Blog

Melasma: The Mask of Pregnancy and Beyond

melasma-landing.jpg

Melasma happens when the melanocytes (brown pigmented skin cells) become over active and produce too much color. The result is a splotchy brownish grayish mottled appearance of the skin. Although women most commonly suffer from melasma, about 10% of patients are male. Darker skin types have more active melanocytes and are therefore the more susceptible to having melasma. 

Melasma is seen as brown or greying brown patches on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, or chin. Some people also get melasma patches on their neck and arms. Although there is no physical pain or discomfort associated with melasma, the appearance of the splotches can play an emotional toll and affect the confidence of the sufferer. Many women suffering with melasma will tend to over apply thick makeup to cover the splotches, which can lead to additional skin problems. 

So what causes melasma?

Some common melasma triggers are sun exposure, hormonal changes, and irritation from skin care products. 

Sun exposure is the main triggering factor for melanocytes. Our bodies developed melanocytes to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The more sun exposure you have, the more active your melanocytes become and it releases more and more dark pigment called melanin. But not all melanocytes are created equal. We can see the evidence of varying expression of melanocytes in the large array of skin types out there from dark to light, as well as the intermittent activities of freckles and sun spots. Melasma happens when there is a combination of sun exposure and the addition of one more factor… hormones.

So what do hormones have to do with it? 

Hormones are like your bodies chemical text messages. They are signals for your body to do certain things or react in certain ways. In the case of melasma, the hormones are telling the melanocytes that your body needs extra protection. Those melanocytes that both receive those messages and get exposed to sunlight will get hyperactive. This often causes that very blotchy patchy appearance to certain areas of your body. 

There are many reasons for your body to send those extra hormonal signals to your melanocytes, but there is no bigger reason than pregnancy. Melasma and pregnancy so commonly happen at the same time that Melasma has been know as the Pregnancy Mask. Birth control pills will also cause a hormonal trigger than can cause melasma.

In addition, some products are irritants to your skin and create in inflammatory reaction. This can also cause the melanocytes to become hyperactive and overproduce melanin in the presence of sun. 

How can I prevent melasma, especially during pregnancy?

Sun protection in the number one way to prevent the hyperactive melanocytes from releasing excess melanin. First use daily UVA and UVB SPF sunscreen or sunblock, and reapply often. Avoid excessive sun exposure or seek a shady spot and wear a wide brimmed hat to block as many sun rays as possible.

Causey Med Aesthetic has several offerings of sun protection products that are also good for your skin health. View our line of sun protections here.

Now that I have melasma, what can I do to get rid of it?

Melasma can sometimes fade with time all on its own with very little effort. This spontaneous fading will happen over months and sometimes years. Some people however will have melasma for a life time, or for many years longer than they are willing to bear. 

There are several topical chemicals that are prescribed to reduce the clearance of melasma. 

Hydroquinone is often the first line of defense and is the most commonly prescribed treatment. 

Tretinoin is also prescribed, sometimes alone, but also sometimes in addition to hydroquinone. 

Phytoquinone or Kojic Acid are given to help round out the treatment and produce faster, more even results. 

Here is a link to some good products by Causey Med Aesthetic that can be purchased without a prescription. Corrector/Brightening Serum

For stronger products that require a prescription, you will have to see your dermatologist or aesthetic medicine doctor. When topical chemicals are not enough to get complete clearance your dermatologist or aesthetic medicine provider may also prescribe treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning. In addition, a photofacial treatment or laser treatment treatment may be recommended after proper skin conditioning or pre-treatment. A skin care consultation or a care concierge appointment will help you to figure out which treatments are right for you and your skin.

You can call Causey Med Aesthetic to book your appointment. (225) 364-2257 or contact us here.

Causey Med Aesthetic also offers an educational seminar where patients can learn more about melasma, can receive their own complimentary skin care analysis with personalized treatment plan, and receive discounts on products and treatments. Click here for the schedule of events.

With proper medical care, many patients suffering from melasma can experience a complete recovery. Even after a full recovery, sun protection is still recommended to prevent the melasma from returning. 

Check back in soon to hear how other patients have suffered from melasma, and their own journey to recovery. 

What are you doing about your sagging neck?

