Treatment Options for Unsightly Spider Veins

July 24th, 2014

If you have spider veins, you’ve probably stopped wearing shorts and bathing suits. You might think that your ability to show off your legs is gone forever. But that’s not necessarily true. Treatment is available for both spider and varicose veins.

Why Do I Have Spider Veins?

Spider veins are cause by a backup of blood in the body. They are usually blue or red and appear near to the surface of the skin. These veins are sometimes referred to as roadmap veins because their spread appearance looks similar to a roadmap or to spider webs.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, heredity is the largest factor in your risk of developing spider veins. 80% of people (mainly women) with spider veins have a family member who also had spider veins.

There are other risk factors that can also lead to spider veins:

  • Hormonal changes: The hormonal shifts of puberty, menopause, or use of hormones (such as birth control methods containing progesterone or estrogen.)
  • Sun exposure: In very fair skinned people, sun exposure can cause spider veins, particularly on the checks or nose bridged
  • Standing: People in professions that involve standing for long periods, such as those in the medical field or in manufacturing, are at a higher risk for spider veins.
  • Age: The chance of spider veins becomes more likely as people advance in age.

Contrary to what you might have heard, the ADA asserts that sitting with your legs crossed does not cause spider veins, nor does weight gain. In fact, dramatic weight loss can show hidden spider veins.

Treatment: What works, what doesn’t

When it comes to treating and preventing spider veins, there are some things that just don’t work. Taking vitamin supplements, for example, will not help prevent or treat the appearance of spider veins. Likewise, tanning will not help hide the appearance of spider veins; in fact tanning can make the veins spread beyond where they already exist.

The treatment option that really works for reducing spider veins is called sclerotherapy, a process available at Accent Plastics. During scelerotherapy, a technician injects a very fine needle into each of the affected veins. The needles contain a “sclerosing” solution that causes the blocked blood vessels to eventually collapse and fade from view. It usually takes around four to six weeks for the spider veins to disappear.

Sclerotherapy is a fairly affordable treatment – the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report that the average national cost of sclerotherapy is around $350.

Occasionally, however, more than one sclerotherapy treatment is required before the veins disappear from view. In other cases, your plastic surgeon may want to combine sclerotherapy with laser therapy, in which a laser beam of light destroys the spider vein through the skin.

Between sclerotherapy and laser therapy, your spider veins can be effectively treated. If you’re interested in discussing your treatment options with our board-certified plastic surgery team, contact our Gainesville office today. At Accent Plastic Surgery, we’re here to help you look and feel your best through a wide array of treatments.

Have Allergies? Be Careful Driving!

June 17th, 2014

Have you ever been so busy rubbing your eyes or sneezing while driving that your concentration isn’t on the road? Have you ever worried that your allergies could be affecting your performance behind the wheel? A recent study has found that untreated allergies do affect your driving, almost as much as driving while intoxicated.

The study, published in Allergy, the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, focused on 19 people in their early 30’s who suffered from both grass and tree pollen allergies.  During the allergy off-season, the study participants were treated for their allergies with either a placebo pill or nasal spray, or a true antihistamine or steroid nasal spray. Following their allergy treatment, they were given a nose spray of grass and tree allergens to provoke allergy symptoms.

Participants then took a 60-minute driving test.  A camera in the car recorded how often the participant veered for the center lane, a common test used for assessing drunken driving.

The findings revealed that those participants who received a placebo had the greatest impairment. In fact, the scores for those participants were comparable to driving with a blood-alcohol level of .03%, which is just under the legal blood-alcohol level of .05% in most countries (the US limit is .08% ).

Perhaps what is most scary about the study is that the allergy sufferers who had not received treatment had such significant driving impairment in easy driving conditions. That’s impairment without other drivers on the road, cell phones, or unexpected road hazards.

Take Care of Untreated Allergies

The study reminds us that allergies aren’t just a quality of life problem; they can also be a danger to your health if not properly managed. At Accent ENT, we’re dedicated to the successful treatment of even the most severe allergy and sinus problems.

