Benefits of a Medical Spa

Medical spas are on the rise and for all the right reasons. Conventional Western medicine is proving to not be as effective as was originally thought. Especially with the way health care is currently operating in the United States, people are turning to alternative methods to try to get themselves healthy. Med Spas are becoming the perfect mix of Eastern and Western medicine and also health and beauty. 

Until recently, Western Medicine has failed to recognize the healing benefits of the Spa and Fitness Industry. With the arrival of the latest trend, the Medical Spa, the two fields have converged and caused a veritable explosion, making this new trend the wave of the future. As defined by the International Spa Association, a Medical Spa is an institution whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment, which integrates spa services as well as conventional and complimentary therapies and treatments.

Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons have been jumping on the bandwagon joining Day Spas and even expanding their practices to offer ‘higher level’ Spa services and care. As a consultant for the development of Medical and Day Spas, Fitness Centers and Hair Salons, I can attest that this is a welcome change to the industry.

Like a Day Spa, the Medical Spa enforces the importance of a relaxing atmosphere. Attention to detail is essential – from the color of the walls to the fabric of the robes. A soothing, comforting ambiance helps to put the client at ease for even the most uncomfortable medical procedures. However, the Medical Spa differs from a Day Spa in the following two regards. 

As a Medical Spa houses both a Medical and Esthetic staff under one roof, both medical and cosmetic treatments are offered within the center. Depending on the doctor(s) present, these services may range anywhere from Botox injections to Lipo-suction. Therefore, one role of the Medical Spa is a comprehensive approach to caring for the client before, during and after these procedures take place. The second distinction is, again with the presence of Western Medicine, the Medical Spa is able to use a higher-grade product and, therefore, the Spa services show greater results. A Medical Spa is the perfect balance between clinical and luxury.

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Detox and Toxins in Your Body

The CDC reports that up to 85% of all illnesses are caused by toxins and pollutants in our bodies. The human body functions best when the ions are balanced at 80% negative and 20% positive. What we put into our bodies, such as the foods we consume, have either acidic or alkalizing properties. An ionic detox helps to facilitate the alkalization process through the process of ionization, which removes free radicals from the body. Here is an article about one woman looking to find the truth about the effectiveness of ionic foot detoxes.

A recent fad has been sweeping the country: ionic foot detoxes. You may not recognize the name, but you probably have seen the infomercials about foot patches or foot baths that pull all the toxins out of your body through your feet, leaving you with a patch or bath full of brown liquid (aka the toxins). But is it all just a scam? Or is there actual scientific proof to support these claims? 
I decided to try it out for myself with Pacific College Alumna and Oncology Specialist Christine Adamo, LAc, and see for myself what the scoop is all about. Christine is a supporter of “true” ionic detoxes and uses them in her practice, particularly with her cancer patients to help with the side effects of chemotherapy. First off, I say “true” because Christine warned me upfront about the many false companies out there who claim that the brown water produced in their bath or patch is the result of toxins coming out of the body. “This is NOT true,” Christine said. The water changes color naturally because of the chemical reaction between the electricity and the salt water, not because of toxins. So, don’t be fooled by the infomercials. It’s actually, the debris that begin to form in the water that are the toxins. 
Don’t just take Christine’s word for it; the scientific evidence speaks for itself. “We can do a test and you can see for yourself if you’d like?” asked Christine, before we began the detox. “Why not!” I said. Afterall, what better way to determine a treatment’s efficacy than with a scientific experiment? We decided to do a urine pH test before the detox and then another pH test after the detox to compare the results. My first pH test showed to be more on the acidic side of normal. I was ready to see if this detox would really change my pH level in just 30 minutes. 
The main point of these detoxes is to make the body’s pH more “alkaline,” but what exactly is the importance of being alkaline? An alkaline body is crucial to a person’s health. Diseases thrive in an acidic environment. So basically, the less acidic your body is and the more alkaline, the less prone you are to contracting a disease, such as osteoporosis or cancer, according to Christine. The Center for Disease Control reports that up to 85% of all illness are caused by toxins and pollutants in our bodies. The human body functions best when the ions are balanced at 80% negative and 20% positive. 
So how do we achieve this? What we put into our body, such as the foods we consume, have either acidic or alkalizing properties. Check out the food charts for yourself here. The more of the higher alkaline foods you can incorporate into your diet the better. An ionic detox, helps to facilitate the alkalization process through the process of ionization, which removes “free radicals” from the body. How do ionic detoxes fit into Chinese medicine? 
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Beautiful Lady with a clean skin

How to Get Wedding Ready Skin

Every little girl has fantasized about being the most beautiful woman in the world on her wedding day but this is much more than a fantasy. There are some simple things that you can do for your skin to make your complexion flawless. This will make you all the more ready for your big day. You’ve already taken a huge step in the right direction by looking at Stellar Skin and Laser. Many of the items on this list can be done right here in our office. Give us a call today!

