Welcome to our blog. A place where our doctors and staff will be providing you with the latest information from our practice, and what's happening in our industry.
Author: Ironwood Dermatology
Lip augmentation is a cosmetic treatment designed to enhance the shape or size of the lips by adding volume. The demand for the most common lip augmentation option—hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers like JUVEDERM®—has continued to rise steadily worldwide as consumers have become aware of their choices for achieving fuller, plumper lips with lip injections. The Tucson-area’s Ironwood Dermatology team explains that Juvederm VOLBELLA® XC is one popular option from the Juvederm line due to its subtle, natural-looking results.
Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons have shown that soft tissue fillers—which are popular volume-adding strategies for filling out skin that has lost collagen and fat over time—were the second most popular form of cosmetic minimally invasive procedure performed in the United States in 2018.
In recent years, a number of innovative products have been introduced to the lip injections market, making the treatment more convenient and accessible than ever for women and men seeking a specific look. While there are various forms of dermal fillers that can be injected into the lips and around the mouth, JUVEDERM® is one of the most recognized and commonly requested.
All of the options in the JUVEDERM® collection of fillers have the same hyaluronic acid base, but are formulated differently depending on the area they are designed to treat. VOLBELLA® XC is a soft and supple HA variation. This cosmetic “tweakment” offers a soft, light touch for smoothing delicate areas and fine lines on the face and lips. The malleable gel is ideal for temporarily adding subtle definition to the upper and lower lips with natural-looking outcomes.
The “XC” added to the end of the name means that it contains lidocaine for a more comfortable injection experience.
To get a better understanding of how VOLBELLA® XC works to plump up naturally thin or age-depleted lips, it’s helpful to start by examining its main ingredient. In simple terms, hyaluronic acid is a transparent, gel-like, lubricating molecule found naturally in almost every cell of the body. It is most densely concentrated in the skin, cartilage, and joints. VOLBELLA® XC (and other injectables in the JUVEDERM® family) contain a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid, which draws in moisture, hydrating the areas where is injected to further restore lost volume over time.
To find out more about lip injections like VOLBELLA® XC, contact Tucson’s Ironwood Dermatology online or call 520.618.1630.
While much has been said about how time transforms the skin, one of the more overlooked aspects of this process is how it affects the lips. Getting older generally means experiencing some not-so-pleasant developments, such the depletion of moisture, fat, collagen, elastin, and other elements that make the skin supple and springy well into our 20s. Because of this, the lips can become thin and dry as time goes on. To make matters worse, fine lines around the lips can become increasingly pronounced, drawing even more attention to the area. Lip fillers such as JUVEDERM Volbella® can restore that youthful, hydrated appearance and soften lines around the lips, while maintaining a natural, subtle appearance.
Lip fillers at Ironwood Dermatology are customized to fit your individual needs and desired result. Is a luscious, plump pout something you’re after? Along with high, defined cheekbones and contoured jawlines, the trend of fuller lips has dominated Instagram for a long time. Topical skin products and makeup can help make the mouth appear somewhat fuller, but if you want to significantly restore volume or improve the physical structure of your lips, you want lip injections, such as Tucson and Oro Valley-based Ironwood Dermatology’s dermal filler treatments.
Dreaded “duck lips,” “sausage lips,” or other undesirable outcomes of lip-injection sessions (we’ve all seen photos) have a lot to do with the provider. In the hands of a skilled, experienced injector, injections are handled with great care and with an eye for results. This means you can add volume or definition without going overboard. Lip augmentation is a very common procedure, but for the best outcomes and to reduce risk, women and men looking to add volume should avoid untrained or uncertified injectors who may overdo the injections.
Also, be sure to choose fillers from trusted manufacturers that have put countless research hours into developing their products. For example, Volbella®, a member of the JUVEDERM® family, is useful for sharpening and contouring the lips. As opposed to some other lip fillers, Volbella® isn’t designed to add dramatic fullness, but rather imparts slight volume for subtle embellishments, correction of asymmetry, and smoothing out fine lipstick lines. This filler is often used on the outline of the lips (vermillion border) to produce a more natural look. It has a very light, silky, and natural feel, and, like other JUVEDERM® products, is made of hyaluronic acid.
Learn more about JUVEDERM® lip injections at Ironwood Dermatology in the Tucson and Oro Valley area. Call 520.618.1630 or submit a contact form to request an appointment.
