PhotoDerm Treatment for Brown and Red Spots

ipl-duo-wmWhat is PhotoDerm?

Natural Image OC’s PhotoDerm technology is a treatment breakthrough that can help correct a variety of skin conditions such as facial skin imperfections, the signs of aging, unsightly small veins, Rosacea, uneven pigmentation and can improve skin texture and other blemishes.

It offers a safe, gently and non-invasive solution that can be tailored to your individual condition and skin type, providing superior cosmetic results and outstanding satisfaction.

How Does the PhotoDerm Work?                                                  

Pulses of a specific type of light (mostly infrared) are applied to the skin. This light is then absorbed by the skin creating warmth. Irregularities such as pigment marks, small veins or clusters of veins will naturally absorb more light. The brown and red pigmented cells in the skin then become much warmer than the healthy surrounding skin tissue. This heat process causes these cells to be reabsorbed by the body, in time fading away. The effect of heating the skin and the deeper layers of collagen is that the skin will also be stimulated to function more efficiently, therefore producing a firmer, fresher complexion, reducing pore size and evening out skin texture, tone and color.

What Skin Problems Will PhotDerm Improve?                                                                                                                                                                                  

PhotoDerm can be used on any part of the face and body, including the hands, chest, back and arms. Because PhotoDerm is not a laser, it is suitable for use on skin that has irregular texture or color. Particular pigmentation conditions of the face may call for a different treatment program such as Cosmelan for melasma or Mixto Laser Resurfacing for more intensive combination skin issues.

Expected Results of Your PhotoDerm Treatments:

  • Elimination or reduction of small capillaries or redness (from sun damage or Rosacea)
  • Elimination or reduction of pigmentation and discoloration
  • Improved firmness to the skin
  • Reduction in pore size
  • Reduction of fine lines
  • General improvement of texture and tone of the skin

The treatment is usually recommended as a series of 3 to 6 procedures (depending on your skin condition) approximately 3 or 4 weeks apart. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes. If you have any questions regarding your skin or the PhotoDerm treatment, contact our office at: 949-448-0487


The Benefits of Fraxel Thulium Laser – YOU, YOUNGER

Thulium RA Most of us wish we could slow down the effects aging has on our looks – and maybe even get a few years back in the process. Fraxel® is proven laser technology that can help reverse the visible effects of aging, naturally helping you look as young as you feel. With Fraxel, change isn’t drastic or scary – it’s you, just younger.

Age spots are a result of sunning, rather than aging. These spots—also called sunspots, brown spots or liver spots—are flat, uneven dark patches on the face, neck, chest, hands and arms and other areas that are regularly exposed to the sun. Though usually harmless, these blotchy brownish patches can make you look and feel older than you really are.
thulium-rangl-duo-wm In the sun, your body reacts by producing a pigment called melanin to protect  your skin from ultraviolet rays. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your skin may overreact by producing too much melanin. That increased pigmentation can result in age spots, which fall into a broad medical category called “pigmented lesions.”

Fraxel is effective on:
• Fine lines and wrinkles – like crow’s feet and brow lines
• Surface scarring – erasing effects of acne and other scarring
Pigmentation – minimizing the appearance of age spots
• Sun damage – helping heal dangerous skin damage
Actinic Keratosis (AK) – a common pre-cancerous skin condition 

Thulium WMFraxel is a non-invasive laser therapy providing a wide array of treatment options to address many forms of aging, customized to each patient’s needs and concerns, many requiring   minimal recovery time. It’s the perfect solution for people who want their skin to look younger, but don’t want to look plastic or fake and can’t afford a lot of time away from work or their social life.
Thulium Laser Treatment is a “fractional” treatment that produces thousands of deep, tiny columns in your skin, called microscopic treatment zones (mtz). The term “fractional” means that only a percentage of the skin surface is affected with each pass of the laser. Fraxel intensively treats only some of the epidermal cells without affecting all of them. This method of fractionally treating the skin reduces healing time and promotes the skin’s natural process for creating new, healthier tissue to replace the damaged cells.
Whether your problems are pre-cancerous areas, sun spots, age spots, rough skin, wrinkles, acne scars or surgical scars, Fraxel Thulium laser treatment offers improvements that previously were only available through more invasive laser procedures, which often required extensive healing and discomfort. If you have any questions regarding your skin or the Fraxel Thulium treatment, contact our office at: 949-448-0487.


