The Most Common Questions We Get About Dermal Fillers

Dermal FillersDermal fillers, also known as injectables, are a go-to treatment to even out acne and chicken pox scars and to mitigate aging concerns: deep creases, fine lines, wrinkles, eye hollows, thinning lips, and slackened cheeks and temples.

What Is a Dermal Filler?

A dermal filler is either a natural or synthetic material that’s injected into your skin to plump the area. Natural fillers use substances derived from humans or animals (like hyaluronic acid, which is the most common), whereas synthetic fillers work with the muscles, making them semi-permanent. Because dermal fillers come in so many varieties with different consistencies and results, your dermatologist will select the best product for your unique skin and concerns. All fillers are temporary, with some lasting longer than others depending on the type of filler and your skin’s absorption.

What Do Fillers Do?

By nature, fillers fill – they’re injected into your skin’s trouble spots (hollows or wrinkles) to increase fullness and restore youthfulness. But today, they’re also used to sculpt the face to enhance and naturally alter your looks. From plumping your lips to non-surgical facelifts and nose jobs, dermal fillers can create symmetry, add volume, smooth out lines and creases, define jawlines, and augment cheeks – they offer total rejuvenation. Not only to fillers fill, but they boost collagen production, improve internal hydration, smooth texture, and even out complexions.

Does It Hurt?

Using a fine needle, we inject fillers into your skin, so while it doesn’t hurt too much, it is uncomfortable. Some areas, like your lips, can hurt more than others, but it also depends on individual pain tolerances and experiences – everyone is different. You also have the option of applying an aesthetic cream before your treatment. Some fillers include lidocaine to reduce that discomfort, but the procedure only takes about 15 to 30 minutes (you can do it on your lunch break) so it’s over quickly.

Will My Face Feel Different After?

Aside from a new fullness in previously hollow areas, your face shouldn’t feel different. For some, there’s a risk that some lumpiness may occur, but its often a result of bruising or swelling and will dissipate as you heal. You can prevent lumpiness by preventing swelling and bruising: come early so you can ice the areas before your procedure and then be sure to ice afterwards. Let us know if you bruise easily or have had bruises in the injection areas so we can be more careful or avoid the area.

What if I Don’t Like It?

Dermal fillers are temporary, lasting six to twelve months, but if you’re really unhappy, they can also be reversed within 24-48 of injection with an enzyme that metabolizes the filler quicker.

What’s the Difference Between Dermal Fillers and Botox®?

As you age, facial fat diminishes, leaving your skin sallow, gaunt, and sagging. Where Botox® paralyzes muscle movement to minimize and prevent forehead lines and crow’s feet, dermal fillers add volume and work particularly well around the mouth, cheeks, and under eyes. Since they both approach age related skin issues differently, the two are often used in tandem.

What Are the Risks and Downsides?

When you have an experienced dermatologist inject your dermal fillers, the risks are significantly reduced – you want an ethical, educated, and experienced professional consulting and performing your procedure to get the best results. However, redness, itchiness, tenderness, bruising, and swelling are common side effects that can be mitigated by icing, avoiding smoking and exercise the day of your procedure, and staying away from fish oil and anti-inflammatories.

The only real downside to dermal fillers is that they need to be maintained since your body will eventually metabolize the filler, meaning that follow up appointments are crucial to maintaining your results.

Curious about what dermal fillers can do for you? Contact us today for a free consultation by filling in the form below.

How Blepharoplasty Can Roll Back the Years

As we age, sometimes the skin above and below our eyes changes: it becomes loose, puffy, or saggy (sometimes even interfering with vision and absolutely making eyes appear smaller and squinty); fatty deposits become more prominent; crow’s feet deepen; permanent bags form beneath our eyes; and lower eyelids droop.

For those with hooded eyes or existing issues with undereye bags, aging exacerbates these features. And these changes around and to your eyelid can make you look tired, worn out, overworked, and unhappy, leading people to say things like, “Are you okay?” and “You look tired.”

