Botox for Migraines

What’s the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache

Many migraine sufferers have their problems compounded when they don’t fully understand the difference between a migraine and a simple headache. Many people believe that a migraine is “just” a really bad headache, which is an oversimplification that leaves out many of the symptoms that make migraines a nearly unbearable malady for the millions of people who suffer from them.

The good news for migraine sufferers is that in the 1990s, Dr. Binder helped pioneer the effective use of BOTOX treatment for migraines, helping many who suffer from chronic migraines to find the relief they desperately need.

Below is a quick rundown of the important differences between headaches and migraines. Included in the list are some of the most effective treatments for each, including BOTOX treatment for migraines.

 

What Exactly is a Headache?

Headaches are fairly common, and can affect anyone at any age. They can be a mild to intense pain that typically affects both sides of the head.

Headaches are typically most intense around the temples, forehead, and the back of the neck where the spine connects to the skull.

Headaches happen for a number of reasons, including sinus pressure, high stress, muscle tension, dehydration, poor nutrition, and many other causes.

 

What Exactly is a Migraine?

A migraine on the other hand is a severe headache that occurs with a number of other acute symptoms that can include:

  • Intense Nausea
  • Severe pain behind one eye or ear
  • Severe pain in the temples
  • Seeing spots or flashing lights
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Temporary vision loss
  • Vomiting

Migraines range from moderate to severe on the pain scale and can make performing everyday tasks difficult or impossible. Many people end up seeking emergency room care for severe migraines, especially if they’ve never experienced one before.

Migraines are also more difficult to treat, and typically last longer than a tension or sinus headache. The extra symptoms such as nausea and vomiting can make it difficult to keep medicine down as well.

 

Differences Between a Migraine and a Headache

A migraine is not just a really bad headache. It is an incapacitating neurological disease with neurological symptoms. In terms of the sufferer’s experience the primary difference between a migraine and a regular headache is the severity of the pain. A full-fledged migraine will involve pain that is much more severe than a typical headache.

Migraines can also present with severe nausea and/or a migraine “aura,” a neurological symptom which includes other sensory issues such as sensitivity to lights or sound, “pins and needles” sensation in the extremities, seeing flashing lights, and even depression and mood swings.

 

Treating a Headache

Headaches can typically be treated very effectively with home remedies or over-the-counter medication, and only rarely require professional medical help.

Some effective medications include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Caffeine

There are a number of other treatments that have been shown to help as well, including neck stretching, relaxation techniques, meditation, and warm compresses/showers. These are all fairly effective for treating stress or tension headaches.

If you have a sudden severe or unusually persistent headache, contact your doctor immediately as this may be the sign of a serious condition such as migraines, stroke, or some other neurological issue.

 

Treating a Migraine

Migraine treatment is typically much more involved than the treatment for a headache. Typical headache treatments will be minimally effective at best, and will do almost nothing to prevent a migraine.

Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to relieve a migraine headache at home, so chronic migraine sufferers learn to identify their migraine triggers and do whatever they can to avoid them.

Common triggers include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Aged Cheeses or other Aged Foods
  • Stress

Beyond the preventative measure of avoiding triggers, there are several medication options for treating migraines, but you’ll need to visit a doctor for them.

These include:

  • Antinausea medicines, such as promethazine (Phenergan), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), or prochlorperazine (Compazine).
  • Triptans, such as almotriptan (Axert), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or sumatriptan (Alsuma, Imitrex, and Zecuity).

 

BOTOX Treatment for Migraines

Finally, there have been several studies that have shown that BOTOX injections are extremely effective at preventing migraine headaches in chronic sufferers.

The exact mechanism of action is not yet fully understood. BOTOX has many cellular level inhibitory effects. It is believed that BOTOX actually inhibits pain pathways through multiple actions at the neurotransmitter level and pain fiber level.

BOTOX for migraines: Injection sites – To treat chronic migraines with BOTOX, your physician will make a series of small injections of BOTOX in specific areas across the frontal, temporal and glabellar regions of the forehead. In some instances, it is also injected into the back of the neck. The treatment takes about fifteen minutes.

BOTOX for migraines: Side effects – BOTOX has a considerably high safety profile for cosmetic and medical treatments. BOTOX has been used by patients with various conditions for over 20 years in over 60 countries.

BOTOX has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic migraines. The most common side effects are localized pain, tenderness or bruising at the site of injection. These side effects are normally local and transient in nature.

 

If you are interested in BOTOX injections for migraine treatment, contact Doctor William J. Binder today! Call us at: (310) 858-6749 or use our Contact Page.

