Does laser hair removal hurt? — Discover the most sensitive areas and hair removal methods (Part 1)

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in dermatology | Posted on04-07-2019

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Laser hair removal consists of the application of light focused on the dark pigmentation of the hair, transforming it into heat. This heat reaches the hair root destroying it and preventing the hair from growing again. There are different methods of laser hair removal. Today, from the Vithas Xanit Aesthetic Dermatology Department, led by Dr Enrique Herrera Acosta, we review some of the most common methods and clarify some frequent doubts about this type of hair removal.

The existing methods of laser hair removal

The best laser hair removal method is that using a wavelength between 700 and 1200 nanometers ensuring that the skin will not suffer any damage during exposure. The available options are: the Alexandrite laser for medium-dark skin and a very fine, dark hair or short in length; the Diode laser, recommended for dark skin with dark hair; the Soprano laser, which can be used on tanned skin safely, although it requires a very precise technique for its use, and the Neodymio-Yag laser, which has the great advantage of adapting to all skin types, it is very safe and suitable for dark and deep hair.

Difficult areas

Any body area with enough hair is susceptible to laser epilation (legs, groin, armpits, arms, back, face, etc.). Laser hair removal differs between men and women, given that men have a more substantial amount of hair and much thicker than women. However, in matters of pain, the sensitive areas are usually the same.

  • Moustache and beard: In reality, all areas of the face are the most painful and cause the most discomfort to those who undergo laser hair removal. The reason lies in the degree of skin and nerve sensitivity of this zone.
  • Nipples: This area is often popular, above all, by men. Being an internal area, which practically is not exposed to the sun and is always covered by clothing, it is much more sensitive and delicate than the rest of the chest.
  • Perianal area: This area is highly sensitive due to its internal nature. The intimate zone, in general, is very sensitive to the laser since it has virtually no contact with the outside and has many nerve endings.
  • Neck: Although a priori does not seem like it, is also very sensitive to laser. The reason lies in its nerve endings and skin sensitivity.
  • Labia and pubic area: The female genital area is also susceptible to laser hair removal, not only because of its nerve endings but also because of the darkness of the skin and the amount of hair that populates it.
  • Inner thigh zone: This zone is also very delicate, not only for men but also for women. Normally, the hair in this area is removed more quickly, as it is not very strong, although its sensitivity is still high.
  • Toes: Toes, due to their nerve endings, are characterised by being the most sensitive zone of the feet of men and women.
  • Knees: Knees are also another critical area of the legs because although it may not seem, this area has many nerve endings. Apart from these areas, there are many individuals with special cutaneous sensitivity and skin ticklishness.

Differences between laser hair removal and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Both are light sources but with different fluencies and different wavelength. Each laser has been manufactured to perform a specific treatment (e.g. epilation) and specifically IPL is a very useful tool with various uses in dermatology, but in some epilations, it is not as effective as the laser that is specifically manufactured to perform the same treatment.

The minimum sessions required to remove hair

It depends on the area, but the average number of sessions is between 6 and 8. The areas that are best epilated are armpits, groin and legs, achieving more than 85% of less superficial hair in three or four spaced sessions. This is because the total density of hair to be removed is stable and, under normal physiological conditions, the woman does not produce new hair in these areas.

Interview with Margarita Cilveti, Head of the Health Psychology and Sexology Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on28-06-2019

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Sexuality is an important aspect in the lives of many men and women. Sometimes we may face difficulties or problems that affect our well-being and enjoyment or that of our relationship. In such cases, we should seek professional help from a specialist. The Neuroscience Department at Vithas Xanit has recently launched a Health Psychology and Sexology Unit to address the sexual difficulties of men and women in a comprehensive way, meeting their personal needs, always with the support and advice of the best team of neuroscience specialists.

Today, we speak with the person in charge, Margarita Cilveti, who will present us the new Unit.

 

What exactly does a Sexology Unit consist of? What issues does such specialty address?

