Oh Honey… How to Beat Those Allergy Blues 0

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People can be allergic to a number of things including food, medications, certain types of metals, animal dander and so forth, however, it is estimated that 36 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from seasonal allergies… are you one of them?

Allergies are actually nothing more than a misdirected immune response. When an allergen (in this case pollen) enters your body, your immune system is triggered and may go into overdrive. Histamine and other chemicals are then released into the body. This is what causes symptoms such as an itchy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, and congestion among many others.

So what can be done to win the battle against pesky pollen? Of course there are both over the counter and prescription medications that have proven very effective, though many may opt for a different route. If you are looking for a natural allergy remedy, look no further than your local health food store or farmers market.

Local honey is becoming an extremely popular alternative treatment for allergy sufferers everywhere. The school of though behind this is that the honey itself introduces small doses of these allergens in a weakened form (much like a vaccine). Honey contains pollen spores from a variety of plants in the area where the honey is cultivated. These small doses allow your body to get accostumed to these spores without triggering an immune response. This is called immunotherapy.  When eaten regularly, you may be able to gradually “vaccinate” yourself against these allergy offenders.

The key is that the honey must be local (think within the same county that you reside). This way your body will be introduced to the appropriate pollen spores. If you live in San Diego and are using a honey from the central coast, it will not have the same therapeutic effect.

Next time you or a loved one is suffering from allergies reach for the local honey. You (and your immune system) may be in for a sweet surprise.

The Eyes Have It 0

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If the eyes are the windows to the soul… how old is yours? It’s no secret that the first signs of aging are so often seen around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is extremely thin and delicate. It becomes even thinner and less plump as we age due to a loss of subcutaneous fat tissue and collagen. As it is in so many cases, the best medicine is prevention… proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and giving that area a little extra TLC, however, sometimes there is just no fighting the hands of time, or a pesky little thing called gravity.

There are a number of very effective treatments for the eye area, depending on your particular concern and the extent of the problem.

If dryness, dark circles, and thinning of the skin around the eyes is your main concern, regular use of an eye cream may prove beneficial. We love SkinMedica’s TNS Eye Repair. It contains growth factors that help to hydrate the skin and increase firmness. It also helps reduce the appearance of dark cirles. It’s no wonder it was voted the best luxury eye cream by ABC News in 2012.

Are crow’s feet your issue? Botox may be a nice option for you. Botox can minimize the muscle contractions that cause the skin around the eyes to bunch up and thus crow’s feet to form. Botox is a wonderful preventive measure that you can take in the fight against wrinkles and expression lines around the eyes and elsewhere. Want to brush up on your Botox knowledge? Check out our previous post on the benefits of Botox.

If droopiness, puffiness, loose or sagging skin around the eye area is your issue an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, may be something to consider. An upper blepharoplasty (upper lids only), lower blepharoplasty (lower lids only), or quad blepharoplasty (both upper and lower lids) are wonderful options depending on the area of concern. Visit our website to see incredible pre and post-procedure photos. To learn more abut this procedure please visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website. This contains up to date, accurate, and reliable information.

Cheers to Glowing Skin… 0

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We have all heard about the benefits of drinking wine… a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers,colon cancer and much much more… but a glass a day for glowing skin? I’ll drink to that. Wine, particularly red, is chock-full of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols which help to soak up and flush out damaging free radicals. Flavonoids actually help protect the skin from sun damage while resveratrol provides numerous anti-aging benefits. Research at Harvard has proven resveratrol’s role in increasing production of SIRT1 which in turn speeds up cells’ energy production. This improves circulation and aids in skin repair and regeneration. Wine has also been proven to reduce stress, which is linked to a number of skin conditions included acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.

Not a fan of wine? Not to worry. There are a number of antioxidant rich foods including dark chocolate, pomegranate, blueberries, and cherries. It seems that grape juice would be a healthy alternative, however, it is stripped of the skin and seeds (these are the parts of the grape that contain these wonderful, anti-aging properties). It’s also full of sugar! 8 oz of wine contains 1 gram of sugar while 8 oz of grape juice contains 38 grams. Sugar can be very detrimental to your skin for a number of reasons (stay tuned for our upcoming post on sugar… the good, the bad, and the ugly).