For most people, allergies can easily be managed with the use of simple control measures including sublingual therapy, antihistamines and steroid nose sprays. Our doctors work to help make sure that you have the most effective, non-invasive treatment for your situation.

If you do suffer from allergy or sinus problems that do not improve with these simple medical maneuvers, our ENT specialist may perform tests to determine if surgery could help relieve your chronic and acute allergy problems such as ongoing sinus infections. We offer minimally invasive, effective surgeries, such as balloon sinuplasty and endoscopic sinus surgery. Learn more about our allergy and sinus treatments.

If you’re suffering from ongoing sinus or allergy problems, don’t let them rule your life, and certainly don’t choose to sneeze and drive. Contact Accent’s ENT specialists in Gainesville today to schedule an appointment.

Caring for Your Contacts: 3 Rules You May Not Know

May 23rd, 2014

If you wear contact lenses, you know the general rules: wash your hands, rub and rinse your lens, insert. But did you know that there are some other rules you should also follow when it comes to your contact lens’ use? Even if you’ve been using contact lenses for years, here are three rules you may not know:

1) Change Your Lens Case

How long have you been using the contact lens case you just used this morning? Many people never change their contact lens case, but if you’ve been using yours more than just three months, its time to start using a new one.  Lens cases have the potential to contaminate your contact lenses and infect your eyes, according to the American Optometric Association. Make sure that you also clean your lens case everyday using sterilized solution, allowing the case to air dry, preferably upside down so the cavities don’t collect debris.

2) Put Your Contact Lenses in BEFORE You Put On Makeup.

Putting your makeup on before you put in your contacts can cause irritating particles to get trapped between your lens and your eye when you put in the contact. Make sure that you put your contacts in before you put on makeup, especially eye makeup. At the end of the day, you should also take your contacts out before you take off your makeup to prevent getting any on the lens during the removal process. You may also want to avoid makeup with glitter and hard pencil eyeliners; opt for a soft pencil instead.

3) Only Use Recommended Solution

Don’t use sterilized saline solution to clean or store your contact lenses in. Always use the multipurpose solution recommended by your optometrist.  Don’t top off the solution in your lens case. You should always dump out the solution in your contact case from the day before and replace it with new (which you would have to do anyway, if you’re cleaning your case daily as recommend). And make sure that you always close the cap to your solution, no matter what kind of hurry you’re in.

Closing the cap ensures that you’re keeping your solution sterile.

Making sure that you know and follow all the recommendations for contact use will help ensure that your eyes are healthy and that you can continue wearing contact lenses. Always make sure that you follow the recommendations of your optometrist when it comes to the replacement schedule of your lenses, as well as their recommendations about solution.

At Accent on Eyes, we’re here to make sure that your eyes stay healthy, through proper eye care and comprehensive eye exams. Visit our Gainesville Optical Store to learn more about your eyewear choices.

Inhaled Insulin Gains Advisory Board Recommendation

May 6th, 2014

diabetes

Afrezza, an inhaled form of insulin, has recently received the approval of a governmental advisory committee that recommends new drugs to the Food and Drug Administration, according to the New York Times.

About the Drug

The inhaler is a rapid action form of mealtime insulin. The drug is taken through a small, whistle shaped inhaler into the lungs where it disperses into the blood stream. The drug gained recommendation for the effective treatment of both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in adults. The FDA usually approves products recommended by the advisory committee for public use.

Afrezza is developed by the MannKind Corporation. It has sought FDA approval twice before, but the committee required the company to gather more clinical data about the safety and efficacy of the drug. The drug company Pfizer had released an inhaled form of insulin in 2006 called Exubera, but it didn’t take hold with the public.

The makers of Afrezza say their inhaler is different because its small size makes it more user-friendly. They propose that the drug may be useful for Type-1 diabetes sufferers who are weary from multiple insulin injections throughout the day, as well for those who are newly diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes but who are resistant to trying insulin injections.

