Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center of Santa Monica offers the latest in advanced laser and surgical procedures to enhance the quality of your skin and to eliminate any unwanted blemishes. We strive to help patients enjoy youthful, healthy skin. Dr. Yamauchi will recommend the most appropriate laser and surgical procedures best suited for you, working with the techniques listed below. The Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center is equipped with the following lasers:
  Pulsed Dye Alexandrite LP Nd-YAG Laser Toning Resurfacing Blue Light Ultraviolet
Sun damage  
Birth Marks      
Hair Removal          
Leg Veins          
Acne Scars      
Skin Tightening    
Brown spots,
age spots

Pulsed Dye Laser
The pulsed dye laser is a versatile laser system that is used to treat vascular lesions (red spots and marks). Typical conditions that are treated include sun damaged skin, rosacea, telangiectasias (broken capillaries and spider veins) on the face, trunk and extremities, port-wine stains (vascular birth marks typically on the face and other body areas), cherry angiomas ("blood blisters") which occur with aging, and hemangiomas. The pulsed dye laser is also used to treat warts, psoriasis, red scars, acne scars, and also to improve cystic acne. In addition, the laser can be used to tighten and refresh the tone of the skin. The pulsed dye laser works by penetrating through the skin, without burning, and specifically targets and heats the blood vessels to close them off. Some mild red discoloration and bruising might be present after a treatment session, and this may last for a couple days to a week depending on the energy strength of the laser used. Typically, few to several treatment sessions spaced every 4-6 weeks are required to obtain the desired results. The pulsed dye laser is relatively painless and feels like a snapping sensation with each pulse of the laser.

Alexandrite Laser
The alexandrite laser is a laser device that is widely used and most effective in laser hair removal. The alexandrite laser works by specifically targeting and heating the pigment in the hair follicle, thereby destroying the follicle and effectively permanently removing the hair. Because the laser works by targeting pigment, the patient undergoing treatment should not be tanned or have a darker skin color. The reason why is that the alexandrite laser may also target the pigment in the skin and cause a reaction which may result in discoloration. Therefore, the ideal candidate for laser hair removal with the alexandrite laser is one who is fair skinned and who has dark hair. White, blond, and gray hairs cannot be effectively removed because they do not have pigment. The patient must adhere to strict instructions and minimize sun exposure before and after treatment. In addition, the patient must not pluck or wax the areas to be treated for at least one month prior to laser hair removal. The reason why is that plucking or waxing the hail will temporarily remove the hair follicle which is needed as a target for the laser. One may shave or use hair removal sprays however. Typically, 4-6 treatment sessions or more are needed to obtain the desired results. The alexandrite laser is relatively painless and feels like a snapping sensation with each pulse of the laser. In addition, the alexandrite laser can also be used to treat sun damaged skin, pigmented growths on the skin including freckles, liver spots, age spots, lentigos, and hyperpigmentation on the skin.

Long-Pulsed ND-YAG Laser
The long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser is a versatile laser system used to remove hair in darker skinned individuals and tanned individuals. In addition, the long-pulsed Nd-YAG is also used to remove spider veins on the legs. Unlike the alexandrite laser, the long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser can safely be used on darker skinned patients and still obtain permanent hair removal. Like the alexandrite laser, the patient must not pluck or wax the areas to be treated for at least one month prior to laser hair removal but shaving and depilatory creams are allowed. The long-pulsed Nd-YAG is an excellent treatment option for removing unsightly spider veins on the legs caused by excessive standing, pregnancy, swelling of the legs, and aging. Typically, 4-6 treatment sessions or more are needed to obtain the desired results for hair and leg vein removal. The long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser is relatively painless and feels like a snapping sensation with each pulse of the laser. The long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser can also tighten the skin similar to radiofrequency lasers such as the Thermage and reverses the effects from sun damage.

Laser Toning
Laser toning treatments are an extremely gentle method to refresh your skin, decrease any mottling and pigmentation, reduce any redness, reverse the effects of chronic sun exposure, tighten your skin, and to give your skin a healthy glow. Laser toning uses gentle and light settings of the long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser, the alexandrite laser, and the pulsed-dye laser either alone or in combination with each other. The downtime is minimal to nonexistent and patients can go back to work right away.

Resurfacing Lasers
Resurfacing lasers such as the CO2, erbium-YAG laser and nitrogen-plasma lasers are effective in eliminating wrinkles on the face and to tighten and tone sun damaged skin. Resurfacing lasers are commonly used to treat acne scars and also warts. These lasers do ablate the top layers of your skin and therefore the recovery time may last for one week to a month depending on how much ablation was performed. The CO2 laser produces the most dramatic results for skin tightening and toning and wrinkle removal but the downtime is significantly greater. Once the patient is fully recovered, the skin has remodeled to a very healthy glow with the elimination of fine lines and wrinkles.

Acne Lasers
The Blue Light and the pulsed dye lasers are effective in treating acne. These lasers work by specifically targeting the bacteria that cause acne and killing them. In addition, excessive oil glands that contribute to acne are shrunken down and eliminated. Photodynamic therapy is another popular method to treat acne. With photodynamic therapy, a solution called 5-ALA is applied to the skin and left on for 10-40 minutes. The area where the 5-ALA was applied is then treated either with the Blue Light or the pulsed dye laser. This combination treatment of 5-ALA and either the Blue Light or pulsed dye laser allows for quicker and significant improvement of acne. These acne lasers and light sources are effective in treating cystic acne, and are alternative forms of treatment to those patients who do not wish to take the oral medication, Accutane, used for acne.

Ultraviolet Lasers
The narrow-band ultraviolet-B laser is effective in treating conditions such as psoriasis and vitiligo. These skin conditions respond to ultraviolet-B treatment by reducing the thickened, red, scaly plaques seen in psoriasis and inducing pigmentation (tanning) in areas where vitiligo is present on the skin. In addition, the narrow-band ultraviolet B laser may induce pigmentation back in white scars and white stretch marks.

Other Cosmetic Surgical Procedures
  • Ear lobe repairs
  • Upper lip eversion this procedure through minimal incisions inside the lip allows a subtle turning up of the upper lip to enhance the fullness of the lip.
  • Scar revisions

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Our Services: Cosmetic Dermatology | Laser and Surgical Procedures | Medical Dermatology
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