Doctor Binder is the physician that pioneered BOTOX treatment for migraines, and is considered the foremost authority on the application of BOTOX for this purpose.

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Surprising Healthy Skin Tips

The skin is the body’s largest barrier against infection. It is also the most abused and the most exposed to damaging irritants and free radicals. The thing is, we are always exposing our skin to factors that can cause damage. For instance, whenever we use soap or rub alcohol on our skin, small cracks and irritation can happen. These cracks can make us more prone to developing infection. It is therefore important that you observe proper skin care. Keeping the skin healthy can help improve the quality and optimal functioning of the skin.

There are many tips and tricks for proper skin care and you may have heard some of them already. But this article is different as we will share surprising tips that will help you make your skin healthy and glowing at the same time.

Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin

Eating fruits and vegetables can make your skin healthy. In a study published the PLoS One journal, researchers found that those who ate more colorful fruits and vegetables have healthier and more attractive skin. The reason for this is that colorful fruits contain carotenoid that boosts the tone of the skin. Moreover, fruits and vegetables contain more Vitamin C that can help fight free radicals that cause premature wrinkles and aging of the skin. Vitamin C also promotes the natural production of collagen in the body. For you to eat your way to healthy skin, make sure that you get 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

Don’t Apply Too Much Sunscreen

Do you have the habit of applying too much sunscreen when you get out? If yes, then chances are you are more likely irritating your skin than protecting it from the harmful rays of the sun. Most dermatologists agree that some sunscreens may contain irritants that causes skin rashes to develop. Harmful ingredients in sunscreen include benzophenones, octocrylene and other fragrances. Although the skin rashes look like allergic reactions to sunscreen, they are more like your body’s response to sweat. Sunscreen can potentially cause heat rashes. If you do apply sunscreen, make sure that you apply an ample amount and not slather your entire body with it.

Wash Your Face Twice a Day

Most women have the habit of washing their face as many times as they can. But research shows that washing your face twice a day is actually optimal. As the more you wash your face, the more you strip it from its natural oils that protect the integrity of the skin. Another bad thing about washing your face all the time is that the exfoliant that you use may contain tiny microbeads that are bad for the environment especially the marine life. So, if you wash your skin, make sure that you use a wash cloth instead of exfoliants.

Sleep on Your Back

It may seem strange but your sleeping position can also result in the development of wrinkles on your face. Most people love to sleep on their side or stomach but this has shown to cause wrinkles on the face because your face is pressed on the pillow for long periods of time. The best position to avoid wrinkles is to sleep on your back. However, if you suffer from sleeping problems like sleep apnea and snoring, then sleeping on your back is not such a good idea. If you prefer to sleep on your side, then using a silk pillowcase can ease the pressure on your face while you are sleeping.

Exfoliate in The Morning

Most people have the habit of exfoliating at night before going to bed believing that the exfoliating serums will be better absorbed by the skin. However, this cannot be further from the truth. If you exfoliate in the morning, then you are stimulating good circulation on the skin that, in turn, stimulates collagen. In fact, exfoliating the skin after doing your exercise is better because of the improved circulation that you have after doing any physical activities.

Don’t Apply Anything on Your Nose

Did you know that the nose contains the largest pores in the face? It is where most of the natural oil in our face is secreted. So, if you suffer from blackheads or shiny nose, then don’t do your usual regimen and apply different serums over your nose. By applying serums and creams on your nose, your pores will easily get clogged up. Thus, you end up having more blackheads and, worse, breakouts. If you have to apply something on your nose, it should only be sunscreen and nothing more. Still, if you are worried about your blackheads, you can deal with it by washing your nose with warm water and mild soap. If the pores are not clogged up, your skin will naturally deal with it and it will eventually go away.

Healthy Skin Treatment in Los Angeles with Doctor Binder

If you feel like you may be a candidate for skin treatment in Los Angeles, or you’ve been recommended to have one by another medical professional, contact Doctor Binder to schedule an appointment and consultation to discuss your options in greater detail.

woman-in-winter

What Happens to Your Facial Skin During Winter

Chilly winter temperatures can give your skin a lovely, rosy flush, but they can also take a toll on your skin. Cool temperatures, harsh winds, and dry air remove the natural oils from the surface of the skin, making it dry and prone to irritation. The skin can become itchy and painful, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can act up. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to prevent dryness and irritation, protecting the health and appearance of your skin, as well as your own comfort.

Protect Your Skin

First, be careful to avoid things that can further irritate and dry out your skin.