While the advisory committee agreed that the drug would be useful for some patients, they also agreed that it wasn’t as effective in managing insulin levels as some other treatments.

Facts About Diabetes

Afrezza may be of interest to the millions of Americans who suffer from what many doctors consider an epidemic. Here are some facts about diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association,

  • Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States, though there are also cases of gestational diabetes and type-1 diabetes. In Type-2, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin to break down glucose in cells, or the cells do not respond to the insulin that the body produces.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook Picture Saves 3-Year Old’s Eyesight

April 15th, 2014

When Tennessee mother Tara Taylor posted a picture of her 3-year old daughter, Rylee, on Facebook, she was just expecting some “likes.” But when several friends looked at the picture, they saw something else besides an adorable little girl: Rylee’s left eye was glowing.

Taylor’s friends alerted her that, while it was probably nothing, a glowing yellow pupil could indicate a vision problem with Rylee, and they encouraged her to make an appointment for her daughter with an eye doctor.

It turns out that Taylor’s Facebook friends helped save Rylee’s left eye from blindness.

After visiting an ophthalmologist, Rylee was diagnosed with Coats disease, a rare degenerative eye disease that usually occurs in childhood, with an onset beginning as early as 12 months. In Coats disease, the eye’s blood vessels are abnormally dilated, twisted, and leaky. These abnormalities prevent the normal blood flow to the retina. Instead, the fluid leaking from the blood vessels causes fluid to build up in the retina.

If enough fluid builds up, it can cause the retina to detach, which equates to a loss of vision. A common sign of Coats disease is a yellow glowing eye captured in flash photography; just what Taylor’s friends saw in her Facebook photo.

Fortunately for Rylee, her condition was caught early enough to prevent a complete loss of vision in her left eye. She now sees an ophthalmologist specializing in retina disorders every few months to receive treatments that help keep Coats disease at bay.

According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, there are five defined stages of Coats disease, and the type of treatment a patient receives depends on the stage of Coats disease they have:

  • Stage 1: Abnormal blood vessels are apparent in the retina, but aren’t yet leaky. An ophthalmologist can treat this stage with laser therapy and some, if not most, vision can be saved.
  • Stage 2: The abnormal blood vessels have begun to leak in the retina. Vision may be normal if not much fluid has leaked, or, if a good deal of fluid has built up, vision loss may be severe. Laser therapy and cryotherapy can be used to help save some amount of vision, depending on how significant the fluid buildup is at time of treatment.
  • Stage 3: The build of fluid is so significant that it has caused the retina to detach. Depending on the progression of the disease, cyrotherapy or surgery to reattach the retina can be used to help restore some amount of vision.
  • Stage 4: The retina is detached and raised pressure in the eye has caused the onset of glaucoma. In this stage, vision is not treatable.
  • Stage 5: Blindness occurs and the accompanying glaucoma may be painful.

Coats disease is dangerous to children’s vision precisely because they’re at an age during the disease’s onset that they’re unlikely to express (or are unaware) of any changes to their vision. And while children may receive a vision screening at school, this vision screening may not pickup on potential eye disease, or the school screening may catch a disease like Coats too late.

In addition to any vision screenings, all children should have a comprehensive eye exam, which includes a close evaluation of eye health. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children have an eye exam at the age of three years, before beginning first grade, and every two years thereafter.

At Gainesville’s Accent on Vision, we’re here to serve your vision needs, regardless of your age. If you’d like peace of mind that your child’s vision is developing normally, make an appointment with our expert medical staff today.

Treating Eye Disorders with Laser Photocoagulation

April 3rd, 2014

Laser photocoagulation is a surgical procedure that is used to help correct seepage from a patient’s eye. This seepage may be due to damaged macula or from a ruptured blood vessel.