There’s no reason to not be excited about your lips—even if they aren’t as luscious as you’d like. That’s because with lip injections at Tucson and Oro Valley’s Ironwood Dermatology, a thin smile can become a full one in a matter of minutes.
Our experienced injectors use VOLBELLA® XC and JUVEDERM® XC to add volume for lip plumping and shaping. Made by Allergan and part of the trusted JUVEDERM® family, these dermal fillers are designed to diminish signs of aging on and around the mouth. They can also be used to enhance lips that have never been especially full thanks to the hand genetics dealt you.
These hyaluronic acid-based gels are specifically formulated to give a more youthful hydrated look by adding volume, definition, and improved symmetry.
Allergan uses a carefully developed manufacturing process to make their filler by cross-linking hyaluronic acid molecules. This results in a gel that is stable and reliable, but that also is smooth for ease of injection and positioning in the skin. Once in the lips, the hyaluronic acid molecules get to work binding to water, which improves the hydrated appearance of the lip. The gel can gives thin lips a much-desired subtle boost in size—but not to the point that they look out of proportion or fake. In fact, VOLBELLA® XC is a particularly subtle filler, making it ideal for fine work, details, and natural-looking enhancements.
Results from a lip injection session can last for about six to 12 months, for up to a year of confident smiles. Though the filler has only temporary effects, it can be injected repeatedly as needed to make thin lips nothing more than a memory.
VOLBELLA® XC can also be used to address lip lines, which appear around the mouth and give the area a more aged appearance. Instead of creating a look of fullness here, the filler serves to smooth out the wrinkles that form as collagen and hyaluronic acid break down over time.
Talk to the Ironwood Dermatology team in Tucson and Oro Valley to learn more about lip injections, VOLBELLA® XC, and other available dermal fillers by sending a message online or calling 520.618.1630.
Allergan makes many products that dermatologists use every day to improve the look of patients’ faces. One of the most popular lines from this manufacturer is Juvederm®, which is a family of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers. Fillers are typically associated with smoothing out static wrinkles on the face, but the volume-adding clear gel can accomplish so much more. Case in point: VOLUMA® XC at Tucson’s Ironwood Dermatology.
A special process that links different “weights” of molecules together gives VOLUMA® XC some unique qualities. It is both smooth and hardy, able to flow easily into the skin when injected, but also robust enough to provide the structure and support so crucial to the midface.
Patients who benefit from VOLUMA® XC are those who have lost volume in the “apples” of their cheeks. So named because of their rosy roundness, the apples are signs of youthful health—and are especially apparent when someone smiles.
Unfortunately, the natural effects of aging on the skin can be particularly apparent on the apples. As volume decreases over time—a process made worse by regular exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun—the roundness can flatten into a gaunt look. As volume loss continues, it can progress into an aged, even skeletal look common to older people who have hollow cheeks.
To further the undesirable cosmetic changes, dwindling volume also leads to skin laxity. Tissue that slides downward without proper support from healthy amounts of collagen and facial fat creates jowls.
VOLUMA® XC counters all of these changes by restoring that vital volume. The gel is injected directly into the skin to replenish the apples. Using just the right amount, an injector creates a natural-looking symmetry that can make the apples “re-appear”—which also lifts away the slight look of volume-loss-related jowling.
Of all the available Juvederm® fillers, VOLUMA® XC lasts the longest. Studies have shown that its effects can last for up to two years—especially when injected by experienced providers who know how to maximize results.
Patients interested in smoothing out nasolabial folds or other creases are encouraged to learn more about other options available in the Juvederm® family. Signs of aging are not typically limited to just one area, so chances are good that diminished volume in the cheeks may accompany facial creases, thin lips, and other signs of retreating collagen.
Arizona is known for its deserts and interesting geologic formations, so locals should feel right at home with the language commonly used to describe laser tattoo removal. Tucson-based Ironwood Dermatology offers the PicoSure® laser from Cynosure for treating unwanted tattoos, which are often described as being made up of “rocks” of ink in the skin.
Since ink is a liquid, many people may picture it as a black or otherwise colored fluid that flows into the skin and sits there, or perhaps dries, to form the image seen in a tattoo. It is actually more accurate to think of the pigment as tightly packed chunks of material. If someone no longer wanted their tattoo, these bigger chunks could be broken down into smaller pebbles, rather like a worker wielding a pickaxe to pulverize a rock.