But a blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can dramatically reverse these signs of aging. While you aren’t going to look like a completely different person, it will help you look younger and more awake (and it will definitely stop the comments on your tired appearance). Using laser technology, a blepharoplasty removes and tightens excess skin and reshapes the eyelid, smoothing out creases and hollows and opening the eyes to create a more youthful, energetic appearance.

The Candidates

As with all surgical procedures, the best candidates are healthy nonsmokers without medical conditions that can delay healing. ideal candidates for eyelid surgery are over 35 with puffy or sagging upper eyelids, no serious eye conditions, and realistic expectations.

The Consultation

At your free consultation at Rao Dermatology, we’ll discuss your goals, medical conditions and history, lifestyle, and previous treatments and surgeries. We’ll take pictures of your face to point and discuss options and recommend the best course of treatment. Sometimes, a brow lift, skin resurfacing, or chemical peels can be paired with a blepharoplasty for optimal results. It’s completely normal to feel nervous, so be prepared to ask questions. The consultation is the best time to address your anxieties and your excitement to ensure we’re tailoring the procedure to your goals.

The Procedure

An eyelid surgery procedure can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both and begins with anaesthesia.

To conceal scarring, incisions on the upper eyelids follow your natural crease, enabling use to take out or relocate fatty deposits, tighten up muscles, and remove that

saggy, excess skin. For the lower eyelids, the incision is done just below the lower lashes. For some, a transconjunctival incision may be uses (inside the lower eyelid), but excess skin cannot be removed with this type of incision, only fat. To close the incisions, we use either sutures or skin glue.

The Recovery

While the recovery time is typically quick, the day after surgery, you can expect both bruising and swelling, but it should disappear quickly. Cold compresses and light activity in the first 48 hours following surgery can minimize bruising and swelling and accelerate healing.

Typically, bandages are removed in a couple of days, while stitches are removed after a week. You’ll want to take a few days off work and avoid both makeup and contact lenses for about two weeks so you can best heal and recover. Expect to return to your normal activities between 7 to 10 days after surgery.

The Results

A blepharoplasty won’t stop you from aging, but they are long-lasting and they roll back the years – sometimes resulting in you looking 10 years younger! Most people are thrilled with the subtle yet dramatic change to their appearance.

Think an eyelid surgery is for you? Book your free consultation today using the form below.

How To Fix Uneven Skin Texture And Tones

uneven skin toneEveryone wants radiant, youthful skin – if we’re being honest, we’re all dreaming of airbrushed perfection (especially as we age). While some of us surrender and resign ourselves to fate, while others secretly hide our uneven skin texture and tones with primers and makeup – but we don’t have to do either.

Wait, what? Uneven skin texture? I thought I only had to worry about skin tone!

Take a moment to close your eyes and run your hands over your face (makeup free and clean, of course). Do some areas feel rougher than others? Bumpier? Between dead skin cells and sun exposure, your pores can expand, and your skin can look duller. Where you live and how you live, not just how you wash your face, can impact the way your skin looks and feels.

For example, colder climates (like Edmonton’s) are tougher on your skin: cold temperatures, especially in combination with cold winds, strip moisture from your skin and can leave it rough, tight, cracked, and red (read: terribly uneven). But where you live isn’t as easy to change as how you live.

Bad habits like poor eating, poor sleeping, and poor skin care regimes can all impact the look and feel of your skin. And smoking is even worse: if you smoke, you’re more prone to dark circles and bags under your eyes, you’re at higher risk for psoriasis, and you’ll age quicker and look grayer.

