What are Parabens and How Do They Effect Me?

labelThe topic of parabens have been popping up in a lot of conversations lately. Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products; they stop fungus, bacteria, and other microbes from growing in your favourite creams and makeup, especially in the moist, warm environment of a bathroom. Their names are a mouthful– methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products such as shampoos, mascara, foundations, and body lotions. They allow skin care products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet; however, they also enter your body through your skin when you use these products.

Reports have shown that these preservatives can mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s hormone system. Cornell University reports that a high lifelong exposure to estrogen can increase breast cancer risk. Estrogen, and synthetic chemicals that act like estrogen, play a role in stimulating the division of breast cells and affect other hormones that stimulate breast cell division. Your body does not easily break down synthetic estrogen, and it can accumulate in fat cells, including breast tissue. In 2004, a study by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom found concentrations of parabens, particularly methylparaben, in human breast tumors. The study examined only the presence of the preservatives in the tumors but did not determine that they were the cause of the tumors.

The ability of parabens to mimic other hormones makes them endocrine disruptors, substances that adversely affect the endocrine system. The endocrine system releases hormones into the bloodstream and is involved in a number of functions related to reproduction, waste elimination, digestion and metabolism. Endocrine disruptors can lead to early puberty in adolescent girls and boys, as reported by the New York Times. Endocrinologists have observed the average age of puberty decreasing in the past several decades and have seen girls as young as eight exhibit breast development and pubic hair growth. Endocrine disrupters can also lead to testicular enlargement and breast development in young boys.

On top of serious issues like those listed above, many products that come into contact with skin contain parabens, which often cause irritation of the skin. This is particularly true for adults, children or babies with sensitive skin. If you or your child has sensitive skin you may find that moisturizers, shampoos, and bath products, which contain these disrupters, may be causing the skin problems. Common skin problems associated with parabens include dermatitis, rosacea and other allergic reactions.

I bet your running to your bathroom now to read all the ingredients in your skincare products, and that’s good! Knowing what’s in your products is the first step to a healthy and safe skin care regime. At Dermaworks we care about your health. Our line of medical grade skincare are all paraben-free (well almost!) One product you’ll find on our shelves does contain a paraben, but for good reason. Our Firm and Protect Eye Cream contains a very small amount of parabens. Why? Because what you’re putting around your eyes matter. We need to be sure it’s completely bacteria free.

Ready to ditch your old products and replace them with paraben-free ones? Our products are available for purchase in store or online. Questions? Give us a call.

Does Hydrated Skin Mean Healthy Skin?

drinking-water_2694655bWith all the hype on TV and in health magazines, most of us know that drinking the suggested 6-8 cups of water a day is important to our overall well-being. But just how important is water to the feel and look of our skin? Is healthy skin hydrated skin? I’m here to tell you yes! In order for the skin to protect our bodies from UV radiation, microorganisms, and toxic agents, it must be kept adequately hydrated. Hydrated skin will remain flexible and allow our protective barrier to remain intact.

When skin is well-hydrated, it is more plump and resilient. This is due, at least in part, to an ingredient in the skin called hyaluronic acid. The job of hyaluronic acid in the skin is to hold water. When there is adequate water from inside out, the skin looks healthier and more vibrant and is less prone to wrinkles. It is important to drink lots of fluids throughout the day for best results. You’ve probably heard that drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is a good idea but you may need more or less depending on your activity level. Remember, coffee and sodas do not count as water because they contain caffeine which is a diuretic, meaning that they draw water out of your system and your skin.

There are several reasons why you may not be getting enough water to make keep your skin healthy. Anything that makes you sweat a lot, such as exercise or being out in the sun, causes you to loose fluids. Getting sick can dehydrate you too, particularly if you have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting. In such cases, you might need to drink even more water to replace what was lost. Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is highly recommended.

Remembering to drink enough water can sometimes be a chore. Our suggestion? Make it a point to drink one or two glasses of water with every meal. Keep a water bottle on your desk at work or in your car, and sip often. If you’d like a little flavor with your water, try adding a lemon wedge or a splash of fruit juice. If you want to do everything you can to moisturize your skin, don’t stop at applying moisturizer and drinking a lot of water. You can make “you are what you eat” your new mantra and choose foods based on how they will help your skin. To get the most out of your daily meals, try including the following items in your diet:Food with unsaturated fats

Omega 3′s– Your skin has a natural barrier to help retain moisture, and that barrier contains omega-3 fatty acids. Try adding flax seed, salmon and walnuts to your diet to boost your omega-3 intake and moisturize your skin.

Spinach- In addition to being chock full of vitamins, such as skin-strengthening vitamin A, spinach has plant compounds that according to some research help to keep your skin healthy.

Berries- It turns out that berries aren’t just tasty and fun to eat; they’re also really good for healing your skin. Berries not only contain juice to help you hydrate, but they’ve also got antioxidants and vitamin C that protect your skin.