Remember, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The American Heart Association recommends one to two four ounce glasses of wine a day. More than this may have the opposite effect on your health and appearance.

All About Arnica 0

Arnica Montana

Many of you have probably heard of Arnica Montana, in fact, it is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies throughout the world… but what exactly is it? Arnica Montana is a perennial that grows throughout northern and central Europe as well as Siberia. It is more commonly known as the mountain daisy. St. Hildergard, a 12th century nun, once wrote about the healing properties of this little plant. It has been growing in popularity since the 16th century. Arnica can now be found in almost every health food store as well as many people’s medicine cabinets.

Why is Arnica so popular? It is a natural pain reliever, soothes aches and pains such as sore muscles, relieves stiffness, and reduces bruising. Arnica can be taken internally or used as an ointment. Though Arnica is toxic at full strength, it is completely safe when diluted homeopathically. We recommend Arnica Montana to our patients to relieve post-procedure pain, bruising, and swelling. In fact, Arnica can be taken before elective procedures and injections as a preventive measure.

To learn more about Arnica Montana, including vendors in your area, visit Boiron’s website.

Oxygenetix 0

oxygenetixSummer heat can bring on a variety of skin problems including dry skin, acne from an increase in oil production, and worsened rosacea from excessive heat. One of the keys to keeping your skin healthy is letting it breathe. Unfortunately, the makeup we use to cover up, even out, and make our skin look flawless can contribute to these conditions by causing a barrier, thus trapping sweat, dirt, and oil beneath our skin.

Luckily, you needn’t sacrifice beautiful looking skin for truly healthy skin. Oxygenetix is a full coverage, non-comedogenic, oil free, hypoallergenic, organic, and truly breathable foundation. Not only does Oxygenetix allow your skin to breathe, it actually drives oxygen into your skin’s cells using a breakthrough oxygen complex known as Ceravitae. Ceravitae is infused with oxygen, meaning it proliferates collagen production in the skin.

This foundation was formulated by doctors for post-procedural care. This product is actually beneficial to both patients recovering from cosmetic surgery and burn victims. It has been shown to speed up recovery time and minimize scaring. If you are looking for a foundation with unparalleled benefits, Oxygenetix may be the perfect fit. For more information and incredible before and after pictures please visit their official site.

Break a Sweat for Beautiful Skin! 0

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We all know that exercise is beneficial to one’s health; cardiovascular health, pulmonary health, and overall health. What you may not know is that exercise is extremely beneficial to your skin’s health! Exercise promotes healthy circulation and increases blood flow. Your blood caries oxygen and vital nutrients to your body’s cells, including your skin cells.

Yoga has proven especially beneficial for boosting oxygen levels and reducing stress and inflammation, both of which have negative effects on your skin. Exercise can also aid in carrying away waste products such as free radicals from your skin’s cells. All of this is very nourishing to the skin.

Another benefit of exercise is the effect it has on the body’s collagen production. Collagen is the main component of our body’s connective tissue and makes up approximately 25% – 35% of our bodies. Collagen cushions your joints and helps them to move smoothly. Collagen helps to hold your muscles in place and connect your tendons, bones, ligaments, cartilage, etc. Keeping collagen levels high is one of the keys to arthritis prevention. Collagen also helps your skin retain a subtle appearance and that youthful glow.

Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can boost your health in countless ways; so get out there and get moving. Walk, run, ride, dance, stretch… find something you love and stick with it. Your body (and your skin) will thank you!

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The Low Down On Breast Implants: Saline Vs. Silicone 0

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The decision to enhance one’s breasts for either cosmetic or reconstructive purposes is an important one. Women have many options when it comes to breast augmentation including, size, shape, and material. There are pros and cons to both saline and silicone breast implants. It is important for the patient to be well educated on the difference between the two because ultimately the choice is hers.

Both types of implants are composed of an outer silicone shell. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water while silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel. Saline implants are inserted into the patient empty and then filled, thus minimizing the size of the incision. Silicone implants are inserted pre-filled, therefore the incision must be larger.