Our Health Psychology and Sexology Unit is dedicated to sexual counselling. We start by conducting an interview in the first session to assess the problem on hand, and from there we work either with the individual or couple through exercises, tasks, psychoeducation, etc., to advance and resolve the situation.

 

What type of patients are treated in this unit? What are the most common problems? Can these problems be dealt with and if so, how? 

We mainly welcome men and women with problems related to their sexuality, relationship, identity or sexual orientation. Difficulties related to erection, ejaculation or sexual desire are frequent. We always study each case personally, since that will determine if we should work individually or with a couple.

 

Is the percentage of the population suffering from these problems big?  

In sexology, these problems are often called common difficulties because we can all be subjected to such conditions throughout our lives.

 

Are these problems diagnosed? How can they be diagnosed?

The DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) of the American Psychiatric Association includes some of these problems such as sexual dysfunctions, but from sexology point of view, we do not manage diagnostic criteria but instead we talk about common difficulties. To diagnose sex-related difficulties, the first thing to do is to acknowledge them and talk about the problems, because lack of communication due to shame is one of the main problems in addressing these difficulties.

 

It is said that there are mental illnesses that can lead to sexual malfunctions, is this true? How can mental illnesses affect sexual problems? 

Anxiety or depression disorders, especially when they extend over time and people do not seek professional help, can affect sexuality or relationship with a partner.

 

How can couples know that their sexual health is poor? And how can they improve it? 

I do not think you can talk about good or poor sexual health, each one of us and our relationships is different and precisely for that reason we offer tailor-made, personalised attention. What is clear is when something is causing discomfort or impeding the enjoyment of one’s sexuality or the relationship it may be necessary to seek the help of a professional.

 

What are some of the main problems that we are facing in relation to sexuality?

A fundamental problem in the field of sexuality is the lack of education; therefore, an important step in counselling is to provide information and to allow people to form their own ideas and seek their own answers.

If you want more information about this hospital Unit, please go to: http://www.vithas.es/Benalmadena/sala-prensa/detallenoticia?idNoticia=1912

Your health on examination: Medical check-ups

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on27-06-2019

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The main aim of medical check-ups is to prevent diseases and diagnose pathologies in their initial phase when symptoms have not yet been manifested.

A check-up is the only way to know if we are as healthy as we think.

What is a medical check-up?

These preventive medical examinations (check-ups) are much more than a set of laboratory tests to confirm the existence of risk factors (for example, so-called vascular risk factors) and detect pathologies.

One of the main sources of information, which will determine in some way the content of the check-up, is the past medical history and the complete physical examination. Even if there is already a record of your medical history from the previous hospital visits, the internist will still conduct a full interview to try to conclude not only the family history that can determine the hereditary conditions but also the patient’s life habits, as well as his/her overall health conditions.

Thus, for example, smokers, or people working in certain environments, will be given functional respiratory tests — spirometry and a consultation with a specialist aimed at quitting smoking. If the internist deems it necessary, a chest x-ray will also be performed.

Those with a family history of cancer will be asked for specific laboratory analysis and digestive tests (for example, colonoscopy), urological or other tests depending on the type of tumour of the family member.

In the case of family history positive for cardiac illnesses at an early age, the check-up will be completed with a specific cardiological consultation.

Healthy advice

You could almost say that for each person we have to do a specific check-up, but for all of us, there is one factor in common: healthy lifestyle habits, which can be summarised in the following:

  • Maintain a balanced diet. Today the diet that has evidenced more health benefits is the Mediterranean diet. You can eat almost everything but in the right amount. Carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables, mainly) should account for about half of the diet; fats 35%; and proteins 15%.
  • Stay away from smoking and harmful fumes. Do not smoke, do not be in toxic environments, try not to have contact with harmful products.
  • Do physical exercise. Another important pillar, as much or more than diet is physical exercise. Doctors estimate that from 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate aerobic activity per week we should start seeing the beneficial health effects.
  • Watch your state of mind. Avoid situations that have to do with anxiety, stress or irritability. Also, avoid social isolation. The human beings are sociable and their isolation deteriorates physical and psychological abilities.
  • If you feel general malaise or have doubts about your health, go to your doctor: get a check-up.

