Self-esteem -- a term you may assign to the tortured junior high and high school years of careening hormones and angsty self-expression. But the reality is that self-esteem is very much a grownup issue, affecting how you see yourself and function in relationships, at work, in social gatherings and in your day-to-day routines. It should come as no surprise that self-esteem is linked to how to look, among other things. Learn how cosmetic dermatology can dramatically raise your self-esteem, giving you greater confidence, increased productivity and a brighter outlook on life.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that is detrimental to self-esteem. Not only does it cause emotional distress while it’s active, but acne can also cause permanent scarring and prolong the psychological struggle. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments in the field of cosmetic dermatology that can reduce scarring and embarrassment from acne. One option is a chemical peel, which removes the top layers of skin, making way for younger, smoother skin to grow. Chemical peels are available as light, moderate or deep treatments. Typically, a dermatologist will recommend a medium or deep peel for reducing the scarring left from acne. A deep peel will require sedation and a few weeks of healing after the procedure, but it can produce dramatic results on your skin. Medium peels won’t be as painful or take as long to heal as a deep peel, and are helpful for moderate acne scarring.
Laser treatments are another effective treatment for acne scarring. Lasers break up old scar tissue and promote new skin growth. There are several types of laser treatments you can receive: ablative, non-ablative and fractionated. Ablative lasers (like the CO2 laser) remove the top layer of skin where the scarring has taken place. Non-ablative don’t remove skin, but heat up lower layers of skin, stimulating collagen growth. Fractionated laser treatment (like Fraxel) also stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells by causing micro-injuries to a certain percentage of the skin. The non-treated skin promotes the healing of the injured skin, reducing the healing time.
Like acne, hair loss is a widespread dermatological condition that affects self-esteem, especially among men. Over 80 million men and women in the US alone are affected by hereditary hair loss (alopecia). The treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. There are over the counter and prescription medications your dermatologist can prescribe that promote hair growth. Minoxidil (Rogaine), finasteride (Propecia), anthralin, methotrexate and corticosteroids (for alopecia areata) are some of the medications your dermatologist may recommend. Many people may decide to pursue hair transplant surgery. In this outpatient procedure, a portion of the skin that has hair is moved to a balding area. This can be an excellent way to deal with balding areas on your scalp, but will need to be repeated in new areas as the balding progresses.
If you desire thicker, darker eyelashes or eyebrows, you should ask your dermatologist about Latisse. Latisse is a serum that prolongs your lashes’ or brows’ growth cycle so that they grow more quickly and longer. While you will need a prescription to get Latisse, it is a product you can easily apply at home.
Many people feel self-conscious about their complexions becoming dull or discolored from sun exposure, genetic factors or life’s wear and tear. Dermatologists offer a few services to rejuvenate and clear-up complexions. Chemical peels will help dark spots fade, smooth rough areas on the skin and brighten complexions. Even a light chemical peel will bring new life to the skin. Laser treatment is also used to remove dark spots (also known as hyperpigmentation), spider veins and uneven skin tone. Usually, a non-ablative laser is used for removal of these kinds of cosmetic issues, which means there is little downtime.
A couple of other therapies that can rejuvenate your complexion are microdermabrasion and microneedling. Microneedling causes micro-injuries to the top layer of skin, stimulating your skin to start producing more collagen and new skin cells. Microdermabrasion acts like a chemical peel in removing the top layer of skin so new, clearer skin can grow in its place. You can request microdermabrasion for stretch marks and other unwanted skin pigmentation issues.
Whether caused by sun exposure, genetics or age, fine lines and wrinkles can be smoothed out by a variety of cosmetic procedures. Looking younger and more carefree is bound to boost your self-esteem.
Dermal fillers have become an increasingly popular way of erasing fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers are an injectable treatment that can be administered in a dermatologist’s office and leave you with little to no downtime. Some of the most popular dermal fillers (such as Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane) are made from hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your body that helps retain moisture in your skin. When injected, it plumps out areas of your face and hands that have started to sag, wrinkle or fold. The injected hyaluronic acid is eventually safely absorbed by your body, making it necessary to get further injections to maintain your smoothed and plumped-up skin.
Laser therapy can also treat fine lines and wrinkles by tightening up sagging skin and stimulating regrowth of thicker skin, which is less likely to wrinkle.
Botox is another injectable treatment, frequently used to erase wrinkles in the forehead and furrows between the eyebrows, as well as frown lines and crow's feet. A botox injection relaxes the muscles that have contracted to form wrinkles. It can also keep wrinkles from forming by weakening the muscles that would eventually cause wrinkles to appear.
While some people are self-conscious about losing hair, others are embarrassed by excess hair in unwanted areas, like above the upper lip, in the underarms, around the bikini line or on the back or legs.
Laser treatment appears yet again as an excellent therapy. In the case of removing unwanted hair, the laser light beam targets the hair in the hair follicle, heating up the hair and damaging the follicle so that its cycle of creating strands of hair is damaged. Usually laser treatment doesn’t permanently damage the hair follicles, but it can cause the hair to grow back lighter in color and more sparsely. Because the laser targets the hair strands, it works best on people who have dark hair and lighter skin. Your dermatology practice may also offer cosmetic waxing, which removes unwanted hair from the root, keeping the area hair-free for 6-8 weeks.
Contact Vanguard Dermatology, located in the greater New York City area. The experienced dermatologists at Vanguard provide a wide range of cosmetic dermatology services as well as medical procedures and treatments.