Overall, drinking plenty of water, eating a variety of healthy foods, and watching your caffeine and alcohol intake will put you on the road to healthy, moist, and supple skin. If you find your skin is struggling with something other than dehydration such as acne, rosacea, acne scarring, age spots, etc. contact us now! We offer a variety of treatments that offer relief from many different conditions.

Treating Rosacea Acne and Other Symptoms

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Rosacea is a very common disorder characterized by symptoms of facial flushing and a collection of other clinical signs such as facial redness, broken capillaries, coarseness of the skin, and an inflammatory eruption that may be similar to acne.The hallmark of rosacea is persistent redness in the central portion of the face that lasts for at least three months. This redness may be associated with flushing, broken capillaries (medically called telangiectasias), and an acne-like skin eruption. However, unlike acne, the skin eruption in rosacea does not have any blackheads.

Clients often find that the first symptom of rosacea is a tendency to flush or blush easily. The condition generally starts in the center of the face and then extends to involve the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. Over a long period of time, potentially years, the condition progresses to a persistent redness with visible blood vessels and possibly pimples and bumps. With time the redness tends to become more persistent. In the more severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy, a condition known medically as rhinophyma.

Because rosacea is a complex condition, it has been divided into subtypes, which are determined based on the appearance of the skin. This subdivision helps classify rosacea. However, patients may have the findings of more than one subtype at the same time.

  1. Subtype 1 – Facial Redness: Subtype 1 (medically called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea) is characterized by persistent facial redness and flushing. Broken capillaries, called telangiectasia, may be present, and the skin may feel irritated and uncomfortable.
  2. Subtype 2 – Bumps and Pimples: Subtype 2 (medically called papulopustular rosacea) is characterized by facial redness and acne-like bumps and pimples.
  3. Subtype 3 – Skin Thickening: Subtype 3 (medically called phymatous rosacea) is characterized by skin thickening and enlargement, especially around the nose. When the nose is involved in this manner, it is referred to as a rhinophyma. It is believed that W.C. Fields had this type of rosacea involving his nose.
  4. Subtype 4 – Eye Irritation: Subtype 4 (medically called ocular rosacea) is characterized by the presence of eye symptoms, including watery eyes, red eyes, foreign body sensation, eye burning, dry eyes, and blurred vision. Ocular rosacea should be treated by an ophthalmologist.

Although the cause of rosacea is not known, several factors are known to play a role in its development. The condition is more common in
women than in men. In addition, genetics is also clearly a factor, and the condition may be inherited. Evidence suggests that sun exposure is also a contributing factor in the development of rosacea. There are also certain “triggering factors” that may exacerbate a patient’s rosacea. When present, these need to be identified and avoided as much as possible. Common triggering factors are hot and cold temperatures, wind, hot drinks, caffeine, exercise, spicy foods, alcohol, certain emotions, and medications that cause flushing.

Laser skin treatment is a popular choice for the fight against rosacea. At Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic a laser is used to emit a beam of light that is absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in the blood vessel. This will break down the blood vessel, diminishing the look of the vascular lesion (rosacea). Final treatment results should be evident in 10-14 days after treatment. Three to four treatments may be needed to reach your final goal.

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Chemical peels are another choice for clients looking to treat rosacea. At Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic our illumaPeel combines a variety of active cosmeceutical ingredients to effectively achieve the results you desire. The peeling process usually begins 1-3 days after the procedure and is complete in 5-7 days. The skin may appear dry and flaky during this time. Although results may be achieved after one treatment, a series of 3-6 treatments may be required depending on the intensity of the peel and other treatments used.

All patients who have rosacea should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B light. At Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic we recommend using our sunscreen, Nature’s Veil SPF 30, a physical sunscreen based on zinc oxide rather than chemicals. In addition, individuals who have rosacea should seek shade and wear a wide-brim hat to further protect themselves from the sun.

If you’re suffering from rosacea don’t wait, contact us today. We have treated hundreds of clients with this condition who have received extremely gratifying results. Contact us today to book your no pressure consultation. Honest advice, beautiful results™.

What is Vibradermabrasion for Aging Skin?

Vibradermabrasion is the latest in aging skin treatment technology. It is an effective and clinically proven topical aging skin treatment, utilizing a rapidly vibrating sterile paddle to remove layers of damaged skin tissue; leaving healthier and more radiant skin. Vibradermabrasion is the new way to do microdermabrasion. The process is fast, very comfortable for patients and produces exceptional results. 75-85% of the stratum corneum (top layer of non-living skin cells) is removed in minutes.

Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic uses Vibradermabrasion to treat:vibra 3

 Sun damaged skin
 Fine lines/wrinkles
 Superficial age spots
 Hyper-pigmentation/Melasma
 Poor skin texture/dull skin

 

Unlike traditional microdermabrasion, Vibraderm does not sandblast aluminum oxide crystals over the skin. Instead, a Vibraderm machine
consists of paddles covered in abrasive particles. During the treatment, the Vibraderm paddles vibrate over the skin at extremely high speeds, exfoliating the top layer of skin and stimulating collagen growth.