As we age or as our weight fluctuates, our skin loses elasticity and becomes loose. Often times this is seen as a bulking or a thickening around the lower face and neck. This is also known as the dreaded double chin. There’s also a huge market for neck creams, rollers, and slings for people who are desperate for a solution to the gobble wobble. Many of these lotions and devices are simply hog wash and do not work in the slightest. Don’t get discouraged, as there are some treatments that do work. Here are a few examples of non-invasive, non-surgical techniques that actually work to get a better neckline.

Radio Frequency Skin Tightening

RF tightening works by emitting low level energy waves that specifically target the collagen in your skin. The energy waves will selectively heat up the skin tissue and stimulate the production of collagen. This will rejuvenate the skin and add elasticity to help pull your skin back into its more youthful position. This treatment is ideal for anyone who is of moderate BMI and doesn’t have a huge amount of neck fat. This treatment works best in a series and will require a maintenance appointment every 6 months to prolong your new tighter neck and jawline. The procedure is painless and has no downtime. Each treatment takes approximately 30 minutes for the entire lower face and neck. 

Kybella

For someone who has fat bulk under the chin and in the neck area, Kybella can be a true savior. Kybella is a form of permanent fat reduction. The multiple tiny injections of this medication will cause a permanent destruction of the fat cells in the area under the chin. You will experience a heat and tenderness in the area immediately after and for the first day after treatment. You will also notice an initial swelling of the treated area as your fat cells are destroyed and your body starts its inflammatory reaction. It takes anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks for the destroyed fat cells to be completely cleared from the area. Drink plenty of water and remain active after treatment, but you may immediately return to your normal activities. Most patients require 2 to 4 treatments to achieve satisfactory results.

Micro-needling with PRP

The hottest treatment in aesthetics right now is the Vampire Facial, which is the Instagram name for micro-needling with PRP. While this treatment is used for many purposes such as scar revision and pore refinement, the results that are getting the most traction on social media are the skin tightening and smoothing effects. One treatment of Micro-needling with PRP is producing such dramatic results that celebrities and Instagram Influencers are raving all over the internet about their success. The ideal candidate for this treatment has overall good skin health, but may have some loose skin and crepiness or a rough texture due to scarring or clogged and wide pores. Scarring takes multiple treatments to achieve desired results, but minor skin texture corrections can be achieved in just one. Once desired results are achieved, yearly treatments are recommended to maintain skin tightness and smooth texture.

So what is It? 

Your own blood is drawn with sterile techniques and then spun in a centrifuge to produce your own unique and personal PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). Your face is numbed and then the micro-needling pen painlessly creates micro channels into your skin. These micro channels are a means of bypassing our skin’s natural protective outer layer all the way down to the middle layer which is where the collagen and elastin are formed. Your PRP is rubbed onto your fresh micro channels and then re needled to ensure penetration into the middle skin layer. This process will allow your own body’s natural healing capabilities to stimulate collagen and elastin. The immediate post-procedure effects are redness and tightness similar to a sunburn. With the aid of post-procedure care, the redness and inflammation will be much improved in 24 hours and you can return to your normal activities with tinted physical sunscreen coverage. Over the next two weeks your skin will become much smoother and tighter. 

The most effective facial aesthetic treatment plans utilize a combination of many methods to achieve the most profound results. All three of the above mentioned methods (Radio Frequency Skin Tightening, Kybella, and Microneedling with PRP) can be used in combination to maximize the effect of lower face and neck rejuvenation 

Here are a few sample treatment plans:

Judy R.

Judy R. is a 54 year old female with healthy weight and BMI. She has noticed crepiness on her neck and these two vertical bands that she calls her “turtle neck”. She had some sun damage from her youth but had several IPL photofacials about 5 years ago. After the IPL photofacials she did clear away the sun spots but she also noticed that her skin got tighter and the crepiness was improved. But overtime, the crepiness has returned. She has no upcoming special events and she spends minimal time in the sun and wears daily sunscreen.

Treatment Plan:

5 sessions of radio frequency skin tightening to the entire face and neck area.

One treatment of microneedling with PRP

Botox to loosen the vertical neck bands (Platysmal Bands)

Photo Courtesy of Age Perfectly

Maintenance Plan: 

Daily physical sunscreen and hyaluronic acid serum each night

Monthly Customized facial with alternating hydrating serum, dermal infusion, and dermaplaning

1 session of radio frequency skin tightening every 6 months

1 treatment of microneedling with PRP once per year.

