Friday, November 1, 2013

Put your best leg forward!

As if the signs of aging on your face and neck aren't enough to force you to make a deal with the devil...then come the signs of aging on your body. Imagine my dismay, when I recently peeked at my upper thighs and realized that a road map of purple veins had crept up overnight. Lucky for me, treatment for spider veins on the legs is quite easy and effective! Here are a few quick facts about this laser service:

Treatment can only be done on spider veins. If you have varicose veins, you must see a vascular specialist to receive treatment. Not sure which kind of veins you have? Come in for a free consultation!

Treatment is usually completed in only 15 minutes per leg. For time may be necessary depending on the amount of veins present.

Leg veins are improved after the first treatment. Most people are completely satisfied with the appearance of their veins after the initial treatment and one follow-up treatment.

You can resume regular activities on the day following the treatment. Of course, certain exceptions do exist... no marathon running in the weeks following treatment!

The treatment is only minimally painful and presents only very mild side effects.The area treated will be red, with a sensation of warmth, and the veins will visibly raise above the surface. All of these resolve after a short period of time!

Do you want to see some before and after pictures?

Interested in learning more? Contact us today at 312-770-SKIN to schedule a free consultation and to take advantage of our November special, where you can receive two 15 minute sessions of leg vein removal for only $250 until December 20th, 2013! Regular price is $700!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Obliterate your summer damage!

Usually by mid September we are facing chilly nights and fading tans, but this fall's fluctuating weather makes it hard to think of the impending change to cooler fall and winter weather. With each change of season, we swap out our wardrobes and home decor, but do we think about a shift in our skin care regimen? Most people probably have skin care at the back of their minds, especially in the time of back to school prep and the upcoming holiday season. I'm here to rescue you! Fall is the best time of year to re-evaluate your routine and re-focus on eliminating the damage caused by summer! With each year that we age, it is inevitable that sun damage and "age spots" start peeking through previously flawless skin. I have faith that all of you are doing an impeccable job of protecting yourselves each day with spf 45 and a large hat, but often that damage we see is from the bygone summers of our youth. So what can you do now?

First, keep up with the daily use of broad spectrum sun protection to prevent any further damage.

Next, establish a home care regimen that promotes healthy exfoliation and features ingredients to brighten your complexion. Of course, it is best to come in for a consultation so that I can determine the proper products, but here is my basic ABC to fighting sun damage!

Vitamin A (also known as Retinol or Retinoic Acid) is an agent that increases cell turnover and promotes the healthy exfoliation of cells, which means that old skin will slough away to show the fresh new skin underneath! My favorite retinol product is the Tretinol ($60) from gloTherapeutics, used once nightly. It is similar in strength to Retin-A, without the irritation that is often a complaint of the original cream version. I think it has an awesome silky feel that exfoliates without leaving the skin raw or red.

Vitamin B comes in many forms. Do you know how many b vitamins there are? Too many to list! So here are the top two to include in your fight against summer damage! Vitamin b3 (Niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin that is known to treat and prevent sun damage/hyperpigmentation, ALONG WITH rosacea, acne, eczema, dermatitis, and aging skin. Most multi-vitamins contain b3, but since it is water soluble, it passes through your body very quickly and will need to be replenished throughout the day in the foods you eat, such as: fish, shellfish, beef, lamb, cheese and eggs. As for the topical application of vitamin b5 (panthenol), I recommend B5 Hydration ($57) from gloTherapeutics, to nourish and hydrate dry and damaged post-summer skin. Use daily after your serum, and before your moisturizer to improve your skin's suppleness and brighten your complexion!

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid is nature's bleach! Do you have dark spots and an uneven complexion? Large pores? This should be your GO-TO ingredient in your skin care regimen! Vitamin C is another vitamin that can be sourced through food and can be found in papayas, brussel sprouts, strawberries, oranges, bell peppers, and kale. Topically, Vitamin C is best applied in the form of a thin serum, and stored in an amber jar with a medicine dropper. True vitamin C products lose both their stability and efficacy when stored any other way. Vitamin C will shrink pores, lighten existing pigment and even out skin tone. Of course, my favorite is the 15% Vitamin C Serum ($95) from gloTherapeutics. Apply daily on bare skin and then follow with b5 Hydration and then an appropriate moisturizer.