1. Assess Early 

If you really want to get your skin in top form, you’ll need to start a smart skincare routine about a year in advance. It’s okay if you don’t have that long before the wedding day — just adopt these good skincare habits as soon as possible.

2. Schedule Professional Facials

Your wedding is the perfect excuse for some extra pampering. You’ll want to book monthly facials to really refresh your skin. Experienced aestheticians will massage your skin, scalp and decolletage to stimulate blood circulation and keep your skin looking pink, not sallow. You can also request extractions. This is when your facialist gets all the dirt out of your pores. The process takes preparation and special techniques that, if done at home, can lead to irritation, or worse, scarring.

3. Manage Oil With Blotting Sheets

If you’re on the go, blotting papers will help keep your face shine-free. If you need a more advanced grease solution, streamline your routine. Use a mild face wash (we love Cetaphil), skip the toner and add a lightweight oil-free moisturizer. Excessive face washing will kick oil production into overdrive.

4. Eat More Watermelon

No matter what your skin type is — oily, dry, normal or combo — it craves water. Sure, drinking water helps, but snacking on watermelon works too. Other super foods for your face: grapefruit, broccoli and lettuce.

5. “Shrink” Your Pores With Microdermabrasion 

We want to give it to you straight, so first, the bad news: You can’t actually change the size of your pores. “The deeper a pore is, the bigger it looks on the skin’s surface,” says Cornelia Zicu, global chief creative officer and renowned facialist for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas. The good news: You can minimize the depth of your pores to make them seem smaller. Here’s how: “Microdermabrasion, glycolic acid and other chemical peels will exfoliate layers of bad skin and minimize pore surface,” Zicu explains.

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Lady with Flower

Eat Your Way to Better Skin

Since skin is the largest organ on your body, it is easy to see when it is unhealthy. Skin is a huge indicator of whether or not you are emotionally and physically healthy. Diet plays a huge role in every aspect of your health but also your skin. There are certain foods that you can eat in addition to utilizing the treatments here at Stellar Skin and Laser that will give you the perfect skin you’ve always wanted.

Almonds: Hey, guess what? Almonds are seeds, not nuts, and they’re stuffed with vitamin E, a potent sun blocker. Volunteers who consumed 14 milligrams of the vitamin per day (about 20 almonds) and then were exposed to UV light sunburned less than those who took none. “Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals,” explains Jeffrey Dover, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.

Suitable switch: 2 Tbsp peanut butter; 1/2 cup

Carrots: Think of them as orange wonder wands-good for eyeballs, good for clearing up breakouts. Credit vitamin A. “It helps prevent the overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer,” says Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. That’s where dead cells and sebum combine and clog pores. Another reason to snack on carrots: Vitamin A also reduces the development of skin-cancer cells. Nibble on a half-cup of baby carrots (that’s about 16) per day.

Suitable switch: Milk (1 cup); cheddar cheese

Dark Chocolate: It’s medicine-so of course you need it! Flavonols, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage. In a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, women who drank cocoa fortified with 326 milligrams of flavonols (equal to a standard Hershey’s Special Dark bar) had better skin texture and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who drank cocoa containing just a small amount of the antioxidant. You need just a few ounces a day.

Sort-of-suitable switch: Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries-though you’d have to eat a huge amount.

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3D Printing Can Help Wrinkles Too?!

The only limit to what 3D printing can do for us is our imagination. In the beauty field, 3D printing could revolutionize what is currently possible. One example researchers are looking into is visual mapping using 3D software that allows them to measure and understand wrinkles like never before and therefore how to fill them.

Software visually maps horizontal movement of the face. (Left) Before injection, the light blue in the center indicates compression of the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose. (Right) Two weeks after injection. The new colors show decreased compression.
Credit: Penn Medicine

A three-dimensional imaging technique often used in the automotive and aerospace industries for accurate measurement may be useful to measure the efficacy of injectable wrinkle reducers such as Botox and Dysport, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The procedure, called three-dimensional speckle tracking photogrammetry, is described in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Authors say it has the potential to measure the efficacy of several treatments for which these types of injections are used, not only for cosmetic purposes but also to reduce facial paralysis arising from stroke and Bell’s palsy.