Botox to the vertical neck bands every three months.

David D.

David D. is a 45 year old male. He is in good shape, goes to the gym regularly, and eats a healthy diet. He has always been conscious of his profile, neckline, and jawline. Despite how fit he is and all the exercise that he does, his neck has always been his trouble spot. He tried wearing beards and goatees as a young man to hide his double chin, but now with his job, he cannot wear facial hair. David currently has no skin care routine besides daily shower and shave, and he does not wear daily sunscreen. 

Treatment Plan:

4 sessions of radio frequency skin tightening to lower face and neck spaced 2 weeks apart

4 treatments of Kybella spaced 6 weeks apart. 

4 syringes of HA filler to the chin and jaw

Photo Courtesy of Dr. David Mabrie

Maintenance Plan:

Daily sunscreen, and cleansing routine with enzyme cleanser, toner, and retinol

1 session of radio frequency skin tightening every 6 months

HA Filler maintenance once a year ( 1-2 syringes per year)

Heather G.

Heather is a 26 year old female who is overweight. She has been living a healthier life style for the last year and has lost a significant amount of weight so far. She still has more weight to loose before she reaches her healthy goals. One thing that she has noticed is that her neck is not responding to weight loss. Her neck is not as full and thick as it used to be, but there is still a large proportion of fat in that area and the skin is also getting loose and sagging. She is very discouraged by the appearance of her neck and she is wanting help to see results faster in this area. 

Treatment Plan:

4 sessions of Kybella spaced 6 weeks apart.

3 sessions of radio frequency lower face and neck tightening spaced 2 weeks apart

(This patient also chooses to do skin tightening on her stomach, knees, and arms. This patient is part of the Causey Med Weightloss and Wellness program. We are also reevaluating her skin laxity at each 40lb interval of her weight loss journey)

Photo Courtesy of Clevens Face and Body Specialists

Maintenance Plan:

1 session of radio frequency skin tightening on her lower face and neck every six months

Jessie A.

Jessie A is a 30 year old female who is of healthy weight and is in the beauty industry. She has a makeup video blog and instagram page devoted to everything about makeup, skin care, and hair. She is very precise about contouring her makeup and has perfected her selfie pose. Her main objective with contouring and posing is to hide her double chin. She has an extensive beauty and skin care routine, but it changes frequently as she trials new products and beauty enhancement treatments. She is interested in a more permanent solution for enhancing her beauty and confidence.

Treatment Plan:

1 treatment of microneedling with PRP

2 syringes of HA filler along the jawline

(This patient also opted for botox for the full upper face and filler in the cheeks and tear troughs, she also chose eyelash serum)

Photo Courtesy of The Manse Clinic

Maintenance Program:

1 treatment of microneedling with PRP once per year

1-2 syringes of HA filler per year along the jawline

Consistent skin care routine including enzyme cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and vitamin C serum.

(Upper face maintenance consists of botox every three months and re apply filler to cheeks and tear troughs every one to two years, replenish eyelash serum every 3 months to maintain length and fullness)

NOTE: All patients are real life patients of other physicians and used by Causey Med Aesthetic as solely hypothetical patient summaries. Your results may vary.

#CauseyChallenge

Welcome to the Causey Med Wellness Challenge!

This is a 12-week program starting August 24th  and ending November 16th. 

  • The focus of this challenge is overall wellness, not just weight loss. 
  • You must be a Causey Med Weight loss or Wellness program member (3 month basic). 
  • You must complete your initial consultation with Dr. Drew and two follow up visits.
  • You will be eligible for earning a daily point by posting pictures of the daily themes. To be eligible you must hashtag #CauseyChallenge to your picture.
  • Get additional points for wearing your Causey Med Hat and showing on social media.
    • Meditation Monday (Yoga, Sitting quietly, Zen music)
    • Turn it up Tuesday (Exercise, run club, working out, at the park, sweating)
    • Eat Well Wednesday (Healthy recipes, healthy meals)
    • Thirsty Thursday (Drinking water, staying hydrated)
    • Free yourself Friday (Something fun, festival, park, zoo, kayaking, hiking)
    • Support Saturday (Helping others, volunteering, soup kitchen, donating)
    • SUNday Funday (Sunscreen, applying, large brim hat, sun protectant gear)
  • Join us for weekly for fun and informational sessions for additional points.
  • Wear your Causey Med hat, bring a non-challenge member, blog a video testimonial on social media and tag Causey Med in it and more to earn additional points!
  • Join us for Book Club and learn why your last diet failed. (The Obesity Code). We will hold a twice monthly book club and help you understand why insulin plays an important role in weight loss.
  • Meet up with your Causey Med support system for local fun activities.
  • More information to be determined at our Kickoff Party on August 24th!

