Frequently asked questions sent to Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic & Laser Physicians
Many Toronto Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Physicians offer a wide variety of services to help you look your best! Please visit our homepage for menu of services which include treatments for Rosacea, Botox injections, Skin Fillers, tattoo and hair removal and much more!
Note: Our Clinic is a Cosmetic Medicine and Laser Clinic. Our services are not covered by OHIP. The Doctors and Surgeons are Board Certified with many years experience in Cosmetic, Laser and Vein Medicine. But they are not Board-Certified Dermatologists. In the event one of our patients has a condition that requires investigation by a dermatologist there. are several highly experienced Toronto Dermatologists to whom we refer.
At the Baywood Laser and Vein Clinic, we get dozens of questions that every week! The doctors always answer them personally. Here is a selection of the most common ones:
How do I know how many units of Botox I need?
Here are some important points:
• Most important is that you have trust in the individual providing your Botox treatment. You are relying on their experience, expertise, and honesty to give you a proper assessment of the amount of Botox you will need. Dermatologists, Cosmetic Physicians and Plastic Surgeons clinics in Toronto are your best choice.
Botox is measure in standard international units; if its authentic Botox from Allergan, its odes not matter how your provider dilutes the product, you should always be told exactly how many units you are paying for.
• The number of units is determined by examination of the area to be injected. For example, if you want to stop you frowning motion (the glabella) so that you don’t look so angry, and to prevent the infamous “eleven” wrinkles, the Doctor or Nurse should ask you to frown as hard as you can. This allows a general assessment of the number of units you will need, based on their experience.
• There are general guidelines; the glabellas in females is typically 25-35 units, and at the Baywood Clinic, approximately 80% of female patients would get Botox injections in that range. However, some patients might only need 20 (very weak natural movement) or 40 or more (rare cases with very strong muscles)
• For axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating the dose is fairly standard – 100 units per underarm although in some cases we can get by with 50 units per side. These are the doses used by most Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic Doctors.
The best approach is to inject within the low, conservative range – this is the most cost-effective. If, after a week, there is still some movement, it is possible to come in for a slight touch up,
The bottom line for Botox in Toronto at the Baywood Clinic:
We tailor the amount of Botox to what you desire – for total reduction in movement the ranges are 10-15 for crow’s feet (each eye); 25-35 for frown, and 10-16 for forehead lines.
For males the amounts are higher. The goal is getting 3-4 months of no movement. If a patient wants less than total freezing, we lower the amount of Botox accordingly. It is common for actors or patients who require some movement for their work.
It is also important to take into consideration other treatments the patient may be undertaking; for example, if someone is planning to use fillers for their frown lines, it is important to get complete freezing to ensure the filler lasts as long as possible.
I am afraid of the “droopy eye” I saw on the Internet!
Probably 25% of all our first time patients ask about the “droopy eye”. Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons, or Cosmetic Doctors that treat patients in Toronto with Botox hear this every day.
It’s a very concerning thought – the fear your eye might droop for 3 -4 months after getting Botox!
Fortunately, there is no reason for any concern, as we can explain.
• First, what do patients mean by a “drooping eye”? Typically, they are worried that their eyelid will droop, hang down over their iris (the colored part of the eye). The muscle that controls the eyelid is called the Orbicularis oculi (palpebral part) – it attaches to your eyelid and keeps it in place.
• In 20 years of performing Botox injections in Toronto, we have NEVER seen this happen. A Doctor would have to make a major mistake for you to get a true eyelid droop, injection into or below your eyebrow, for example.
• What is more common, but still quite rare at our clinic (less than 1%), is an eyebrow droop. Why can this happen? The muscle that controls your forehead, starting about 1 cm above your brows is called the Frontalis muscle. Botox must be injected into the Frontalis to weaken it, so that those horizontal forehead lines fade away, and new ones cannot appear. We do this dozens of times every week.
