expect before, during, and after microdermabrasion?


Mild pinkness of the skin is the desired outcome and usually resolves within minutes to hours after microdermabrasion. In addition, mild exfoliation of skin may occur as well. Continuously apply moisturizer or ointment if exfoliation occurs. Patients may also experience mild sunburn-like sensation for a few days. Moreover, liberal application of sunscreen is recommended as photosensitivity may be increased after treatment.


Microdermabrasion may help stimulate the production of collagen, thereby helping skin rejuvenation. As age spots from photoaging and fine lines are diminished, the skin may become softer and smoother.



Shedding Light on Sun Safety by Dr. Claudia Aguirre

Posted by Reinvent & Restore on June 5, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (857)

Currently, there are a variety of options for sunscreens. You may want to use physical blockers of UV rays, an array of chemical ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB rays, or a combination of both types. There are some differences to these, and recently the chemical ingredient oxybenzone has been in the news as a no-go for sunscreens. Before we delve into the topic of oxybenzone, let’s review the main differences between chemical and physical sunscreens.


Chemical vs. Physical


To make matters more confusing, there are several ways to describe the different types of sunscreens available today. In the scientific community, these sunscreens are referred to as organic or inorganic filters. No, this does not refer to whether or not you’ll find them at your local natural grocery store. Instead, it refers to whether or not it contains a carbon atom. So if any chemical compound includes carbon atoms, it is referred to as ‘organic.’ Organic filters include the chemical sunscreens found in many formulations. Inorganic filters are more commonly referred to as physical or mineral sunscreens. These include the physical compounds zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These physical sunscreens sit on the skin and scatter or reflect UV rays. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens typically absorb the UV rays. These include ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone and homosalate, among others.


OK but which is better?


There are lots of options for sunscreens, and most formulations will use a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens. All of the previously mentioned chemical and physical ingredients have been approved by the FDA. There isn’t a better option because they are all so different. However, there are cases where some chemical compounds may cause skin reactions such as dermatitis, whereas the physical blockers typically do not. Keep in mind that the reaction is often due to the high level of fragrance or alcohol used in sunscreen products. For a sensitive skin, it may be more suitable to use a physical sunscreen. So is physical better than chemical? Not exactly. It depends on the formulation and the preference of the client. Chemical sunscreens were developed to provide versatility in formulations, allowing for invisible coverage while providing UV protection. Physical sunscreens are excellent for sensitive skin, provide superior coverage but can leave a white cast to the skin.


What’s the issue with Oxybenzone?


Good question. The recent report published online by the Environmental Working Group has blacklisted oxybenzone as a hormone disruptor that penetrates deeply into the skin. What exactly is a hormone disruptor?

Also known as an endocrine disruptor, it refers to an external compound that disrupts the physiological actions of our body’s natural hormones. It was coined in the 90s and has typically referred to environmental chemicals, such as pollutants. However this term encompasses an extensive list of chemicals all living beings breathe, eat, walk over, swim in, or simply are exposed to. The EWG report states that oxybenzone is a potential hormone disruptor, although they once again extrapolate data from scientific studies to assess daily human use and risk. One study they cited (Schlumpf et al 2001) did show estrogenic effects on rats after ingestion of oxybenzone.

 However, it is important to note that these animals were exposed to large amounts (more than the recommended for human use) of oxybenzone via routes not used by humans, namely the mouth. So these results only apply to rodents eating large amounts of oxybenzone, not humans spreading an oxybenzone-containing cream over their skin.

Another study on humans with more natural conditions could not confirm this data (Janjua et al 2004). In 2001,the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products and Non-food Products (SCCNFP) concluded that sunscreens do not have an estrogenic effect that influences human health. Let’s imagine that there is a risk of oxybenzone to be a hormone disruptor. To do this it would have to penetrate deep into the living dermis.

The EWG claims that this is the case, citing a study on oxybenzone and penetration (Hayden 1997). However, they do not mention that this study was done in vitro, meaning they looked at the absorption in skin samples in the lab, and not on a human being. Another study by the same group saw deleterious effects on humans; however the fine print is that the participants were asked to use about 6 times the recommended amount of sunscreen needed to prevent sunburn.