Lastly, you should establish a regimen of professional care that compliments the home care routine I mentioned above. There are many treatments that help to reduce or eliminate sun damage, however it is best to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to determine which of these treatments is best for you! In most cases, a series of moderate chemical peels is the first step, followed by series of laser treatments. When it comes to sun damage and other hyperpigmentation, sometimes IPL photofacials can eliminate the damage in only one or two treatments. Often, if the damage is deeper or more stubborn, a series of fractional skin resurfacing treatments may be necessary. We offer both of these services in our office, and encourage you to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to learn more! You can also visit our website at to learn more about the laser treatments we offer!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Skin Tightening by Thermage

In our youth, skin is tight, elastic and smooth. After the age of 18, however, gravity and the environment begin to take a toll on skin, leading to decreased elasticity and sagging or loose skin! Are your suffering from this common skin concern? Wondering about what your options are?

When clients come to me to discuss options for sagging and aging skin, I often refer them to Thermage, or radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening. RF energy penetrates deep into the skin and affects skin at the deep dermis and subcutaneous (fat) layers. This RF energy causes a tightening in the skin by improving the underlying tissue structure. RF energy, however, DOES NOT improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkling, texture, or tone.

So what can Thermage improve?

It can treat the hooding around the eye area or to lift the brow line. It can smooth and tighten sagging skin around the jawline or "turkey neck." It can also smooth bulges and contour loose skin around the abdomen.

So how do you know if you are a good candidate for Thermage?

Come into our office and schedule a free consultation! We can answer all of your questions about skin tightening, along with providing information on all of our skin care products and services. Call us now at 312-770-7546.

Friday, October 5, 2012

KP Part 3: Professional Do's and Don'ts

Now that you have the 411 on KP, here is a list of Do's and Don'ts in dealing with the symptoms of KP.

DO take measures to keep skin moisturized, especially in dry winter months.

DO use special lotions that contain exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic or lactic acid.

DO gently massage the lotions into the affected area at least twice a day.

DO use a mild scrub or loofah to gently exfoliate the area weekly.

DO book professional treatments with a medical aesthetician to increase the effectiveness of your home care regimen.

DO consult a physician if your KP bothers you, as they can sometimes prescribe medication to clear it.

DON'T scrub the skin harshly, scrape the affected area, or pick at the bumps. This WILL cause permanent scarring.

DON'T expect immediate results or a permanent cure to your KP. Treatment can manage symptoms and improve the cosmetic appearance of the skin, but regular care will be required to maintain results.

DON'T forget your spf 30+ sunscreen daily, 365 days a year. Skin that is affected by KP is at a higher risk for sun sensitivity, especially if you are treating with AHA products or topical retinoids. If your skin is over-exposed to the sun, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can occur and permanent scarring will result.

Book a consultation today to regain control of your chicken bumps!

KP Part 2: Treatment Options

Keratosis pilaris, or KP, is a skin disorder with no universal cure. KP often fluctuates in severity depending on the season and with age. Often it is worse in children, and gets a bit better with age, although 40% of adults still see symptoms. The dry winter air often worsens the appearance of KP, and the warmer summer months seem to improve the disorder. So what should you do? If your KP bothers you, there are many professional and home care treatment options that can improve and manage the appearance of these bumps. As a medical aesthetician, I recommend beginning with less invasive treatments before moving to prescription products or more invasive medical procedures.

*** SPOILER ALERT *** Remember that there is no cure, and the following treatment options will work for some and not for others. It is best to seek a medical aesthetician or dermatologist advice, instead of trying to gain a quick fix with over-the-counter remedies.

1. Regular professional exfoliation is necessary. Scheduling monthly microdermabrasions or chemical peels with a medical aesthetician will help increase cell turnover and remove the hard plugs of keratin from the hair follicle.

2. A home care regimen that includes a cleanser and moisturizer with moderate to high (15-30%) percentages of lactic acid, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid to hydrate and exfoliate the skin. We recommend the Daily Exfoliating Cleanser and Firming Body Cream from Vivite, due to its high percentage of glycolic acid. (It works great on smoothing the skin all over the body too).

