What are Stretch Marks and What Does Microdermabrasion Do?

To understand how microdermabrasion works, you need to understand the pathology behind stretch marks. Stretch marks, or more scientifically known as striae, are deposits of damaged collagen that are located in the cutaneous layers of the skin. They form when trauma, usually in the form of weight loss, affects these deposits, permanently damaging them. Treament methods are geared at reducing the appearance of these marks.

Stretch marks are permanent tears in this collagen, and cannot fully be cured without surgical removal. They can appear as red or greyish linear lines in the affected area, usually the abdomen or thighs.


Skin Cells Microdermabrasion

The aim is to enhance the aesthetic look of these areas, because they cannot be fully treated without invasive techniques.

How does Microdermabrasion Work?

Microdermabrasion, as the name suggests, is an abrassive therapy to remove the microscopic, outer layers of dermal tissue using a mechanical medium. These cells that are removed are dead tissues, arising from the tissues that propagate new cell growth at deeper layers of the skin. Salicic and glycolic acids are used in combination with the abrasive to remove all excess dead cells in the area. This allows for other, less volatile therapies to be implemented with greater success.

What Types of Materials Are Used?

  • Microdermabrasion crystals; sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, aluminum oxide
  • Grains made from organic substrate
  • Synthetically made diamond-tips
  • Bristle-tips

This can be completed with microdermabrasion home kits, at special health spas, or through medical clinics. The best microdermabrasion results typically come from stretch mark sufferers who use their local dermatologist to select and implement the best abrasive. This is also the safest manner, because trained physicians can treat any subsequent side-effects associated with the tissue removal.

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Microdermabrasion Risks?

While this is a relatively simple therapy, there are very subtle risks. Microdermabrasion, by the nature of the therapy can cause minor skin infections that are usually just local to the treatment. These can be treated topically with over-the-counter ointments or oral antibiotics.

Microdermabrasion Cost?

The cost of microdermabrasion varies with each method. At home kits are fairly cheap and usually cost the patient less than 300 dollars. Spas, which employ trained professionals, vary on the type of spa and location (resort spas, etc.) For a quality session with a dermatologist, the cost can range upward of 2,000 dollars.

What must be weighed in however, is the subsequent secondary treatments with microdermabrasion. Obviously quality of treatment is an issue, but microdermabrasion isn’t meant as a sole treatment for stretch marks. Lotions, oils, and even laser therapy should be used in combination with microdermabrasion to enhance the overall efficacy of the treatment.

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Not only can an acne scar cause physical issues but the psychological issue that accompany them can be devastating.

But, it’s important to get an understanding of the different types of acne. Recognizing which type of acne you have can determine both treatment to eliminate acne but also allow you to develop a plan of action for acne scar removal.

Pimples or acne lesions occur when hair follicles become clogged with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells. Similar to the drain in your bathtub that becomes clogged with hair, plugged follicles breed bacteria. The red bumps most individuals relate to as pimples are created from the spreading of bacteria and the accompanying pus filled bumps.

Do you know the different types of acne?

When whiteheads and blackheads appear the mainly develop in a mild form of acne. However, when

acne scar

acne scar treatment

they grow to become inflamed and increase to papules with the visible white center, it’s referred to as moderately severe acne. Severe acne is a serious problem involving pain, pus filled cysts which begin under the epidermis close to the dermis of your skin.

So which type of acne produces the most serious scarring?

Interestingly, acne scarring is caused from the constant scratching of the pustules. But, if we were to pinpoint the type it’s fairly obvious that severe acne produces the most severe acne scarring.

Equally as obvious is the fact that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in acne scar treatment. Never wait until it becomes severe and always see a dermatologist or skin care specialist.

How to treat an acne scar

If you’re like most people, the red or brown marks that are left behind from the pimples eventually go away.  But it’s important to note that picking or scratching or squeezing a pimple will increase the likelihood that you develop a an acne scar

There are actually a couple types of Acne scars:

Rolling scars are defined as those scars having the impression of a gradual dip or depression, and acne scars that are identified as being deep and narrow.