But we can’t go back in time and wear more sunscreen, stop smoking, or start washing our faces regularly. So, whether your cursed with a dry, flaky forehead and an oily chin, you’ve been fighting against acne scars your whole life, or you’re suddenly swimming in melasma and wrinkles, soft, supple, luxurious skin is still within reach with one or more of the following treatments:

1. Microdermabrasion

Arguably the number one treatment for improving skin texture and tone, microdermabrasion boosts collagen production and cell regeneration by removing the top layer of dead, damaged skin to reveal the smoother, new skin beneath. Microdermabrasion also minimizes pore size and improves scarring – making your skin smoother and brighter overall. Over and over again, microdermabrasion is praised for its effectiveness, but while it’s quick and noninvasive, the results aren’t instantaneous – depending on your skin and the issues you’re trying to correct, you may need several treatments to achieve your desired results.

2. Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are often dubbed “skin resurfacing” which means that laser treatments remove the top, damaged layer of skin. Like microdermabrasion, laser treatments encourage healthy skin growth and promote collagen production. Ultimately, laser treatments retexture your skin, removing lines, wrinkles, and minor scars as well as correcting sun damage, discolouration, and tightening up limp or sagging skin.

3. Chemical Peels

At Rao Dermatology, we customize our chemical peels using medical-grade products to your specific skin type and its tone and texture issues. Both your skin type and your goals will determine the depth of your treatment. Again, the basic result of the treatment is the same as microdermabrasion and laser – a peel removes the top layer of dead skin using a solution, but the dead skin will peel away gradually after the procedure to reveal a smoother, more even complexion. Chemical peels tighten, brighten, and smooth the skin.

4. Daily Advanced Skin Care

While our treatments can offer quicker results, a daily advanced skin care regime is also an effective treatment – but you must be diligent and consistent about it and you must use high quality products. On its own or in combination with one of our treatments, taking good care of your skin is essential to fighting the impact of a lifetime of UV rays and aging. We’ve chosen SkinCeuticals as our skin care brand because they’re committed to the highest, medical-grade formulation standards (they’re products win awards repeatedly). At your consultation, we can work with you to determine the best SkinCeuticals products to help you fix your skin’s texture and tone.

How to Reverse the Signs of Sun Damage

In our youth, we think we’re invincible. From wiggling, squirming, and whining our way out of sunscreen as children, to purposely soaking up those rays sans sunblock in our teens and 20s, even if you’re wearing sunscreen 24/7 now, you’re likely seeing those years without sunscreen show up now – especially on your face.

Whether UV radiation has left you with age spots, crow’s feet, frown lines, or melasma, you can reverse the signs of sun damage.

We all love the sun, but the first step to reversing sun damage is protecting your skin from worsening. Wear a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen (preferably SPF 45 or 60) everyday, rain or shine, even in the winter – the sun’s UV rays are emitted year-round and snow, sand, and water reflect UV rays. Try to stay in the shade, but if you’re exposed, be sure to wear protective clothing. Get your Vitamin D from a supplement and stay away from tanning beds! While prevention is crucial, however, there are cosmetic dermatological treatments that can rejuvenate your sun damaged skin, restoring it to its former glory:

1. Microdermabrasion

Quick and convenient, microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skin resurfacing treatment that works wonderfully to minimize the impact of sun damage. A clinical exfoliation method, microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped wand to blow air-driven diamond crystals over your skin, which removes the top layer of sun damaged skin, exposing the smoother, live skin cells beneath. By cleansing, abrading, and exfoliating your skin, microdermabrasion triggers collagen production, minimizes enlarged pore, improves scarring, and evening out skin tone.

2. Laser Treatments

Dr. Rao is an expert researcher in the use of laser technology in dermatology. From Intense Pulse Light (IPL) to Laser Genesis, laser treatments correct sun damage issues like lines, wrinkles, and discolouration by tightening and polishing the skin, promoting health cell growth and smoothing tone and texture. Laser treatments use high-energy light to remove the top, damaged layer or skin – it effectively resurfaces and retextures the skin, removing superficial lines and wrinkles and promoting collagen production.

3. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments

Widely known as the “Vampire Facelift,” PRP uses the healing power of your own blood. For PRP treatments, your blood is drawn and put in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and serum from the blood cells. Afterwards, the platelets are enriched with growth factors then injected into your skin to accelerate tissue repair and stimulate collagen production. Your own platelets provide unparalleled healing properties to reverse sun damage, giving you glowing, radiant skin.

4. Daily Advanced Skin Care

No matter what treatment you choose, a health skin care regime is crucial not only to treating sun damage, but simply for taking good care of your skin. Chronic UV exposure (which we’re all subject to) speeds up your skin’s aging, but exfoliating, using antioxidants, and hydrating your skin with an effective skin care regimen will revitalize your skin. At Rao Dermatology, we offer a skin care regimen backed by science: Skinceuticals. An award winning skin care line that uses only pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, Skinceuticals effectively prevents sun damage and aging while also treating imperfection and maintaining healthy skin. Skinceuticals offers a variety of products, like C E Ferulic, Reservatrol, Hydra Balm, and Daily Moisture that are proven to improve your skin – but we’ll suggest product selections tailored to your skin and your goals.

Is your skin starting show signs of sun damage? Contact us in the form below for a free consultation.

How to Get a Nonsurgical Facelift in Edmonton

Crows Feet EdmontonWhile your eyes might be the window to your soul, your face is the window to your health and your youthfulness, which is why many choose to combat aging with facelifts. But did you know there are now non-surgical facelifts?

But aren’t facelifts plastic surgery?

Not anymore. With technological advances in dermatological medicine, you don’t have to go under the knife to restore volume, resurface skin, or tighten deeper tissues.

Today, we can enhance your overall look with a nonsurgical facelift in one appointment at our office: we can add structure to your jaw to minimizing sagging (reducing the dreaded double chin), fill in the hollows under your eyes, minimize wrinkles and lines, plump up your lips, reshape your nose, and mitigate bone and fat loss in your cheeks and temples – all without performing an actual surgery.

What exactly is a nonsurgical facelift?
A nonsurgical facelift is a customized course of non-cosmetic, dermatological procedures designed to give you a more youthful, rejuvenated visage. Your nonsurgical facelift is targeted to your chosen areas and can include various treatments and procedures. Generally, nonsurgical facelifts vary from person to person, depending on your unique face and goals, but they’ll likely include some of the following:

Dermal Fillers
From your forehead to your cheeks, from your jawline to your undereyes and temples, we use dermal fillers to help increase elasticity and fullness (think fine lines, undereye hollows, scars, and gauntness). The kind of dermal filler we use will depend on your skin, but we offer both synthetic and natural fillers, which are injected using fine needles. A quick, budget-friendly visit, dermal fillers offer instantaneous, natural looking results. last depends on your skin, and follow ups are a good idea, but the desired effect can last from two months to two years. We work with these dermal fillers to offer our clients the best results: Juvederm®, Restylane®, Revanesse, and RADIESSE®.

Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty
Next up is your nose, of course. While nose jobs are still largely done surgically (especially for more challenging or distinctive changes), new innovations now allow us to reshape your nose without surgery. An increasingly popular procedure, non-surgical rhinoplasties use carefully selected dermal filler injections to adjust trouble areas from straightening to correcting to narrowing and widening. This procedure smooths bumps, fixes imperfections, and creates symmetry with grace and subtlety with no downtime and no surgical side effects.

Lip Injections
A facelift isn’t a facelift if you forget about your mouth – next to your eyes, your lips are the most looked at part of your face. As we age, our lips tend to lose some of their fulness, which we can easily remedy with lip injections. Using either dermal fillers or Botox (maybe both), we can give you your mouth the ultimate anti-aging treatment by making them fuller, softer, and more attractive, without being too obvious. At Rao Dermatology, we achieve a subtle, natural look by using your lip’s natural shape to guide us.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you defy aging.