Many women feel that silicone implants more closely mimic real breast tissue in their look and feel; however, saline implants have made many strides since they were first introduced and are often the implant of choice.

The possibility of implant rupture must be taken into consideration as well. If a saline implant were to rupture it would be quite obvious. The breast would deflate over a period of a day or two and the saline solution would be absorbed by the body without any negative implications to the patient’s health. The silicone shell may then be surgically removed or replaced by a new implant.

A silicone implant rupture may go undetected for quite some time. This is known as a “silent” rupture. In the event of a silicone rupture the silicone most often gets trapped in the capsule. The capsule is a pocket within the breast which has formed around the implant itself. There may not be any apparent change to the breast in the event of a rupture; however, over time the breast may change shape. If a rupture is to occur, the implant and free silicone should be surgically removed. A silicone implant rupture can be detected by an MRI, which is recommended every two years for patients with silicone implants.

The patient’s body type, size of their natural breasts, size of their desired breasts, age, and many other factors will play a role in this decision. Listen to your doctor as they weigh the pros and cons of implant types, size, and shape. Together you will be able to select an implant that will be the perfect fit. Here at Vecchione Plastic Surgery we offer Natrelle Breast Implants. Natrelle offers over 100 shapes and sizes for you to choose from. Visit their website to learn more about your options.

Benefits of Botox 1

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Botox was once viewed as an extravagant and somewhat controversial procedure undergone only by the rich and famous, but it seems the tides have turned. Over time researchers have discovered that Botox has many more benefits than originally believed. Botox is comprised of a purified form of botulinum toxin A. This toxin works by blocking the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract, therefor relaxing and somewhat paralyzing the muscles at the site of injection.

This has proven to be incredibly effective in wrinkle reduction and prevention, especially when it comes to “dynamic” wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are those that appear while moving your face or making certain expressions, think frown lines, laugh lines, etc. When these muscles are weakened, so is the ability to make that specific expression and therefor that specific wrinkle. When administered by a seasoned professional Botox can diminish the appearance of wrinkles without making the patient look stiff or frozen which are the most common negative perceptions associated with Botox. Botox is also a popular treatment for the eyebrow area. Botox can help to lift the brows giving the patient a more youthful appearance.

Furthermore, Botox is no longer solely used for anti-aging and cosmetic purposes. It has also proven quite affective for the treatment of migraines. When injected into the forehead, neck, and shoulders Botox can help to release tension, this relieves strain on the nervous system, thus reducing the frequency of migraines. In addition, Botox has become a popular treatment option for hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be both embarrassing and uncomfortable. Botox reduces the amount of sweat secreted from the glands near the injection site. As more research is conducted we discover more ways that Botox can be used to treat a variety of concerns. Contact us today to find out more about what Botox can do for you.

To learn more about Botox, its safety, and side effects please visit their official site.

Summer Skin Care 0

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It’s official… summer has ARRIVED! That means sunshine, BBQs, beaches, and for some… sunburns! Today the sun will reach its highest point in the sky at 10:04 pm PST. [This is the summer solstice and marks the official start of summer.] Summer is many peoples’ favorite time of the year, however, it is also the season when most aging happens. Summer weather, suntans and burns, humidity, salt water and chlorine can all wreak havoc on our skin. Summer is the perfect time to pay special attention to your skin care routine.

Make sure to keep your skin moisturized from both the inside and out. Drink plenty of water and use a quality moisturizer twice a day. We like Skin Medica’s Rejuvenative Moisturizer. It contains Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a form of vitamin C which helps to fight free radicals and Hyaluronic Acid which is naturally found in the body and helps the skin retain moisture.

The most important part of your summer skin care routine is SPF! We love Skin Medica’s Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+. It is sheer, oil free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic [<– this means it won’t clog your pores]! This product is perfect for everyday use and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. *Studies have shown that 78% of sun damage is incurred from incidental exposure, this means while walking to and from your car, running errands, and even while driving. This makes it extremely important to wear sun protection on a daily basis and reapply often. If you keep these key skin care tips in mind there is no reason not to get out, have fun, and enjoy the sun. Happy summer!

* This study was performed by the UCLA Skin Research Department