While long hot showers can feel like a heavenly reprieve from chilly weather, the hot water is harsh on your skin. Keep showers brief and use gentle soaps with moisturizing ingredients. After your shower, use your towel to pat dry. Rubbing with a rough towel can irritate your skin. When getting dressed, avoid wools and polyester as inner layers, as these fabrics can further irritate the skin. Instead, use breathable fabrics to avoid irritation, especially if you’re experiencing a flare up from eczema, psoriasis, or another skin condition.

Eczema and psoriasis are immune responses, so flare ups can be minimized by staying in good health. Be sure to receive your flu shot and any other vaccinations your doctor recommends. Don’t forget the basics to keep yourself in good health, as well: wash your hands frequently, get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise.

These basics can also minimize stress, which in turn can help keep you healthy and, according to some research, maximize your skin’s ability to retain water. As winter is a stressful time for many people, between the holidays and the negative feelings that often accompany shorter days and cooler temperatures, minimizing stress can fight one more factor that dries out your skin. Try stress relieving activities like yoga, meditation, and journaling.

Replace Moisture

Once you’ve taken steps to protect your skin against further damage, you need to resupply your skin with the hydration that it has lost.

Many people use humidifiers to increase the moisture content of the air in their homes. Ideally, humidity should be kept between 30 and 50 percent (This can be measured with a hygrometer). However, those with asthma or a mold allergy should use humidifiers with caution. If the air is too humid, it can foster the breeding of mold and other allergens, and if you aren’t careful with cleaning, your humidifier can quickly develop mold and bacteria.

You should also apply heavy duty moisturizers to both replenish moisture and replace the protective barrier. Your moisturizer should be oil based rather than water based (hint: many moisturizers marketed as “night creams” are oil based), but be careful to use oils that won’t clog your pores, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. Avoid shea oil and shea butter. Ideally, your moisturizer will also contain humectants, which are ingredients that attract moisture to your skin. Ingredients to look for include glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids.

Exfoliate

You should also use exfoliating treatments to remove the layer of dry, dead skin cells that can clog up your pores and worsen irritation. You can exfoliate at home or get more thorough treatments from a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.

At-home exfoliations can include scrubs, masks, and other treatments; and can use either physical exfoliators or acids that chemically remove the dead skin. Acids are typically gentler. Beware with do-it-yourself exfoliant recipes. These often include ingredients like salt and baking soda, which are drying and can irritate the skin.

You can also seek professional skin resurfacing treatment like chemical peels, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion, and laser resurfacing treatments. Regardless of the type of exfoliation, be sure to moisturize well afterwards, as the process strips your skin of its protective layer of oils.

See a Specialist

One of the best things you can do to take care of your facial skin during the winter is to see a professional. A dermatologist can help you determine a good routine to ensure the health of your skin, while seeing a plastic surgeon, particularly one specializing in facial cosmetic procedures, can ensure that your skin looks its best while staying as healthy as possible.

Dr. William J. Binder is considered one of the world’s best plastic surgeons and is based out of Los Angeles. He is double board certified, has been extensively published, and has 10 patents on medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Despite Dr. Binder’s achievements, his true passion remains with working with his patients to achieve peerless results.

Ensure that your skin looks and feels its best, even in the chilly and stressful winter months. Contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule your consultation.

plastic-surgery-procedure

Looking after Your Face Post-Surgery

After plastic surgery, patients are usually excited to see their results, but it can be a little disconcerting when those results aren’t immediately apparent. Instead, they’re usually obscured by swelling and bruising. Fortunately, these symptoms usually fade within a few weeks, though this varies from procedure to procedure.

While the initial side effects of plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures can be discouraging, taking proper care of your skin during this time is essential for ensuring the best results. A healthy skin care regimen during healing reduces the amount of scarring and prevents the modification of your surgeon’s work, minimizing the likelihood of needing revision surgery later, such as for a nose that has set wrong after a rhinoplasty or skin that has relocated after a lift.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

Every procedure and every person is different, so each patient’s recovery is different, but there are some generalizations that can be made. Along with swelling and bruising, most patients will experience redness, sensitivity, tightness, and numbness, but the recovery process after invasive surgical procedures differs significantly from recovery after minimally invasive procedures.

Regardless of the type of procedure you’ve undergone, your doctor will likely prescribe or otherwise recommend medication. These may include oral pain relievers, antibiotics, or steroids, or topical antibiotics or steroids.