The trick is to inject only above the mid-line of the muscle so that you do not weaken the lower part that hold your eyebrows in their normal position. And, to be conservative in the amount that you inject. Older patients have weaker muscles, you may notice that as you age past 50 your brows start to feel slightly heavier? So, we naturally use a bit less Botox in older patients.
Usually when a patient calls complaining of a “droop” they admit no one else is noticing it, and really, they just feel that their brows are a bit heavier. This almost always passes after about a week or two. And at our clinic this is quite rare. Less than 1% of the time.
So, do not fear “The Droop”! We are careful and experienced at the Baywood Clinic and want to ensure you are happy with every treatment we perform!
I have heard about the “Spock Brow”. Is that a common side effect of Botox injections?
This is a common concern for patients visiting Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic physicians. It is very uncommon at our clinic, and in the rare cases where it does occur, it is easily treated with a couple of extra units at no charge.
The “Spock”, named after the famous Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame, occurs when we freeze the glabella, or frown, muscles, so that you do not look angry, and to prevent the “eleven” lines that form between the eyes. Less than 1% of the time, the muscles above the middle part of the eyebrow, which pull the brow up, raise the center of the brow a bit too eye, giving the “Spock Brow”.
In some cases, patients, typically female, prefer this look, as it opens the eye, and gives a more arched appearance. For males, we always inject a bit in this spot to prevent this happening, and we always ask females if they prefer a bit of arching. For those who do not, we simply place a unit or two in the area above the brow, so it remains in neutral position after the frown freezes.
It is really very simple, and not really a problem to worry about; but since many patients hear about it on the internet, it’s a common anxiety for first time users in Toronto.
How old do you have to be to start Botox Treatment?
It really depends on the reason you are considering Botox. Some patients, for example, have a very bad habit of frowning, and that is the main reason they visit their Toronto Dermatologists or Cosmetic Physicians. It makes them look angry or too serious, and they find that they are giving the wrong impression to colleagues, clients, or friends. In these cases, patients come to see us in their 20’s or early 30’s.
Often they are in professions or careers that involve a lot of work with the public – teachers, salespeople, lawyers. Patients often come to the clinic in their late 20’s, for preventative treatment. They are worried abut developing lines on their foreheads or crow’s feet down the road. Often, we will see them only twice a year in these cases, a bit less than the usual every four months.
Probably the average age that we see new patients who want to try Botox for the first time is in the mid 30’s, when they start to notice fine lines developing around the eyes, forehead and frown area. Starting as soon as the lines appear prevents new ones from forming and stops the current ones from getting deeper.
If started early enough, the muscles relax, and the fine lines can disappear. Patient who wait until their 40’s or later often have established lines. Botox can soften these and prevent their deepening but often cannot erase them completely.
The bottom line is Botox is a cosmetic procedure. It is up to you if you want to try it, or having tried it, whether you want to continue. The age you start, and the areas that you want to try, are a personal choice.
What can’t I do after a Botox treatment? I’ve heard I must avoid the gym, alcohol, lying down and so forth?
We hear these concerns all the time at our Botox clinic in downtown Toronto, and it’s a question that is heard by all Toronto Physicians or Dermatologists who do non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The fact is that after your treatment there really are no activities you must avoid.
The Botox enters the muscle quite quickly, although it takes 3-7 days to start weakening the muscle, which is what we want. So, after an hour there is virtually no chance of it moving anywhere we don’t want it to. It’s quite alright to go to the gym, lie down if you want to, or drink alcohol.
There are a lot of myths from the early days of Botox use, and these are some of the things that seemed to make sense. But we no longer advise patients to skip their gym or pool sessions or avoid reclining.
It’s much the same with the myth about moving the muscles after treatment, making faces, to increase the effectiveness of Botox.
In 2002, in Italy they tried an experiment – 50 patients received Botox in their frown lines; half were told to vigorously make faces for several hours, the others told not to. In 3 weeks, a group of doctors could not tell the difference between the two groups.