How Laser Photocoagulation Works

A doctor uses a laser to cause the tissue around the location of the leak to coagulate and seal. The light energy from the laser converts to heat and this concentrated beam seals the rupture. The procedure makes it possible that the damage is either partially or completely repaired; thus, restoring at least some visual acuity for the patient. As a bonus, laser photocoagulation leaves behind less scar tissue which may promote more vision return.

Conditions treated with laser photocoagulation

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal ischemia
  • Posterior capsular opacification
    • Brought on as a result of cataract surgery
    • Helps remove elements that obscure vision

Advantages of Laser Photocoagulation

  • Often the treatment is able to be administered on an outpatient basis. Laser photocoagulation is performed using a local or topical anesthetic
  • For those suffering from damaged retinal blood vessels (or other diabetic retinopathy), laser photocoagulation may mean a quicker recovery time and/or better results than older methods.
  • Patients are also likely to experience less pain during treatment and post-operative period.

What to Expect After Surgery

After surgery, you will need someone to drive you home from the doctor’s office or clinic. This is because eye drops will be used to dilate the pupils and they will stay dilated for several hours after. It is also important to remember to bring sunglasses as they will help keep bright light out of your eyes while they are dilated. Your vision may stay blurry and you may feel some pain for a day or two after the treatment.

It is important to remember that laser surgery will not restore any vision that has already been lost. However, when done promptly, laser photocoagulation may help to slow the rate of any further damage.

Possible Side Effects

Luckily there are only few potential side effects that can occur with laser photocoagulation. Furthermore, when side effects do occur, they occur infrequently and are temporary in nature. These side effects include:

  • Loss in peripheral vision
  • Decrease in the ability to recognize certain colors
  • Permanent reduction in night vision capability
  • Small chance of hemorrhaging in the eye, resulting in partial loss of vision

Patients experiencing any side effects should immediately report them to their doctor.

For more information about eye health and procedures visit http://www.accentmd.com/florida-ophthalmology/eye-surgery.html to continue browsing our website or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Easing Glaucoma Symptoms with Canaloplasty

March 31st, 2014

Glaucoma, a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve, is often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. In a healthy eye, aqueous humor (the clear fluid that makes up the front of the eye) helps to maintain the shape of the eye through intraocular pressure (or IOP).

vision with glaucoma

However, for someone suffering from glaucoma, this system does not work properly and the fluid cannot drain properly. Without treatment (managing treatment as there is no cure for glaucoma), the high pressure on the optic nerve will cause permanent vision loss – possibly within only a few years.

To stop further vision loss, dropping the IOP is crucial.

Traditionally, a trabeculectomy has been the most common surgery used to help lower pressure. In trabeculectomy, a surgeon creates a hole in the sclera of a patient’s eye to let the aqueous fluid drain into the outer cyst or bleb. While trabeculectomy is still the standard procedure, there can be risks such as infection, leakage, and irritation associated and canaloplasty lessens these risks.

What Is Canaloplasty?

Canaloplasty is a newer, more advanced form of surgery for the management of glaucoma, and is just one of the available glaucoma treatments. The advancement of canaloplasty makes it possible to reduce eye pressure by almost 40%. Most glaucoma patients make use of special eye drops to help their eyesight.

However, with canaloplasty, patients have been able to cut their drops by half.

How Canaloplasty Surgery Is Performed

Canaloplasty uses a micro-catheter in order to open the eye’s natural drainage system (…known as a Schlemm’s canal).  This canal is opened using a gel-like material. Then the catheter is removed and a suture is threaded through Schlemm’s canal and then tied down to the inner wall of the canal.  This suture can keep the canal stretched open for years.  Once opened, the pressure buildup caused by the eye’s fluid can exit more naturally.