3. If hair follicles are clogged with ingrown hairs after the hard plugs of keratin have been removed, then it is recommended to do a course of laser hair removal to stop the production of hair growth in the affected areas.

4. Once your KP has cleared, sometimes scars can be left on the skin. In this instance IPL photorejuvenation can minimize the appearance of these scars.

The best way to determine what your course of treatment should be, it is best to schedule a consultation with a medical aesthetician. Remember, at Chicago Skin Solutions consultations are always free!

Keratosis pilaris Part 1: Why do I have "chicken bumps" on my arms?

Chicken bumps, gooseflesh, chicken skin, or permanent goosebumps? Well, that sure sounds attractive. Personally, I suffer from the unsightly red bumps on my upper arms too, as do more than 40% of adults. These bumps, and my inability to treat them, is part of what drove to me to become a medical aesthetician. On my first day of class, I raised my hand to ask what they were. "Keratosis pilaris" is the proper medical term used to describe the condition that so many people suffer from. In the interest of medical aesthetics, I refuse to refer to them as "Chicken bumps" or "gooseflesh" any longer. So what exactly is KP and what causes it? KP is a benign (harmless) and genetic (runs in families 80% of the time) skin condition in which protein (keratin) in the skin forms hard plugs around the hair follicles. While KP is an extremely common disorder, there is not much research dedicated to the cause or treatment of this condition. All we seem to know is that some people produce an excessive amount of the keratin protein (called hyperkeratinization) and that the symptoms seem to flare up in winter and improve in summer. Your dermatologist or medical aesthetician can usually recognize the symptoms of KP, and further tests are not necessary. While KP is benign, it is a condition that is often cosmetically bothersome. If that is the case for you, come in to see me and we can discuss a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. At Chicago Skin Solutions, CONSULTATIONS ARE ALWAYS FREE! Call 312-770-7546 to schedule one today!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Aren't you too young for Botox?"

I hear that question almost everyday! Of course, in my line of work, talking about Botox is very common. What surprises people is that at 29 years old, I have had Botox treatments for 2 years already and I am NOT afraid to admit it to anyone who asks. Of course, most people think that I am nuts because I look completely wrinkle free. I always hear "Why do you get Botox? You don't need it!" To which I can promptly respond, "Well, then I guess it is doing what it is supposed to be doing!" At this point, my friends usually fire these 5 most common (and somewhat comical) questions at me! I've decided to answer them below because they are common questions that people have, but may be afraid to ask!

*Please remember when you read the questions and answers below, that I am offering NO medical advice. Please know that I am NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR, and I have never played one on TV... so do the smart thing and schedule a consultation with Dr. Hulten for more information!*

1. Tell me how Botox works... and not in medical terms!

Botox is used to stop communication between nerves and the injected muscles, which reduces the muscle activity that causes those persistent wrinkles to form. In other words: no wrinkles!

2. Wouldn't I have to be crazy to be shot up with Botulism?

Botox is actually a lab created purified protein, that has been FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe wrinkles. It is extremely safe!

3. Could I be allergic to Botox, like Kim Kardashian, and have a serious reaction?

Severe allergic reactions to Botox are extremely rare. The most common reported side effect is spot bruising or slight swelling at the injection sites. Nothing that a little concealer couldn't cover! As for Kim Kardashian...a reaction of that kind, if possible at all, would be extremely rare.

4. If I do Botox, am I going to end up looking like one of those crazy housewives from that reality show?

How you look after your injections is entirely up to you. If you are interested in soft correction, where you are still able to move the muscles that cause the expression lines, then less Botox would be used. If you are interested in completely freezing the muscles and eliminating all movement, well then we can do that too!

5. Do I need to take time off work to receive Botox?

Only if you want to! Most patients receive Botox on their lunch break and go back to work with no one the wiser!

I hope that the questions and answers above have helped make the decision to receive Botox treatment easier for you! Just remember, in 30 minutes or less, you can eliminate the angry 1's in between your brows, the crinkles around your eyes, or the wrinkles on your forehead that resemble a package of hot dogs!