Botox is safe, and effective, which is why it is the brand (allergan) used by most Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic Physicians. There are very, very few problems that can occur and the odd ones that do (like some asymmetry) are usually very simply corrected. So, don’t worry, after your treatment you can get right back to your life! Most of our patients head right back to work.
Toronto Rosacea Treatments
Is it true that to effectively treat Rosacea with laser, I must be bruised?
Many patients who visit Toronto Dermatologists and other Cosmetic physicians for treatment of Rosacea with laser worry about this. They have usually seen photos on the internet of patients who have multiple bruises on their faces after using laser. In fact, bruising is rarely, if ever needed to treat Rosacea with our VBeam Pulsed Dye laser. This laser has been in use for over 25 years and is found in major teaching hospitals around the world.
It all has to do with something called “pulse length”. This is the amount of tine the laser pulse is on, penetrating your skin. In the early days, in the 1980’s, the first lasers had fixed pulse lengths of about 45 milliseconds. That’s 45/1000’s of a second! Pretty fast. When the pulse length was that short it caused bruising, but in those early days lasers was used mostly to treat port-wine birth marks, and so patients accepted this a necessary evil.
With advancement in laser technology, the pulse lengths were widened – our laser has pulse lengths from 0.45 all the way up to 20 ms. We typically use 6 – 10 ms; at these longer pulse lengths there is no bruising, it’s just not necessary to treat Rosacea since the blood vessels are a lot finer than in port wine stains.
So, the typical patient finds after laser treatment for rosacea that their skin is flushed and warm, but that returns to normal within a few hours. Many return to work right after treatment, certainly the next day.
The only circumstances where we may need to bruise a patient is when they have large veins on the face, sometimes bruise the vessel is necessary to get quick clearance. But we always discuss that with the patient beforehand. So, don’t worry about bruising – it’s not necessary to dramatically improve your Rosacea and get back your clear skin.
Can laser cure my facial redness or Rosacea?
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for Rosacea currently. Many patients are disappointed by false claims made by certain spas, or on the internet, about various treatments supposedly offering permanent clearance. The reality is that Rosacea is an ongoing condition. It is a form of neo-angio-genesis, or the new formation of blood vessels. When triggered by heat, sun, alcohol, etc. the skin of the face reacts by supplying more blood to the affected area, which in turn stimulates the formation of new blood vessels. Hence, for those suffering with Rosacea, the development of redness occurs, with flushing and eventually small, visible veins.
The laser that we use is the gold standard among Toronto Dermatologists and Laser Physicians – it effectively seals off these tiny vessels that cause the redness, so that the appearance of the skin can return to normal. But it is important to avoid your triggers, so that the skin can remain free of rosacea for as long as possible. In general, patients return once every 12=18 months, but that varies. Some patients return only every 3-5 years, others every 6 months or so. For example, a patient who ran marathons, and could not avoid sun exposure (even with a 100SPF block) needs to return twice a year.
Often, we find that patients return without any visible signs of their Rosacea, but that they find the VBeam produces excellent rejuvenation and they like it for that reason. It achieves this by heating the deeper layers of the dermis, creating significant amounts of collagen, which make the skin look smoother and younger. It is our favorite laser for facial rejuvenation!
Will the laser cure my Rosacea?
Unfortunately, now there is not permanent cure for Rosacea, which is a progressive disease. In fact, it is not known what the actual cause is. The most likely explanation is that it is an inflammatory type of illness, though there are several theories.
The use of laser destroys the visible, and many invisible, small vessels, and reduces the redness for quite a long time Many patients report 80% or more improvement in flushing and redness after 3 treatments. But it is important to watch your triggers, like sun, heat and alcohol. The more you can avoid these, the longer your results will last.
Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic Doctors who use laser to treat this condition will also advise the daily use of sunscreen, at least a 60 SPF, because the sun is probably the number one trigger. On any sort of beach vacation or if you are going to spend a lot of time in the sun – golf, gardening, running – it is best to go higher. Neutrogena makes a very good spray on 110 SPF.