Scars and Scar Tissue: Removal and Treatment

scar treatment edmontonScarring is an inevitable part of being human, they’re a natural byproduct of the healing process. Plus, there’s usually a story to go along with them.

As children, our bodies take a beating while we learn to ride bikes, to do backflips on trampolines, and to jump off tire swings.

Sometimes the scars we earn in childhood stick around (who hasn’t cracked their head or chin open during play?), plaguing us (along with acne) throughout adolescence and well into adulthood.

In a world where flawlessness is valued above all else, our scars (especially facial scars) can wreak havoc on our self-esteem. Scars can make us feel unattractive, embarrassed, or insecure, and for many people, they’re daily reminders of traumatic events (car accidents, fires, attacks, surgeries, etc.). And, as if our own struggle with scars isn’t bad enough, our atrophic scars (indented scars like acne and chicken pox pits) also come with a host of misconceptions and negative perceptions from other people.

Some scars result in hyperpigmentation, which is a red or brown discolouration, while others result in keloids (irregular shaped scar that rises above the skin and spreads) which tend to occur on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes. Keloid scarring isn’t just unsightly, but often uncomfortable. But despite your scars’ story, shape, or colour, they can cause psychosocial distress, anxiety, and depression.

Whether you’re struggling with stigma or self-esteem issues stemming from scarring, treatment options are available – you don’t have to suffer. At Rao Dermatology, we offer several customized treatments to minimize the visibility of scars. Depending on your skin type and the degree of scarring, our experienced doctors will create a treatment plan specific to you and your needs. Our treatments for scars that are indented, large, thick, or raised may include some of the following treatments:

Laser Treatments

Advancements in laser technology over the last 35 years allows us to reduce, if not completely remove, the appearance of scars. Depending on the severity and your skin type, laser treatments offer the quickest solution to reducing the visibility of scars. Dr. Rao is also an acclaimed international expert and researcher in laser technology and dermatology. His guidance and expertise helps us to select the best treatment from your skin: Intense Pulse Light (IPL), Laser Genesis, Nano Laser Peel, Sciton Profractional, Q-Switch Laser, Excel V, Cynosure Smart Xide, Sciton Halo, and Micro-Laser Peel. Our laser treatments are non-invasive and proven to reduce scarring.

Dermal Fillers

A semi-permanent treatment, dermal fillers are an effective treatment for atrophic scarring (indentations). The collagen in the filler adds volume, raising the indented scars, and providing instantaneous results, though fillers do need follow ups to maintain the effect. At Rao Dermatology, your doctor will determine which filler is best for your skin, but we carry Juvederm®, Restylane®, Revanesse, and RADIESSE®.

Medical Facials

For superficial scarring, medical facials like chemical peels may be effective at reducing the appearance of scars, though they may work best paired with laser treatments. We offer chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and microneedling at Rao Dermatology, which may encourage healthy skin regeneration and collagen production.

Do you have scars that are making you unhappy? Book your free consultation in the form below to discuss treatment options for you.

What Causes Skin Tags and How to Get Rid of Them

skin tag removal edmontonEver looked in the crease of your neck or armpit and been horrified to find a little, fleshy growth? Sometimes they hang by a stalk, other times they’re bumps, so at first glance, you might think pimple or wart, but these little balls and bumps are skin tags.

How do I know it’s a skin tag and not something else?

Also known as cutaneous tags, soft fibromas, acrochordons, and fibroepithelial polyps, despite their many medical terms and being classified as tumours, skin tags are utterly benign and painless (unless, of course they’re pinched or irritated which may lead to infection). Plus, they’re easy to differentiate from melanoma since they tend to match your skin tone (maybe slightly darker) and are often attached to your skin by a narrow stalk. The average skin tag measures a mere 2-5mm but some can grow to be as large as a fig!

Sometimes other skin growths may be confused with skin tags: warts, barnacles (seborrheic keratoses), and different types of moles. But don’t worry, skin tags are typically easy to diagnose and they aren’t contagious like warts.

