Category Archives: bakersfield skin care

Are You A Tanning Addict?

Spending a lot of time in the sun’s rays can cause skin damage ranging from fine lines and wrinkles to pigment spots. This damage can be even more pronounced if you don’t protect yourself with sunblock that cites SPF 30 or above. Thankfully, my California plastic surgery practice’s MedSpa allow patients to combat sun damage. Whether patients choose IPL photorejuvination, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion, they can reverse the ill effects that the sun causes. However, unfortunately for patients, these treatments can’t reverse skin cancer. And with 120,000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the United States, this is a real problem.

Why is skin cancer such a major issue?

Part of it has to do with the fact that not everyone attempts to protect their skin while at the beach, pool, or even the park. Even riding in the car for a long period of time can still give you a lot of sun exposure. However, skin cancer is also on the rise due to the popular trend of using tanning beds.

Statistically, a person under thirty who engages in the use of a tanning bed ten times a year is eight times more likely at risk for skin cancer. Despite this not being new information, people continue to utilize tanning beds and play Russian roulette with their lives.

So why do people to continue with this risky behavior?

A new study has found that fake baking in a tanning bed is actually addictive. A person who is tanning experiences the same brain activity and blood flow that a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol experiences. A reward-and-reinforcement trigger is induced while tanning. Each person that tans receives golden brown skin as their reward, but in order to keep the reward they must continue to tan. Thus, the cycle begins.

What can we do?

For one, if you haven’t fake baked already, don’t start. If you are a fake baker, try and slowly reduce your sessions. There are other tanning alternatives out there. Spray tans and tanning creams are easily accessible. When done correctly, you will definitely look as if you’ve spent the day outside. Of course, there is nothing like utilizing the sun’s natural rays. Not only does the sun provide you with a healthy dose of vitamin D, which many people are deficient in, it naturally browns your skin. Just be sure to slather on the sunblock first.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD


Aging and Car Exhaust

In sunny California, cosmetic procedures have a lot to do with fixing aging skin. The more wrinkles we have, the more we worry about how old we appear to others. To combat wrinkles I perform procedures and treatments such as face lifts, Botox and laser skin resurfacing. But have you ever wondered if it’s not just age causing your wrinkles?

Recent studies show that car exhaust and soot is now deemed the third major modifiable factor that causes skin to age early. The top factor is ultraviolet rays, while second place is taken by tobacco smoke. This means that living in a highly populated area could be part of the reason your skin has begun to wrinkle earlier than expected.

It’s been known that soot and car exhaust can be bad for the respiratory system and that it causes minor cognitive failure in the elderly. It even has been linked to type 2 diabetes and is now being studied to see if it is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. But the fact that it can induce skin aging is yet another strike against industrial areas.

Unless you literally live in the country, it’s hard to avoid excessive car exhaust and soot. But you can contribute to the environment by cutting back on the amount you drive, and walk or ride a bike instead. If you live in a heavily populated industrial area, be sure to take extra care of your skin. And when all else fails, there are treatments to combat those early wrinkles at my California plastic surgery practice.

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Vip Dev, MD

How Do Lasers Work?

Laser technology for cosmetic usage has been around for the past 40 years, but has come into its own in the past five years, offering men and women a variety of treatments including hair removal, body sculpting and skin resurfacing. Occasionally, a patient will ask me how the laser actually works. Truth is, until recently, nobody has known the exact underlying processes that occur with lasers! Is it the laser light that motivates the collagen to rebuild or is it the heat that the laser delivers?

A researcher by the name of Susanne Dams, with Philips Research Eindhoven, conducted her own studies on lasers to find the answers.

Dams treated cell cultures and human skin with heat shocks of 45 and 60 degrees Centigrade, without using a laser light. (This is equivalent to 113 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so 113-140 is hot but not boiling hot.) Her results show that the heat shocks increased the production of collagen. When laser light was added, the only measureable difference was the ability of the laser to pinpoint the exact location of heat delivery. This is an important part of the treatment, inasmuch as heating smaller areas of skin is safer than heating larger areas of skin. In fact, her study also showed that heating the skin to 113 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 seconds was the optimal amount of heat to increase collagen. Above that temperature there is no added benefit and, in fact, causes skin cell damage.

Collagen is a skin protein that gives skin elasticity and firmness, the “bounce back” that young skin enjoys. Beginning in the mid-20’s, our collagen production begins to decrease, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Three ways to increase your collagen levels

Studies show that there are 3 primary collagen-builders for those of us in the over-30 crowd:

  • Laser Skin Treatments:
    • Although the CO2 laser is considered the Gold Standard for skin resurfacing, the after-effects force patients to hide from the world for 2-3 weeks as their faces crust over and peel. Not a pretty site and most people don’t have 2-3 weeks to spend for recovery. Fraxel treatments and even chemical peels can obtain similar results, with little to no downtime. Instead of one big treatment, chemical peels and fractionated laser treatments are divided into 4-6 treatments, giving essentially the same results without the recovery time.
  • Retinoids:
    • Retin-A is the only topical skin treatment that is proven to increase collagen. No matter what they tell you on TV, this is a fact. For those in need of this, I can prescribe Retin-A.
  • Hyaluronic Acid Fillers:
    • Fillers made with hyaluronic acid, such as Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane, have been shown to increase collagen. This explains why, over time, you may need less filler each time you come in for a filler treatment. It’s not because you retain the filler from the last treatment, but because your own collagen is rebuilding.