Sun Exposure and Skin Damage

woman-sunscreen-sun-tan-lotion-bikini-skinSummer has left, but has the damage it’s done to your skin remained?
The sun makes us feel good, and in the short-term, make us look good. However, this love story doesn’t end well. Exposure to the sun causes wrinkles and age spots on our skin. Although we often associate a tan skin with good health, in reality, a tan obtained from being in the sun – or in a tanning booth – actually accelerates the effects of aging and increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in our skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will certainly show later in life.

How Does the Sun Change My Skin?
Exposure to the sun causes:
• Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions – due to decreases in the skin’s immune function
• Benign tumors
• Fine and coarse wrinkles
• Freckles
• Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
• Sallowness — a yellow discoloration of the skin
• Telangiectasias — the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
• Elastosis — the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines, wrinkles and sagging skin)
woman-apply-sunscreen-628x363-TS-101526068Choosing a Sunscreen

“Nine out of 10 skin cancers are related to exposure to the sun”

Nine out of 10 skin cancers are related to exposure to the sun (Timothy C. Flynn, M.D., President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery). If you have been forgetting to apply sunscreen daily, then take into consideration that there are many ways that too much sun exposure can damage your skin, making it age prematurely. UV radiation increases wrinkles and moles, creates discolored spots or patches and can produce an uneven skin tone and leathery texture.
The fact is sunscreen can save your life. Buy a high-quality product with an SPF of 15 or higher; check its ingredients to make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection; reapply frequently and decide whether it works better for everyday incidental use or extended outdoor use. Finally, take a look at Natural Image OC’s sunscreen selection.

How You Can Rid of Chest Wrinkles


The skin just below the neck can reveal a woman’s age just as easily as her hands can. Cleavage wrinkles are deep, vertical creases caused by hours spent sleeping on one’s side. The lines can develop from the use of sports and push-up bras, which squeeze the breasts together and are often worn for hours on end.

Once the collagen in skin breaks down from age and sun exposure, those wrinkles tend to deepen. And thanks to gravity, the generously endowed — whether naturally or surgically — unfortunately tend to be more afflicted.  Luckily, there is now a solution to chest wrinkles! Natural Image OC is pleased to announce that as of June 20, 2014, the new Ultherapy® Décolletage Treatment received FDA-clearance to non-invasively treat the chest to improve lines and wrinkles on the décolleté. So to prepare for the Natural Image OC office launch of the new treatment (date will be announced shortly), I’d like to take the time to explain what it is and how it can benefit you.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy® is a non-surgical ultrasound procedure to lift and tighten loose skin without any downtime. It utilizes the Ulthera® System, which is cleared by the FDA for use as a non-invasive treatment to lift skin on the neck, on the brow, under the chin and most recently, the chest. Ultherapy® is the only non-invasive treatment that can specifically target the deep foundation below, without cutting the surface of the skin. It is also the only aesthetic procedure to use ultrasound imaging, which allows practitioners, such as myself, to actually see the deep layers of tissue treated during the procedure and ensure the energy is delivered where it will be most effective.

The skin’s response to the Ultherapy® treatment is to strengthen existing collagen and stimulate the growth of fresh, new collagen. This results in a gradual tightening and firming effect and a natural lift of the skin over time.

Can Ultherapy® be combined with other treatments?

When Ultherapy® is combined with Sculptra they can certainly complement each other; and a patient often see amazing results. Sculptra is a “collagen stimulant” which is used to replenish volume. It is injected in a series of treatments (typically 3), and takes around 15-20 minutes for the procedure. The results show in about 6 weeks, as the body is creating the collagen. It has been FDA approved since 2004.

Sculptra provides a patient with gradual, long lasting, more natural results. To avoid discomfort, patients should wait to get Ultherapy® treatments a minimum of three months (the longer the better) after receiving Sculptra. I would recommend treating with Ultherapy® first and Sculptra soon after, so that the treatment period can be shortened.299

What are the key benefits of the Ultherapy® Décolletage Treatment?