After Surgical Plastic Procedures

For invasive surgical procedures, these symptoms typically fade within a few weeks. You will often have to stay at the surgical center at least overnight. You will be sent home with the surgical site dressed in bandages, and will often also have to wear a pressure wrap to reduce swelling and help set the results. You will be impaired after your surgery, so you should have someone drive you home and on hand at home to help take care of you and your obligations while you heal.

After Skin Resurfacing and Minimally Invasive Procedures

For dermabrasion and other forms of skin resurfacing the above symptoms usually last for only one to two weeks, though the skin may continue to have some pinkness for four weeks or more. Patients may also experience some crustiness as the skin heals, which can be removed with a soft wash cloth wetted with warm water. Even injections can leave the skin with some pinkness and feeling sensitive. These procedures are typically outpatient procedures and you can often even return to work immediately following your procedure.

Pamper Your Skin

Regardless of the type of procedure you undergo, you need to baby your skin afterwards. Your skin will be particularly sensitive, so using sun protection and a heavy duty moisturizer is imperative for ensuring the best possible healing. However, talk to your doctor about what he recommends before applying any product to skin that has not yet fully healed.

Don’t apply cosmetics or other skin products to open wounds, unless your doctor specifically recommends it. After wounds have closed, cosmetics may be applied. Stick to thin layers of lightweight mineral formulas specifically made for sensitive skin. Use a green color corrector under concealer or foundation to counteract any red or pink tint to your skin. At the end of the day, wash off cosmetics and other products thoroughly with a gentle cleanser.

Choose the Best Doctor

The best thing you can do to make your recovery quicker and easier is choosing a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. The best plastic surgeons know the most effective techniques and can make smaller incisions, so your procedure results in less trauma and therefore less need for later scar removal. It also makes it easier for your body to recover. The best surgeons can also give you the best possible possible recovery and care instructions, giving you better and more natural results with less risk of scarring or modifying results.

Dr. William J. Binder is a Los Angeles based facial plastic surgeon who is considered one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons. He is board certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, but Dr. Binder’s true passion is working with his patients. Contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule your consultation.

facial-mole

What to Do if You Think You Have a Cancerous Mole

As we get older, our bodies change. Usually changes are just part of the aging process, but sometimes they can indicate serious health problems, like skin cancer. Fortunately, when discovered early, skin cancer is highly treatable. However, this also means that it’s important to regularly check yourself for possible skin cancer and to act as soon as possible if you notice something unusual.

Recognizing a Cancerous Moles

The first indicator of skin cancer is typically changes in the skin. This can be changes in the moles you already have or the development of what appears to be a new mole. Dermatologists recommend the ABCDEs test for screening one’s self for skin cancer in order to detect cancer as early as possible.

This test involves checking your moles for five different signs of skin cancer. If your moles show any of these signs, you may have skin cancer.

  • Asymmetry: If some part of the mole varies from the typical round shape of moles, the mole may be cancerous or precancerous.
  • Border: Benign moles have smooth, defined borders, but cancerous or precancerous moles may have uneven or unclear borders.
  • Color: While healthy moles are typically uniformly colored some shade of brown, cancerous moles are often inconsistently colored and may have red, white, or blue shades.
  • Diameter: Cancerous moles are typically larger than benign ones, which are usually smaller than a pencil eraser, about a quarter inch in diameter; but cancerous moles are often smaller than this when they are first detected.
  • Evolving: Benign moles typically remain the same throughout time, but cancerous or precancerous moles may be show change. If you’re not sure if your mole is changing or not, try regularly taking pictures so that you can compare its appearance over time.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a dermatologist who can examine your mole and determine if a biopsy is needed to test for skin cancer. If your doctor finds that you do have skin cancer, or a precancerous mole or growth, you will typically need to arrange for surgery to remove the cancer or precancer.

Mole Removal Surgery

The exact process of mole removal surgery is different for each patient, because each patient’s health and cancer growth is different, but most surgeries follow this basic pattern.

First, the patient is anesthetized, and then the actual removal occurs. Small cancer lesions typically require only a basic excision surgery. However, skin cancer can also reach deep into the skin without clear borders. If this is the case, surgeons typically use a surgical technique called Mohs micrographic surgery. This technique requires the removal of the cancer lesion and the surrounding tissue layer by layer, with each layer sent to the lab for testing for cancer cells. Layers continue to be removed until test results indicate that no more cancer cells are present.

Some patients, especially those with deeper cancer growths, may need reconstructive steps after their cancer is removed. All patients should plan on going back to their doctor later for additional tests to ensure that all traces of cancer are definitively gone.

Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Procedure

When most people think of skin cancer removal they think of a dermatologist or oncologist; but for patients with facial skin cancer, a plastic surgeon is often the better choice. However, not just any plastic surgeon is qualified to perform skin cancer removal surgery. Patients should choose an experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructive facial plastic surgery.

Furthermore, it’s not just important to choose the right kind of doctor, it’s also important to choose the right individual doctor. Your surgeon is imperative in keeping you relaxed and confident during the process, from diagnosis to follow up, which can be very stressful for patients. Your surgeon should take the time to make sure you are comfortable and fully informed about the process.

Dr. William J. Binder

Skin cancer is a serious disease and you deserve the best possible surgeon to help you through the cancer removal process. If you’ve recently gotten a skin cancer diagnosis or are suspicious that you may have skin cancer, it’s better to act sooner rather than later. Contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule your consultation.

male-facial-scar

Facial Scar Removal: Getting Rid of Unwanted Scars

For the most part, a scar isn’t bad if it’s small or in a location that’s easy to conceal. But when it’s not, you may wonder if there’s a way to treat it, other than hiding it under your clothes, that will make it go away or at least change how it looks.

Here’s a look at some of the options available to you when it comes to reducing the appearance of those unwanted scars.

Scar Revision Surgery

Scar revision surgery is meant to minimize the scar so that it’s more consistent with your surrounding skin tone and texture.

Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are unavoidable results of injury or surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to scars that are obvious, unsightly or disfiguring.

Even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your appearance. Scars may be raised or recessed; different in color or texture from surrounding healthy tissue; or particularly noticeable due to the size, shape, or location.

Although scar revision can provide a more pleasing cosmetic result or improve a scar that has healed poorly, a scar cannot be completely removed.

Scar revision treatments include:

  • Topical treatments—such as gels, tapes, or external compression can help in wound closure and healing, or to reduce the ability of skin to produce irregular pigment. These products may be used to treat existing surface scars and discoloration, and to aid in healing of scar revision procedures.
  • Injectable treatments—are often used to fill depressed or concave scars. Depending on the injectable substance used and your particular scar conditions, results may last from three months to several years. Therapy must be repeated to maintain results. One form of injection therapy uses steroidal-based compounds to reduce collagen formation and can alter the appearance, size, and texture of raised scar tissue.
  • Surface treatments—are most often used for cosmetic improvements of scars. These methods can soften surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments are a controlled means of either mechanically removing the top layers of skin or changing the nature of tissue.
    These treatment options include: dermabrasion (a mechanical polishing of the skin), laser or light therapy (causes changes to the surface of the skin that allow new, healthy skin to form at the scar site), chemical peel solutions (penetrate the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color), and skin bleaching agents (medications applied topically to lighten the skin).

Scar Removal: Home Remedies

The human body is capable of taking care of scars and they tend to get lighter with time, but there are some home remedies that you can try to speed up the healing process, including:

Aloe Vera—a natural scar removal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Apply aloe vera twice daily, but do not use on open wounds.

  1. Peel the outer green cover off an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel-like substance.
  2. Apply the gel on your scar and massage in circular motions.
  3. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, then wash it off.

Olive Oil—is rich in vitamin E and helps keep the skin soft and moisturized. Repeat either of these remedies several times a day until you get the desired result.

  • Apply some warm extra-virgin olive oil to the affected area and massage using small, circular motions. Wait 30 minutes, then wipe off the oil with a clean cloth. You can also leave the oil on your skin overnight.
  • Another option is to mix a little lavender oil in some extra-virgin olive oil, apply it on the affected area and massage gently for a few minutes. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Lemon—can remove dead skin cells, promote the growth of new skin cells, and improve skin elasticity. Repeat this remedy once daily until the scar fades.

  1. Apply some lemon juice on the affected area.
  2. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

Honey—a natural moisturizer. Repeat this remedy daily before going to bed.

  1. Apply some honey over the scar, cover it with a bandage, and leave it on overnight.
  2. The next morning, wash it off with warm water.

Speak with Dr. Binder

If you decide that home remedies aren’t doing enough to fade your scars, then you should talk to Dr. Binder about the surgical scar removal options that might work best for you. With years of experience in his field, he as the expertise to help you make the right decision about how best to deal with your unwanted scars.

woman-with-healthy-winter-skin

9 Facial Skin Health Tips for Winter

Living in LA in the winter months is basically the same as living there in the summertime. At least where your skin is concerned. Most people tend to think that once the sun goes away a little, they can stop protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. But the truth is that the sun never really goes away.

Winter skin care is just as important as summer skin care. Here are some tips on how you can properly look after your facial skin this winter, so that you can stay looking young and radiant.