Prizes

Besides improving your life, there are also prizes for all your hard work. The top point grossing person will receive one of these ultimate prizes. We will evaluate and counsel which prize is appropriate for each individual. 

  • 2 months of unlimited body contouring with the Vanquish ME
  • 6- 30-minute IPL laser hair reduction sessions
  • 6- Radiofrequency skin tightening sessions
  • 3-months basic wellness membership

Click HERE to request more info

Have you been wondering about Body Contouring?

Dr. Danielle Causey’s most frequently asked questions about body contouring

Belly, Body, Calories, Diet, Exercise, Fat, Female, Fit


What is body contouring? Is it like liposuction?

Body contouring is a general term used for non-invasive, non-surgical fat manipulation. The goal of body contouring is to reduce fat and cellulite in target areas and to tighten the skin. Body Contouring typically works best with a series of treatments and some methods require frequent-to-occasional maintenance appointments. There is very little downtime and most patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately after treatment. Some methods are painless and some have mild discomfort associated with them. As always it is advised to have general good health and healthy habits to enhance and prolong the effects of body contouring. 

Liposuction is a surgical approach to fat removal and some newer systems like FaceTight and BodyTight offer skin tightening with the same procedure. While there is post-operative discomfort and mild-to-moderate downtime, liposuction is the most predictable and aggressive form of permanent fat removal. 

Dr. Danielle, there are so many options out there for body contouring. What is the difference between them and which one is best for me?

There are two main types of body contouring systems: permanent fat destruction and temporary fat reduction. 

The permanent methods work to destroy unwanted fat cells, therefore releasing the fat molecule into your body to be used as fuel or to be flushed out of your body through the lymphatic drainage system. Permanent fat destruction can be achieved through controlled extreme cold as in Coolsculpting, Controlled extreme heat as is SculpSure, controlled radio frequency like Vanquish and Emsculpt, or chemically with mesotheropy and Kybella. These methods are always overseen by a trained and certified doctor. 

Temporary reduction of fat cells works by shrinking the size of the fat molecules. They typically work by compression or dehydration. These methods are usually performed in non medical settings and without doctor supervision. They can be in the form of Red Light therapy, body wraps, and uncontrolled chilling and heating of the external area. These methods tend to have little to no downtime, no discomfort or pain, are very economical, and require constant and frequent maintenance to achieve and retain results. 

Your aesthetic medicine provider can help you decide which body contouring method is right for your body, your expectations, and your budget. 

How quickly can I expect to see results from permanent fat loss body contouring?

As with all medical procedures, results vary by patient, by method, and by provider. It usually takes your body two to six weeks to fully flush the loose fat molecules completely out of your system. The time frame varies depending on your activity level, general metabolism and health, and your hydration. You may also experience minor swelling and inflammation in the area depending on the method. You doctor can fully inform you of the post-operative expectations when you do your initial consultation. 


I’ve been told before that I was not a candidate for Coolsculpting or SculptSure. Why is this, and is there another method that may be right for me?

CoolSculpting and SculptSure are both targeted permanent fat loss that work by sucking the targeted area into an applicator and applying controlled cold or heat. These methods work best for patients who have lower BMI, have a small area of targeted fat that they are trying to treat, and their targeted area must fit into the applicator. If any of these three requirements are not met, then you will not be a good candidate for Coolsculpting or SculptSure. 

Alternatively there are other methods of permanent fat removal that may be right for you. Vanquish ME is permanent fat loss that does not require an applicator, and therefore can treat larger areas and patients with a larger BMI.

“Fat loss from Vanquish ME is circumferential, so you will see loss spread out evenly over the entire body part. “

Mesotheropy and Kybella work by chemically destroying the fat cells. The chemical is injected into the fat in a series of small needle punctures. There is no BMI requirements for this type of treatment, but the downsides are swelling and minor pain from the injections, and greater risks of adverse effects. 