Some things that damage collagen, by the way, are sun exposure and tobacco usage. If you want to keep your looks, use a good sunscreen and don’t smoke!

To your health & beauty,

Vip Dev, MD


UK Gives OK to Botox® for Migraines

According to the O.C. Register’s In Your Face blog, British drug regulators have recently approved Botox® injections for the treatment of migraine headaches. This is good news for the Botox® manufacturer Allergan, who has just undergone an overhaul in their corporate lineup amidst increasing challenges from competitors.

The British approval of Botox® is a step in the right direction for widespread acceptance of the Irvine-based company to market the drug’s off-label uses.  For years, Allergan has sought out FDA approval for Botox® as a migraine treatment without any luck. The company has been running clinical trials since 2004 for migraine treatment. Allergan is also seeking similar approvals in countries such as Canada, France, and Switzerland.

The British decision came in response to clinical trials performed on more than 1,300 patients.  According to the O. C. Register, the study found that Botox® reduced the frequency of migraines in patients who suffered from headaches an average of 15 days or more a month.  Patients who were treated with Botox® averaged 8.2 few days with migraines a month, while the placebo group experienced 6.2 few migraine days in the six months following the start of the trials.

The British study is very similar to earlier trials performed by Allergan in the U.S. Perhaps more extensive research in the United States, in conjunction with influence from the British decision, will sway the FDA to change it’s mind about the use of Botox® for migraine treatment.  Just think: migraine patients may one day have Botox® covered by their health insurance while having the added benefit of wrinkle-reduction.  Not too shabby, right?

To Your Health & Beauty,

Vip Dev, M.D.

The Hidden Dangers of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is one of the most sought after non-invasive skincare treatments in doctor’s offices and medical spas. Microdermabrasion is often marketed safe way to treat acne, scarring, and uneven skin; however, conventional methods could be more harmful than they are helpful.

The popular treatment customarily blasts aluminum oxide crystals to resurface the skin.  Dead skin and aluminum crystals are then vacuumed off the skin. Once touted in the cosmetic industry, the older methods are now being condemned by medical professionals due to the negative effects of the aluminum oxide crystals.
An article by claims that traditional microdermabrasion treatments can have post-treatment reactions that incorporate intense redness, infections, streaking from pressure on the probe, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When not administered by a trained professional, crystals can scatter into the hair, lashes and ears, which can lead to corneal scratches and abrasions.

Never fear, for there are newer technologies available for microdermabrasion treatments. At the California Institute for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, we offer the Dermasweep MD. Unlike conventional microdermabrasion, the Dermasweep does not use crystals and the wand has 9 different brush tips that offer the most flexible and customized treatments for your skin. The treatment can be infused with Vitamin C, Salicylic, Glycolic, and Hyaluronic Acids for maximum effect.

Even though microdermabrasion is classified as a non-surgical procedure, it is important to have your treatment performed under the supervision of highly skilled medical professional. Microdermabrasions in Bakersfield can be performed by licensed aestheticians. More aggressive microdermabrasion procedures, however, should be performed by the physician themselves.

There’s No Simple Cure for Wrinkles

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. According to a study done by the Stanford School of Medicine, popular drug store adhesive pads meant to reduce wrinkles on the forehead and between-eye area may have no added benefit. During the study 30 women were observed over a 4 week period while using the adhesive pads in the forehead and glabella (between the eyes). Although believed to have noticeable wrinkle reduction, two independent facial plastic surgeons measured the before/after wrinkle severity scores as exactly the same.

These over-the-counter products often promote themselves as “alternatives to Botox®” and other popular wrinkle-reducing treatments. Unfortunately, these claims are often untested and are misleading to consumers.

For Bakersfield patients seeking wrinkle-reduction, keep in mind that Botox®, Dysport®, and other wrinkle-reducing treatments are FDA approved and have underwent intense clinical trials. Often times, Bakersfield patients will seek out a plastic surgeon that will pair Botox® with dermal fillers, such as Radiesse® or Juvederm®, for an optimum youthful appearance.

When it comes to anti-aging treatments, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Be Careful of the Beds You Frequent

It has been recently reported by CNN that tanning beds are reported to increase a person’s chance of developing skin cancer by three fold.

The repeated warnings to patients that they face a risk of developing skin cancer from tanning haven’t been very effective–people are still laying out in the sun and tanning in the tanning beds.  So. cosmetologists and dermatologists have begun to focus on the other consequence of tanning: wrinkles.  It is a fact that both the sun and tanning beds can increase wrinkles. Teenagers, who choose to sunbathe, might not consider the damage to their skin. However, there is a strong likelihood that those who choose to tan in their teens will have an elevated risk of developing wrinkles before their mid 20s.

Here in Bakersfield, the sun shines bright and hot most of the year. Please do wear sunscreen and cover your eyes with sunglasses, even if you’re just running out for coffee or to get the mail. Skin cancer is no joke and can really disrupt your life.

To your health & wellness,

Vip Dev, MD