What causes skin tags?

Because they’re caused by friction, skin tags are most often found in skin folds (think groin, armpits, necks, eyelids, and under breasts) which means they’re also incredibly common. Almost everyone will have a skin tag at some point in their lives (some people get more than 100 skin tags!), but they’re most common among people over 50 years old and people that are overweight. However, kids can get them from excessive eye rubbing and repetitive friction caused by playing sports. And because of hormone elevation and rapid weight gain, some women develop skin tags during pregnancy.

How do I get rid of them?

While it may be tempting to try to twist, pinch, pull, or cut them yourself, trying to get rid of a skin tag on your own might cause irritation or infection. Plus, picking at them can just cause them fill with blood or turn black or red – which just ends up making them more unsightly!

Typically, skin tags are only removed if they’ve become irritated, infected, or unsightly. Sometimes, skin tags fall off by themselves, but usually a short trip to the dermatologist can take them off quickly and safely.

At Rao Dermatology, we remove skin tags with liquid nitrogen (freezing), a carbon dioxide laser (burning), or a small incision (cutting). The size and location of your skin tags, as well as your unique skin, will determine the course of treatment. To minimize discomfort, we’ll numb the are with an anesthetic and, if it bleeds, we might apply a topical ointment or bandage. Skin tag removal doesn’t usually leave scars either, so you can rest assured that when it heals, your unsightly problem will be gone.

The Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Lip Injections

Cosmetic Lip InjectionsFull, plump lips are as high in demand as thick, defined brows, but while makeup can help your brows, it doesn’t do much for your lips.

Sure, there are loads of YouTube videos claiming to make your lips bigger in minutes, but the instant solutions you’ll find with a quick internet search won’t last more than a few hours (most of which involve irritants). Enter cosmetic lip injections.

Arguably the most sought after cosmetic treatment, lip injections offer a natural, immediate change to your face. But lip injections aren’t just for those seeking an Angelina Jolie or Kylie Jenner look, they’re also the perfect solution for smoothing out wrinkles around your mouth. Plus, the change is immediate, and the results last up to six months.

However, any kind of cosmetic procedure should be thoughtfully considered, so here are the pros and cons of cosmetic lip injections.


1. Quick and Immediate with No Downtime
While you’ll start with a consultation appointment to discuss your goals and concerns with your dermatologist, the actual lip injection appointment only takes 30 minutes tops. Cosmetic lip injections are a non-invasive procedure that’s mildly uncomfortable. We start with a topical or local anesthetic to numb and then use a fine needle to make precise injections based on the proportion, symmetry, volume, borders, contours, and shape you’ve decided on. And the results are immediate – while you’ll have some swelling the first day, within 24-48 hours it will be gone. The best part is the recovery time: you can continue on with your day right after the treatment, so you don’t need to go home and hide your face while you recoup.

2. Natural and Subtle
When done properly and with precision, cosmetic lip injections are a subtle, natural change to your appearance. You can plump up both lips or just one and can choose what areas you’d like to change. The difference in size and shape won’t be drastic but can be adjusted over time through follow up treatments. That said, you’ll notice the change yourself, but others likely won’t be able to pinpoint what’s changed about your face aside from looking more youthful. Plus, you’re lips won’t feel any different than they did before – injections don’t desensitize your lips or make them feel differently when you kiss.

3. Temporary and Tailored
Because lip injections are made of either natural or synthetic hyaluronic acid, your body will eventually absorb them (which is why follow up treatments are a must to maintain your look). But this isn’t necessarily bad because it allows you to adjust the look, expand on it, or lose it altogether. If you want more fulness in your bottom lip after your first treatment, that can be done. If you want to gradually plump them up more overall, that can be done. And if you don’t like your new lips, they will eventually return to their natural state. If you want them back now, we can use an eraser enzyme to dissolve the filler in minutes.