Surgical Liposuction may also be a method you may choose when you have a larger BMI or unwanted fat in an area difficult to get to with applicators or injections. 

Your aesthetic medicine provider will be able to help you determine which method is best for you. 

For more answers to your aesthetic medicine questions, Schedule your care concierge initial consultation by calling (225) 364-2257 or emailing info@causeymedaesthetic.com

Why You Should Get a Monthly Facial

Here’s Why a monthly facial is The Best Thing For Your Skin

A person taking a selfie

Description automatically generated

A Facial is the most overlooked beauty service. 

“Before I became an Aesthetician,I used to think just washing my face and putting on moisturizer before I headed out the door was all I needed. Little did I know, there are many other factors that need to be addressed for the overall health and protection of my skin. I never even knew what facials were or consisted of back in my adolescent years. I used to scroll through magazines and see celebrities with such amazing skin and wonder, ‘How can I get my skin to look like that?’ The answer all along is a facial!” –Kayleigh, Medical Aesthetician at  Causey Med Aesthetic

Facials restore life, buoyancy, and resilience to your skin unlike anything else, so they’re worth splurging on — if not every month, at least once per season. Let me tell you why. Facials are a confusing issue, primarily because of the endless misinformation about exactly what they can do for your skin. In fact, more often than not, women who have gotten facials give us mixed feedback: Some tell us they love how their skin looks, others see no change in their skin, and still others report that they’ve ended up with more problems than they had before they got a facial. A facial should be about skin care, not just relaxation.

Here is what a great facial can provide, over and above just a relaxing experience:

  1. Thoroughly cleansed skin
  2. Softening and removal of blackheads and whiteheads (called milia) via manual extraction
  3. Temporary improvement of severely dehydrated skin with rich, emollient nourishing masks that begin restoring skin’s natural barrier function
  4. Plumping skin with a well-formulated moisturizer, which temporarily smooths out wrinkles
  5. Exfoliating skin with a gentle scrub, a light chemical peel, or a peel-off mask to achieve a smoother surface
  6. Help to fade brown discolorations, improve skin tone, and significantly reduce wrinkles with a professional-strength AHA or BHA treatment

Aestheticians really know how to get in there and get the job done! 

At-home mask and pore strips can only achieve minimal results. When you get a facial, I can honestly say your pores will be 100% clear. You will look and feel revived and your skin can breathe again. Say Good bye to clogged pores and oily residue and Hello to a fresh face.

What is The Best Facial to Choose

There are dozens of types of facials offered by a range of dermatologists, salons, and spas, and you want to make sure you choose the one that will benefit your skin the most. There are treatments for dry skin, aging skin, eczema, cystic acne, laser treatments for dullness and elasticity, and more. 

Causey Med Aesthetic can guide you in the right direction using our exclusive skin analysis system called the OPTIC|SLIM. It captures images from several different angles to properly assess the patients’ skin condition; uncovering UV radiation damage, wrinkles growing in the subcutaneous layers of the skin, clogged pores, moisture levels, brown spots, and more. We can help you better understand the condition of your skin and how to properly treat it with our recommendations.  

Our Aesthetician can create a customized facial to fit your skin concerns and needs that will be safe, gentle and corrective. When booking your appointment don’t be afraid to ask questions. Let our team know about your concerns and goals you are wanting to accomplish so that our skin care specialist can address them properly. 

A person sitting on a table

Description automatically generated

Relax.

Facials are Relaxing and a Great Stress Reliever 

Your experience at Causey Med Aesthetic will be the best part of your day. We provide a relaxing ambiance, soft music, and special treatments, making our guests feel like royalty. Additionally, our facial beds are heated, which makes you want to curl up in a ball and never leave. Our patients always find themselves asleep by midway into their facial when they are in the care of our Aesthetician. 

Causey Med Aesthetic Facial Glow up is Real 

One of the most rewarding parts of receiving a facial is having your skin glow like a beaming light of distraction. No make-up necessary, clean, recharged, and refreshed glowing skin to conquer your day feeling brand new. Facials make you feel fabulous and they are necessary for healthy skin. Treat yourself to a facial whether it’s to unclog your pores, treat acne related issues, anti-aging or relaxation. I promise you will thank me later!

Kayleigh, Medical Aesthetician