Get to know our very own Christopher May. We hope you enjoy his conversation as much as we did. Thank you Chris for all of your hard work and dedication to the spa and the hundreds of clients who have come through our doors!
We’re having a contest on Facebook-Maine Laser Clinic – the person that posts a picture of a tattoo they regret, and if that tattoo receives the most likes they’ll receive a FREE PicoSure tattoo removal session. Check it out!
For starters, let me begin by saying it’s a privilege to work in a state as great as Maine. We have always felt a sense of pride living here, but as business owners we also believe we have a civic duty to help as many people as we can. To that end, we are in the process of developing a program that will help cover the expenses of laser tattoo removal for the following groups: at risk/correction-transitioning teenagers, veterans with PTSD (war ink), rehabilitated convicts, military and law enforcement recruits.
Many of you know I was labeled a “troubled” teen and often made poor choices, so I’ve had many redo’s in my lifetime. With that being said, we believe people deserve a second chance. Not that tattoos are bad, but speaking from personal experience, I know how stigmatizing tattoos are and how they influence employment opportunities. Tattoos have often been associated with gang affiliations, haphazard lifestyles, and rebellion. Law enforcement agencies, as well as all four military branches have policies that preclude recruits from enlisting if they have tattoos on their hands, face, or other “unacceptable” locations.
Our position is to each their own, but the reality is those barriers present real challenges for many people. It’s our understanding that some people join the military as an honor and willingness to serve their country. Then there are those that need that option to improve their lives, to enrich their future, and to make a difference. My belief is if you are willing to sacrifice your life for our country, you are a hero and selfless.
For us it’s an easy commitment to make for those people; we donate our services because we want to make a difference and support their efforts. We want to give someone a second chance. When I see a teenager who has tattoos covering their hands I think about their future. I wonder what roadblocks will they encounter because of that choice? It’s easier to pass judgement and say we must live with our choices, but we’re not “walking in their shoes.”
What’s their story? How did they end up where they are? We believe they deserve a pathway to redemption, and if removing a tattoo helps them achieve that goal–gives them a second chance, then maybe we’ll have helped them become a better version of who they are–a better version of what they want for themselves.
If you’re interested in helping, please direct message me, contact Learningworks, the Portland Police Department, The Opportunity Alliance, and let them know you want to help. Let them know you’re ready to participate in anyway possible. As always, thanks for reading, and thanks for the consideration.
Love to all of my family and friends. I hope this message finds you well.
PicoSure™ Laser Comes to Maine Laser Clinic
Maine Laser Clinic is proud to announce the first ever PicoSure™ laser system in the great state of Maine. What does this new addition mean for our community? Well, picosecond laser tattoo removal is the newest and best option for removing unwanted tattoos – often called, “tattoo regret.”
Maine Laser Clinic recently partnered with CynoSure to bring the first PicoSure™ laser to Maine. With this addition, our clinic will now have advanced options for tattoo removal, skin rejuvenation, scar revision, and brown spot removal. These are truly exciting times for our clinic. Additionally, our partnership with allow us to grow in areas of charitable contributions, that were unsustainable before now.
How does the PicoSure™ laser work? Cynosure has developed a system that works to use photomechanical destruction of ink particles, decreasing the amount of treatment times, as well as protecting other chromophores in the skin. There’s a lot of technology behind this system, so please call us to learn more about this wonderful addition and to learn now Maine Laser Clinic can help you achieve your cosmetic goals.
Acne – what are your options for acne clearance?
Acne is papular or pustular eruption that affects the face, chest and back. Acne can occur at any age, however. It’s more common in teens and often persists well into adulthood. Research indicates 15-20% of affected people will develop scarring from severe cases.
What happens to the skin during an infection?
The follicles become plugged with sebum production, Propionibacterium acnes and inflammation. There are multiple variants of acne: Acne excoriee (caused by patients due to manipulation – causing scarring and erosion of skin). Neonatal acne happens at birth, infantile acne, and Steroid acne – a comedonal and pustular acne that presents on the chest 2-5 weeks after taking a steroid.
Does diet affect acne?
The role of diet remains uncertain. However, consumption of diary and simple sugars has long been associated with causation.
Is acne hereditary?