9 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

  1. Cleansing—is an important routine to be followed all throughout the year. In the winter time, you can limit the number of times you wash your face from three times to two times. You can also alternatively cleanse your face with cold milk and cotton balls to cut down on the excessive dryness.
  2. Scrubbing—avoid daily scrubbing as it may cause severe abrasion and make skin even drier. Try using a mild exfoliating scrub once or twice a week. You can also enhance your scrubbing experience by adding the following ingredients to make your innovative fruit scrub:
    1. 2 tbsp. mashed ripe banana
    2. 2 tbsp. of a mashed apple
    3. 1 tbsp. honey
    4. 2 dollops of your mild scrubMix all and go for gentle clockwise and counter-clockwise finer movements to scrub your face for two minutes; while washing off with warm water, ensure you pat dry with a soft towel.
  3. Toning—is a must for all those who have aging and sagging skin concerns. Otherwise you can leave your pores open in winter for more oil secretion.
  4. Moisturizing—is important for all skin types, not just those with very dry and flaky skin. You can indulge in natural moisturizing by using warm almond and extra virgin olive oil, and use it as a night massage routine. Alternatively, you can mix the oil with your normal cold cream and lotion, too.
  5. Face packs—there are hundreds of ingredients in your kitchen that can be highly effective to make your skin become soft and supple in the winter season. Here are a few that you can make use of:
    1. Avocado face pack—use mashed ripe avocado on face for about 10-15 minutes before washing off with warm water. Apply a light moisturizer instead of toner.
    2. Banana face mask—take 4 to 5 tbsp. of mashed ripe banana and massage it on the face. Wash off after 10 minutes then massage your face with honey, in circular motions, for that extra moisturizing feel. Do so for at least 10 minutes before applying toner.
    3. Butter milk pack—use malai or fresh butter milk with a pinch of turmeric, letting it sit on the face for about 10 minutes, and then wash off with lukewarm water.
    4. Aloe Vera—can be used on the face as a moisturizer. It is the perfect way to relieve your face from dryness, while enhancing the texture by making it softer.
  6. Keep hydrated—don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time. Eating foods high in water content can also help hydrate your skin. Try watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots.
  7. Sunscreen—isn’t just for the summertime. Winter sun—combined with snow glare—can still damaged your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.
  8. Hook up the humidifier—central heating systems blast hot dry air throughout the home and office. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home so that they can help disperse moisture more evenly.
  9. Ban super hot baths—the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy.

Seek a Specialist

If you find that your skin isn’t looking the way that you want this winter, then you should consider seeking help from a professional. Book an appointment with Dr. Binder, so that he can help you figure out what surgical or non-surgical facial routine might work best for you.

skin-pigmentation-changes-being-addressed

Skin Pigmentation Changes: What are the Causes?

Throughout our lives, everything about our bodies changes, including our skin pigmentation. Often this just means an aesthetic difference, but other times changes can be indicative of deeper health problems. Read more to find out what may be causing the change in your skin tone.

Sun

The sun is the most well known cause of changes in pigmentation and the sun’s effects are experienced by almost everyone. In the short term, the sun gives a gorgeous tan and cute freckles, but the long term effects are less satisfactory. Sun exposure can cause the development of dark spots and keratosis, which can develop into skin cancer. As 80% of instances of skin cancer appear on the face, head or neck, skin cancer has serious implications for both your health and your appearance.

Skin Damage

Skin damage is another cause of changes in pigmentation that is almost universally experienced. Scraps, cuts, infections, blisters, and burns can all cause a lack of pigmentation. This decreased pigmentation is typically temporary, but may take a long time to heal and can even be permanent, such as with scars. Taking proper care of a wound while it heals, no matter the size, can make a huge difference in minimizing and even preventing changes in pigmentation.

Disorders

In addition to sun exposure and skin damage, there are a several disorders that can cause changes in the pigmentation of the skin, either permanently or temporarily. In some cases the condition causes no greater problem than the changes in the color of the skin, but in others changes in skin color could indicate a deeper health problem. Contact a doctor if you experience any unusual, unexpected, or unexplained changes in the pigmentation of your skin.

Just like some ailments can cause changes in the skin, so can some treatments, such as certain antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, and antimalarial drugs, which can all cause hyperpigmentation.