Canaloplasty surgery is a good option if:

  • You suffer from open-angle glaucoma
  • Glaucoma drops are inconvenient, difficult, or costly
  • Medications have stopped working
  • You are uncertain about invasive glaucoma surgery

And some of the benefits of canaloplasty include the following:

  • Restores the eye’s natural drainage system
  • Reduces pressure in the eye
  • Reduces the need for glaucoma drops
  • Quicker recovery than previous treatment(s)

Continue reading for more information about canaloplasty and other glaucoma surgery options today. And to discuss your individual condition, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Most Recent Trends in Facial Plastic Surgery

March 26th, 2014

In the age of “selfies”, plastic surgery is becoming more popular with Americans under the age of 30. That’s according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s annual poll (AAFPRS). The poll, which surveys a select group of the Academy’s 2,700 members, tracks the latest trends in facial plastic surgery.

The most recent annual survey’s results were released March 11th.  Here are five fascinating facial plastic surgery trends of 2013:

  1. Selfies are fueling the plastic surgery industry: One third of responding plastic surgeons saw an increase in aesthetic treatment requests due to patients’ dissatisfaction with the way they appeared in social media. Sites like Instagram and Snap chat that are image-dependent are causing more people to focus in on their appearance and seek out cosmetic procedures as a way to “put their best face forward,” according to AAFPRS President Dr. Edward Farrior.
  1. Plastic Surgery Patients are Getting Younger: It’s no surprise that if social media is leading to cosmetic procedures, then the patients of these procedures are younger than the typical patient seeking plastic surgery. In fact, the annual survey found that more than half of plastic surgeon saw an increase in surgery or injectables in use of those adults under the age of 30.  Many young women are actually seeking out cosmetic procedures to delay the signs of aging for longer. The most popular non-surgery option for these women is Botox injections, followed by hyaluronic acid and peels.
  1. The Nose Job Still Rules: As with previous years, rhinoplasty, also known as the nose job, is still the most requested facial cosmetic surgery procedure by both men and women under the age of 35, making up 90% of women’s surgery requests and 86% of men’s.
  1. Family Procedures are on the Rise: Many women, as well as men, are opting to have cosmetic surgery done with a family member. Women having a procedure done with another female family member increased by 8% last year, while 31% of surgeons noticed an increase of married couples coming in together for procedures. With most of these couples, females in the relationship fueled the male’s participation.
  1. Men and Women Want Different Procedures: The survey found, unsurprisingly, that men and women are seeking different outcomes from cosmetic procedures. Women are most interested in nose jobs and facelifts, with Botox injections being the most popular non-surgical procedure.  Men are more concerned with wrinkles and having a head full of hair with hair transplants.

While trends in plastic surgery are always changing, the need to seek out an aesthetic center supervised by a board-certified plastic surgeon does not.  While you will of course seek out a certified surgeon for surgery, it may be tempting to visit a freestanding aesthetic center for procedures like microdermabrasion in hopes of cost savings.

But to minimize the risks that come with all non-surgical cosmetic procedures, it’s important to seek treatment in a center with a professional staff. Our staff at Accent Plastics aims to provide you with top quality treatment, regardless of your elected procedure or motivations for doing so. Contact our Gainesville office today if you’re ready for a cosmetic procedure consultation.

Microdermabrasion: Is It Right For You?

March 18th, 2014

Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The procedure is fairly low cost and minimally invasive, making it a popular option for people who are looking for a little skin refresher. But is microdermabrasion right for you? Read on to learn more:

Understanding the Microdermabrasion Process

Your skin has two layers. The dermis is the inner layer of skin that provides structure. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin that is exposed to the elements. The uppermost layer of the layer of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum. The epidermis, but particularly the stratum corneum, takes the effects of the sun, as well as acne, scarring, and aging.

Microdermabrasion uses either a diamond-tip wand or a crystal wand to remove the superficial stratum corneum layer of the epidermis, improving the appearance and texture of your skin. The process can reduce the appearance of:

  • Fine lines
  • Light scarring
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Sun damage
  • Large pores.

In addition, microdermabrasion treatments thicken the skin’s collagen. Collagen is the protein that provides skin with a taut and smooth look. While microdermabrasion is usually used on the face and neck, it can also lessen the appearance of stretch marks on other parts of the body.

