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Frequently Asked Questions Skin Care


Congratulations! You have found the best way to learn about skin care. Most of the freequently asked skin care questions you might be interested in are already here, organized by categories. If you come up with a really good question that we missed, we will be happy to post it here. We will even give you a coupon that you can use to get discounts on products and services. Enjoy!

Michael Sinclair, MD



Q. What is the difference between a Fraxel treatment vs Fractional Resurfacing treatment?

Palomar Medical invented both the Fraxel Laser and the 1540 Fractional Resurfacing Laser. The Fraxel Laser works by using a single laser beam that moves back and forth across the skin that turns on and off to create the microthermal zones. This single beam of laser light tends to cause the skin to get very hot over a short period of time which seems to cause a lot of discomfort. The Fraxel Laser was sold to another company.

The newer equipment called the 1540 Fractional Resurfacing Laser works by using a much larger laser beam that is divided into smaller beams by a lens. This lens is continuously chilled and lays directly on the skin. This helps the skin stay much cooler which causes much less discomfort.

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Q. Why is squeezing pimples a bad idea?

When you squeeze a pimple you tend to spread at least some of the bacteria under the skin which can lead to an acne cyst and a permanent scar. If you want to try to treat a single pimple at home we can teach you how to do it safely without squeezing!

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Q. Can I have an IPL treatment for my acne if I am taking Accutane®?

Accutane® may make your skin much more susceptible to side effects from the treatment. Ideally you should wait at least six months after completing Accutane® before beginning treatment.

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Q. What makes the Mixto Laser so much less painful than the Fraxel?

The Mixto laser uses a computer controlled scanner to move the laser beam around in a pattern that allows the skin to cool in between the pulses. By separating the location of the pulses as much as possible, the Mixto allows each pulse to cool for as long as possible before another pulse is placed nearby. This prevents the heat from accumulating which is why this laser is much more comfortable. When patients are asked to judge the pain associated with Mixto laser treatment on a scale from 0-4 (0 = can't feel any sensation, 4 = unbearable), the average score was 1.8....without any anesthesia! To make it even more comfortable, we usually apply topical anesthetic to the skin.

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Q. Do I need to do anything differently before I get injected with Restylane?

Restylane® requires no pretesting, but you should take a few precautions before being treated. Avoid using St. John's Wort, high doses of Vitamin E supplements, aspirin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen prior to treatment with Restylane, because these may increase bruising or bleeding at the injection site. Also, if you have previously suffered from facial cold sores, discuss this with your physician. He or she may consider prescribing a medication to minimize recurrence.

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