  • Its non-invasive
  • There’s no downtime
  • It takes just 30 minutes
  • It’s a safe ultrasound treatment
  • It improves lines and wrinkles on the chest
  • It stimulates the body’s natural collagen production

What sort of results are expected?

Some patients will see an initial effect right after their treatment, but the real results are visible after about three months as new collagen builds smooth skin on the chest.  Most patients enjoy fresh, young collagen for at least a year after their procedure. As skin continues to age, future touch-up treatments can help keep up with the natural aging process.

When will the Ultherapy® Décolletage Treatment be available?

The Ultherapy® Décolletage Treatment will be available in more than 1,500 physician practices across the U.S., including Natural Image OC, starting the third quarter of 2014.

For more information on this treatment, contact our office at 949-448-0487.

Why You Should Know the Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery

Many people use the words “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” interchangeably; which has led most to believe that they are the same. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may not seem like a big deal, for those looking to get one of these procedures done, the last thing needed is confusion.

Cosmetic surgery is recognized by the AMA (American Medical Association) as a separate and distinct specialty from plastic surgery. It is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques, and can be performed on all areas of the head, neck and body.

On the other hand, plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature. Plastic surgeons (like many other surgical specialists, including but not limited to, Otolaryngologists/ENT, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists) do learn cosmetic procedures during their residency. However, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) only recommends that residents in plastic surgery perform 55 cosmetic procedures to be considered adequately trained. These include ten breast augmentations, seven face lifts, eight blepharoplasties, six rhinoplasties; five abdominoplasties, ten liposuctions, and nine “other” cosmetic procedures.

I do not believe that number of procedures is enough to truly become efficient in the full scope of cosmetic surgery and in fact, most plastic surgery educators agree with me. This is exemplified in a 2008 article published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, where a survey of cosmetic surgery training in plastic surgery program directors encouraged their residents to pursue some type of postgraduate cosmetic fellowship. There is no doubt that the residency experience pales in comparison to formal fellowship training in cosmetic/aesthetic surgery.

The Difference Between “Cosmetic” and “Plastic” Surgery

  • Cosmetic surgery procedures enhance a person’s appearance toward some aesthetic ideal.
  • Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields including dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, general surgeons, gynaecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, as well as doctors from other fields.
  • Unlike cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery focuses on repairing and reconstructing abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.

How to Find a Qualified Cosmetic Surgeon

To find the most qualified doctor for a cosmetic procedure, it is recommended that you compare a doctors’ overall (residency and post-residency) training, experience and proven competence with respect to that specific cosmetic procedure.

Keep in mind that the residency training required to become board certified in plastic surgery may not include training to many common cosmetic procedures. Therefore the title “board certified plastic surgeon” may indicate certain training and experience in plastic surgery, however, it does not necessarily indicate the same training and experience in cosmetic surgery.

Natural Image OC is based on the premise that cosmetic surgery doesn’t have to leave you looking as if you had surgery. Old school surgical techniques often create over-tightened, flat, wind-swept appearances. Dr. Sikorski’s early training in Fine Arts gave her plenty of background in understanding how to create – and recreate – natural facial contours through surgery. For 15 years she perfected artistic talents through drawing, painting and sculpting as a primary educational pursuit. Transitioning into Cosmetic Surgery put those finely honed skills and training to work right away.

If you or someone you know is considering a cosmetic or dermatological procedure please contact us today for a free consultation: 949.448.0487

How CoolSculpting Can Make You Look Hot This Summer


Did summer creep up on you this year? Are you dreading putting on a bathing suit because of stubborn fat or a problem area?  Summer can be a very stressful time, especially when you look one way and yearn to look another. And let’s face it; many of us are constantly on the go and live busy lives. So what is the easiest, fastest and safest way to get your beach body in shape in no time? One word: CoolSculpting


Other procedures that use laser, sonic waves and even surgery to remove fat can actually destroy other tissue in the process by burning, shattering or extracting non-fat cells. This requires downtime for your body to heal. Totally “uncool”.