 Again, these studies do not prove that oxybenzone penetrates at the recommended levels. There is scientific research that supports the safety of this compound for human use.

These confirm that sunscreen products formulated with 1-6% oxybenzone do not possess significant sensitization potential and toxicity to the underlying human keratinocytes after topical application to the skin. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) of the European Commission concluded in 2008 that it does not pose a significant risk to consumers, apart from contact allergenic potential.


So what should I do?



The studies and scientific committees have provided evidence that it is safe to use for consumers. However, it must be noted that babies do not rid themselves from toxins as readily as adults, and their skin may be more penetrable. That is why the FDA requires a warning on all sunscreens “not to be used on children under 6 months of age.” If you happen to be one of those individuals that experience breakouts or irritation with chemical sunscreens, then we recommend that you choose a physical blocker to protect the health of the skin.


Sunscreen isn’t fail-safe




Sunscreens are only one option to protect you against harmful UV rays. Using more certainly does not warrant more time out in the sun; nor should you avoid it due to misinformation. In fact, there is no evidence that sunscreens protect you from malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, sunburns have been linked with the development of melanoma – and sunscreens have been shown to prevent sunburns. So be sun smart! Don’t be a vampire but protect yourself from UV rays by seeking shade, wearing UV protective clothing, and choosing from the variety of approved sunscreens

Summer is here it is time to show off those pretty toe nailsThe Truth About Pedicure by Tracey Neithercott

Posted by Reinvent & Restore on June 5, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (190)

It’s summer: a chance to show off those pretty toenails. Here’s what you need to know before you go to the salon

It’s a simple act of bliss: sinking into a fat massage chair and surrendering to an adept technician who rubs away tension, kneading lotion into thirsty skin. In fact, the process of getting a pedicure often has less to do with perfectly polished nails and more to do with taking time out of your day to relax (preferably in the company of a tasty gossip magazine). If you have diabetes, the need to pamper yourself—and forget for a few moments about the hard work of managing your condition—is all the more crucial.

But before you kick off your shoes, consider the potential downsides of pedicures. “People with diabetes are at risk for a number of complications. Foot infections are common. If they develop a break in the skin, it can be a life-threatening complication,” says Lee J. Sanders, DPM, chief of podiatry service at VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pa. “I would caution individuals with diabetes not to receive a pedicure because of the sanitary conditions of the salon, the skills of the individual performing the pedicure, and the cleanliness of the instruments used.”

Still, women (and, yes, even men) with diabetes are heading to salons and spas. The reason? Aside from being an indulgent way to spend an afternoon, pedicures can ensure that feet are clean and hydrated, which is important when you are managing diabetes. That’s why doctors, such as Jodi S. Politz, DPM, a podiatrist with her own practice in Las Vegas, say pedicures are possible—if you’re picky about your salon. “[Anyone with diabetes] can get a pedicure anywhere,” she says, “as long as the nail technician is using very clean instruments and they know what they’re doing.” At her own practice, Politz has created a spa that provides sanitary, medically supervised pedicures. “Women are going to get [pedicures] whether they’re diabetic or not,” she points out, adding that people with diabetes do “have to be more conscious about it.”

So read on to learn how experts advise you can keep your feet safe.

Know When to Skip It

If you are healthy and complication-free, getting a pedicure doesn’t pose a threat the way it does for people with the foot complications of diabetes. But if you have an infection, ulcer, cut, or neuropathy, don’t book an appointment. An open wound is an open door for any bacteria that may be in the foot basin’s water, and nerve damage will make it hard for you to tell if you’ve been cut or if the bath’s water is too hot.

Stake Out the Salon

Scheduling a pedicure at just any old nail salon is a bad idea. “The most important thing is that wherever people go, they need to make sure they’re using clean practices,” says Donna Perillo, owner of Sweet Lily Spa in New York City. As podiatrist Sanders puts it: “We don’t know how clean the basin is. We don’t know how clean the water is.” He urges women to look into the place’s sanitation practices, the technician’s training—make sure she’s licensed—and how the tools are cleaned. “If a woman is going to seek out this service, it is important [she] address these issues,” he says.