This is the premise behind nanosecond lasers, which use light energy to attack the ink and break it apart. Unfortunately, the process generated a significant amount of heat, making the process uncomfortable for patients. There is also only so much the body can do with “pebbles” of ink. Though they are smaller than the original “rocks,” they can still leave visible evidence of a tattoo, which may look faded, but not cleared up.
The picosecond laser—known as PicoSure®—improves on both of those drawbacks. First, the increased speed of the laser means sessions can be shorter and not generate as much heat during a full session. Second, instead of achieving “pebbles” as an end result, the breakdown creates something more akin to “sand.” These significantly smaller particles of ink are far easier for the body to process and remove, making the tattoo that much harder to see.
Arizonans know: Sand can be a beautiful thing, whether it’s creating a beautiful landscape or referring to the fading of an unwanted tattoo of any color.
There are many factors that set BOTOX® and dermal fillers apart—including how they work and what they treat—but a question patients frequently ask at Ironwood Dermatology is “How long will it last?”
Keeping in mind that BOTOX® Cosmetic is for inhibiting muscle activity and that dermal fillers come in a wide variety of volume-adding formulas, it can be wise to track which effects last the shortest and longest, especially for patients who want to maintain a more youthful-looking face for the long term. Scheduling maintenance visits is easier when you have a good idea of how long your forehead will appear smooth or jawline should have extra definition.
First, BOTOX®. Tucson-area women and men regularly choose this treatment for their forehead and frown lines, as well as their crow’s feet. After a brief session with one of our injectors, you can expect three to four months of smooth skin, worry-free. After that time, the targeted muscles will start moving again, leading to visible furrows and wrinkles whenever you frown or make similar facial expressions.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, tend to be longer lasting. Juvederm®, for example, has several gel fillers that go the distance, including Volbella (which enhances lips and smooths out vertical lip lines for up to a year), Vollure (which reduces the appearance of nasolabial folds and more for up to 18 months), and Voluma (which adds volume to the midface and lasts up to two years).
With this in mind, you may have several BOTOX® sessions between visits for dermal filler injections.
A member of the Ironwood Dermatology team can work with you to ensure your schedule is as seamless as possible, which means you can enjoy an overall youthful-looking face with no interruption to the smooth look in just one area.
The saying goes that beauty is only skin deep, but it should be updated to note that many times imperfections are similarly shallow. The fine lines and clogged pores that can make a face look older are often easily addressed by simply getting rid of the skin where they are found. The dermatologists at Tucson’s Ironwood Dermatology offer numerous treatments that do just that. Here is a brief look at four of them:
Within this category alone there are several variations, but all of them work the same way: A strong, acid-based solution is applied directly to the skin and left to work for a set amount of time. The outer layer will later peel away. This accomplishes two things: It gets dead cells and debris off of the face, and it promotes natural rejuvenation.
As opposed to covering the entire face at once in a peeling solution, microdermabrasion involves buffing the dead skin cells away from top to bottom, cheek to cheek. The ultimate result is much the same, in that healthier-looking, younger skin is revealed and collagen rejuvenation is kick-started.
Similar to microdermabrasion, dermaplaning is a treatment that mechanically removes dead skin cells, but it involves manual action from a cosmetic professional. Working directly on the skin with a special tool, the dermaplaner will exfoliate to remove unwanted cells and encourage healing.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Short pulses of energy from a specially designed laser make this a non-invasive treatment that promotes collagen production without ablating—or removing—the skin. The resulting rejuvenated collagen can improve the look of everything from fine lines to visible scars and marks.
Patients are not expected to know which of these treatments would work best for their own skin. The Ironwood Dermatology team can suggest an ideal plan after a consultation tailored to the individual. Learn more by reaching out online or calling 520.618.1630.
When choosing between Kybella® and CoolSculpting® treatments, Tucson-area men and women who want to address a double chin may find themselves wondering which option is best. Since every case is unique, the ideal treatment depends on the patient, with deciding factors that include body type, desired levels of results, and more.
That said, it can be helpful to compare the available options in order to get a better idea of what it possible.
Both CoolSculpting® and Kybella® are nonsurgical fat-reduction treatments, but the similarities pretty much end there. CoolSculpting® works by chilling unwanted fat cells so that they rupture. The process does not break the skin, but does involve suction pulling the targeted tissue between two cooling plates. Kybella®, on the other hand, works via a series of injections that introduce a modified form of a digestive chemical—deoxycholic acid—into the fat cells marked for destruction. This acid causes them to no longer be able to maintain their integrity.