Fortunately, CoolSculpting doesn’t burn, shatter or extract any cells. Developed by Harvard scientists, Natural Image OC’s unique, FDA-cleared, patented procedure uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Only fat cells are frozen. Your healthy skin cells remain, well, healthy. No knives. No suction hoses. No needles. No scars. Once crystallized, the fat cells die and are naturally eliminated from your body. In a few months, boom: say hello to a new you.


Stay on the go and still lose weight

Unlike a lot of other procedures, CoolSculpting takes very little time and is pretty simple to fit into your daily life. After your CoolSculpting treatment you can typically get right back to your busy day. Each treatment lasts one hour – the same time you might spend at the gym. So you can easily fit your appointment into a lunch break.

After one visit, you’ll typically see a noticeable reduction of fat. It takes a few months to fully realize the effects, mainly because it takes that long for your body to naturally dispose of the fat cells. And yes, you can lose even more with additional appointments if you and your doctor deem it necessary.

So after a few months, your clothes will fit better and you will look better. What’s more, there are no pills or supplements. And as long as you maintain your normal diet and exercise, your long-term results should remain stable. Hello, you again. How cool is that?

Natural Image OC is based on the premise that cosmetic surgery doesn’t have to leave you looking as if you had surgery. Old school surgical techniques often create over-tightened, flat, wind-swept appearances. If you or someone you know is considering a cosmetic or dermatological procedure please contact us today for a free consultation: 949.448.0487

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

It’s not really summer until you’ve soaked up the sun at the beach, poolside or during some other outdoor activity. However, no matter what time of year it is, it’s important to protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. Exposure to UV radiation is the number-one cause of skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Fortunately, most types of skin cancer can be prevented or successfully treated if they are found early.

Because most skin cancer is caused by excessive and unprotected exposure to UV radiation, here are a few simple steps you can take to help protect you and your family:

1.) Clothing: Studies have shown that clothing is the most important protector against the sun. The more skin you cover, the better. Unfortunately, at the beach or pool, this isn’t always such a great option. However, there are great surf shirts, rash guards and other clothes which are equivalent to SPF 50 and look great.

  • Surf shirts: Long sleeves are better than short sleeves. But also make sure they are SPF sun protective. These are especially a great option for young children that are difficult to apply sunscreen to.
  • Hats: The wider the brim the better, but even a baseball cap at least covers the top of your head and nose.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes. Don’t forget about UV damage to them too! If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experience an effect called photokeratitis. Like a “sunburn of the eye”, photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.

2.) Be Aware of Light Reflection: Always keep in mind that water, snow and sand can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s rays.

3.) Time of Day: 10-4 pm is the worst time to be in the sun. But if you have no other choices then try to stand in the shade. Standing in the shade works like an SPF because it prevents you from getting full sun exposure.

4.) Sunscreen: 

  • Use an SPF 30 or above with both UVA and UVB protection. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours when in the sun, or every 45 minutes if you’re in water.
  • Replace your sunscreen every week to retain effectiveness.
  • For more tips on sunscreen use, refer to my blog “Why Sunscreen Should be Part of your Daily Beauty Regiment

5.) Medications: Watch out for medications that increase sun sensitivity, such as  NSAID (motrin, ibuprofen, naproxen), Retin A, some Birth control pills, some Antidepressants and some Antibiotics

Early detection

Examining your skin regularly can help you find skin cancer early. Perform an examination in front of a full-length mirror in a brightly lit room. It helps to have another person check the scalp and back of the neck. With melanoma, the first sign is often a change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole. It also may appear as a new or abnormal-looking mole. Most moles are not cancerous, but if you notice a mole that is changing, have it checked by a dermatologist.

There is some good news, however. If you have noticed signs of premature aging or sun damage on your skin, Natural Image OC can help. Procedures such as dermabrasion, laser and light therapy, chemical peels, soft-tissue fillers, among others, can easily and non-invasively rejuvenate skin and take years off your appearance. Have you noticed signs of sun-damaged skin? Contact Natural Image OC today: 949-448-0487