There’s research to support acne runs in the family. Typically acne presents at a young age if someone in the family had acne as a child. If both parents have acne, there’s a greater than 70% chance their child will develop acne. Also, hyperandrogen states such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or polycystic ovarian syndrome are known signs to cause acne.
How do I determine if the eruptions are acne?
Acne lesions typically divide into non-inflammatory or inflammatory. Inflammatory lesions are characterized by papules, pustules, and nodules (cysts). Non-inflammatory lesions consist of open blackheads (comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones).
How do I treat acne?
If it all possible, medication should be used sparingly. Also consider, topical applications typically take 2 or more months to show efficacy. In addition, most treatments take continued use to “control” the condition. Remember, it’s not a cure. It’s important to know, scarring from acne warrants a systemic approach and you should consult your physician or dermatologist beforehand to determine the best possible treatment regimen. Strong medications like Isotretinoin (Claravis, Ammnesteem, Sotret) can be considered if you show no improvements. Again, it’s important to consult your physician.
Should I scrub my face and wash the acne away?
Your skin should be gently cleansed with mild soap and warm water. We recommend you do NOT scrub your skin. Apply topical agents after the skin has dried. All medications should be applied in a gentle manner to acne prone sites.
Which products are best for my skin?
Solutions and gels are better for oily skin, while creams and lotions are better for dry skin. Hair conditioners and oils should be avoided. We recommend all cosmetic products be oil free and water based. Remember DO NOT pick or pop acne lesions!
What products should I use for Blackheads and Whiteheads?
We recommend using products that gently exfoliate the epidermis (top layer of skin) and contain antibacterial properties (e.g. benzoyl peroxide). If used in combination with products that correct follicular plugging (e.g. tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene). It’s important to rotate the application, one at night and the other in the morning. Over-the-counter medications like Retin-A are best for oily skin and range in strength 2.5 to 10%.
Additionally, facial peels (glycolici acid, salicylic acid) are recommended to unblock pores. Reminder, Tretinoin is has photosensitive side effects, consult your physician for what application best suits your condition.
Here at Maine Laser Clinic have seen fantastic results treating acne vulgaris with laser technology. Like any procedure, it’s always best to consult your physician before deciding on what’s best for your overall health.
How to remove a tattoo
Removing a tattoo requires dedication, time and due diligence on the clients part. There are limited options for tattoo removal. Here at Maine Laser Clinic we support and promote laser tattoo removal. The procedure is relatively fast and simple to perform, however. The body requires time to achieve the most important aspect of the process and that’s to flush the ink out of the dermis and slowly fade.
How is this done? The lymphatic system does most of the work. There are tiny macrophages that digest the broken ink particles and dispose of them naturally. How does the laser break up the ink? The light-energy (laser) targets the color super-heating the ink until it shatters. This all happens in milliseconds and even nanoseconds. Think of a glass hitting the floor, shards fly everywhere. Now imagine someone bending down and taking a hammer to the remaining pieces – you are left with thousands upon thousands of tiny fragments. The same principle applies to tattoo removal.
The laser shatters the ink and the body disposes of the remaining ink particles. People often wonder if the process is painful. In short, the answer depends on their tolerance to stimulus. The “pain” associated with laser tattoo removal stems from the byproduct of “heat” – causing collateral warming that influences nerve endings. For example, when a young child puts their hand close to a hot stove sensors send signals to the brain alerting the child to react, consequently pulling away and hopefully avoiding severe burning.
There are ways to manage discomfort by cooling the area with local anesthesia, or topical creams and even cooling machines like the Cryo by Zimmer. We’ve found the most effective method (without injecting patients) is to ice the area prior to treatment. It’s simple and it works.
People often reference buying creams to remove their tattoos. Caveat emptor! There are products on the market that use misleading marketing tactics. The only true way to remove a tattoo is excision or the use of a laser. If you’re like most people, having a large scar from excision is worse than the actual tattoo. Do your research. Know what to expect and ask others who have had similar procedures.
People have to be ready to answer one question, “how bad do I want this tattoo removed?” If you conclude you need it gone, then we highly recommend laser tattoo removal.