Treatments typically take less than 30 minutes to perform and require virtually no downtime. This makes Vibraderm easy to fit into busyvibra 2schedules and ensures that people can get back to their active lifestyles. Many patients prefer Vibraderm simply for its lack of post-treatment redness.

Vibradermabrasion creates immediate results for aging skin after just one treatment and in as few as three, initiates the creation of new collagen, leaving the skin more beautiful and vibrant each time. You will immediately notice a textural difference and a glowing quality to your skin’s appearance, however multiple treatments will be required to address hyper-pigmentation, enlarged pores and reduction of fine lines. Results may vary for each patient.

At Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic each session is $150 and offers a half an hour of powerful relaxation while we rejuvenate your aging skin. Post treatment we are happy to match and apply mineral foundation by Jane Iredale that is also available for purchase while in our clinic. Contact us today to book your appointment!

Laser Skin Treatment in Ottawa

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Looking for laser skin treatment in Ottawa? Look no further!

Dermaworks Medical Aesthetics Clinic is proud to offer Ottawa laser skin treatments. Designed to treat a number of aesthetic problems afflicting the skin, this revolutionary medical technology utilizes one of the most advanced platforms in aesthetic medicine. Combat the signs of aging, repair damage caused by prolonged sun exposure, or treat acne and acne scars – experience the therapeutic effects of laser technology as performed by our physician.

What can Laser Skin Therapy Treat?
Laser skin therapy can non-surgically treat problems affecting the face and body, as well as facilitate the production of collagen. Problems that may be treated include lesions (vascular, such as spider veins, and pigmented, such as cafe au lait and age spots), acne, rosacea and fine wrinkles. Moles and nevi cannot be treated and should be examined by your physician to ensure that they are not harmful.

To treat a lesion, the intense light energy of the treatment is  absorbed by the skin’s pigment and blood in the vessel of the exposed area. This breaks down the pigment or collapses the walls of the offending vessel, thereby eliminating the pigmented lesion or vascular lesion. To treat acne, the laser creates the formation of free radicals by targeting porphyrin, which ultimately eliminate the P.acnes bacteria that is believed to cause breakouts.

Within one or more sessions, your skin will appear rejuvenated, looking more youthful, smooth, and luminous. Up to four sessions may be required to achieve optimal results. Maintenance sessions may be required, particularly for rosacea and continuing sun damage.

For more information regarding laser skin treatment in the Ottawa area, please schedule your consultation by calling (613) 667-9455 or emailing us.

Getting Rid of Acne Rosacea with Laser Treatments

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Acne rosacea causes redness and swelling on the face. The first signs of this skin condition are a tendency to blush easily in the center of the face, with gradual blushing spreading to the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. As it progresses, little bumps form in the reddened areas. Unlike traditional acne, blackheads do not form.

Acne rosacea is a chronic condition that affects fourteen million people in the United States alone, with similar figures in Canada. The condition, commonly found in fair-skinned people of Irish and Scottish descent, causes visible broken blood vessels, small red bumps, cysts, and irritated eyes. Sufferers may not initially realize that they have the condition, believing instead that their skin is sunburned.

Acne rosacea is also called “adult acne” because it is most common among adults between the ages of 30 and 50. The cause of this condition remains a mystery but some factors that are thought to contribute to the condition include genetics, sun exposure, certain medications, helicobacter pylori bacteria, and gastrointestinal disease.

Laser Treatment for Acne Rosacea
An increasing number of people who suffer from this type of acne are turning to laser and light therapies since they do not cause the worrisome side effects associated with other treatments. The pulsed dye laser (PDL) is a type of laser that has been used for many years to reduce the flushing, redness, and visible blood vessels associated with this condition. PDL targets and destroys the visible blood vessels.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is another forum of light therapy that is effective in reducing the redness and flushing associated with this condition. IPL therapy filters out harmful UVA and UVB rays and then delivers light to areas with visible blood vessels. While PDL therapy is most effective for targeting obvious blood vessels, IPL therapy is more effective in treating larger areas of redness. It has long-lasting results, can treat dilated blood vessels effectively without injuring the surrounding skin and has the ability to destroy the bacteria that is believed to cause the acne.

Erbium lasers and fractional photothermolysis are used to treat a less common symptom known as rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is characterized by thick and bumpy skin on the nose and cheeks. These new forms of laser therapy are effective in smoothing out the nose and cheeks without removing an excessive amount of the skin’s top layer.

Laser treatments can cause some discomfort but they are considered to be effective and to a certain extent safer than other treatments. The results of laser treatment are long-term, greatly reducing the flushing episodes, dilated blood vessels, and redness.

Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
At Dermaworks, perhaps the most effective treatment for acne rosacea is Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing with Dermal Optical Thermolysis (DOT) Therapy. The procedure is performed using the SmartXide DOT™ CO2 laser system, which emits fractionated CO2 laser energy to vaporize the skin at a controlled depth.


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