Melasma

Melasma, also sometimes called chloasma, is a common cause of hyperpigmentation in pregnant women that is caused by the changes in hormone levels associated with pregnancy. Melasma is characterized by the development of brown splotches on the skin, particularly in the facial area. For some women these spots fade after pregnancy, but for other the change in pigmentation is permanent. Men can also experience Melasma, though it is much less common for men than women. The condition can be treated with prescription creams or cosmetic treatments. Sun exposure can worsen this condition, so those who experience it should exercise extra caution to protect themselves from the sun.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, a disorder characterized by underactivity of the adrenal gland, is a rare but possible cause of hyperpigmentation. This disease is a serious health condition that can lead to impaired kidney function and dangerously low blood pressure, but with treatment most people with Addison’s disease are able to live a normal life. Addison’s disease affects only 1 in 100,000 people, but can affect men or women of any age. One side effect of Addison’s disease is the development of dark splotches and freckles. These can appear anywhere on the body, including the gums, but are most common on places that get frequent sun exposure, like the face and hands.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is distinct from the other disorders discussed here in that it causes hypopigmentation, or the loss of pigmentation, rather than hyperpigmentation. Vitiligo causes white patches to appear across the body, including on the face, due to damage to the pigment producing cells. Vitiligo cannot be cured, but the spots can be treated with laser treatments and corticosteroid creams.

Correcting Pigmentation Changes

Changes in skin color can be frustrating and visually unappealing, even if they aren’t associated with a larger issue. Fortunately, a cosmetic surgeon skilled in cosmetic skin treatments can help to minimize or even eliminate the appearance of discoloration.

Dr. William J. Binder is located in Los Angeles, but is one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons. He has the skill and resources to not only evaluate and treat your pigmentation changes, but to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. If you’re sick of living with skin discoloration, contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule your consultation.

neck-cancerous-moles

Dealing with Cancerous Moles

Do you have any suspicious moles that you’ve been secretly fretting about? Are you worried that your mole might be cancerous?

Since most skin cancers start in irregular spots, it is important that you check your skin every few months. Here’s what you should be looking for to determine whether or not your moles may be cancerous.

Types of Moles and How They Look

  • Normal mole—is a harmless spot that develops in childhood and later in life and can be found anywhere. Typically, normal moles are smaller than a pencil eraser, and are round and symmetrical with smooth borders and an even color.
  • Dysplastic nevus—is a type of mole that looks different from a common mole. It can have a mixture of several colors, from pink to dark brown, and is usually flat with a smooth, slightly scaly, or pebbly surface, with an irregular edge that may fade into the surrounding skin.
  • Actinic keratosis—is a common precancerous growth often found on your scalp, face, hands, or forearms. They are a rough, flesh-toned pink or red patch that may be itchy or scaly. Actinic keratosis should be removed because five to 10 percent of them can become cancerous.
  • Basal cell carcinoma—is caused by sun damage and typically found on the face. It normally appears as a pinkish or reddish patch that may bleed or scab. This type of cancer is easy to treat if caught early.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma—this type of cancer often appears on the body, legs, or hands and is curable if caught early. It appears as a thick growth that can peel and bleed and may have an irregular shaped border.
  • Melanoma—this serious form of cancer can spread quickly, but is curable if caught early. Alert your doctor if you see a dark, irregularly shaped growth with an uneven reddish-brown, brown, or black coloring.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes. It is potentially dangerous because it can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body, such as the lung, liver, bone, or brain. Since most melanocytes are in the skin, melanoma can occur on any skin surface. It can develop from a common mole or dysplastic nevus, and it can develop in an area of apparently normal skin. In addition, melanoma can also develop in the eye, the digestive tract, and other areas of the body.

Often the first signs of melanoma are a change in the shape, color, size, or feel of an existing mole. Melanoma may also appear as a new colored area on the skin.

The early features of melanoma are:

  • Asymmetry—the shape of one half does not match the other half.
  • Border is irregular—the edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into surrounding skin.
  • Color that is uneven—shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
  • Diameter—there is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than ¼ inch wide.
  • Evolving—the mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

Melanomas can vary greatly in how they look. While many will show all of the above features, some may only show one or two of the above features.

Screening and Prevention

The only way to diagnose melanoma is to remove tissue and check it for cancer cells. Your doctor will remove all or part of the skin that looks abnormal. Usually, this procedure only takes a few minutes and can be done in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. The sample will be sent to a lab and a pathologist will look at the tissue under a microscope to check for melanoma.