1. Temporary and Cost
While being a temporary treatment is a pro in some ways, it’s a con in others. Because your body absorbs hyaluronic acid, you must repeat the procedure every three to four months to maintain your look. Unfortunately, cosmetic treatments are never cheap, so fillers can range from $500 – $2,000 depending on the course of treatment – but it’s still far less expensive than lip implants or going under the knife for augmentation.

2. Potential for Allergic Reactions and Side Effects
As with any kind of injection, there is a slight possibility of an allergic reaction, though it’s unlikely with lip injections because they use fillers that are already in your body (hyaluronic acid). Side effects, when they occur, are only temporary and may include swelling, bruising, redness, tenderness, and bleeding at the injection site. If you suffer from cold sores, it might trigger an attack. The rarer, but more serious, side effects may include lumps, lip asymmetry, scarring, tissue loss (if injected into a blood vessel), and infection. Typically, these side effects are minimized when the procedure is performed by a dermatologist that specializes in cosmetics.

3. Preparation
To increase effectiveness and decrease the side effects, there are pre-procedure restrictions you should follow. For example, you should avoid any activity that increases blood flow to your face (like a massage, facial, or strenuous exercise). Also, beginning 10 days before your treatment, stay away from medication and supplements that thin your blood (i.e. painkillers, fish oil, vitamin E). If you suffer from cold sores, you’ll want to take preventative meds a couple of days before your treatment.

Want to talk it through with an expert? Contact us today for your free consultation.

3 Ways to Slow the Appearance of Aging

Slow the Appearance of AgingAging is an inevitable reality of life. You can’t live on this planet rife with UV rays, harsh winds, varying humidity levels, and chemicals – never mind the things we do to ourselves (like smoking and drinking) – and escape unscathed. Even when we wear an SPF 30 every day of our lives and avoid the sun like a vampire, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy skin care regimen, we’re still going to age – it’s part of life.

But if your aging skin is stressing you out and hurting your self-esteem, we can help. From wrinkles to age spots, from melasma to gauntness, from uneven skin tones to acne scars, we can expertly and subtly reduce the signs of aging with non-invasive dermatological procedures like these:

1. Chemical Peels
One of the surest ways to improve aging skin is with a chemical peel which removes the outer layer of your worn and damaged skin (the stratum corneum), replacing it with the new, smoother skin beneath. Best done in the colder months to ensure your new skin won’t suffer sun damage afterward, a chemical peel can treat age spots, crow’s feet, hyperpigmentation, melasma, scars, sagging skin, and wrinkles. While laser treatments became more popular in the 2000s, chemical peels are making a comeback for both effectiveness and affordability. At Rao Dermatology, we use SkinCeutical’s medical grade skin care products to for our chemical peels which also exfoliate your skin and stimulate collagen production to give you a youthful glow, reduce pore size, improve acne, and even out tone and pigmentation.

2. Microdermabrasion
Another way to slow the signs of aging is with microdermabrasion. Considered one of the easiest, quickest, and safest anti-aging methods, microdermabrasion mechanically exfoliates your skin using a diamond tipped wand to polish and remove dead skin cells. Not only does is soften fine lines and wrinkles, but it also smooths your skin’s texture, reduces the appearance of shallow scars, minimizes pores and age spots – all of which promote collagen production which makes your skin fuller and more youthful. Plus, it opens the skin to allow serums and skin care products to better penetrate and treat the skin. Often achieving dramatic results, microdermabrasion works best in a series of treatments and it’s a great procedure for those with sensitive skin.

3. Dermal Fillers
One of the easiest ways to reverse aging, dermal fillers can fix most of your face’s signs of aging from fine lines to deep creases, more obvious scars, thin lips, and the dreaded hollowness under our eyes, in our temples, and cheeks. What dermal fillers do is replaces the lost hyaluronic acid in our skin to add volume and “fill in” gaunt areas. A minimally invasive procedure, dermal fillers can restore your youthfulness instantly.

