Thursday, October 9, 2014

Something to bat an eye at: New treatment brings hope to patients that can't close their eyes

The FDA recently announced it was loosening restrictions on the use of devices that help treat a particular type of eye dryness. This type of eye dryness results from an inability to fully close the eye, a medical condition known as lagophthalmos. This condition most frequently results from facial paralysis, which may occur following an injury to the facial nerve.
The facial nerve, or seventh cranial nerve, has many important functions, including taste sensation, production of tears, and movement of the facial muscles responsible for facial expression, including smiling. It also has the responsibility of closing the eye.
The most commonly used technique to treat this condition is through the placement of a platinum or gold weight under the skin of the upper eyelid By adding this extra weight, gravity helps pull the lid down and close it. The simple procedure can be performed in the office under local anesthesia and only takes only about 15 minutes.
While this procedure is fairly simple, a non-surgical solution would be even more beneficial to certain patients, particularly those in which facial weakness and the inability to close the eye is only temporary.
That is why physicians welcome the news that the FDA recently decided to loosen up regulations on other devices to help close the eye ( This will allow scientists and researchers the opportunity to further investigate improved treatments for this difficult condition.
The University of Utah Center for Facial Nerve Disorders is actively involved in facial nerve research and was awarded a research grant from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to further investigate this exciting new technology.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Edmonds Healthy Beauty and Skin Care: Say goodbye to dark spots and hello to an even complexion

Everyone loves the healthy glow that they get in the summer. However, along with the suntan, many people experience hyperpigmentation (dark spots) after a summer, or even a day of sun exposure. Sun exposure is just one cause of hyperpigmentation. It can also occur due to hormone changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, or from injury or inflammation of the skin due to acne, eczema, or psoriasis. There are a range of options to help lessen, and in some cases completely eradicate, the dark pigmentation. Prevention is the ideal first step. However, there are products and procedures that can help get rid of those pesky dark spots!
Prevention: Harmful UV rays contribute/cause sun damage and dark spots. Therefore, you should avoid direct sun exposure on the face, especially during the most intense hours from 10am until 2pm. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Rebat Halder, MD, in an article for the American Academy of Dermatology, stresses that the mainstay treatment for hyperpigmentation is year-round sun protection. He also states that using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher will maximize the benefit of any skin-lightening product.
Products: Dark spots that occur from early sun damage may only affect the top layer of the skin. You can purchase retinol products over the counter to treat the hyperpigmentation, however in the case that you do not see results, a prescribed strength may be recommended. Additionally, much research is being done on more natural topical treatments to assist in fading dark spots. Dr. Haler, MD, provides us with details on specific plant based ingredients that have proved effective for some. Soy and Niacinimide, a form of vitamin B3, are commonly used in moisturizers to help suppress production of additional pigment. Products rich in antioxidants derived from fruit help to inhibit melanin production.
Procedures: Medical treatment options for hyperpigmentation vary due to severity, skin type, skin care concerns (aging, rosacea, etc.), and your lifestyle. Chemical Peels and Laser Treatments are two of the most common ways to medically treat hyperpigmentation.
  • Chemical Peels: Chemical peels can be used in conjunction with topical treatments. Glycolic peels are commonly used to help improve skin tone and texture and lighten pigment after a series of treatments.
  • Laser Treatment: The gold standard for targeting pigment/brown spots in the skin. Two common laser treatments for discoloration are Photorejuvenation and Fractionated treatments. Photorejuvenation helps reverse the color (red and brown) associated with sun damage with minimal down time. This treatment uses IPL (intense pulse light) to target and reduce the signs of sun damage. Fractionated Laser resurfacing treatment effectively improves sun damaged skin to include tone and texture.
By combining prevention, products and procedures you can see dramatic improvement of sun damage and dark spots in your skin. However, if you are not achieving desired results, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist for further evaluation.