How to treat nail fungus (onychomycosis)
Onychomycosis, better known as nail fungus or fungus in your nail is the most common nail diseases attributing to half of all nail irregularities. Nail fungus affects toenails and fingernails, however. Toenails seem to be the most frequently affected areas. Studies have shown that 10-12% of all adults suffer from some form of nail fungus.
There are many causes of nail fungus, such as yeast, fungi and a variety of molds. Often the same fungi that cause athlete’s foot causes nail fungus. So, if you suffer from athlete’s foot, it’s probable to contract onychomycosis. However, it’s hard to determine exactly how you may have contracted the nasty bug. Nail fungus thrives in warm, humid and moist conditions. Places like showers, pools, or any place you walk barefoot are likely culprits and should be avoided whenever possible.
People with weak immune systems and who are over 60 are likely to present with nail fungus. Diabetes is also an indicator, or if you have moist feet. What can you do to limit your exposure to contracting nail fungus? Keep your feet dry and clean. Avoid walking barefoot in showers or areas were mold is prevalent. Unfortunately there isn’t a silver bullet fix for this condition, however. Many studies have been conducted to measure the efficacy of systemic and topical treatments, but most prove to be inconclusive. Often, the medications require routine application and require blood testing to determine eligibility.
With the advance in laser technology, there are ways to treat fungus in a safe outpatient procedure. Here at Maine Laser Clinic we use a Nd:Yag 1064 nm laser to superheat the skin tissue beneath the nail causing coagulation of the nail matrix resulting in significant cosmetic enhancement for patients. Preliminary studies are being conducted, but some practitioners are reporting 80-85% clearance.
Check out the before-and-after photos. It’s important to consult your physician before deciding on an option that best suits your overall health and well-being.
How to treat Rosacea
First, we have to explain the many reasons why so many people suffer from “redness” of the face; rosacea. Secondly, there are three types of rosacea that affect the skin. Lastly, if rosacea is not treated early the condition typically worsens over time. Back to why people suffer from rosacea. There are many environmental as well as genetic factors that elevate the condition. These causes are called “triggers.” Some of those causes are listed below:
There is much debate about the affects of the aforementioned triggers, however. Being proactive in managing the condition is highly recommended. Usually patients do nothing, or use topical cosmetic applications to cover the effected area. It’s important to note that there is NO curative approach to treating rosacea. However, there are many effective methods used today to dramatically reduce the side effects caused by the condition.
The use of Laser therapy is considered by many to be the most effective method available today. The laser penetrates the skin targeting the capillaries with are rich with oxy-hemoglobin deep within the dermis. The heat that is generated by the laser damages the cells, which are then absorbed by the body’s lymphatic system. The repeated method gradually reduces the redness and removes the formation of additional capillaries. Another method of removal is done through photorejuvenation.
Fortunately, there are practitioners who are experienced managing this sometimes-embarrassing condition. Finally, it’s important to explore all options before committing to whatever treatment you choose.
How do you remove unwanted hair?
Before answering that question it’s important to note the different methods used to remove unwanted hair. It’s also important to note there’s only one true way to “remove” unwanted hair. Electrolysis is the only proven method to permanently remove unwanted hair. However, there are many factors that hinder the efficacy of electrolysis such as, hormonal change, childbirth and genetics. In addition, it’s important to make the distinction between, permanent hair removal, and permanent hair reduction. Most methods offered today through various marketing channels promote permanent hair reduction. Those methods include: Laser hair removal, Intense pulsed light, and Diode epilation.
Before we go any further, we have to provide you with more background into the field of hair removal. When lasers were initially introduced for dermatology and aesthetic applications in the 90’s it was one device for each application. Unfortunately, most of those devices had serious limitations. For example, the GentleLase Alexandrite laser was a good technology for hair removal on white skin and some pigmented lesions, but really nothing else as it is very dangerous on dark and tan skin. The V-Beam laser was also introduced in 90s and is a good classic technology for red facial vessels but produces in many cases severe swelling and can lead to purpura.
The Medlite C6 and Medlite II (introduced approximately in the 2002 -2005 range) are diode lasers for hair removal that work well on white skin but are very painful. The Cutera Cool Glide (released in 2003) is the classic long pulsed Nd:YAG for hair removal (painful), vascular applications and photorejuvenation treatments. As new technology was developed, practitioners were buying different devices one-by-one to round out their service offerings and some have ended up owning multiple laser/IPL/RF devices.