Have you decided to quit smoking in 2019? Here are 5 tips that will make this challenge much easier

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on26-06-2019

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The arrival of the New Year traditionally brings along a list of New Year’s resolutions and new goals to be achieved, and usually on the top of the list for many there is a resolution to stop smoking. The advantages of doing so are many, the first being prevention of lung cancer, given that 90% of cases diagnosed are due to smoking.

Last year 28,645 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in Spain. This type of cancer has become the third most frequent in Spain and for that reason, Vithas Xanit International Hospital, part of the Vithas health group, insist on the importance of early detection of this disease, as well as raising awareness among the population about the dangers of smoking.

Today we want to help all of you who have set as a challenge for 2019 to quit smoking by offering you these simple tips to make your decision much more manageable.

  1. Before you lit a cigarette, ask yourself, “Why do I smoke?”If you pause to think about it, you will discover that smoking is not about the actual physical necessity, but because of the habit acquired.
  2. List the reasons why you continue to smoke, and why you should quit, you will be surprised by the difference in pros and cons. This list can also help you in moments of weakness when you want to smoke a cigarette again. You can go back to your list and remember the reasons why you are quitting this deadly habit.
  3. Set short-term goals and replace smoking with healthier habits that you should gradually include in your life. Starting exercise (better if in a group), drinking plenty of fluids, and a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help quit smoking.
  4. Seeking help is also necessary, and we are not just talking about professional advice, but about support from the people around you, your friends, colleagues and family members. It is crucial that family and friends know about your decision to quit smoking so that they can be part of your goal, for this will encourage you not to lit a cigarette in front of them.
  5. If you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day, it is also recommended to seek help from a specialist who will provide you with adequate medical treatment, since 70% of smokers in the hands of specialists manage to quit smoking, limiting the percentage to only 5% of those who decide to stop smoking without help.

 

At Vithas Xanit, we have a team of pulmonologists who provide patients with personalised care to stop smoking, with specially designed sessions where we offer customised treatments adapted to the characteristics and needs of the patient.

The Three Wise Men have visited our hospital!!!!

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various | Posted on26-06-2019

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On Friday, the 4th of January, Vithas Xanit International Hospital had a visit from the Three Wise Men, much to children amusement, both those who were hospitalised and those who at the time were found in the Paediatric Emergency Room and the Paediatric Outpatient Clinics.

The Three Kings or the Three Wise Men, further to visiting the hospitalised children, marked the Vithas Family Day along with the children of the hospital’s staff, with a guided tour of the hospital that ended in the Congress Hall where all the children present received a gift.

Here are a few photos from the visit.

Hair transplant in Spain

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on20-06-2019

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Hair transplant is the technique that consists in extracting hair, follicle by follicle, from an area of the head (which is the donor zone and is usually the back of the head) to be subsequently implanted in the area affected with alopecia (i.e. the receiving area that we want to repopulate). The most common cause of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, that is, hair loss due to genetic causes (heredity) and as a consequence of the action of testosterone (which is the male hormone).

Today we delve into this technique with Dr Miguel Valenzuela, the latest addition to the Herrera Clinic for this type of interventions, serving patients throughout Vithas Costa del Sol hospitals, all equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, professional staff and means necessary to ensure patients’ satisfaction with the best aesthetic results.

Techniques

There are two techniques for capillary graft: FUE (“Follicular Unit Extraction”, e.g. removal of follicles one by one) and FUSS (also called “Strip”, where a piece of skin is removed from the scalp, then the follicles are sectioned and extracted).

The FUSS technique leaves a scar that occupies the entire back of the head (ear to ear), due to which this technique is less performed.

The results of both techniques are similar, however, most patients decide on the FUE since there is no scar left. Furthermore, these techniques do not require general anaesthesia, the capillary micrograft is performed under local anaesthesia and is done on an outpatient basis. There is no need for the patient’s hospitalisation either.

