Acne varies with seasons

Did you know that acne can vary with the seasons?  Often the skincare you use in summer is not suitable in the winter.  Why?

We now know that winter dryness affects the ceramides in the both healthy and acneic skin. By replenishing the health of the skin, acne can be reduced during these times.  By understanding  skin function and barrier function, we can now help with topical cosmeceuticals as well as prescription based topicals.

acne varies with seasons


Do you know how some of the celebrities achieve their flawless glowing skin?  Microneedling is part of their secret – although several celebrities have publicly announced that they do this procedure.

Microneedling has been around Europe for a long time but only now has   become more popular in North America thanks to celebrities now using it.  Microneedling is also known as PCI or percutaneous collagen induction therapy.   It is very useful to rejuvenate the skin with very little risk unlike lasers. Unlike fillers or botulinum, it does change the skin texture.   Additionally, it can be an effective tool for reducing scarring, stretch marks, acne scars  and fine wrinkles.  It is safe for treatment under the eyes which can be a challenging area with other devises.

It can be done in many different ways to achieve different outcomes.  We can adjust the needles to be very superficial and infuse hyaluronic acid to give a beautiful plump glow before an event.  OR, it can be used more aggressively to puncture tiny holes in the skin followed by the application of specialized vitamins according the the skin condition.   We even use it for burn scars to improve the healing.

How does it work?  By inflicting tiny areas of injury on the skin, the body produces epidermal growth factor, fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (Plast Reconstr Surg June 2010).  The results are not immediate.  We tell our clients to wait 2 months before the next treatment.

What can you expect?  With the superficial hydrating needling, your skin will be pinkish, fresh and dewy.  For more aggressive treatments, you will look very red, as if you had a sunburn  or even a bit swollen and your skin can be a bit sore with flaking occurring a few days later.   You will be instructed to use very gentle cleansers, specialized products and LOTS of hydration cream to allow to skin to regenerate.

This is a wonderful procedure for people of all skin types and colours.

Rosacea Ottawa Manotick

Rosacea is more common than you may think.  It may affect up to 3.6 million Canadians according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. Many people coming to the office complain of redness, bumpiness, acne or spider veins on their faces, not knowing that this is actually a medical problem called rosacea.

Several factors  contribute to rosacea including heredity,  heat, stress and emotions.  Sometimes certain foods such as alcohol or spicy foods can make it worse.

We recommend that everyone  use a good quality sunscreen for starters.  There are several prescription topical preparations such as brimonidine, azelaic acid , ivermectin and metronidazole that can be prescribed.  Oral medications such as tetracycline can be  used as anti-inflammatory agents or low dose isotretinoin.

A devise called IPL (intense pulsed light) is useful to reduce the intense redness of the skin or the visible capillaries and should be used with medical supervision.

All of the above are available through Clarite Laser after seeing our Medical Director.



Hyperpigmentation – combination therapy

Pigmentation (dark spots) on the skin cause many people to seek treatment.

You should always be checked by a physician first to ensure the spots are not of a medical concern.  If you do not have a physician, our experienced medical director will do an assessment.  Spots include  melasma, solar lentigines (“old age spots”), and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

We have many available treatments for this disorder including topical therapy such as retinoids, azelaic acid, kojic acid, hydroquinone in prescription formats as well as cosmeceutical products.  Procedures such as microdermabrasion , chemical peels , laser and IPL phototherapy can be used in combination with optimal results.   We also recommend particular combinations of sun protection to reduce the chance of the spots returning.

Melasma mostly occurs in women, although up to 10% of men may experience this problem also.  Heredity combined with hormones and  sun do play factors in this..  Lasers, peels and products must be used with caution because irritating the skin may in fact cause more pigmentation.

At Clarite we offer a special regime for this difficult to treat condition consisting of a series of specialized peels with products  and procedures for the face. .  The results are slow but noticeable.  For “age spots” often the IPL treatments or laser treatments with the Alexandrite laser can be offered with results in 1-3 treatments.

IPL Intense Pulsed Light Ottawa

At Clarite Laser we offer a clarifying skin treatment featuring  Intensed Pulse Light (IPL)   It  uses  a form of light to treat brown spots, redness and fine lines on the skin to achieve a more even complexion, reduce acne and help reduce the brown spots on arms, hands and other areas of the body.

Unlike laser which uses a specific wave length, IPL has broad wavelengths which allow it to treat a variety of brown pigment such as age spots and freckles to red capillaries and the redness of rosacea.   Another benefit is that it can increase collagen, reduce fine lines and produce a more even complexion.  It is also effective on the neck and decollete area. Our IPL features cooling and is gentle yet effective.

Usually 4 – 6 treatments are needed with little to no downtime.

Coconut oil in Skin Treatment

Coconut oil has been used for a long time for use on the skin.  Not surprisingly it  can be used successfully  for skin hydration safely.  Currently it is being used both in hair care products as well as skin care products.

There is evidence also that virgin coconut oil (VCO) , as well as sunflower seed helps maintain healthy skin in low-birth-weight babies.  It also seems  it also has antibacterial properties as  confirmed in preliminary studies.

Are there potential side effects?  Yes.  Some people may develop a skin reaction, however the risk is low .

So, if your skin is dry, bathe or shower with a gentle moisturizing  soap, rinse and pat dry.  Then put coconut oil to maintain the moisture and hydration.

Acne in Darker Skin Types

Acne is a problem for anyone who has it, but in darker skinned individuals pigmentation (darker spots) is a real issue.  This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  Physicians treating this condition need to be careful with products used as to not cause more inflammation and skin irritation

Even before the acne is visible, medication applied may reduce the inflammation and therefore reduce pigmentaion.  There are specific medications that are less likely to irritate than the commonly used retinol based creams.

A prescription containing hydroquinone may be given for a short time followed by a hydroquinone free product.  At all times sun protection must be used.

So don’t give up!  For a clearer complexion make sure you visit a qualified doctor experienced in this area.