Photogrammetry is the use of photography to measure distances between objects. Using the new technique, researchers can measure dynamic facial wrinkles and their subsequent reduction following injection. Results are presented as a color-coded heat map. By comparing before- and after-treatment heat maps of patients, physicians can objectively evaluate wrinkle reduction and such other variables such as optimal dosage for obtaining maximum aesthetic benefit.

“There is a growing body of evidence that injectable fillers for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes can have significant psychological benefits,” said senior author Ivona Percec, MD, PhD, director of Basic Science Research and associate director of Cosmetic Surgery in the division of Plastic Surgery at Penn. “With more people turning to this procedure, it is important to have evidence-based ways of improving cosmetic and reconstructive surgical results.” Current attempts at measuring wrinkle reduction mostly rely on static photographs and subjective visual assessments.

Injectable fillers reduce or eliminate wrinkles by relaxing the muscles responsible for their development. After treatment, the muscles gradually become less active, allowing the overlying skin to appear smoother.

Females Heart Shape at the Beach

Melanoma on the Rise

Most Americans admit that they never wear sunscreen and melanoma rates are showing that. People are getting cancer much more frequently than ever before. Even in children this has been manifesting over two times as much as it has in the past 40 years. What is causing this?

The incidence of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, has increased by more than 250% among children, adolescents and young adults since 1973, according to award-winning research to be presented by Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 51st Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The research has been recognized with an ASCO Merit Award. Analyzing SEER data, Roswell Park scientists determined that the number of cases of melanoma diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults increased by 253% from 1973 to 2011. Survival rates also have increased — from 80% for the period 1973-1980 to 95% in 2011. Female young adults appear to be at particular risk for melanoma, a trend that may be due to known risk factors such as high-risk tanning behaviors.

“Given the epidemic rise of melanoma cases diagnosed among children, adolescents and young adults, it is imperative that new research initiatives are implemented, genetic and environmental risk factors identified, and effective prevention and screening strategies employed,” says Demytra Mitsis, MD, lead author of the study and a Fellow in the Department of Medical Oncology at Roswell Park.

The SEER data analysis included 35,726 cases of melanoma identified among individuals less than 40 years of age from 1973 to 2011. Mitsis and colleagues found that 98% of the melanoma cases were diagnosed among adolescents and young adults (aged 15-39 years), and 32 years was the median age. Females comprised 57% of reported cases from 1973 to 1980 and 65.2% of reported cases from 2001 to 2011. The Roswell Park team’s evaluation revealed that the proportion of noninvasive, early-stage melanoma cases increased from 4% of cases for the period 1973 to 1980 to more than 20% of all melanoma cases in 2011.

Why Botox is Effective

People have been using Botox for quite a while in an attempt to restore youthful glow and tone. More recent studies are showing exactly how and why Botox is so successful in helping patients achieve a younger look. As the skin loses elasticity, Botox has become a wonderful cure on a molecular level.

Skin pliability and elasticity improved after treatment with onabotulinum toxin (Botox) for mild facial wrinkles and the effect lasted for up to four months, according to a report published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Human skin has three biomechanical features: strength, pliability (the ability to stretch) and elasticity (the ability to recoil). As people age, these properties change and the loss of skin elasticity appears to be the most prominent. Physicians use a variety of methods to reverse the signs of aging and onabotulinum toxin A injections are among them.

James P. Bonaparte, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Ottawa, and David Ellis, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Toronto, both in Canada, sought to further understand the effect of onabotulinum toxin A on the skin by studying its effect on 48 women (43 completed the study) treated at a private cosmetic surgery clinic for mild wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes.

The authors observed that onabotulinum A injections in the facial skin resulted in increased pliability and elastic recoil. These biomechanical changes mimic those of more youthful skin. The mechanism for this skin change is unclear but the effect of the onabotulinum A injections is similar to a radiofrequency skin tightening procedure. However, by four months these improvements returned to how the skin was before treatment.

“The changes occurring in patients’ skin appear to be the opposite of those associated with the aging process and UV radiation exposure and inflammation. This study also suggests that the duration of effect of these changes mimics the duration of effect of the medication. Future studies are required to determine and quantify the histologic changes that are occurring,” the study concludes.

Good Bacteria

As counterintuitive as it seems, bacteria are all over our skin and it’s a good thing. These tiny microbes are our first line of defense against other pathogens that could get us really sick. The skin is however a difficult place to live for a number of reasons. Scientists worry that these microbes are not as effective as they should be. Check out why.

The skin microbiome is considered our first line of defense against pathogens. Across our bodies, we are covered with a diverse assemblage of bacteria. However, the skin can be a harsh environment for beneficial bacteria to live on due to UV exposure, high salinity, and desiccation stress. Research being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology found that these suboptimal conditions may cause some bacteria to enter a dormant state, while other bacteria may simply die.