Note: Should you have moderate to severe acne, it should be somewhat controlled prior to undertaking any acne scare treatment.

What’s the difference between a mild acne scar and a severe acne scar?

Severity always dictates the type of treatment you will probably receive. Treatment s including a chemical peel or microdermabrasion have been known to help reduce the effects of acne scarring. These are treatments that can be done in the doctors office. Different types of LED Light Therapy or red light therapy have also helped in mild cases of acne because the light penetrates deep into the tissue.

The following is a list of several options you might want to look at if you’ve got a case of sever scarring.

Laser resurfacing. This treatment is performed in the doctor’s or dermatologist’s office. The laser eliminates the  harmed top layer of the epidermis and firms the dermis, leaving skin smoother.

Dermabrasion. This procedure involves a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument that diminishes the surface of the epidermis. The end result is a smoother layer of skin replaces the abraded skin.

Fractional laser therapy. This routine takes place at a deeper level than laser resurfacing or dermabrasion, Because a laser is used there are several benefits including not affecting top layer of tissue, and shorter recovery times.

For “rolling” scars, doctors sometimes inject material under the scar to raise it to the level of normal skin. Finally, in some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove deeply indented scars.

acne scar

Thermage, thermacool, or thermalift is the most innovative, non-surgical, non-invasive, no “down time” procedure for treatment of loose or lax skin of the face and body areas which need firming and contouring.

Nurse Rada at Dr. Robert DeStefano’s office in Calabasas, CA. has been using Thermage to treat skin laxity of the face, neck and body since May of 2003. In fact the official website for Thermage posted some of Rada’s client “Before & After” photos.  Mention “SkinCareByLouisa.com to receive a 10% discount on any Thermage treatment performed at Dr. De Stefano’s office in Calabasas, CA.- Apr. 10 2012 to Aug. 30 2012.

Thermage is FDA approved.

Thermage can be used for treatment on any area of the face, neck, body, and even the eyelids using the most current Thermage upgraded system, Comfort Pulse Technology (CPT).

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CPT provides an improved, more uniform heating action that causes the structures in the skin and underlying tissue to immediately tighten while stimulating collagen growth and offers a more comfortable treatment of the face and neck. The thin skin of the eyelids is treated with a specialized tip with a shallow heating profile.

Thermage has also been found to provide a modest improvement to acne scars.

Body shaping Thermage treatments are beneficial for firming the skin, treating cellulite and for deep contouring and circumferential reduction. The body treatment hand piece with large 16 cm deep heating treatment tips allows for a faster, more comfortable and more effective treatment.  Body shaping treatments are used for contouring and smoothing of the abdomen, “love handles,” thighs,


Thermage Treatment

buttocks and upper arms and for treating cellulite.

How Does Thermage Work?

Thermage skin tightening procedures:

Much of the advanced technology is in the disposable tip, which must be programmed for the impedance (electrical resistance) of each individual. Four corner sensors measure the temperature of the cooled skin surface. The passage of radio frequency energy is automatically blocked if the protective temperature is not correct. This system guards against surface damage and allows the ability to treat with no “down time.”

Each pulse of radio frequency causes a uniform heating of the deep layers (dermis) of the skin. The collagen structure responds to heating with a measurable contraction, then a gradual remodeling of the collagen. The full response, allowing time for new collagen formation, may be seen in as little as two months and may take as long as six months.

Thermage CPT System Offers Improved Patient Comfort

Unlike the painful Thermage treatments of the past, the improved Thermage CPT (Comfort Pulse Technology) System offers a significant improvement in patient comfort.  The unique vibrating hand piece interweaves pulsed radio frequency delivery with cooling bursts mimicking “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation” (TENS) therapy to disrupt the brain’s neural response and improve comfort during treatment.