Maine Laser Clinic uses the LightPod Neo which is the best technology on the market for pain-free high efficacy hair removal, that also allows the treatment of dark and tan skin including PFB, facial vessels and rosacea. The technology also provides a pain-free experience for photorejuvenation with skin tightening, and the treatment of nail fungus and tattoo removal. In fact the technology employed by Maine Laser Clinic also works really well treating most non-ablative applications or at least as good as any other competing technology on the market.
Laser hair removal is a complicated market, but in short form choosing a method that is virtually painless, cost efficient and produces results should factor in your decision when shopping for a reputable hair removal provider. Maine Laser Clinic lasers are the only high powered, air cooled, fully portable devices that don’t hurt the patient during treatment on the market. Every other device that is similarly powerful (an important distinction) is large, water cooled, painful, expensive and can’t be moved.
Doing your research is definitely important but you need to make sure you are speaking with people who are knowledgeable and have a base line to compare to. We recently read on a competitors website that someone in the Southern Maine area uses the E-Matrix for hair removal, which is surprising as E-Matrix it is not a laser but a Radio Frequency Device for skin improvement so there is a mismatch on the science between technology and application and the manufacturer does not list hair removal as an application on the product page making it even more skeptical. We are not saying it’s impossible, but highly suspect.
The best way to learn and differentiate the lasers is to speak to practitioners that are successful and have used a variety of technologies (which we will happily connect you to), see the device your self in person and have someone with some kind of technical insight to provide guidance (a friend, a colleague, or an advisor).
We hope you found this information useful in your quest to rid yourself of unwanted hair. We are always willing and able to speak at length about hair removal and look forward to your inquiries.
Protein and your immune system
Much research has shown that protein malnutrition can have a variety of untoward effects on the immune system. In fact, protein malnutrition may be an important contributing factor in HIV seroconversion (the process by which a person with primary exposure to Human Immunodeficiency Virus becomes infected with that virus). Research studies have show that deficiency of high-quality protein protein can result in depletion of immune cells, inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems. In addition, animal studies have shown that the immune system can be significantly compromised with even a 25% reduction in adequate protein intake.
Protein is composed of the 20 amino acids your body needs for growth and repair, and some of these amino acids appear to be particularly important for immune functioning. For example, the amino acids called glutamine and arginine are being considered as nutrition therapy in pre-surgery patients because of their ability to stimulate the immune system. Interestingly, it is not just deficiency of these amino acids that can compromise the immune system, an imbalance in the ratios among amino acids can also affect the immune response.
Therefore, a diet that supports a healthy immune system should contain foods providing high-quality, complete protein, such as that found in eggs, fish, shellfish, and venison. Many vegetables and grains are also excellent sources of many of the immune-stimulating amino acids and, together with other protein sources, are particularly beneficial. The recipes on this web page provide many excellent menus for a meal with complete protein, such as the Baked Seafood with Asparagus, or Poached Fish with Chinese Cabbage.
The essential vitamins for healthy immune function
As discussed above, your body uses a variety of responses to maintain its defense against harmful pathogenic organisms in the environment; therefore, it may not be surprising that nearly all of the vitamins are necessary to maintain and promote some aspect of your immune function. Some vitamins have received more attention in the research literature since they are particularly important to a healthy immune system.
Much has been written about the role of vitamin C in supporting the immune system, in part because it has been promoted as an immune stimulant by the noted scientist and Nobel Prize Laureate, Linus Pauling. Vitamin C appears to support a decrease in the length of time and severity of symptoms associated with upper respiratory viral infections, promote phagocytic cell functions, and support healthy T-cell function. Vitamin C also provides antioxidant activity to support healing at sites of inflammation. An excellent source of vitamin C is citrus fruit. Many vegetables are also excellent sources of vitamin C, such as fresh parsley, raw cauliflower, mustard greens andRomaine lettuce.