When to Choose Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a great option for those who have superficial skin damage. Its cost is fairly low compared to other aesthetic treatments. It is also a minimally invasive procedure that may, at most, cause some light bruising or a red complexion for a few days. A treatment usually takes less than an hour, though you will need a series of treatments. The number and frequency of treatments will depend on the extent of your skin’s damage.

When Another Aesthetic Treatment Option is Better

Microdermabrasion is not a good option when skin damage extends beyond the epidermis into the dermal layer of skin. The procedure will not effectively treat:

  • Deep wrinkles
  • Deep scars
  • Extensive discoloration

For this type of skin damage, a chemical peel or laser resurfacing of the skin may be better, more effective options.

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re unsure of what the best treatment option is for your skin, call and schedule an aesthetic consultation with Accent Plastics. Our team of expert technicians under the direct supervision of Dr. Daniel Hall will ensure not only that you’re receiving the best aesthetic treatment to meet your goals, but also that you’re taken care of in a safe medical treatment center.

The ASPS always encourages you to seek out an aesthetic center under the direct supervision of a doctor board-certified in plastic surgery in order to minimize the potential negative side effects that come with any treatment option.

Microdermabrasion can leave your skin looking smoother, more even, and younger. It can leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. Contact Northern Florida’s Accent on Plastics today to experience for yourself why microdermabrasion is the aesthetic treatment choice of so many people.

At-Home Laser Removal: 3 Downfalls

March 11th, 2014

Spa treatment

You’ve likely seen the advertisements for at-home laser hair removal devices. They cost less than $500 and they promise hair removal that’s just as effective as going to a professional aesthetics center.  But are these devices worth the discounted price? Here, we’ll examine at-home laser hair removal and discuss three potential downfalls compared to seeing a qualified aesthetic specialist.

About Home Lasers

The FDA approved at home hair removal lasers for home use in 2008. They work just like the laser hair removal systems at aesthetic centers, but they are far less robust, operating at a fraction of the power.

The devices cover about a square centimeter at a time, and must be used every two weeks for three months to achieve permanent results. The laser can be used on both the body and the face.

Potential Downfalls of the Lasers

While these lasers are FDA approved for home use, they’re not foolproof. Making mistakes with a laser can cause lasting effects to your skin.  Here are three potential downfalls of at home hair removal lasers:

1) They are only recommended for certain skin pigmentations. There is more than just one type of laser, and different lasers achieve different results depending on skin tone and hair color. At-home lasers utilize a laser that only works on medium to fair skin with dark hair growth.

If a woman with a darker skin tone or a tan uses an at-home laser, it can cause permanent discoloration of her skin. That means that at-home hair removal isn’t for everyone and that many people will still need to visit a cosmetic service center for access to a laser removal system that will work for them.

2) You have to be committed and careful. When it comes to at-home lasers, you are the technician. That means that you have to be willing to crane over whatever part of the body you want treated for up to a couple of hours each session. Since the lasers cover such a small portion of skin at a time, it’s going to take a while. Plus, you’ll need to be aware of where you’ve been and where you’re going with the laser so that you don’t miss large patches of hair.

3) You will be missing the oversight of a medical professional. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that a qualified technician who is under direct oversight of a physician perform all laser hair removal. A trained cosmetic services professional will help you asses if laser hair removal is best for your situation. They’ll also remind you about important factors that can affect the efficacy of your treatment; like making sure you are always wearing broad spectrum sunscreen and that you’re not tweezing your hair before a session.

Overall, at home laser hair removal systems are only a good as the operator that uses them.  Laser hair removal done under a qualified technician in a doctor’s office is still the safest and best way to go. At Accent Aesthetics, we believe that experience and expertise are worth the price when it comes to your body and image. Contact our Gainesville office today to schedule a laser hair removal (http://www.accentmd.com/florida-cosmetic-surgery/laser-hair-removal.html) or other cosmetic service consultation today.