In this study, Sarah Cummins and her colleagues in Jay T. Lennon’s laboratory in the Department of Biology at Indiana University in Bloomington used fluorescent dyes to stain the cells isolated from the skin, which allowed them to determine the activity of each individual cell. “We measured the metabolic activity levels of microbial cells isolated from different areas of our skin and found that about 90% of the bacteria on our skin are either dead or inactive” said Cummins. We determined that each skin site harbors different proportions of microorganisms that are metabolically active, inactive, or dead. Out of the three skin habitats that we measured, the upper back had the both highest amount of active bacteria (11%). and the highest amount of dead bacteria (67%). The forearm had the highest proportion of dormant bacteria (55%). The last skin site, the skin crease behind the knee, had activity levels in between the forearm and back. Our results also revealed that as we grow older, the microbes on our skin become less active.

These results are important in health applications and understanding more about our immune system.

“We developed two main hypotheses to explain these results. The first is that the lack of nutrients and moisture on our skin creates a harsh environment for the cells, and they are not able to breathe and grow at full capacity, if at all, with this lack of nutrition. The differences in nutrient availability (e.g., oil, sweat) on each skin site accounts for the differences in activity levels. The second hypothesis is that our immune system causes the cells to have a low level of activity, said Cummins.” The immune system can recognize specific proteins on pathogens that alert our bodies to their presence. It may be possible that the low activity level might be a way for cells to survive on the skin without detection. “If we discover that the microbiome and the skin are interacting in these or other similar ways, it could have an important impact on how we treat skin-associated diseases,” she added.

Extremely Helpful Tips To Manscape Safely

With manscaping becoming more accepted, and now even down right required by some woman, t is important for a man to understand the importance of preparing such a sensitive area for a shave or waxing. Manscaping is much more involved thn just shaving your nether regions. There is a lot of care and consideration taken by anyone preforming a Manscape on someone. So don’t be scared guys! Do a little prep work as mentoned in this article and everything will come out smoothly!

The Final Frontier?

Ten years ago ‘downstairs’ grooming was
pretty much the final frontier in terms of keeping up appearances. But
with the recent growth of interest in manscaping, all eyes have shifted
southwards in the pursuit of neat and tidy nether regions.

So much
so that, according to a recent survey by Gillette, one in five men now
sport a close trim down below (though given that the survey also showed
that 92 per cent of women prefer a man with a tidy trunk line, the other
four fifths might want to consider some pubic topiary, too).

fact, a whole industry has developed around keeping men’s tackles clean
and fresh, so grooming below the belt isn’t so much an eyebrow-raising
oddity, as a practice you should probably consider taking up.

So, here’s everything you wanted to know about ‘down below’ grooming but were too afraid to ask.

Shaving Private Ryan

to the popularity of beards, I can’t think of another grooming trend
that’s proved as popular as the removal of body hair (also known as
‘manscaping’), especially in the pubic area.

There are lots of
reasons for this – trends in porn, pressure from partners and the fabled
‘optical inch’ pubic hair removal supposedly provides have all been
cited – but the bottom line is that some men just prefer the way it
looks and feels.

“Hair-free skin can certainly feel cooler and
fresher, and also helps to reduce body odour, especially during hot and
humid weather,”
says body waxing expert Andy Rouillard, owner of Axiom Men’s Grooming Salon. “As for anything below the belt; nobody likes to see sideburns poking out the side of a pair of trunks, do they?”

So, if you fancy trimming, shaving or waxing, here are a few simple pointers:

1. Trim Before You Shave

light trim is often all that’s needed to neaten pubic hair, but if you
want an altogether smoother look, and are using a razor to achieve it,
trim the hair back first with a specialist device like the Philips
Bodygroom, Braun CruZer6 Body, Wahl Body Groomer or the King of Shaves
Prostyle Bodystyler.

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The History of Woman’s Beauty

My how our ideas and ideals on beauty in woman have changed of the years. This awesome article takes a look at how throughout time the ideas of beauty in woman have changed drastically. From the idea that woman were extensions of men and supposed to look as much like men as possible to some of the ideals that we carry today. What can you do to change the face of beauty tomorrow?

The best part about this article is that it shows a bit more about the people who were making these sorts of decisions at the time and how society has changed so much around hollywood and media. This makes an interesting point that beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. What we are coming to realize that the main “beholder” is you!

The people over at BuzzFeed made an informative and interesting video depicting the desirable body types for women throughout history.

As you can see, the standard caliber for what is considered beautiful
has significantly changed throughout the years, along with the places
where these idealized body types come from.

BuzzFeed categorizes the types of beauty int 11 eras.

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