Why your skin is 'More Than A Pretty Face' with Dr. Azi

aestnetic procedures dermatology laser resurfacing lasers melasma Sep 18, 2023

Being both a practicing dermatologist and a podcaster brings with it a wonderful opportunity to connect with some of my amazing dermatology colleagues. In this week’s podcast episode, I had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, fondly referred to as Dr. Azi by her patients and followers on social media. She shares with me how she approaches patient care from a holistic manner and is on a quest to help promote facial harmony. We also discuss some of her favorite treatments for common skin conditions like melasma, facial rejuvenation and even tattoo removal!

Here's a recap!

Dr. Azi's approach to her patients seeking aesthetic procedures is to get to know them as a person first and foremost! Are they a minimalist or do they love using lots of skin care products? How aggressive are they looking to get? What is their current skin care regimen? What have they done in the past? What has worked and what hasn't? Additionally, she takes into consideration any underlying skin or medical issues that must be addressed before considering cosmetic treatments.  A lot actually goes on before any procedures are actually performed!

What are some of Dr. Azi's favorite procedures?

Laser resurfacing stands out as an excellent method for achieving smoother skin, eliminating damaged cells, enhancing texture, and rejuvenating your skin. There are two main types: ablative, which involves an open skin surface, and non-ablative lasers, both offering excellent results. Non-ablative lasers come with shorter recovery times but might require multiple sessions. These lasers are generally safe for various skin types, but make sure that you are seeing someone with expertise in using these lasers. The technology, settings, skin prep and operator all play an important role in getting the best and safest outcome!

But what about melasma?

Dr. Azi describes it as the "diabetes" of skin issues because it's a long-lasting, chronic condition. Melasma doesn't just worsen with UV light exposure, but is affected by visible and infrared light, and even heat! The primary approach for treatment revolves around medical therapy, primarily utilizing topical treatments and potentially oral medications. It is important to note that lasers often make melasma worse due to the heat given off. Instead, a series of chemical peels or microneedling can give the most impactful results.

What is Dr. Azi most excited about in the future for dermatology and aesthetic patients?

Dr. Azi has a focus on biostimulants such as Sculptra and Radiesse. There's a growing interest in encouraging our body's own collagen production with these products to achieve a more naturally voluminous appearance. The recent reformulation of Sculptra, which uses poly-L-lactic acid, has made it more user friendly for patients and providers. The use of biostimulants is a trend I'm seeing more of today, and it's a staple for rejuvenation in my practice given the very natural results!

Dr. Azi also discusses some new and exciting research into tattoo removal on the podcast. While tattoos have become commonplace, there is also an increase in the demand for safe and efficient tattoo removal. Perhaps not surprisingly, that quote or animal design you thought you'd cherish forever at 20 may not be your favorite at 45! While laser treatments are highly effective for tattoo removal, Dr. Azi is collaborating with a company that mechanically 'dry brushes' the pigment out of your skin by encouraging your own body to ultimately remove the tattoo pigment. It's an exciting development in the field and could prove valuable for eliminating pigments that are notoriously challenging to remove with lasers.

Lastly, Dr. Azi is excited to see what the future holds for exosomes as new and emerging research suggest they may play a role in rejuvenation and healing. Exosomes are tiny vesicles responsible for transmitting information between cells. In the past, exosomes were thought to have little value, but new research suggests there may be benefits for our skin and beyond. Although exosomes are currently approved for topical use only, this field is undergoing intensive research, so keep an eye out for future developments!

Join me this week for a deep dive into the world of dermatology with Dr. Azi, exploring the latest advances in the field. You wouldn’t want to miss this one! 

A new podcast episode drops every Monday.

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