In general patients return for a maintenance session every 12-18 months, although we often see patients who go several years without needing a return session. Take good care of your skin and the results can last a lot longer.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Is it harder to perform laser tattoo removal on a new tattoo?
This is a common question we get at our laser clinic in Toronto
Dermatologists and Cosmetic Physicians offer safe and effective tattoo removal, using q-switched and pico-sure type lasers. Many patients visit quite soon after getting their tattoos, we have had patients literally walk over directly from the tattoo shop, and without an appointment. Often, they feel the tattoo was too large, in the wrong location, or just did not turn out as they planned.
It is important to understand that a major factor in determining how many sessions it will take to remove a tattoo is the amount of ink present. Over time all tattoos fade, lose ink, as the body naturally breaks down and clears ink. We saw a patient with a tattoo almost 45 years old recently, and it was hardly recognizable, with over 75% faded by his own bodily clearance system.
So, the answer is typically, yes, a newer tattoo takes longer to clear with laser tattoo removal, since the newer it is the more ink will be present in a tattoo. See our blog for more information.
After getting your tattoo it is advisable to wait a minimum of 4 weeks before starting laser, as the dermis needs to heal. The surface of the skin may look fine, but underneath there is still healing going on for about a month. This is why it is important to wait before seeing any Toronto Dermatologists or Laser Doctors for treatment, although it is a good idea to get in touch for information as soon as you decide that you might want to remove your tattoo.
Why are different lasers needed to clear different colored tattoos?
It’s a good question. It has to do with laser physics, the way in which lasers operate. Laser light is a single wavelength of light. Think of it like your radio – on one wavelength is a sports station, on another top 40 hits. Each radio wavelength has only one station. With lasers it’s similar, each wavelength is specific for one color. So, a 1064nm laser is very effective for black and dark blue inks, whereas a 532 nm laser won’t affect black, but is very good on red.
Therefore, it is so hard to clear certain colors – there is no good wavelength currently in any laser for yellow or orange. And these colors appear in so few tattoos that the laser companies aren’t really bothering to try and make lasers that might be better to clear them.
But every ink is different. We have treated many tens of thousands of tattoos since 2001, and sometimes we have had luck with yellow by trying different lasers. Perhaps the artist blended in slightly different color that reacted, it’s hard to tell. But we are always upfront with your chances of clearance, like all legitimate cosmetic physicians and dermatologists in Toronto who operate laser clinics.
We far too often see patients who have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars at spa-type places, who are disappointed that their tattoo is not clearing after being promised it would. If we feel your tattoo’s colors are not likely to react well and clear, we tell you from the start. Fortunately, 90% or more of tattoos we see can be cleared or nearly so by the lasers we own.
Laser Acne Treatment in Toronto
Can Laser really help my Acne?
Acne is the most common condition seen by Toronto Dermatologists and even Family Doctors. The first line of treatment should never be laser. Instead proper hygiene and topical medications are first used. If these prove ineffective, prescription topical medication is the next step, and possibly oral antibiotics. In severe cases Accutane can be used under the guidance of your Toronto Dermatologists.
Many patients that we see for laser treatment of acne have found that there results with standard medical treatments have not been totally satisfactory, or they do not wish to go onto Accutane. Laser, done properly can help reduce acne lesions. It is particularly effective in preventing acne scarring and reducing the post-acne redness that troubles many patients, especially those with an Asian background.
Our Doctors use several types of lasers that operate on the skin in different ways to reduce and control acne. The goal is to reduce or to be able to discontinue your medication. The Doctor will offer an honest assessment of your situation and tell you if it is a reasonable treatment for you to begin.
How can laser help the redness I get after my acne clears up?
Oftentimes after an acne lesion finally heals, you will find there is a red mark left behind. This is the result of the lesion or pimple causing damage to the dermis or deeper layer f the skin. As it heals it turns from red back into normal skin, although this can take a long time. There is also the risk that id the damage is deep, it may to heal properly but scar.