If you want to help prevent melanoma, then you need to be sun smart. Here are some tips on how you can be sun smart:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Wear a T-shirt, hat, and sunglasses
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 (the higher the better), with good UVA protection (the more stars the better)
  • Avoid sunbeds as they are not a safe alternative to tanning outdoors (the intensity of the UV rays can be 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun)

You may be more at risk of developing skin cancer if you have:

  • Fair skin
  • Lots of moles and freckles
  • Red or fair hair
  • Had skin cancer before
  • A family history of skin cancer

Getting Your Moles Checked

If you are worried about any mole that you have, then you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Binder. The best way to ensure that you don’t have skin cancer or that you are diagnosed early enough to treat skin cancer, is to have your suspicious moles checked out and, if necessary, removed by a qualified doctor.

premature-facial-aging

The Main Culprits of Premature Facial Aging

Many things cause our skin to age. Some things we can’t do anything about, like the natural aging process, but others we can influence. Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that this type of aging has on our skin.

Here’s a look at the main culprits behind premature facial aging and how you can take preventive measures against them.

What Causes Skin to Age Prematurely?

Some of the main causes of premature aging to our skin include:

Sun—sun exposure causes the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, sagging skin, and reduces skin elasticity. Roughly 70% of the skin aging process depends on the amount of sunlight our skin is exposed to throughout our life.
Prevention—you can always protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up with clothing, and using sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher), and water-resistant. You should apply sunscreen every day to all skin that is not covered by clothing.

Smoking—smoking causes premature fine lines that typically appear on places where the skin is very thin, such as the sides of the eyes (smile lines) and above the upper lip. These typical smoking lines may appear 10-15 years before they appear on non-smokers. The reason for the premature wrinkles among smokers lies in the reduction of Vitamin C levels in their blood, which is 60% lower on average compared to the blood of non-smokers.
Prevention—Stop smoking.

Diet—a diet rich in simple sugars and sweets causes the connective tissue of the skin to become rigid and lose its elasticity.
Prevention—east a healthy, well-balance diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Soluble dietary antioxidants such as lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables reach the deeper skin layers (the dermis) and partially neutralize the oxidative damage associated with prolonged exposure to the sun. Also, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are essential to the proper production of collagen. Complete protein is important to the production of protein structures that are vital to the appearance of fresh skin, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin fibres.

Stress—prolonged emotional stress causes increased secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones accelerate various aging processes that include suppression of normal synthesis of connective tissue, characteristic obesity of the face, along with osteoporotic processes that damage bone density and cause changes in bone structure.
Prevention—grab a weekly massage and practice calm forms of exercise like yoga. Meditation can also help improve your overall stress level, which can make you feel more focused and younger. If your stress is the result of a more serious mental disorder such as depression or chronic anxiety, you should visit your doctor to discuss mental health options such as therapy and/or medications.

Attitude—intensive use of facial muscles brings exaggerated expression lines on the face that cause us to look older than we are. Beyond wrinkles, repeated use of expression muscles causes their dominance under the skin and damages the relaxed and smooth appearance which is typical to a young looking face.
Prevention—a happier face is devoid of wrinkled eyebrows and scowl marks because the muscles have spent more time in a relaxed state.

Lack of sleep—prolonged lack of sleep is clearly evident on the face and accelerates aging, as well as causes many other pathological processes.
Prevention—continuous night sleep is actually one of the few times in the day in which the pituitary gland in the brain secretes growth hormone in adults. This hormone has a great importance in keeping various body tissues and their renewal, including the skin tissue.

Alcohol—alcohol causes damage to the skin texture and color, and has considerable influence on the eye sockets. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol causes bulged eyes and affects the skin due to the accumulation of toxic breakdown products in the deeper skin layers. This can cause the appearance of capillaries and redness of the cheeks on the nasal bridge.
Prevention—drink less alcohol.

Rubbing your eyes—the skin around the eyes is extremely delicate and fragile, and can wrinkle very easily.
Prevention—don’t scrub the area with towels harshly, and stick to dabbing it dry after washing the face. This will help prevent pigment problems and premature aging.

Sleeping on your side—the fetal position of sleeping and snoozing on your stomach often means your face is pressed into a pillow for eight hours a night, which can cause the breakdown of skin tissue and cause wrinkles.
Prevention—get into the habit of falling asleep on your back and flip over if you wake up on your stomach or side. This decreases swelling or bloating of the face that stretches skin over time.

Sipping out of a straw—sipping out of a straw causes fine lines around your mouth, which is a clear indication of premature aging.
Prevention—avoid drinking through a straw and pour out your beverages in glasses or cups to maintain a youthful, wrinkle-free mouth.

Contact Dr. Binder

If you find that you have signs of premature facial aging, but you think that it’s too late for you to take preventive measures, then you should contact Dr. Binder to discuss the options that are available to you for getting back youthful looking skin.

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