Dr Miguel Valenzuela explains how the use of this technique (FUE) allows us to obtain more natural results and avoids the scarring that was previously left on the back of the head. After the transplant, there are only a few small crusts left, from the extraction of the hair, which fall off within 15 days. Once the procedure is performed, the patient only has to wait four days to wash the transplanted hair, and then use a mild neutral shampoo, and avoid rubbing the hair for a couple of weeks. For the FUE technique, the follicles are removed from the neck and then transplanted, hair by hair, to the front of the head or where the bald patches are. This intervention is performed in the operating theatre and, depending on the follicles to be removed, and the hair to be transplanted, lasts between 5 and 8 hours.

This type of hair transplant has shown high success rates, without graft rejection since the hairs transplanted are from the same patient.

The good transplantation results are not immediately perceived, however, are guaranteed. Transplanted hair falls out during the first weeks after surgery, but the root and the cells in the follicle begin to grow from the 3rd month and in less than a year hair growth is definitive. The hair obtained with this technique is permanent although, of course, the hair ages at the same rate as the rest of our body.

Treatment

The surgery lasts approximately 5 to 8 hours, depending on the number of units to be implanted. Usually, the patient spends the first part of the surgery sleeping (the extraction phase), and then during implantation may be watching movies or listening to music, as he is conscious at all times. Usually, one capillary graft session is sufficient, however, if the alopecia zone is big, and the donor zone is reduced, it is necessary to perform two surgeries 3 to 6 months apart, to distribute the extraction between the two surgeries and not damage the donor area.

After transplantation there is no chance of losing hair again, transplanted hair does not fall out any more. It is important to start taking finasteride and use minoxidil after transplantation to prevent the patient’s own, non-transplanted hair from falling out.

Hair transplant abroad

The main reason why people decide to undergo such an intervention outside Spain is money. There are countries where the government subsidises part of the surgery cost to attract patients.

However, there are many risks involved, such as the lack of sanitary controls in the clinics, the transplant not being done by a doctor but a member of staff who sometimes is not even sanitary, the possibility of infection or the lack of follow-up after transplantation.

Another common problem in these countries is that in order to implant the number of follicular units they advertise, they often cut off the follicular units, with the great risk of damaging them.

In Spain, there are excellent healthcare professionals and the price of transplantation is very reasonable, besides having the quality guarantees of the Spanish Health System, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the world.

Hip prosthesis in elderly patients

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on19-06-2019

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A hip prosthesis is an implant that replaces a malfunctioning hip joint, with traumatic or degenerative pathology.

In both cases, patients undergoing hip prosthesis are mainly over the age of 60. After implantation of a hip prosthesis, the pain is alleviated, thus improving the quality of patient’s life. It also increases the patient’s autonomy. The patient can practically have a normal life, including doing sports activities.

 

Causes

Arthrosis is one of the causes of dysfunctional loss for which the placement of a prosthesis is indicated. Also in cases of fractures of the femur neck. On the other hand, there are situations in younger people where there is insufficient blood supply and hip necrosis occurs, where the placement of a prosthesis may be indicated. If the patient decides to undergo surgery, the process consists of a very common and systematised surgical procedure, so the possible complications are very low.

The rate of infection and thromboembolism are less than 0.5%. The probability of dislocation is also very low.

 

Recovery

After implantation of the prosthesis, the patient starts with physiotherapy, and on the second postoperative day, can sit down in a chair and start walking with crutches. The patient is discharged on the 5th post-op day with the autonomy to walk with crutches or walker.

Stitches are removed two weeks after the surgery, and a month later, the patient can have a practically normal life. The need for support will depend on the degree of autonomy that the patient had before the placement of the prosthesis. If the patient is autonomous, he will not need special help.

When indicated, a hip prosthesis is a magnificent solution to improve the quality of life of the patient at low risk. We highly recommend it if the patient fits the clinical criteria required.

Use of X-rays in patients, is it safe?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various | Posted on14-11-2018

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Many of us would like to know what happens when we undergo a diagnostic test, particularly tests with equipment emitting X-rays or radioactive isotopes in nuclear medicine. In these cases, the question arises whether they pose a risk to our health and whether they are indispensable.