It’s always a good idea if your acne is not responding well to over the counter medications to visit your family Doctor or seek out a Dermatologist in Toronto to have a look as you may need stronger topical medications or antibiotics. But even then, the lesions can leave you with troubling redness.
We use the VBeam laser to help heal the redness. This laser targets anything red on the skin, and it is very useful in preventing scarring. It essentially speeds up the healing process and prevents scars from forming. So not only does it lessen the redness, it decreases the odds that you will scar. We have used it for over 15 years, on all skin types, with great success, particularly in Asian skin.
So if you are troubled by post-acne redness, drop by so we can discuss your options.
How can I find a good Laser Clinic?
This is a very important question. With hundreds of laser clinics already operating in Toronto, and new ones popping up every day, it is vital to find one that provides quality care, with proper technology, expert operators and a knowledgeable expert. Medical supervision or direct care by a licensed physician always ensures high quality.
Many Dermatologists and other Cosmetic Physicians offer laser treatments in Toronto. It is advisable to find a clinic with a licensed physician as an owner/operator, so that you can be assured that your care is performed in a setting that has medical expertise and accountability backing it up.
Many lasers are powerful machines that under proper use have low side effect profiles. But we often see cases where the skin has been damaged at other clinics, who then were not able to treat the side effects. Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and other doctors who operate lasers in Toronto typically have very few side effects, but when they do they are able to treat them themselves, not simply tell the patient to visit their family doctor.
Another factor is the actual clinic space itself – did you know that the Ontario Government requires that every laser clinic have a Certified Laser Safety Officer who is responsible to ensure that the lasers are all Health Canada certified, in acceptable operating condition, and that the procedures in place for safety meet strict standards. At the Baywood Clinic we have such an Officer, as do most clinics run by Toronto Dermatologists or other Laser Physicians.
Another reason to ensure your care is under the supervision of a physician has to do with medical issues. A doctor should always take the initial history and do the examination, even for simple procedures like hair removal. We have had several cases over the years where we spotted a suspicious lesion that we referred to a Toronto Dermatologist for examination and biopsy, and it turned out to be a melanoma.
Non-medical clinics do not have the expertise to do a proper examine. The same applies to a medication history, there are certain conditions that preclude the use of lasers, or other cosmetic procedures. It is your health – make sure that your cosmetic treatments are dome correctly with the care of a licensed medical professional.
Is laser treatment painful?
It’s important to understand how a laser works. It is a very powerful, single-wavelength of light that targets certain elements in the skin. The VBeam, for instance, targets red best, and is useful for clearing facial redness and veins, as well s creating collagen in the skin. Laser hair removal targets the dark pigment melanin in the skin and destroys the hair follicles. Basically, laser treatment is a controlled burn, which is why it is very important to have an experienced dermatologist or laser physician in charge of your Toronto laser clinic.
The amount of discomfort varies on the depth the laser needs to penetrate to achieve results, and the power the laser needs to be set at to get them. Most patient describe laser treatment as tolerable, and we always can use freezing creams with lidocaine to make the experience comfortable. The area of the body also affects the sensations, for tattoo removal for example the fingers are bit more tender than the forearm.
We have done over 100,000 laser treatments at the Baywood Clinic, since 2001. In that time, we have found that the clear majority of patient who come for cosmetic treatments tolerate the procedures very well. In the rare case where discomfort is an issue, we always strive to find ways to make it tolerable, and most often succeed.
Can laser treat melasma?
We often get asked this question at our Toronto laser clinic. Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation or darkening of the facial skin. It often occurs after pregnancy and is thought to be hormonally related. It is called the “mask of pregnancy.”. It can occur at other times too, and predominantly affects women. It can be quite mild and localized, or extensive.
Unfortunately, laser is not usually the answer. I very mild and superficial cases it might be worth a try. But there is always the risk that laser, which does cause a controlled burn, can make things worse. The same applies any sort of light-based treatment.