If the salon looks clean but you’re still unsure about the sanitization process, don’t be afraid to ask. “Ask them how they clean their things,” says Perillo. “We get asked all the time, and I’m happy to answer.” According to Lisa Tep, owner of Sesen Spa in Vienna, Va., after each service, foot baths should be cleaned with a hospital-grade, EPA-registered disinfectant made specifically for pedicure chairs. If a spa doesn’t clean as often or with the proper chemicals, walk away. “I wouldn’t take a chance,” says Perillo. “There are so many things you can catch. Fungus is the number one thing you see.”

Carroll Klingbile of Damascus, Ore., who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago, inspects new nail places by getting a manicure first before leaping into the pedicure chair. “I’ve walked in and sat around and waited” in order to check a salon out, she says. “There are a couple places I’ve walked out of.”

Examine the Foot Bath

Sure, sinking your feet into a pool of warm, bubbly water is relaxing. But did you know that bacteria may be introduced into your bath thanks to the pipes that carry the water? Avoid soaking in someone else’s bacteria by being picky about your foot bath. Some spas, such as Sesen, use “pipeless” pedicure chairs, which reduce the area in which bacteria can hide. Others, like Sweet Lily, opt for easy-to-clean individual buckets or bowls. Before you book your service, ask the spa which type of basin it uses. And remember, regardless of basin type, the technicians should still clean between each client.

Take the Right Steps

You should wash and inspect your feet daily. Turn the chore into a treat.

1.Wash. Clean feet are healthy, so perform this task daily—not just for a pedicure.

2.Exfoliate. Get rid of the dry skin that prevents full moisture absorption with a pumice stone.

3.Moisturize. Rub a thick moisturizer into feet, avoiding the area between toes.

4.Clip. Cut toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails.

5.Soften. Stop cuticles from cracking by rubbing them with a soothing oil. 6 Polish. Go ahead, have fun.

Inspect the Tools

Before you let a pedicurist touch your feet, find out how her tools are sanitized. Like foot baths, imple­ments should be cleaned between each use. But, be warned: Just because tools were pulled from a sterilization pouch or drawn from a jar of blue liquid doesn’t mean they’re safe, says Tep. Dirty instruments used on past customers may soak in unchanged fluid or open containers. Ask if the salon operates an autoclave (a hot, pressurized chamber used to sterilize medical instruments),.

Another tip: Pick a salon that uses stainless steel instruments, which are easier to clean than porous nail files and those wooden sticks used to push back cuticles. If emery boards and nail buffers are used, they should be thrown out after each client to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Some people even tote their own tools as an extra precaution. But then cleanliness becomes your responsibility: “You have to, as an individual, make sure you wash your tools,” says Perillo. “You can infect yourself. As long as you go home and wash them really good … that’s a great solution.”

Give Instructions

“I always tell people: If they have diabetes they should let us know,” says Perillo. “The massage should be gentler.” Though you may feel nervous saying something, nail technicians actually want you to speak up. “I tell my pedicurist, ‘You know, I can’t have [the water] too hot,’” says Klingbile. “I have never found anyone to be nonresponsive to that. They’ve always been very, very nice.”

Request that the technician not clip your cuticles or file your heels or calluses. Make sure the basin’s water is warm, not hot, and that your toenails are cut straight across. Ensure that moisturizing lotions are thoroughly massaged into your feet to prevent excess lotion collecting between the toes. And insist that the pedicurist avoid a credo blade—that’s the one that looks like a razor—on your feet. The tool is illegal in many states.

Plan Ahead

As lovely as freshly shaven legs are, in this case they can do more harm than good. Stop shaving your legs two days before your scheduled pedicure to prevent skin from getting irritated or bacteria from entering any tiny nicks or cuts.

Use Your Judgment

These measures may seem extreme, but consider the alternative: Unsterilized instruments can pass bacteria and infections between clients. So, what do you do if you suspect a salon isn’t practicing safe sanitization? “I would say get up and leave,” says Tep. “You’re risking a lot for a pedicure. If you’re not sure, and you’re not comfortable, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”