The redesigned treatment tips deliver enhanced heat distribution and uniformity, which lead to improved volumetric heating.  A greater volume of tissue is heated to target temperatures and the heating is more evenly distributed across the treatment area.

This vibrating CPT hand piece is used for easily tolerated treatment to the face and neck.  This area is now treated without the use of pain medication.  We are also, under certain circumstances, able to use this hand piece on the upper arms for contouring and firming with a 3.0 cm deep heating treatment tip.

Thermage Body Shaping Treatment is designed for the same smoothing and thermage skin tightening which the standard tip provides but, since the heat penetrates approximately 80% deeper, to the subcutaneous fat layer, a body contouring effect is seen. This procedure also provides benefit to patients with mild to moderate cellulite.

By applying deep heat, along with specific superficial cooling, the collagenous connective tissues are restored and local circulation is improved.  This results in smoothing of dimples and improved skin texture.  The Body Shaping Treatment results in circumferential reduction decrease in surface irregularities, improvement of skin texture, firming, lifting and tightening of lax skin and reduction of cellulite.  Positive results have been reported in 2-3 months, with full effect seen in 6 months.

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Thermage for Treating the Eyes

Thermage treatment to the eyelids and surrounding area results in tighter, smoother skin.  Following treatment, the eyes appear more open, wrinkle lines, “crow’s feet and under eye bags are reduced. Smoother eyelid skin makes application of makeup easier.  The eyelid area can be treated alone, or in conjunction with the face and neck.  To protect the eye from absorbing heat, plastic eye shields will be inserted.

Tetracaine ophthalmic drops will be instilled to numb the eye prior to insertion of the eye shield.  A small 0.25 cm treatment tip with a shallow heating profile will be used on the eyelid skin.  The regular 3.0 cm tip will be used on the area above the eyelid, below the eye and on the outer eye corners.  The treatment is associated with very little discomfort and minimal swelling.  If eyes are dry or irritated following treatment, artificial tears can be used.

Thermage has provided consensus guidelines, which assure safer treatment with more consistent results.  Dr. De Stephano’s office has incorporated all of the latest treatment advances for the Thermage procedure.  Current consensus guidelines, which reviewed 5700 Thermage cases, reveal a 93% patient satisfaction rate.  Results have been shown to last 2-4 years.  As with any procedure, individual results may vary.


  1. Non-surgical, non-invasive procedure.
  2. No general anesthesia required.
  3. No “down time” allows return to usual activities without delay.
  4. Gradual improvement in appearance rather than sudden change.
  5. Conservative improvement, which appears natural and not “overstretched”.
  6. Option for additional treatment for further improvement if desired, but generally only one treatment can last for up to two years.
  7. Relatively short treatment time of one to three hours.
  8. Costs are much less than comparative surgical procedures for similar benefit.


  1. Best results are seen with mild to moderate wrinkling and laxity.
  2. Response in more severe wrinkling or laxity is unpredictable and may range from minimal to more than satisfactory.
  3. Discomfort of treatment ranges from mild to severe and may require mild sedative and/or pain medication.

The use of Valium or Vicodin requires a responsible driver.

  • Some individuals will require a second treatment for best results and some will not respond at all.
  • Long term ill effects have not been seen and are not expected, but are unknown.

Possible Side Effects May Include:

  1. Redness may be expected and may last a few hours.
  2. Blistering has been reported but is a rare exception.  Blistering can lead to infection, which can be health or life threatening, and may result in scarring. Choose a professional that has much experience administering Thermage treatments, such as Nurse Rada at Dr. De Stefano’s office in Calabasas, CA. (818) 222-7495       
  3. Swelling is typically minimal and may last 3-4 weeks, with swollen areas feeling tender.  In rare cases, swelling may be moderate, but decreases within a week. Nodular swelling may also occur and resolves within a month.
  4. Transient and focal altered sensation with tingling or numbness have been reported. Resolution is typically within a few weeks.  Nerve damage may occur at the treatment site.  This side effect is unlikely but can occur.
  5. Skin textural changes, “surface irregularities,” such as “small dents,” “rippling,” “ridging,” or “waffle pattern” have been reported.  These may be delayed and become evident one or more months following treatment but usually resolve or can be treated with tissue fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane.
  6. Adverse events have been reported at a rate of .04%.