Today, Dr Manzano, Head of the Medical Physics and Radiological Protection Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, tells us how safe is the use of X-rays and isotopes in Nuclear Medicine and what progress we are making regarding the information available to the patient.

How safe are X-rays?

Almost everything we do in our day to day life carries some degree of probability of complication, contemplated as risks of the kind, one in a thousand or one in a million.

An activity should be considered safe when the risk of an adverse effect occurring is less than one for every million times repeated: that is, what probability would it be if we repeated the same activity thousands or millions of times.

We are all fully aware of the fact that since its discovery, X-rays were one of the most significant advances of humanity, and they have allowed the medicine to understand how diseases occur within the human body without having to cut it open, saving the lives of millions of people. The X-ray machine was chosen as the most important scientific invention in the world, surpassing even penicillin (London Science Museum Survey).

For most studies, the dose received may be the same as that received by any person NOT subjected to an X-ray test in a year. The more complex and time-consuming studies can be equivalent to several years of natural radiation, still being at low risk, between one in hundred thousand and one in ten thousand.

As for the risk of developing some malignant disease, we need to know that the risk in chest or limb studies is considered minimal, less than one in a million. We can also make a comparison by saying that a test of these characteristics is equivalent to the natural radiation which we receive in the course of a few days.

We have to understand that the X-ray guarantees us the more precise diagnosis, which in return gives more opportunities to receive a correct treatment for a disease or ailment in question.

Therefore, we can conclude that X-rays are quite safe for the patient and that the benefits of any radiological study will always exceed the risk of these small doses of radiation: this is the principle of justification laid down in the legislation and on which any diagnostic test should be based.

What changes will occur concerning the information that will be offered to the patient?

There is already a draft royal decree on medical ionising radiation planned for this year. The text updates the national legislation on Directive 2013/59/Euratom replacing Royal Decree 815/2001 of 13 July concerning the use of ionising radiation in the field of medicine.

It proposes stricter requirements regarding the information to be provided to patients, the recording and reporting of doses of medical-radiological procedures, the use of reference levels for diagnosis and the availability of dose indicator devices.

With all this mentioned, we can see that we are already making significant progress for the patients of the 21st century, who will be progressively more informed about the treatments and be more aware of their environment.  Such a sign of progress implies advances when it comes to diagnosis, as well as more information about the medical acts and the risks to which we may be exposed.

An important fact when it comes to providing information is that it must be written in a clear and understandable manner, not causing further doubts and queries. Therefore, it would be good if we all knew something about the radiation and its use, the advances it has made in medical technology and its benefits that millions of people worldwide have enjoyed.

Breast Cancer Treatments: Mastectomy

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in women's health | Posted on17-10-2018

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This week is World Breast Cancer Day, and we wanted to talk to Dr Fran Fernandez, Head of the Breast Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, about one of the most common treatments for breast cancer – mastectomy. 

Mastectomy 

We treat cancer in several ways, but one of the most common methods is surgery. There are two types of operation depending on the stage of the disease. If the cancer is detectedin the early stages, the usual way forward would be the conservative surgery, which consists of removing the section of the breast with a tumour in it. In the caseof more advanced stages, the method we use is a mastectomy, which is the surgical act of completely removing a breast.

According to the protocols of preventive diagnosis of breast cancer, the percentage of mastectomy procedures is decreasing thanks to early detection through breast self-examination and radiological tests, depending on patient’s age, past medical and family history. Also, mastectomy can be avoided in those cases when we indicate chemotherapy treatments before the surgery. Experts recommend exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet to reduce risk factors, for a healthy body is more difficult to get sick.

Treatment 

The duration of breast cancer treatment can vary depending on the diagnosisand can range from simple surgery without further treatment, or those cases when the procedure can be prolongedfor up to 5 years. A good family environment is also necessary for a patient’s recovery. It is vital that the patient isadequately informedof the circumstances of their case and the options available. Some patients require the help of a psychologist and support groups, which can also play a vital role throughout the treatment. Besides, the patient can and should perform a physical exerciseto return to normal.