Many of the B-vitamins are also very important in supporting a healthy immune system. For example, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) promotes the production and release of antibodies from B-cells, and deficiency of vitamin B5 results in reduced levels of circulating antibodies. Folic acid deficiency leads to a decrease in T-cells and can result in reduced effectiveness of the soluble factors as well. Vitamin B6 deficiency consistently impairs T-cell functioning and results in a decrease in blood lymphocyte counts. Deficiencies in vitamins B1(thiamin) and B2 (riboflavin) may impair normal antibody response, and low vitamin B12appears to inhibit phagocytic cells and possibly T-cell function.
Almost all whole grains, vegetables and fruits can serve as excellent sources of at least some of these vitamins, but some vegetables are particularly beneficial since they are excellent sources of many of these immune-supporting vitamins. In particular, Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, C, and folate. Cooked turnip greens and boiled spinach are excellent sources of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. And cooked cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and folate and a very good source of vitamin B5 and B6. Raw crimini mushrooms are also an excellent source of vitamin B2 and vitamin B5. Red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from protein-providing foods such as fish, shellfish, venison and calf’s liver.
The fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K are also important to overall health. Vitamin A deficiency has been shown to impair antibody function and T-cell activity. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant and supports a healthy inflammatory response. Vitamin E is also an important component of all cell membranes and promotes healthy cellular functioning overall. T-cells and B-cells from vitamin E-deficient animals show depressed responses, and tumors have been shown to grow faster in vitamin-E deficient animals. Vitamin K supports a healthy blood-clotting ability in your body, and this is necessary for seclusion of areas of infections and injury in the healing process. Cooked turnip greens and boiled mustard greens, mentioned above, are also excellent sources of vitamins E and A, as well as boiled Swiss chard. Other excellent sources of vitamin A include many vegetables such as spinach, freshparsley and carrots. Concentrated sources of vitamin K include raw cauliflower, as well as most green vegetables such asspinach and asparagus.
Minerals that support your immune system
Zinc is one of the minerals in food that has received the most attention for its ability to support immune function. Zinc is a potent immunostimulant, and its deficiency can result in profound suppression of T-cell function. Children with severe zinc deficiencies show signs of growth retardation and susceptibility to infections. However, an excess of zinc has also shown negative effects on immune function and can inhibit the phagocytic cells (macrophages and neutrophils). So, maintaining adequate but not excessive levels of zinc is important. This is one reason food is such an excellent source of obtaining nutrition versus supplementation; food contains a balanced variety of the micronutrients whereas supplementation with individual nutrients can lead to too much of some and not enough of others. Healthy levels of zinc can be provided by including the good sources of zinc, such as boiled Swiss chard,collard greens, and both summer squash and winter squash, or the very good or excellent sources of zinc like lamb, raw crimini mushrooms and calf’s liver in your diet.
Many other minerals are important in supporting immune function. Clinical research studies have shown that irondeficiency results in impaired response to antibodies, and defective phagocytic cell functioning. Copper deficiency is associated with an increase in infections and may impair development of immune cells such as T-cells and the phagocytic cells. Selenium and manganese are important for supporting healing from inflammation and may be immunostimulants. Selenium can be obtained from fish and shellfish, as well as tofuand whole grains. Excellent sources of copper are turnip greens,calf’s liver and raw crimini mushrooms, and very good sources include spinach, asparagus and summer squash and boiled Swiss chard. Iron can be provided by fresh parsley, spices such asthyme or cinnamon, tofu, beans and peas, and many other vegetables such as spinach and Romaine lettuce.
Antioxidants and phytonutrients that promote healthy immune function
Reactive oxygen species, free radicals and other damaging molecules are generated at sites of infection and inflammation. Your body needs these molecules at the site of infection to help kill unhealthy cells; however, when your antioxidant systems are not functioning, or when not enough antioxidants are present in your diet, these molecules are not disarmed after they have done their jobs and can become damaging to healthy tissue as well. Many fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants and phytonutrients that help maintain healthy tissue around the sites of infection and support healing. Fruits and vegetables, especially colored foods like strawberries, cherries, carrots, andtomatoes contain many beneficial phytonutrients with antioxidant potential. More detailed information on the health benefits of phytonutrients can be obtained from the FAQ: What is the Special Nutritional Power Found in Fruits and Vegetables.