At this point, the treatment begin to resemble each other again. Whether destroyed by cold or acid, the fat cells are no longer viable, which means the body works to get rid of them efficiently. In the days and weeks after a treatment, volume in the area reduces, leading to new contours.
Neither treatment requires post-treatment downtime, as neither treatment involves incisions or sutures, which need time to heal.
Perhaps the best way to determine which fat-reduction strategy is best is to schedule a consultation with a professional experienced in both options and with a range of body types. A dermatologist can assess a double chin, learn more about the patient, answer questions as necessary, and recommend the best course from there.
With Skin Cancer Awareness Month having ended months ago, the Ironwood Dermatology team wanted to be sure that this important topic doesn’t get lost amid early fall plans—especially since there’s no start or end date for skin cancer. Arizona residents are used to sunny days, so it stands to reason that they also should be used to properly applying sunscreen, but “should be” and “are” can be miles apart.
There’s no shame in admitting you need a refresher on proper sunscreen use.
Use Enough: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an ounce of sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. That’s a shot glass full. Obviously some people are larger and some are smaller, so the amount should be adjusted accordingly. Just know that many people use less sunscreen than is required to be effective.
Start Early: This tip has two meanings. First, you’re never too young to start wearing an age-appropriate sunscreen. One risk factor for skin cancer later in life is frequent sunburns—especially those that blister—in childhood. Develop good skincare habits young, and encourage those around you to do the same. Second, sunscreen requires a little time on the skin before it’s effective at protecting against UV rays, so apply a layer roughly 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
Double Up: One layer for your day is almost certainly not enough, especially if you’re outdoors and active. Apply a new layer of sunscreen every two hours, but be prepared to slather it on sooner if your first application is washed off by the ocean or pool, or if you sweat a lot.
Don’t Skip It: Ultraviolet rays can get to you even if you aren’t exposed under a clear blue sky. Vehicular travel (riding in a car, truck, or van) is a significant source of cumulative sun exposure, and even overcast days don’t protect you from damage. Make it a rule: If you’re going outside, wear sunscreen.
Get it Everywhere: If your skin can see the sun, the sun can damage your skin. It’s easy to remember your nose and arms—or your bare back, if you’re at the beach—but don’t forget the tops of your feet, the tops of your ears, and your scalp, especially if you’ve got thin (or no) hair.
If you’re experiencing the results of a lifetime of poor sunscreen habits, don’t kick yourself. The team at Ironwood Dermatology offers skin cancer screenings, as well as treatments for a range of sun-caused medical and cosmetic problems. Find out more by calling 520.618.1630 or visit www.ironwooddermatology.org.
When it comes to nonsurgical cosmetic treatments, from microdermabrasion to BOTOX®, Tucson’s Ironwood Dermatology team noted with interest the recently released results of an annual report compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Published at the start of March 2018, the report details statistics from 2017, taken from medical databases and doctor surveys. Among the many items of interest is the overarching fact that nonsurgical cosmetic treatments on the whole are growing in popularity. The entire field grew by 2 percent from 2016 to 2017, with more than 15.7 million treatments performed on men and women across the United States.
That also represents a 186-percent jump from the year 2000.
Topping the list is—as usual—BOTOX® and its fellow injectables based on botulinum toxin type A, which collectively made up almost half of the total treatments performed. With 7.2 million treatments reported, this option is unquestionably the most frequently chosen cosmetic option in the country—surgeries included.
Next on the list, with more than 2.6 million applications, is soft tissue fillers, which includes the entire Juvederm® line. There are formulas for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds, for adding youthful roundness to the apple of the cheeks, and for subtly boosting lip contours.
Chemical peels came in third with 1.3 million applied. Though they all accomplish the same thing—removing the outermost layers of dead skin for a brighter, fresher look—they come in a variety of compounds with different strengths. This treatment also makes the skin more receptive to revitalizing serums.
Fourth is laser hair removal, a versatile treatment that can be applied virtually head to toe. Statistics show that just more than a million laser hair removals were performed in 2017, proving that bare skin made smooth without the hassle of razors or waxing remains a popular choice.
Rounding out the top five is microdermabrasion, which essentially buffs or polishes away dead skin cells in the outermost layer. Though the mechanics are different, the results are similar to a chemical peel.