Most Toronto Dermatologists and other doctors who do laser treatment will recommend more conservative therapy. For example, it is vital to protect the skin from the sun. So at least an SPF 60 should be applied every day, and if you are in the sun for a long period a 110 SPF. Neutrogena makes an excellent spray.
It is also useful to try bleaching creams like Hydroquinone, which you can get over the counter. Don’t spend too much on them, basic ones are about $10. Light glycolic acid lotions are also available over the counter and are often helpful.
In addition, a prescription strength Retin-A can be prescribed by your Dermatologist or Family Doctor in Toronto. This medicine gently peels the surface layers of skin and has a very good effect at lightening hyperpigmentation.
These strategies are the best to lessen or clear your Melasma. We are always happy to discuss the option of laser at our Toronto office, but these non-laser options are a must try.
Is there any downtime with laser treatment?
Usually when Toronto Dermatologists and Cosmetic Physicians talk about downtime, it refers to a situation where a patient may have to avoid work or social activities because the skin is recovering and cannot be covered by makeup. Typically, this is seen in more ablative types of laser treatment where the surface layer of the skin is slightly damaged (on purpose). Most of the lasers we use are non-ablative, meaning that there is no surface damage to the skin.
So, for example, the VBeam laser, which is used for Rosacea, facial redness or veins, rejuvenation and treatment of scars, does not ablate. It merely heats up the deeper blood vessels and might leave the skin looking flushed for a few hours. Almost everyone can return to work or play the next day, usually even the same day.
The same is true with hair removal and most of the lasers we use for acne treatment and rejuvenation. If a patient has a major public event or other important date (a wedding, a job interview) we usually suggest leaving at lteast48 hours in between the treatment and the event, just to be super safe. Or patients will come on a Friday afternoon and have the weekend off to recover for the laser treatment.
Tattoo removal is different, since these are power lasers that do cause some scabbing. It usually takes 3-5 days for the skin to return to normal, but because it is typically not in a visible area like the face or hands, its not generally a problem.
We have ten many tens of thousands of lasers treatment in Toronto over the last 18 years, and it is very rare for a patient to have any sort of problem with downtime. By properly assessing and advising each patient before hand, they can plan their treatments, and get back to their loves as soon as possible!
Are you using real Botox?
Probably every cosmetic doctor or Dermatologist in Toronto has heard this question every week! It’s a very important one, and it should be clear for every patient. Always ask this question the first time you visit a new clinic, and if you don’t get a clear answer, be very suspicious.
The bottom line is that there is only one “Botox”. It is the legal copyrighted trademark of the Allergan Company worldwide, for its Botulinum product used to control wrinkles. It’s like “Coke” refers legally to the specific drink, not “Pepsi”.
There are several other types of Botulinum legally available around the world, some of which have been approved for legal use in Canada by our Health Canada. It would be illegal for a clinic to sell you one of these others while promising to give you Botox.
Even worse, there are, sadly, some places in Toronto where you can buy forms of Botulinum that have not been approved by Health Canada. Using these on a patient would be a serious crime, just like giving an anti-biotic or other medicine that is not approved would be a crime. Botulinum toxin must be a prescribed drug, a doctor must sign a prescription for it.
So always ask specifically which brand of Botulinum you are going to be injected with. Botox is far the world leader, and the name is universally used on TV, in magazines, and by patients talking about it. But you have a legal right to be given what you are promised, even ask to see the actual bottle before the procedure.
We have had patients promised Botox at other clinics, but when they asked to see the bottle it was another brand, and they were told “they are all the same”. That’s not true, and they wisely left right away, for how can you trust a clinic that falsely advertises what you are going to be injected with?
We only use Botox from Allergan, in many tens of thousands of patients over the last 20 years. We are always happy to show you the bottle.
Which sunscreen do Toronto Dermatologists or Aesthetic Doctors recommend?
Sunscreen is possibly the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking young and healthy as you get older. This is because the sun’s Ultra-violet rays cause damage to the deeper layers of the skin, where we find collagen and elastin, the two important components of the skin that keep it looking full and smooth.