Depending on your goals and your skin, you may benefit from a combination of these treatments. Our team at Rao Dermatology can create a treatment plan tailored to suit your goals, skin, and budget. Contact us today for your free consultation by filling in the form below.

5 Things You Need to Know About Laser Resurfacing

laser skin resurfacingDespite our best efforts, our skin will age. Sometimes our skin is damaged from acne, chicken pocks, or other scars, sometimes it’s damaged from too many summers without sunscreen or too much time in tanning beds, sometimes it’s damaged from smoking or drinking, but whatever the cause, laser skin resurfacing (also known as a laser peel or ablative laser resurfacing) can help.

A non-invasive, non-surgical treatment, laser skin resurfacing precisely removes skin layer by layer, allowing new skin cells to form which results in a tighter, more youthful appearance. It can reduce wrinkles, eliminate age spots, minimize scarring, and balance skin tone, but there are some key elements to consider when looking into laser skin resurfacing. Here’s what you need to know:

1. It’s Considered Non-invasive, but That’s Not a Guarantee That It Won’t Hurt

Non-invasive means that the body isn’t cut into – it’s not a surgery. And while non-invasive procedures tend to be only mildly uncomfortable, everyone has a different tolerance and threshold for pain. With laser skin resurfacings, it’s usually described as feeling like a rubber band snap against your skin – it stings, but it’s tolerable. The type of laser, location, and depth can also affect how uncomfortable the procedure is. With deeper treatments, we tend to use local anaesthetic or sedation, but more often than not, a topical numbing cream does the trick. Tenderness after the procedure is a given so we may recommend treatment for pain.

2. Not Everyone Is a Good Candidate

The best way to find out if laser skin resurfacing is the right treatment for you is through a consultation with our dermatological team, but there are some issues that may preclude you from treatment. For example, if you’re prone to cold sores or acne, treatment may trigger a flare up. Also, medications and supplements can interfere with the healing process (that includes smoking) and some medications (like aspirin) can increase bleeding after your procedure. Some chronic health conditions can also have a negative impact on results and healing, so be sure to fully disclose your medical history to your doctor. Lastly, be sure to discuss your goals with your dermatologist, laser skin resurfacing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for skin problems. For example, it’s not the most effective treatment for stretch marks, deep wrinkles, or sagging skin.

3. Timing is Everything

Laser-treated skin is extremely sensitive to the sun exposure for up to a year after the procedure, so it’s best to go under the laser in the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight and you spend more time inside. And whether or not you receive laser skin resurfacing, it’s always best to wear a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher every day to protect against melanoma and prevent sun damage.

4. It’s a Medical Procedure, Not a Spa Treatment

And with all medical procedures, laser skin resurfacing should be performed by an expert – in this case, a dermatologist. Don’t be lured by deals and brand names, choose a highly-trained and certified professional who has the training, experience, and education to perform laser treatments.

5. Treatments are Customized

Laser skin resurfacing can be done using a variety of lasers that provide different results and treat different issues. Depending on your skin issues, your dermatologist will choose laser treatments specific to your goals, but here are few commonly used lasers:

  • CO2 Lasers: Used for deeper skin irregularities like scars, warts, and deep wrinkles.
  • Fractional Lasers: Used to precisely treat small areas like age spots and melasma.
  • Pulsed-Dye Lasers: Used to treat redness, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and rosacea.
  • Erbium Lasers: Used to encourage collagen production and to treat fine lines, skin laxity, and age spots.

As with most cosmetic procedures, one treatment isn’t a lifetime cure-all for your skin ailments. In a lot of cases, one laser treatment can address your concerns, but more often than not, a series of treatments will give you the lasting results you want. Depending on the type of laser you go with (ablative or non-ablative), you can have zero downtime or you may experience some rawness for a few weeks.

Interested in laser treatments to improve your skin? Contact us today for a free consultation.