  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Pacemaker or internal defibrillator
  • Cochlear implants
  • Implantable ocular lenses (if treating eyelids)


  • Dental braces
  • Dental prostheses (dentures), unless removable
  • Metal parts in the area to be treated (bone screws, plates, wires)
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Permanent makeup- we will not treat over permanent makeup, as it often contains iron oxide, which can absorb excessive heat.  If permanent makeup is present in the treatment area, we will treat around it
  • Post Lasik-treatment to eyelids must be delayed several months to allow for proper healing

Thermage Prices:

Full Face and Neck                                                                             $2,200.00

Full Face and Eyelids                                                                          $2,800.00

Face, Neck and Eyelids                                                                       $3,200.00

Forehead and Eyelids                                                                         $2,000.00

How Much Does Thermage Cost for the Body (includes both Body Contouring and Cellulite Treatments):

Small Body Area                                                                 $2,300.00

Average Body Area                                                            $2,800.00

Large Body Area                                                                $3,300.00 – $4000.00

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What is exfoliation and what you need to know about your skin’s natural process.

Have you ever taken a bath and looked at the water in the tub? If so you’ve probably seen the byproduct of you skins natural exfoliation process. Exfoliation means to eradicate dead skin cells. This can be done naturally through a process called desquamation or through an exfoliant.

The immediate benefit to us if we exfoliate our skin on a regular basis is that the texture becomes smooth and soft, the complexion has brightened, and we are less prone to skin conditions such as acne, adult acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Let’s explore the natural meaning of exfoliation referred to as desquamation.

This natural process repeats itself every 28 days and recreates new cells in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. The new cells are actually born in the deepest layer of the epidermis called the stratum germinativum. Once the process starts the cell gravitates to the highest layer of


What is exfoliation?

the epidermis called the stratum corneum. The news cells have a major responsibility which is to push out the older skin cells.

So where do the dead skin cells go?

Check out your furniture, the floor, and your bedspread, many people mistake dead skin cells for dust or dirt.

Desquamation also can be attributed to potential skin problems such as disease and skin conditions. Because it involves  in the upper layers of the skin through the shedding of dead skin cells, the human body utilizes it as a constructive mechanism to naturally replenish the skin with new vibrant cells.

Desquamation is a latin word that actually speaks to scaling fish, hence, the sloughing of dead skin cells from the epidermis on a consistent basis.

What is an exfoliant?

You just need to take a trip to the local mall or drug store and head to the beauty and skin care section and exfoliants will jump out at you. They’re products or procedures designed to eradicate the build-up of dead cells on your skin.

Be sure to check out my “1 Minute Beauty Tip Videos” with different exfoliating tips.

This is one area of skin care that you should really do your homework in advance. Because many exfoliating products make use of chemicals, it could be possible to have a skin reaction or an allergic reaction to them. Always check with your skin care specialist, family physician, or dermatologist before using an exfoliant.

Make the appropriate choice of the correct product to exfoliate your skin is essential to achieving skin that is soft, hydrated, healthy, and great looking.

Need a natural exfoliant? Here is a list of the top 10 natural exfoliants!

  1. Honey
  2. Yougurt
  3. Baking Soda
  4. Ground Fruit Seeds and Nuts
  5. Sugar
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Lemon Juice
  8. Papaya
  9. Ground Coffee
  10. Sea Salt

If you enjoyed this article about what is exfoliate,  here are some others you might like to look at!

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