Using a high SPF sunscreen blocks out those rays and protects the skin. Many patients think they only need to wear sunscreen on their beach vacations. But the truth is you really should get into the habit of wearing it daily. Just walking around in Toronto during the winter months exposes you to as much sun as a week on the beach.
So, the best plan is to put on some sunscreen every morning. Some female patients tell us they have sunscreen in their makeup- but it is usually only 15 SPF. SPF tells you how many minutes the sunscreen protects you from the sun. So, 15 SPF is too low. Most Toronto Dermatologists will recommend at least a 30 SPF during the Winter months. During the Summer you should use at least a 60SPF for daily use. You need it especially on your face, hands and any exposed chest area.
We often see patients whose faces show little sign of aging, wrinkles, and sun damage, but whose hands and chests were exposed and have serious sun damage. So, we recommend using sunscreen in all the areas you want to keep young looking.
If you are going to be outdoors, in direct sun for any length of time – golfing, gardening, or just walking around – make sure to wear a hat to protect your face. And use a stronger SPF. Neutrogena makes a 110 SPF that is a spray and very dry. It is not oily at all and offers fantastic protection. If you are on holiday, stay out of direct sun as much as you can. Sit in the shade by the pool and go down to the beach later in the day, or early morning, when the sun is not so strong.
Of course. There is another benefit to using sunscreen. It will greatly diminish your chances of getting skin cancer, especially if you have a family history of this condition. Melanoma, or skin cancer, is something to take seriously. By protecting our skin, you can greatly reduce your chances of every having this condition.
Make sure you have a look at the “moles” or brown spots on your body every few weeks, and if you cannot see your entire body in the mirror, have your partner or someone else have a look. Or your GP should have a scan every time you have your annual exam. Any spot that is darkening, getting larger, or changing shape should be reported to our GP, or your Toronto Dermatologist.
Of course, we do need some sun on our bodies to get Vitamin D. But just getting a bit on your legs and arms, and the small amount that will penetrate your sunscreen usually provides more than enough. So, make a good quality high SPF sunscreen your number one priority in the care of your skin, and it will stay healthy and young looking.
Is sclerotherapy the best spider veins treatment?
The answer to this is a 100% positive “Yes”. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sclerosant (a chemical or salt solution) directly into the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and permanently close it. This technique was invented in Europe over 100 years ago and is without any question the Gold-Standard of spider veins treatment. Many dermatologists there make it a large part of their practice.
Unfortunately, there are not many Toronto Dermatologists or Cosmetic Doctors who do this procedure. In Quebec it is very widely practiced, and it is in Alberta. In Montreal, for example, many women see their sclerotherapist the way they might see their hair stylist!
At our clinic we are lucky to have very skilled Registered Nurses doing the injections. Patients are surprised how comfortable it is, and how effective. Usually in 3-4 treatments even the most extensive spider veins can be cleared. Of course, maintenance treatments are required usually every 1-2 years. Wearing compression stockings also decreases any recurrence.
Many non-medical spas offer “laser spider vein treatment”. We have the best lasers available but rarely use them for leg veins. They simply do not work well enough. They may clear some of the superficial veins but cannot get to the deeper feeders. So, if you use laser, which is more expensive than sclerotherapy, you likely need to come in every 6 months.
When is the best time to do laser treatments?
This is a very good question. The simple answer is that it depends on a few factors.
First, which treatment? There are certain lasers that must ablate the surface of the skin, like the tattoo laser. In these cases, you might want to consider that you will have to wear a bandage for 3-5 days post-therapy; and that it might take the skin a while to heal even after that. So, if it is in an exposed area you might want to schedule so you do not have any important events until it is entirely healed.
Secondly, there is the issue of sun exposure. For certain lasers, like the VBeam for facial redness and Rosacea, this is not a big issue. You will be wearing a high-power SPF sunscreen every day, and the laser does not make your skin more prone to sun. But if we were to remove any brown or age spots with laser (after anything suspicious has been cleared by a Toronto dermatologist, of course), then you would have to be extra careful not to get sun, since exposure will likely cause the spot to return, possibly even darker. Generally, for any laser that damages the surface of the skin, something that we want, it is best to avoid treatment during the Sumer months.