Risks 

Body imageis a critical psychosocial issue for post-mastectomy patients as they often undergosignificant changesto appearance and functioning. Changes in body image not rarely affect patient’s both intimate and social relationships. Other alterations that may occur are of sexual nature, chronic pain, lymphoedema or psychological sequelae,among others. We are fully aware of the impact post-mastectomy alterations may have on a patient, and we always advise our patients to be psychologically predisposed to overcome obstacles.

Fortunately, major, lethal complications are becoming less frequent. The current survival rate for breast cancer is nearly 85%, but we must continue to insist on early detection and new clinical trials toreduce the remaining 15%.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Spain

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in cardiology with heart | Posted on04-10-2018

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Did you know that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Spain? Today, Dr Gomez Doblas talks to us about these pathologies and their risk factors, offering us some advice on taking care of our heart.

Cardiovascular diseases represent 29.66% of the total number of deaths in our country, which places them above cancer (27.86%) and pathologies of the respiratory system (11.08%). Fortunately, they are also one of the illnesses that can be prevented the most, mainly by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

Many risk factors can trigger cardiovascular related pathologies, such as obesity, arterial hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, inadequate nutrition or sedentary lifestyle. Their prevention with multi-factorial strategies has shown that the development of cardiovascular illnesses we can avoid in 30% of cases. With that in mind, we would like to take the opportunity of the fact that World Heart Day has recently been celebrated to make particular emphasis on the importance of prevention since by following a few simple tips we can keep our heart healthy and prevent cardiovascular pathologies.

 

Some advice on taking care of our heart:

  • Doing sport regularly:Sport is one of the best methods to prevent health problems. Exercising reduces the risk of heart diseases and all types of cardiovascular illnesses. The practice of moderate exercise or sports activity along with the monitoring of other health habits has immediate consequences in the reduction of risk factors such as diabetes, arterial hypertension, arteriosclerosis, obesity and hypercholesterolemia. Sport lowers cholesterol levels in general and raises HDL (good cholesterol). It also benefits patients with type II diabetes by increasing the sensitivity of cells to insulin.

Besides, physical exercise improves the organic capacity of the heart, reducing our need for oxygen and lowering our blood pressure, so that we require the medication less and, at the same time, we improve the quality of our life.

Aerobic exercise is recommended between three and five times a week in sessions of no less than 30 minutes, controlling the heart rate to keep it within levels of moderate intensity. The most recommended physical activities are brisk walking or running at a gentle pace, bicycling, and swimming. We recommend that the intensity of these exercises should be moderate, involving and moving large muscle groups for the maximum benefits.

  • Following a healthy diet: A low consumption of dairy products is recommended (between 2-4 portions a day of skimmed or semi-skimmed products), using more olive oil as the primary source of fat, eating meat and meat products in small quantities, increasing, on the contrary, the consumption of fish and legumes as the main source of protein. It is also recommended to eat plenty of cereals (4-6 servings a day in the form of bread, rice, pasta – ), as well as fruits and vegetables. The consumption of salt and products rich in sugars must also be limited and, of course, we must not forget to drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

Performing sports will also help us in this task, allowing better control of caloric intake, which translates into a decrease in being overweight, producing a significant improvement in the quality of life.

Resolution on healthy lifestyle habits: Quitting negative habits such as smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also help us take care of our heart. Only by quitting smoking, for example, we can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

  • Monitoring our heart regularly with medical check-ups:There is no specific “optimal” age to start caring for our heart. Even if we do not present any symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, we are still recommended to have a medical check-up of the heart from the age of 45-50. Furthermore, it is advisable to repeat the test every five years. Also, if we practice sports on a regular basis, we should perform the check-up a few years earlier, at the age of 40-45, and repeat it with the same frequency: a check-up every five years even if there are no symptoms. Professional athletes and people who regularly engage in high-intensity exercise should have a sports cardiovascular check-up.