The same applies to hair removal. Many spas claim that their hair removal lasers can work on tanned skin. But this is deceiving, since those lasers are not very powerful at targeting the melanin in the hair. So, either you are getting inferior results when you work over a tan or they are turning the power down. We recommend that you stay out of the sun for 4 weeks prior to this type of treatment and inform us of any sun-exposure when you visit.
We take time to discuss your overall treatment plan. Depending on the laser, we will recommend a good timetable. Many patients schedule a session in April, and then the next for the Fall. This is often a good plan, since no matter how careful you are you will always get some sun damage during the Summer.
The same applies to all the services we provide. Those treating leg veins often decide to stop sessions as the summer approaches, because there can be some mild bruising, and they do not want that during shorts season. So, the Summer is often quiet for leg vein treatments.
Botox, fillers, and other treatments, like acne, really are not seasonal and we are very busy with these year-round. So, if you are not certain about when to begin treatments, make sure to give us a call and come in and chat. There is never any pressure to start right away. We tell many patients to book later in the year when the results will be the best. Any legitimate cosmetic Doctor, Plastic Surgeon, or dermatologist operating a laser clinic in Toronto will give you the same good advice.
What’s the Best Treatment for Age Spots
One of the most common reasons for referrals to Toronto Dermatologists is for the evaluation of pigmented lesions. These are lesions on the skin that are dark in color. And there is a good reason for this, since these sorts of lesions can be precursors for skin cancer.
But most darker spots on the skin are benign, though anything suspicious – growing fast, irregular borders, change in color – should be evaluated any of the many Toronto dermatologists or at least seen by your GP.
If these spots occur on your face, hands, or chest area, it is likely that they are caused by sun damage. Typically, they are solar lentigines, and there are a variety of ways to get rid of these age or brown spots.
First line of defense is sunscreens, since there is no sense in clearing them only to have them return. Next would be some sort of bleaching agent like over the counter hydroquinone or prescription Retin A.
Finally, our clinic has extensive experience using laser – specifically the ND-YAG laser. We use this to clear many age and sun spots on our patients, Typically the spots turn darker for a day or two after the laser treatment, then there is a faint crust which resolves after 3-4 days. When that clears the spots is usually 50 – 75% lighter.
If you are interested in treating these age and sun spots, please visit us for more information.
How can I get a consultation with Toronto Dermatologists?
There are many highly qualified Toronto Dermatologists, but unfortunately not enough. Wait lists to see most Toronto Dermatologists tend to be more than 3 months, and often a lot longer. The Doctors at our clinic treat many dermatologic problems, like Rosacea, Acne, and so on. But when the need arises to refer to a Dermatologist, we have found that a nearby Hospital has helped us get our patients in quite quickly, usually within a couple of weeks. In many cases, if the issue is not urgent patients can ask their Family Doctor to make a referral, but if it is a problem that needs a quicker resolution, we do our best to help you see one of the hospital’s Toronto Dermatologists in a timely manner.
Is it true that any Sunscreen SPF above 30 does not work?
This is a myth that Toronto dermatologists and cosmetic physicians have had to try and dispel for years. But recently a study in New York finally proved it is not true. Researchers marked the forearms of a number of subjects into squares. In each square they place a different SPF sunscreen. So starting with 6 they moved up to 15, 30, 60 and 110 SPF. Then the subjects went up to the roof of the hospital and sat in the sun for an hour. The results proves what Toronto dermatologists have know for years – the stronger SPF actually do work. The stronger the SPF, the less the patients burned 24 hours later. So, do yourself a favor, forget the low SPF sunscreens – get a 60, or better a 110, and apply it, especially to your face, all summer long. In the winter a 30 will suffice, if you are not doing a lot of activity outdoors. Your skin will thank you.